The mosque will be the second women’s mosque in the US and the first to be “all-inclusive.”
A group of young Muslim women has taken the right for equality to a new, radically inclusive level. The scene of this radical revolution will be in California, in the form of a women’s mosque which will have its doors open to people of all faiths and sects, genders, orientations, racial groups, and nationalities.
Mosques are traditionally led by men, and only men are allowed to pray inside the main area. Women are either separated by a wall, asked to pray in a separate chamber or simply made to sit at the back. As such, the fact that this mosque will be led by a woman imam is something that can stun a lot of people.
The Qal’bu Maryam mosque won't be the first women's mosque of America, however. There is already a women's mosque in Los Angeles. The difference between the two is that while the Los Angeles mosque is a women-only mosque, the Qal'bu Maryam mosque will be open to everybody. As such, this mosque will definitely be the world’s first all-inclusive mosque. The name of the mosque itself is symbolic of the relationship between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It means “the heart of Mary.” As the mother of Jesus, and being a Jew herself, Mary holds significance to people of all the three faiths.
The mosque's website clearly states that the house of worship will be a place of inclusivity, and welcomes everyone- converts, reverts, members from the LGBT, immigrants, locals, people of all ethnic groups and genders. This is a very drastic departure from a traditional mosque. However, the mosque's founder, Rabi’a Keeble, believes that Islam accepts everyone equally, and nobody should be made to feel alienated.
Keeble also focuses on the importance of inviting Muslim women to be imams and to deliver the sermons, because, for her, that is a way in which women can truly be empowered. She observes that there is no rule preventing women from being imams, and it is purely based on tradition. Keeble insists that traditions such as these need to change. She also added that the mosque is making efforts to bring women of color to the forefront.
The mosque will be inaugurated on April 14, 2017, with Friday prayers.