Being recognized as the first ever female-run and established mosque, the Mariam Mosque opened recently in the start of February, 2016, being led entirely by women. The mosque is welcomed towards anyone regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion, and people of any background and origin.
This inclusive mosque is created by Sherin Khankan, the well-recognized author and activist, who has established the mosque in order to showcase women’s strength in the power of essence of prayer and the unity of worship.
While exploring the many mosques in own city and Copenhagen, Khankan discovered that she felt like a stranger and decided that she wanted to create a new beginning for women, one in which they would have a new voice, a new say for themselves, one in which they would have power for themselves, speak for themselves on their own grounds in their own way.
Khankan hopes to “challenge structures,” create debate, dialogue, and ease the barriers between Islam followed considerably on a different aspect, and another which has a slightly modern aspect towards it, on in which both young worshipers can relate to and bring understanding towards. Khankan hopes to “soothe” divisions and barriers between both traditional and contemporary variations of her faith in order to create harmony within the religion.
Although the reaction to the Mariam Mosque has been generally positive, there have been moderate negative responses as well. Some have wondered why there is a need for a led-female mosque in comparison to a regular mosque.
The mosque has eight female imams, has Friday khutbahs and prayers led by girl Imams, who are all working as volunteers. While men are welcomed to come and worship at the Mariam Mosque, only women will lead the Friday prayers and services.
It sounds like Khankan has been making waves to ripples all the way and into the lives of women in Denmark with the “Mariam Mosque”, highlighting their strengths in a distinctive way. Women can now conduct their khutbahs and lead prayers, and lead an entire community.