The centre, the first of its kind in Qatar, will open its doors to the public from February 4.
Qatar Foundation’s Chairperson, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, inaugurated the Al Mujadilah Center and Mosque for Women in Education City on Wednesday, a place of worship for women as well as a space to engage in discussions on their role in society.
Addressing the crowd at the new architectural masterpiece, Sheikha Moza said the place was inspired by Khawla bint Tha’labah, who went to Prophet Muhammad to raise issues regarding the rights of women.
Sheikha Moza described Khawla in her speech as “a source of inspiration for every woman who seeks clarity and to live her life with insight.”
“We have seen how Khawla bint Tha’labah, may Allah be pleased with her, argued well in accordance with her values. Through her advocacy, she solved her problem. She went to the Prophet Muhammad to contest the injustice of the preIslamic customs that had separated her from her husband,” Sheikha Moza said, as quoted by Qatar’s news agency (QNA).
The centre, the first of its kind in Qatar, will open its doors to the public from February 4 as part of a community event and its programmes will start on February 6.
The centre does not require registration and will be open from 10 am until 8 pm local time.
The Al Mujadilah Centre includes classrooms, a library, gathering spaces, a cafe and gardens, providing women with access to plenty of resources. It is set to host activities and programmes in Arabic and English.
The classes will touch on a wide range of topics, including mental health, relationships, Islamic law and history among others, according to QNA.
Sheikha Moza noted that the space also ensures that women’s prayer rooms do not stay marginalised and isolated in a remote corner.
“This space will host programmes that support and elevate women’s education, and meet their contemporary intellectual needs to raise women’s awareness of religious and worldly matters — personally, socially, and from the perspective of the family,” she added.
Al Mujadilah amplifies the important role of women in Islam as “the second half of the Muslim community.”
Prophet Muhammad placed respecting and honouring women at the centre of his message in spreading the religion.
“We are here to shed light on the concept of justice in worship, through the establishment of the Al-Mujadilah Center and mosque where women can develop themselves legitimately in religious and worldly affairs, and with a comprehensive understanding of worship,” Sheikha Moza said.
Renowned Muslim scholar Omar Abdelkafy spoke at the inauguration, where he underlined the importance of respecting women in Islam, saying the centre “reinvigorates a society after centuries of marginalising women.”
Muslim women have also played key roles throughout history, from leading education to important scientific inventions.
Some of the most notable Muslim women figures include Fatima Al-Fihriya who established the oldest university in the world in 859 AD, known as the Al-Qarawiyyin University. The institution in Morocco attracted students from around the world to study numerous subjects from Islamic studies to astronomy.
Several Muslim women were behind important inventions, such as the creation of the astrolabe in the 10th century by a Syrian-born woman named Maryam Al-Ijliya, famously known as Mariam Al Astrulabi.