Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 76



Book
Sufi Narratives of Intimacy
The year 1994 was particularly memorable for Muslim South Africans because
of two significant events. First, the first non-racial democratic elections took
place, signalling the official death of apartheid. Second, Professor Amina
Wadud, a visiting scholar and author of a pioneering Islamic feminist work,
Qur an and Woman, delivered the Friday sermon (khu ba) at the Claremont
Main Road Mosque, which I attended.
The mosque had invited Wadud to share
her insights on Islam with its members,
who also decided to use the occasion to
transform the gendered nature of their
prayer space. Not only was a woman going
71 UCT RESEARCH & INNOVATION 2015–16
to give the all-important Friday sermon, but
the female congregants would move from
the balcony into the central space of the
masjid, on par with, albeit separate from,
the men.





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