Women in Mosques

Sep 17th, 2007, in News, by

Women are not allowed in the Sultan mosque in Ternate.

Women & Their Unholy Voices

While almost all mosques in Indonesia allow women to come inside and pray, although they have to sit behind the men, the Sultan mosque in Ternate, North Maluku (Maluku Utara, Malut) (map) is unique in forbidding women from entering.

Djafar, a local figure, explains:

Only men can pray in this mosque, women are not allowed. This is an old tradition and has never been broken.

The mosque’s cleric, Ridwan Dero, says the reason for the banning of women is to protect the holiness of the place:

If women pray here then their menstruation might suddenly start. Apart from that the men who come to pray here might be bothered by seeing women or hearing their voices.

There are no exceptions to the rule at any time.

Men & Their Holy Trousers

The men who come are required to wear long trousers – wearing of sarongs only is not sufficient – and they must also have the top of their heads covered by a kopiah or sorban.

Ridwan Dero explains that by wearing trousers the men show that they have truly prepared themselves to face God. Dero says that when men are standing up while praying, and wearing trousers, the position of their legs forms the words “lam alif“. Lam alif represents the two statements of the Muslim confession of faith, “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet”. In this way men who wear trousers show in physical, visible form that they believe in the confession of faith.

Guards are on hand, perhaps similarly to those at the Baiturrahman mosque in Aceh, who advise men who arrive in only sarongs to go home and get changed, or just go to another mosque.

Similarly the wearing of headwear is required as a sign of respect to God. The guards have spare caps to lend to visitors should the latter have forgotten their head-wear. mediaindo

The Menara mosque in Semarang, Central Java, is another old mosque which does not allow women, although the reasons are not stated. It is used mainly by Indonesians of Arab descent. indosiar

219 Comments on “Women in Mosques”

  1. Hassan says:

    Janma, exactly!! He acts as if he fully understands the Quran

    No. I actually said these things on another thread (‘Indonesian Women’, if I’m not mistaken) to Parvita: “I for one, read the Qur’an mostly by myself, and I also read it’s translation. The difference between us is that I never had the feeling that I can understand and master all that was revealed in the Qur’an fully by myself. While people like you think that they have the divine knowledge to completely comprehend all the secrets of the Qur’an by themselves.”

    His credibility is questionable.

    Well, I’m glad you’re not the ultimate determiner of a person’s credibility these days.

    and what point is that Mr. Hassan? With you, you just go around the circles without being able to just give a straight answer. I am after a straight answer. Enlighten me, isnt that your duty as a Muslim to do that?

    Alright, here’s my straight answer: Instead of asking rhetorical questions like “Was there anything about cars in the Quran? How did the inventors come up with lights, electricity, cars, aeroplanes, etc if they are not in the Quran?” to some guy in the web, why don’t a good and bright Muslim like you simply open your own Qur’an to find out exactly what’s in it and what isn’t?

    I mean, you don’t actually think that the Qur’an is a technical handbook on car making or electricity, do you? Did you notice what the true nature of the Qur’an really was as a book of Signs (of His greatness) from Allah SWT? Or were you serious with your question which implied that you never (or very, very rarely) opened your own religion’s holy Scriptures?

    I’m not trying to antagonize you or anything, ihaknt. I was just amazed and perplexed by your previous question. Hence, my out of focus answer: “Besides, how would we know if something is in the Qur’an or not? We (Muslims) open the Qur’an.”

  2. Sputjam says:

    The kuran is a misunderstood book. It does not promote any religion or worship rituals.
    it merely states that mankind should observe the creation in the heaven and on the earth and everything in between and that all these are due to God’s creation.
    And if you are convince of God’s creation, then you should submit yourself to doing good deeds and be righteous.
    The kuran merely confirms God’s existance to the believers, gives reason on why mankind must go through a test in this life and warns of great punishment for those who perform idol worship and also to those who do not believe in God.
    the kuran clearly states and repeated many times that for those who beleive, they will be judged by their deeds alone.(yet this clear and simple message is clearly misunderstood by muslims)

    those who call themselves muslims have ignored God’s messages in the kuran.

    messages in the kuran forbids idol worship, but muslim religionist perform idol worship in huge congregation around a stone or cubical struture in mecca, which they attribute to Abraham.

    messages in the kuran warns believers not to listen to preist/clerics/monks but to have trust in God, who will guide the faithful.

    the kuran did not call mankind to embrace the religion of islam, but to shun all form of idol worship associated with all religion.

