Women in Islam

Preventing Women from Going out to Mosques

As Salam AlaykumI know you receive many questions about this topic, so I apologize in advance for the repetition as well as the length of my questions, but it is only due to my confidence in the Ulema of your institute, who have consistently shown strict adherence to Islam as well as logical reasoning.This is a very pressing issue in my country, South Africa, where the Ulema, who are all from the Deobandi movement, has banned/forbidden women from both the masaajid, and the Eid Musalla. They do so on the excuse that allowing women will cause "fitnah", in the Urdu definition which is temptation/mischief/evil, and make every women out to be lewd/incapable of modesty.a group of us, men and women, who have traveled and studied abroad, and witnessed Muslim women's participation in the masaajid decided to start a campaign, educating women about their rights to attend Eid prayers, and other prayers, especially Jumuah and Taraweeh, if it does not interfere with their other duties. Our aim was to make known the opinions of scholars outside the Deobandi school, and to show women that they have a choice in the matter, given to them by the Prophet (saw), that they can attend the masaajid and eid prayers if appropriately covered and properly behaved.I have been told by some scholars that we must follow the "urf" of our country, which is to not allow women.The group who are trying to change people's mindsets have come under severe attack and abuse.My questions are - 1. Are we correct in trying to educate Muslim women about their rights in the public sphere such as the masjid and eid musalla, which by doing so, questions the Ulema of our country, who have banned us? 2. Do we have to follow the 'urf of our country which does not permit women to pray in congregation not even whilst out travelling/studying/shopping. In fact, most masaajid simply do not even accommodate women. Women are constantly told that they MUST remain at home and not leave their homes, for work, study or otherwise. 3.At the Eid musalla I attended, which is one of the very few in my country which allows women, but has been branded as "modernist" for doing so, the mens section and the womens section are adjacent to each other, separated only by distance and a rope. Is it this permissible? From my experience over the years, there has been no mixing/intermingling of men and women, we all come to pray and then leave, but the fact that the women's section is adjacent to and not behind the mens sections causes a lot of criticism. 4. My last question - are women permitted to deliver the PRE-Jumuah talk and PRE-Eid talk, from the women's section of the masjid/eid musallah. I am not referring to the Eid Khutbah or Jumuah Khutbah, but the short lecture preceding them.I sincerely appreciate your advice the matter. May Allah reward you all abundantly for the greatness of your work.