1. The Women’s Mosque Movement Begins In California
While there have been women’s mosques in China for centuries (as well as in India, Chile, Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria), one of the major accomplishments for Muslim women in the last decade has been the establishment of women’s mosques in North America. The first women’s mosque in North America was started in Los Angeles in 2015. Another women-led mosque opened in Northern California in 2017, with a third inaugurated in Canada in 2019.
The women’s mosque in Los Angeles, succinctly called the Women’s Mosque of America, was founded by M. Hasna Maznavi. Their website states, “The Women’s Mosque of America seeks to uplift the Muslim community by empowering women and girls through more direct access to Islamic scholarship and leadership opportunities.” When the Women’s Mosque first opened, there was criticism that it was in reaction and resistance to Muslim men, but Maznavi was clear that Muslim men supported her work and that it was in the tradition of the Prophet PBUH and the early ummah’s significant establishment of women as prominent scholars of the diin. In an article published on HuffPost, she states, loud and proud, that “The Prophet Muhammad (p) was arguably the greatest feminist that ever lived.”