    the kuran states and repeated many times that God is free of all wants. So God does not want our worship nor offerings. He does not require this from mankind. God is after all, the Sustainer and does not require any sustenance from us.

    people if the islamic religion claims that they are merely following muhamed’s footsteps when they do worship rituals and way of life. But mohamed is a mere prophet, a messenger of God. he has no authority from God to write a book of worship. his job was to deleiver the message which is now in the kuran, which to the beiever is complete and contains no contradiction.

    the ritual worship that muslim religionist now performs are not even from muhamed but by people who said that mohamed had done these deeds, and are found in the hadiths and sunnahs. those who follow the hadith and sunnah have placed the book, written by men on an equal status as that of the koran presented by God.

    Repent ! Stop all forms of worship immediately, treat your parent well. do not lie, cheat and be dishonest. Shun all forms of excessive profiteering. Be charitable and from God’s financial rewards, spend to a level you are comfortable with.

  3. Ihaknt says:

    Well then Hassan your question shouldve been “how would YOU know” not we. We included yourself in the question, since apparently you open the book. Dont stop at just opening it tho, read it too.

  4. Ihaknt says:

    I pressed the wrong button. Forgot to add, i didnt think it was a technical book, but from your posts I get a feeling you think if it’s in the Quran it’s halal, if not it’s not halal. That’s all. I know it’s not a technical book.

  5. Tuan says:

    #Menstruation is a sickness. Don’t have sex with menstruating women. quran 2:222

    Let’s be real here. I don’t know any man or woman who would want to have intercourse during a female period. I know for sure most women do not want to have sex during that time.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  6. Sandipti says:

    Since you hold Hindus in India responsible for riots, one important pointer, every single one of those riots were against Muslims, interesting because India has Christians, Sikhs,Buddhists, Jains,Zoroastrians and Jews as well. India also suffers from constant terrorism from its homegrown Muslims, not Christians or Buddhists.

  7. Shloka says:

    @ Sputjam,
    You say that the Koran has strict punishments for those performing ” idol worship”. Well if I hold Shias and Sunnis as separate denominations albeit both are Muslims, and likewise Catholics and Protestants as separate denominations, then the single largest religious group is Catholicism, with a billion members. They worship before many idols, those of Jesus, Mary and saints. The third largest religion Hinduism has hundreds of Gods and idols. Mahayana Buddhists worship idols of Buddha. The ancient Egyptians, Mesopotemians Greeks, Romans, to name just a few were all idol worshippers as are many Animists in Africa and indegenous tribes in Latin America. While Islam has existed for merely 1400 years, idols of pregnant mother goddesses have been found in caves from 25000 years ago. I gather many of those idol worshippers lead more moral lives than many Muslims. If God sends the architects of the Bamiyan Buddhas to Hell for being idol worshippers, and the destroyer of Bamiyan Buddhas to Heaven then no wonder the Koran is misunderstood.

  8. uwie says:


    i am so sad to see there are still so many moderate muslims who will do anything to defend islam while denying all the facts and evidences. I know it is hard for a muslim who had been practicing islam for so long to admit that there are many nasty verses in the quran. You even say that all the verses that I quoted seem to be all corrupted and they sound very reasonable to you. That is what always happens when a good muslim comes to defend islam, reason, conscience and compassion does not function anymore. No matter how ridiculous it says in the quran, muslims will find a ridiculous answer to justify it. This is why it cannot be reformed, to reform something you need to admit mistakes and replace it with a new one or discard it. If you are enlightened you will be able to admit that all religion have their goods and bads. The reason why christians and other religions can get along with the fast changing world. It is because they are willing to admit mistakes and then reformed. Muslims are still fighting for the implementation of sharia, the caliphate, umma and all those utopian dreams.

    I don’t care of what you saying because you don’t know and short minded. I just said that if you really true read QURAN. Not picking word in-uncompleted text-and-dont know the real meaning because you dont know the history and arabian language and based that the ayat coming – to against and to prove that this religion not defends human right and so on. – you better to shut up!!!

    Lets do the usual habit. You with your religion and don’t bothers others.

  9. Zubair Ahmad Shah says:

    KAHIH BUKHARI, KITAAB UN NISAA, Last or last but one hadith:
    RasoolAllah(saw) said: “If your women want to go to the mosque even at night, don’t stop them.”
    The hadith is somewhat like this…
    Another Hadith:
    “Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from entering the mosque.”

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