This paper is an academic attempt to shed light on recent events initiated and publicised by Taj Hargey and his Open Mosque. I will explore what the said Open Mosque is about and who its founder Taj Hargey is. The recent publicly held radio interviews and internet material has sparked debate in the public and this paper will explore why. Lastly the public has been calling for a response by the scholars to these events and a solution to address their concerns and this will also be attempted.
The appropriation of the hadith of Umm Waraqah as proof for the permissibility and validity of a woman’s leading salah in Amina Wadud’s recent episode in New York throws up some interesting considerations. Responses have varied. There has been the tendency to question the authenticity of the hadith; another approach looks at the applicability of the hadith to the case in question; while a third approach surveys the views and opinions of the scholars of Islam. While none of these approaches lacks individual merit, it should not be lost to the observer that there is another side to the issue; a side that none of us can afford to lose sight of in the present global climate. The present paper seeks to touch upon each of these various approaches, whilst not omitting to set the issue within the framework of contemporary affairs.