Women Struggle to Be Heard in the Mosque
Two Muslim women enter a mosque (no, this isn’t the opener of a lame joke). Both sisters join the prayer, enjoying the Imam’s melodious recitation over the loud speaker — the only communication they have with the walled off men’s prayer area where the Iman stands, leading the prayer. They kneel down and touch their foreheads to the ground. Some time passes and one sister begins to wonder why the prostration, typically no more than 10 to 30 seconds, is now in its second minute. She had enjoyed the extra time to fit in some much needed supplication, but two minutes?
Finally the Imam calls out “Allah is Great,” the sign for the congregation to rise out of prostration. The sister raises her head and, to her surprise, finds that her friend on the right is standing in prayer while the woman to her left is still sitting! A confused panic breaks out, as sisters on all sides begin to make hurried movements, trying to catch up to where they think the Imam is in his prayer. After another two excruciating minutes of silence interrupted only by static, “May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you” booms out of the loud speaker, signaling the end of prayer.
Every sister rises, finishing off the remainder of yet another haphazard attempt at prayer in the mosque, all the while skeptical of the validity of the prayer itself.