Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen – Denmark and Scandinavia’s first female-led mosque for women only – held its first Friday prayers this week.
The historic event was attended by more than 60 women.
Although the mosque opened already in February, it was not able to hold Friday prayer service, which is an important ritual for Muslims, until now.
The ceremony was performed by Sherin Khankan and Saliha Marie Fetteh, who are the mosque’s founders and imams.
“It is the first time I have experienced that Muslims and non-Muslims prayed side by side,” Khankan told DR.
“It was a very special experience.”
After the ceremony, 30 women decided to join the community.
However, the mosque needs to have at least 150 members in order to be officially recognised as a religious community in Denmark.
Mariam Mosque aims to challenge patriarchal structures within religious institutions as well as patriarchal interpretations of the Qur’an, and to confront growing Islamophobia and promote Islamic progressive values.
“We’re going to make a campaign on social media both to ensure we get more members, but also to inform about our new academy,” Khankan told DR.
In September, the mosque launches a new Islamic academy with courses for future female imams.
Mariam Mosque has come under criticism by groups like the Danish Islamic Centre, which has said that female mosques dilute Islam.