Thiruvananthapuram: Malappuram in northern Kerala today witnessed an unprecedented Jumu'ah - a Friday prayer for Muslims. For the first time in the state, a 34-year-old woman Imam, Jamitha Teacher, led the devotees for Jumu'ah - the crucial congregational Friday prayer for Muslims, which includes preaching and prayer. Quran Sunnat Society that conducted this, believes it is the first in India.
"I have been criticised a lot by elders of various factions for taking this step. There are men who will not like women taking these positions and being empowered. But the Quran is clear - there is no discrimination between man and woman. They have equal rights," Imam Jamitha Teacher told NDTV.
But this honour hasn't come easy for Jamitha Teacher. Years before, she was even boycotted by some in Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram, and given death threats for her strong opinion and the way she questioned the existing practices in her religion. She had to leave the city and take shelter with her relative in 2016. After that, the Quran Sunnat Society invited her for a session, and welcomed her open heartedly. Today, she is the secretary of the society.
Quran Sunnat Society says it believes men don't own Islam and that women have equal rights to this religion, according to the Quran. "We started discussing this through deliberate discussions as well as Friday Jumu'ah's for almost five-six months. People had different opinions. But we based our discussions solely on the Quran and brought everyone on board. It should not be about which faction teaches what, but about Quran teaches. And Quran nowhere stops women from leading Jumu'ah," MS Rasheed, a senior leader of the Quran Sunnat Society, told NDTV.