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Kerala: First Indian Muslim Woman Imam To Lead Jumma Prayers

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A Muslim woman, Jamida K popularly known as ‘Jamida Teacher’ became the first Indian Muslim woman Imam to lead Jumma prayers. She led the prayers for a mixed group of around 50 men and women at the central committee office of the Quran Sunnath Society in Malappuran district, Kerala. But still she is facing lot of criticism on the social media and the criticism even reached the level of death threats.

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Ms. Jamida said she had antedated the controversy and the criticism, facing various kinds of threats on the social media for long. But she said I would not mind the threat. We follow the Quran. It addresses men and women have an equal role in religion and it does not discriminate between men and women said Ms. Jamida.

The Quran Sunnath Society is established by the controversial Islamic scholar Chekannur Moulavi who was known for his unconventional reading of Islam. In 1993 Moulavi was allegedly murdered by orthodox elements prevailed in the society. Quran Sunnath Society has been involved in several movements including ones against the primitive, unfair practice of triple talaq.

Ms. Jamida said that we will continue the practice of women leading the prayers and our group had challenged a male-dominant religious practice.

She has been attacked forcefully by people who widely described her “not a Muslim”, “I am `receiving phone calls from so many mosque committees telling me that I have defied Islam. There are people who are speaking against me on social media and they claiming that I am trying to destroy the religion”.

The secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Abdul Rahman said that “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind manages 500 mosques in Kerala, but Jamida’s action was an arranged drama and a trick to acquire cheap popularity”. He also said that, “by tradition, men lead the prayers because women are busy in the household and they have their own limitations. This kind of division is not discrimination, it’s a question of what best suits women what best suits men”.

Nihat Husain, the head of the BMMA (Bharathiya Muslim Mahila Andolan) in Jaipur said that” I support the idea of equality. But in the Quran describes that a woman can lead other woman in prayers but a woman can’t lead man. If she against these kind of faith, it will be hard for people for support her”.

The revolutionary movement has kicked up a wide debate for and against the woman leading Jumma prayer, on the social media.

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