The Women’s Building – Powered by women for the community
Muslim Women’s Council aims:
- To establish a dedicated building focusing on Muslim women’s issues, where women (Muslims and non-Muslims) can come together and find their own confidence and strength; a space where they can access the tools and resources to create better lives for themselves, their family and their community.
- To have a women focused space, not a women only space. It will represent what is possible when the potential of girls and women is nurtured, rather than locked away.
- To uplift the Muslim community by empowering women and girls through the activities held at this building.
- To make women and girls feel welcome, respected, and actively engaged within society; by offering more direct access to personal scholarship and leadership opportunities.
Women play a significant role in the growth and the development of society around the world. Women perhaps are not physically or physiologically same as men, but they are much more responsible in delivering their roles for the society they live in. Muslim women are seldom given recognition for their contribution to their country’s development, through their hard work, often in mundane or physically demanding work. And like other women in society, they have been marginalised for many decades by various institutes and services. This has led to a frustration amongst women who would like to be included and recognised equally for their abilities and contributions.
Whilst there is an acceptance of female leadership and contribution across society and the Muslim community, significantly changing from much historical practice, it is very slow and limited. And this marginalisation of women has far reaching consequences both economically and socially.
By creating a women led building and service we will be addressing the challenges and obstacles facing Muslim women by them owning the definition of need and the services required. This includes developing their confidence to critically challenge the status quo; increasing knowledge of their rights; providing opportunities to develop communication skills and leadership; and, exposing them to a range of people and places to broaden their experiences.
Guided by the belief that all women and girls have the right to safe, joyous and creative lives, the building will be based on the principles of openness, inclusivity, social justice and sanctuary.
The building will be open to all; it will be women led and governed; and will house four distinct areas of service – a place of worship including the UK’s first women governed Mosque; a centre for learning and enterprise; a non-profit hub for other organisations serving women, girls and families; and a children’s hospice. Each of the areas will focus on offering opportunities for women to grow, learn and gain inspiration to spread throughout their respective communities.
Women are and will be continually involved in the structure, design and planning of the building, to ensure that the foundations of the project are based on collaboration, partnership, fairness and equity.
Frequently asked questions:
- What is a women led and governed mosque? This is a space specifically prepared for the purpose of offering the five daily prayers on a permanent basis and is devoted for that purpose, managed by women. But will be open to all.
- Who will lead the prayers? Where there is a congregational Salaah this will be led by a male Imam.
- Why are you creating this? Why is it important? We are inspired by our legacy of female Muslim scholarship and leadership in the earliest years of Islam, and we hope to work toward sparking a revival in women’s involvement in the Ummah (community) today through our efforts. We firmly believe that a major part of uplifting the Muslim community is to harness the potential of the whole Ummah, including Muslim women, who make up more than half of our community. We believe this building and the mosque will provide a platform for Muslim women to speak and be heard in a religious capacity, and will play an important role in strengthening the Ummah by increasing women’s access to Islamic knowledge, encouraging female participation in mosques, and fostering female leaders and scholars for the benefit of the entire Ummah.
- Besides jumma’a services, what other Islamic activities will you have? We plan to organise a wide range of classes, events, and programs relating to Islamic scholarship and leadership at the highest level, in particular for women and girls, for example, Qur’an literacy and comprehension. As our congregation and volunteer pool increases, we hope to create more programming that reflects the growing needs of our membership.
- What school of thought does the mosque follow? We will offer a non-denominational mosque that welcomes Muslims from every sect, school of thought, Islamic perspective, and level of religious practice.
- Is there a dress code to attend jumma’a prayer services? This is a safe space for all women. We encourage all women to enter in the type and style of clothing in which they feel comfortable. Because we seek to create a welcoming and supportive environment, we ask that all those who attend respect the decisions made by our members.
- Will this foster division in the community? We seek to complement existing mosques and Muslim and non-Muslim organisations, and we plan to work with Muslim and non-Muslim institutions all over the country to improve the opportunities for Muslim women everywhere. Our hope is that women will take the knowledge, inspiration, and leadership skills they learn back to their respective communities.
- Is this the first women’s mosque to ever exist? Women’s mosques have existed throughout Muslim history, and women’s mosques still exist and operate today in China, as well as a smaller number in other countries around the world – each with a religious perspective that reflects its own country’s culture, politics, and history. But it will be the first women led mosque in the UK.
- What will the mosque be called? This will be decided by the public.
- Where will the mosque be located? Within close proximity to Bradford (UK) city centre, currently a number of sites are being explored.
To support the project please contact us on 01274 223230 or