Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

The first words that the prophet (ﷺ) heard after listening to the words of Allah (ﷻ) revealed to him by angel Jibreel were the words of his wife Khadijah (RAA). The prophet (ﷺ) told her out of fear what the people of Quraish might claim of him when speaking such words of the revelation and said: “I fear that something may happen to me.”  Khadijah (RAA) said: “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Such words of wisdom and support spoke of the level of scholarship Khadijah was blessed with to bring comfort to the prophet himself (ﷺ) and to be recorded in history, repeated by one generation after another.

Around 2,210 hadiths were narrated by Aiesha (RAA) in all areas of our religion that we depend on in our lives, and all scholars know the wisdom that Aiesha (RAA) had when arguing about her view on Islamic topics.

The examples of female scholars in our history are beyond our ability to refer to, but my purpose from this article is to shed the light on how desperate, we as a community need to be, to have our daughters and sisters take the track of Islamic learning to maintain the Islamic knowledge and teaching, we need in our time.

Islam freed women from the practices of Jahiliya and guaranteed their rights which were not guaranteed to them during pre-Islamic times. Beginning with the very right to exist, as some Jahiliya practices buried girls alive; Guaranteed rights of inheritance. But one of the most important matters is that Islam did not just guarantee rights for education but urged females to seek knowledge and take positions that serve the ummah as teachers, judges, leaders, mentors and more.

Looking now at our communities and mosques, Hamdulillah we have young bright girls who excel in every aspect of education like pharmacy, law, humanities, healthcare and more. Even when it comes to memorizing the Quran, the number of sisters exceeds the number of brothers. What we are still missing though, is that we do not see any who take on sharia studies as a major to be a true scholar of Islam, and we are desperate for such figures.

The need.

The need is based on the ability for female Muslim scholars to relate to feminine controversial issues from the same gender perspective with the Sharia background qualifications. Many attack male scholar figures that they have no relativity to feminine issues, which is a debated topic by itself! But if we can havefemale scholars who can speak Sharia perspectives on such issues, why not?

The need is also based on the leadership role needed for our young girls to look up to and see as real mentors and role models. Yes, our history is filled with figures, and we have many blessed sisters who are active in Da’wah now. But activism is one thing and real scholarship credentials for such role models in Sharia is another.

The need is also related to having sisters who can offer Islamic knowledge among female gatherings which are many and needed to spread the Islamic knowledge in all areas of religion especially Fiqh. So often, I get calls from sisters asking if there is any sister who is knowledgeable about Fiqh issues to talk to. We do need such figures in our community, for sure.

The plan.

To move into action rather than just shedding the light on a topic in an article and stop there, we at the Prayer Center are willing to help bring a real plan to produce female scholars in our community, insha Allah.

First, we will start actively urging our sisters to adopt such tracks of knowledge and promote it aggressively among our programs.

Second, we will offer a full scholarship for a potential candidate who wants to take on such an honorable major if it is here in the US or even abroad.

Third, we can even work with a group of interested sisters who might not have the luxury of time to devote out of their school but may have the ability to study after hours to learn Sharia with our Imams through our academic courses offered at our Masjed.

The hope.

We hope that such a call will echo within our community, insha Allah and in a few years, we will celebrate real female scholars who can lead our community to be true followers of Islam. Because Islamic knowledge is not gender based, rather it is about who wants to take the honor of representing this religion, whether male or female, young or old.

By Imam Kifah Mustapha


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