a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Separation of Sexes in Religion

To: (Tariqas Elist)
From: (Haramullah)
Subject: Separation of Sexes in Religion
Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 13:53:57 -0700 (PDT)

49960510 (on the subject of separation of men and women in religious practice)

assalam alaykum, my kin!

Mike Granger quoted an unknown individual:
|Why is it so easy to pigeonhole women with the same stereotype, but 
|happily, no one in his or her right mind would advocate the same view 
|with respect to race?

Perhaps it relates to what LIla wrote recently....

Lilyan Ila 
|...the fallacy that only men have historically been 'leaders & shapers of 
|society'. If it appears to be so, it is surely because 'history' has and 
|continues to be selectively presented....

Besides the obvious racism and bigotry which inhabits cultural centers of
immigration and competition (Pacific Rim regions, for example, where I live
in the US -- CA -- are becoming some of the most diversified and so this
kind of bigotry breaks down as does the society).

Maybe the reason women are pigeonholed with the stereotype is that it is
easier to deal with them that way (by not doing so).

MSiddiqui quotes Sheikh Nazim regarding separation of women and men in salat:
|Mawlana Shaykh Nazim then went on to ask the interviewer the question:
|        "If you say you never saw it in your religion, why did they
|         build priories for nuns and monasteries for monks?"

Sufis maintain that sufism does not support the type of ascetic monasticism
which is being referred to here.  The intent was a kind of seclusion from
the world which Sufis often eschew (esp. longterm).  As a means of temporary
regrouping or reservation (I forget the Arabic term to which Sheikh Hisham
referred when I visited his lovely center), withdrawal is compared to the
plant which requires concealment (perhaps 'taqiyya') temporarily so as to
protect its new shoots.

Yet, is this the justification being used for separation during salat?
Sheikh Nazim seems to be trying to draw out a parallel which extends only
so far.  Yes, there were divisions, but these were for people (and still
are!) whose practices of withdrawing from society constitute a potentially
*permanent* condition.

In some ways I can see the parallel clearly.  Religion: sex-separation, a
type of withdrawal for the purposes of interacting with Allah most directly.
And yet it has never been my understanding that the type of separation
implied and practiced within Christian monasticism was of a similar calibre
to that witnessed in mosques.

Instead I would point to many Christian religous traditions which in fact 
separate the church in halves by sex, the pews of one side housing males,
that of the other females.  I'm sure this is a common practice for the
reasons set forward above (likely within *many* religious traditions),
and yet it is given particular emphasis in Islam I notice (sometimes
involving entirely different worship areas or relegating the worship of
women to the home).

peace be with you, my kin. (Haramullah)

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races