Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation and founder of Al-Mujadilah, unveiled Wednesday a center and mosque that will cater to Muslim women of all ages and backgrounds.

‘Al-Mujadilah Center and Mosque for Women,’ founded by Her Highness, aims to strengthen the Islamic identity of Muslim women, foster a Muslim society where all women are engaged, their participation and contributions acknowledged and recognised, and their concerns and perspectives shape contemporary Muslim thought and open public discourse.

Al-Mujadilah was inaugurated at an event which laid out to guests the vision of the center, showcased the building facilities and introduced its purpose through a panel discussion with scholars, instructors and members of the community. The event was attended by dignitaries, community leaders, representatives of the Ministry of Awqaf and academic researchers.

Sheikha Moza recounted the inspiration for the center and its name, referring to the story of Khawla bint Tha'labah (r.a.) who engaged in a dialogue with Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Her Highness said: “In philosophy, it is said that the evolution of civilisation originated in dialogue. Through these verses, we have seen how Khawla bint Tha’labah, may Allah be pleased with her, argued well in accordance with her values. Through her advocacy, she solved her problem.”

Her Highness continued: “We are not here today simply to celebrate the architectural aesthetics of this building, rather, we are here to shed light on the concept of justice in worship, through the establishment of Al-Mujadilah Center and Mosque. This space allows women to develop themselves in religious and worldly affairs, and with a comprehensive understanding of worship.

"Designed to attract our young Muslim women, so that women’s prayer rooms do not stay marginalised and isolated in a remote corner, this space, will host programmes that support and elevate women’s education, and meet their contemporary intellectual needs to raise women’s awareness of religious and worldly matters - personally, socially, and from the perspective of the family.”

Inspired by the traditional role of the mosque as the axis of society, ‘Al-Mujadilah Center and Mosque for Women is equipped with classrooms, a library, gathering spaces, a café, and gardens. A community space for women, it will host activities and provide programing in Arabic and English ranging from longer courses, workshops, sessions on Islamic history, Islamic law, mental health and well-being and relationships to book clubs, training programmes and undertaking research.

Guest speaker Dr Omar Abdelkafy, Islamic scholar and preacher, said: “Everyone among us has been formed by the care of a woman and today with the launch of Al-Mujadilah we reinvigorate a society after centuries of marginalising women.”

The opening also featured a panel discussion on the importance of creating spaces for women in reinforcing Muslim identity.

The session was hosted and moderated by Dr. Buthaina Abdelghani, chairman of the Board of Directors of Hadara and included HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali Jabr al-Nuaimi, HE the Minister of State for International Cooperation Lolwah bint Rashid AlKhater, Dr Abdelkafy, activist and Islamic studies researcher May al-Sayed, and Al-Mujadilah Center and Mosque for Women's programmes and impact specialist Kholood Nooh.

In addition to community programmes and activities, Al-Mujadilah will open avenues to Islamic learning, research and the study of historical and contemporary Islam. Al-Mujadilah will be a hub for research networks, capacity-building, and intellectual exchange between scholars, practitioners, and Muslim women of all backgrounds. Research focuses on, and supports, research projects in three main areas: Islamic Texts, Law and Ethics; Muslim Women’s Lives and Muslim Women’s Health and Well-Being.

Dr Sohaira Siddiqui, executive director of Al-Mujadilah and associate professor of Islamic Studies and Theology, commented: “We offer a destination for Muslim women from all backgrounds and walks of life to access a wide range of programmes and activities designed to help navigate the many complex aspects of modern life. The idea is to bring a comprehensive number of resources under one roof with the goal of fostering a Muslim society where all women are engaged, their participation and contributions acknowledged and recognised, and their concerns and perspectives shape contemporary Muslim thought and open public discourse.”

Al-Mujadilah opens its doors to the public at a community event on February 4 and its scheduled programmes will begin on February 6. Women can also visit the centre without registering for a programme between 10am and 8pm to enjoy the public facilities. More information about Al-Mujadilah can be found at www.almujadilah.qa.
Related Story