A 34-year-old Muslim woman named Jamitha is facing death threats for leading Friday prayers. Jamitha, who is general secretary of the Quran Sunnat Society, had conducted the Jumu’ah, the Muslim Friday prayer service, at the Society’s office in Malappuram district’s Wandoor village last Friday. Now, she is getting death threats for leading the Friday prayers. She says,”I will not be cowed down by the intimidation and will continue to lead the ‘Jumu’ah’ congregation.” Noteworthy, Jumu’ah prayers, held every Friday, are usually led by men. Jamida, the state secretary of the Quran Sunnat Society, has become the first female imam in India’s history to lead the Friday prayers. It is for the first time in the country that a Muslim woman conducted and led the Friday afternoon special prayer session at a mosque in Kerala’s Malappuram district.
‘Quran does not discriminate between men and women and Islam doesn’t stop women from becoming imams’
However, the move, though applauded by many, has also triggered backlash on social media. A section of people, who was unhappy with this act, threatened her over the phone, following which she was given a security cover. Jamitha, who broke gender stereotypes when she led the prayers, said she had been receiving death threats on WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube. But, she is not afraid. She said she would not be cowed down by the threats and would continue to lead the prayers. “Those who are attacking me through social media are cowards,” she said, adding that she had not filed a police complaint. Jamitha’s move has kicked up a wide debate on social media. Popularly known as ‘Jamitha teacher’ in the area, she said the Quran does not discriminate between men and women and Islam doesn’t stop women from becoming imams.
About 80 people, including women, had attended the prayers, led by the woman ‘Imam’, Society sources said.
The Quran Sunnat Society is associated with Chekkannur Maulavi, a progressive Islamic cleric from Edapal in the Muslim dominated district, who went missing after being abducted in 1993. The CBI, which probed his disappearance, concluded that he had been murdered and his body disposed of in a mysterious manner.