Equitable prayer space at ISNA this Ramadan
There are less than two weeks left until Ramadan, the most blessed month of the year. For a lot of us, ISNA becomes a safe haven and our go-to place in Ramadan. As a regular ISNA attendee, myself and many others look forward to the beautiful communal spiritual atmosphere in Taraweeh and Tahajjud.
However, the experience for women is drastically different than men. When a woman arrives as early as possible at the musallah, she struggles to find a spot. The situation becomes quite tense, as many other women are struggling to secure spots themselves. Often, if a woman is not at the mosque within 45 minutes of iftar (which is quite difficult given the imbalance of gender responsibility in dinner preparation and cleanup), she will be left to pray outside the musallah. Whereas her male counterpart can walk in 20 minutes later after socializing and making wudu to get a comfortable spot in the musallah.
This petition is to request that the executive board of ISNA make a more equitable prayer space for women this month. The current main musallah division of 70% men and 30% women space is not only unfair but also unrepresentative. Women make up half of the mosque attendees if not more during both Taraweeh and Qiyam. The ISNA board currently comprises of 50% women and 50% men and we wish to see this represented in the mosque's operation. Taraweeh is not fardh for our ummah and therefore those who attend it wish to achieve the spiritual calmness and community bonding that should be available to us all equally.
We look forward to a Ramadan where half of our community can feel at ease and where one of the most frequented-spaces during this month, ISNA, can once again be regarded as a spiritual haven instead of a stressful endeavor. Please sign this petition to help raise our concerns to the highest level. May Allah SWT bring peace and tranquility to whomever reads this.