This article is exclusively based upon finding out that the person whom had wrote the Pro-Homoesxual/Same-Gender-Marriage article for AltMuslim, Pamela Taylor, apparently, has been granted the title of “Imam”. Now, What I plan to do is to simply clarify what exactly an Imam truly is, in both its linguistic, Islamically historical context, and whom has the entitlement to be labeled “Imam” in the 1st-place.
The word, Imam, inherently, is actually from the Arabic verb “Āmma” meaning to afront/to be in front, to lead, to supersede, to head, etc. So, with that being said, anyone, theoretically/realistically can be a leader.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Tongue of the `Arab [Lexicon of the Arabic-Language])
Next, let’s examine the types/categories of Imamah/Leadership:
There are many different, universal types of Imamah/Leadership, such as the following: Parents, Teachers, Sports-Coaches/Owners, Principals, Business-Owners, etc. Any/all of these respective types of Imamah/Leadership, is for anyone/everyone. In other words, any/all Human beings are 100%-entitled to take the reigns of these manifested types of Imamah/Leadership. However, when it comes to specific religious-duties, particularly/especially within Islam, then, now, the rules must change, as to whom are allowed to possess Imamah/Leadership, as well as to which extent that Imamah/Leadership is Islamically allowed to be taken.
Now, let’s investigate the Islamic definition of “Imam” & who is justified to carry this title:
Imam, firstly, is a Masculine-Noun in the Arabic-Language, and just like any/all Nouns within the Arabic-Language, their Natures are exclusive to their Genders. In the Arabic-Language, which is the language which Allah had purposely chosen to reveal the Qur’an in (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.12, V.3), no noun (person, place, thing, concept, idea, etc.) is “unisex” or “unigender”…Every noun, which the word “Imam” is, in the Arabic-Language, has to be either masculine or feminine, exclusive for/to either males or female created-things. Even in referrence to created things which don’t have a gender, at all, like Angels, for example: the name “Khalifah”, meaning caretaker, custodian, ruler, etc., which is most commonly known by its bureaucratic definition, being the recognized global-leader of Muslims…this particular geo-political position can only be held by a Muslim-Man, and even linguistically, even though the word, Khalifah, has an apparent feminine-ending, it is still, in fact, exclusively, a masculine-word.(al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun, Jalal-ud-Din as-Suyuti; Lisan-ul-`Arab) We, then, have the word “Malak” (pl. Mala’ikah), meaning Angel, is masculine, by virtue of the fact that Angels were created, by Allah, without a gender. So, because of that, the word in Arabic, Angel, itself, as well as the actual names & characteristics of Angels, are also, by definition/extension, must be masculine. This was a very huge-issue, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), because, the Pagan-Arabs had a religious-view, that Angels were, female & the “daughters of Allah”. However, when the Qur’an was revealed, it thus clarified this degenerate religious-belief, among all of the beliefs of the Pagan-Arabs.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.37, V.149-156) So, with that being said, it becomes, thus, very clear, that any noun in the Qur’an, must, at all times, coincide with a respective gender.
Now, coming back, full-circle, to the main point of inference, the primary-topic, at hand, concerning the whole “Female-Imam” issue: we can now get our hands dirty, about this issue. The term Imam, relative to what I’m directly referring to, in the context of the claim of Pamela Taylor, as being a “Female-Imam”, we know based upon text, from both the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, as well as simply from the linguisitc-dyanmics of the Arabic-Language, that there is no way that a Muslim-Woman can be an “Imam”, in any religious-context. Before I continue, it’s fair that I go in-depth as to what an “Imam”, in the context of what Pamela Taylor is claiming: it is referring to, directly, leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women in prayers, giving the weekly Khutbah/Sermon, on the day of al-Jumu`ah/Friday. Please, note, that this has never been done, before, from among any members of the Salaf (the 1st-3-generations of Muslims, after the revelation of the Qur’an: as-Sahabah/the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah be pleased with them all-together], as well as the 1st & 2nd-generations of at-Tabi`in/the Followers of as-Sahabah [May Allah mercify them all-together]). And, if anyone from among the Ummah (Nation/MuslimCommunity) of Muhammad would’ve been justified to enact this practice, it would’ve definitely been these Muslim-Women, from among the Salaf & more specifically, the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them), because they were, by-and-large, the most-righteous, as well as the most knowledgeable Muslim-Women, during the lifetime of Muhammad, as well as among the Salaf, and yet, none of them, participated in leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, in any prayers, nor did any of the give any Khutub (sing. Khutbah) on the day of al-Jumu`ah.
What’s interestingly-ironic is that these “Progressive-Muslim” individuals/groups, whom all co-sign this Bid`ah (Religious-Innovation) never taken into consideration that the best people among the Muslims, relative to the revelation of the Qur’an, never did this. And, it absolutely tickles me, when people reference our (religious) mother, `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), whom wielded immense religio-scholastic, geo-political prestige & authority: her husband being Muhammad of course, the last Prophet/Messenger of Allah & her own father, Abdullah ibn Abi-Quhafah…AKA Ab-Bakr as-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), whom religio-scholastically taught mostly Muslim-Men, her entire life, after the death of Muhammad, and even raising an army, against her own cousin-in-law, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, while he was a Khalifah (May Allah be pleased with him); yet, guess what, folks…yeah…you’ve got it…SHE NEVER LED ANY MUSLIIM-MEN IN ANY PRAYER, NOT EVEN ONE DAY, IN HER ENTIRE LIFE. As powerful as she was, in both religious-academics, as well, as on the geo-political stage, she knew that she had absolutely no justification to lead Muslim-Men in any prayers.
So, for someone to come, not days, years, decades, but, centuries, after her death, whom are clearly not as knowledgeable, Islamically, as she was, nor could they ever be, and proclaim that being a “Female-Imam” is Islamically valid, when the best of Muslim-Women, from among the best of Muslims, never did this, shows a very clear, obvious disease of the heart, which is spreading, like a wildfire with that’s HIV-infected. I, Gareth Bryant, do by, henceforth, dare to challenge, any Muslim, “Muslim-Feminist”, “Progressive-Muslim”, “Reform-Muslim”, regardless of one’s sectarian-persuasions, to provide any proof, even an abrogated-proof, from either the Qur’an, Sunnah, or the documented-practices of the Salaf, which gives any at all justification for a Muslim-Woman to be a “Female-Imam”.