A quiet revolution: the female imams taking over an LA mosque

While many have misinterpreted a hadith to mean women can’t enter a mosque, these women are covering progressive topics like sexual violence, abortion, pregnancy loss, domestic violence in their sermons

When Tasneem Noor got on the stage at the Women’s Mosque of America in Los Angeles, she felt butterflies in her stomach. Facing about fifty women on praying rugs, ready to deliver a sermon – khutba in Arabic – she took a deep breath.

During the prayers, the women would follow Noor’s lead, but several would pray four more times after it ended, to make up for any potentially invalid prayers. That is the result of a 14-century-old disputed hadith, that leads some to believe women are forbidden to lead prayers and deliver sermons.

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