Dear Rasool ﷺ,
I’m Mawadda Abuhamda and I’m 17. Where I’m from, a lot of people still consider me to be a kid. But I don’t think of myself as a kid. I know that I’m an adult who is fully responsible for my actions and thoughts. Thank you for everything you have done for me and other Muslims. Thank you for giving me this religion so that I know what will happen to me after I die and I know what Allah wants me to do to be good. I wish I could follow all the rules while feeling like they’re fair.
Ever since I was 9, I’ve wanted to lead a prayer. In the masjid. For everyone. Men and women. I’ve always loved reciting Quran, and I felt like leading prayers would help me share this love for the Quran with other people. I wanted everyone to hear me reciting Quran. I wanted to be the one people lined up to pray behind because I could recite and memorize so well. But I’m a girl. And I can’t recite in front of men or lead them in prayer. This has always made me very sad. I have always felt that it’s unfair that men get to lead prayers without having restrictions on who can hear them reciting or who they can lead.
I have heard many explanations of why this rule is fair and necessary, but I have never fully understood any of them. Since I didn’t want to try to lead prayers for everyone and get bad deeds, I distanced myself from the Quran –and in this way, from you– because I didn’t want to feel the frustration and
sadness of not being able to lead prayers and recite in front of everyone. I wish I could tell you how different things are now than they were in the past and why I wish those rules would get changed. I wish you had been sent in this century instead of centuries ago so I could ask you about those rules and understand them so I wouldn’t feel like they were unfair anymore. I hope that someday I will be able to understand them and I won’t feel like I have to distance myself from you or from the Quran.
Dear Rasool ﷺ,