First, I want to emphasize my solidarity with all people that wish for justice to reign in our day and age, regardless of their backgrounds. I need to take issue with the assertion that men and women prayed side-by-side during the lifetime of Allaah's Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him). This is patently false! As is well know by scholars of Islam, men and women DID pray in the same room, however, women prayed behind the men. The only place that men and women prayed side-by-side during his lifetime would have been when they were present at the Ka'bah in Makkah. The reason for this arrangement when praying could very well have been logistical. In such cramped and uncontrolled quarters, it may simply be to difficult to organize the lines for prayer according to the standard motif. Frankly, there's been a very anti-religious tenor in some of the comments coming from the square, and that worries me. I accept that we may all not agree, but if groups of us are ACTIVELY opposed to others or their philosophies that is problematic. Especially when Islam clearly plays such a major role in society there in Egypt (as this picture attests to). I pray that Allaah guides us all to what's closest to achieving His Pleasure; and that I can one day bring my son to meet his family there in Cairo.
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