Change Makers, #2 Raheel Raza

Are views towards female lead prayer in Islam changing?

Who is Raheel Raza?

This week we will look at Raheel Raza, the first Muslim born woman to lead a mixed gender congregation in Friday prayer in the UK, and why she believed what she’s doing is important.

Recap Questions to start…

What was the name of last week’s change maker who spoke for the poor in El Salvador?

Oscar Romero

What is an example of a story that Jesus told, that influenced his work?

The Rich Man and Lazarus

What word is used to describe this person and others who died for their beliefs?


What term means believing that the Church should speak up against issues in society based on Jesus’ teachings?

Liberation Theology

What term means fighting for what is just and fair?

Social Justice

  • What: investigate the work of Raheel Raza
  • Why: to understand the impact of her work
  • Somewhere to record your work

What did Raheel Raza do?

Raheel Raza is someone who has been in the news a few times, 10 years ago the article linked below was written about her. Give it a read to find out more about her.

Once you have read through this article once, go through again and highlight any key information about Raheel Raza and her work. (This could be who is is, what she has done, things she believes ect.) You can use the link below to get your own copy of the article.

Being able to highlight well is another skill that is great to use when you have a lot of information to read and you need to condense it. Have a look at the video below to get some tips on how to highlight well.

In the news…

As you’ve just heard, highlighting is best when it’s paired with another technique, so you are going to have a go at writing your own news segment.

Your task is to write a script for a 1 minute long TV/radio news show about Raheel Raza coming to the UK to lead in a Friday prayer service. If you want you could just write a script, or you could have a go at recording yourself for TV and radio.

Here are some examples of what you could do:

Just a script:

“In the news today, a Canadian author named Raheel Raza will become the first Muslim born woman to lead a mixed congregation in Friday prayers. The human rights activist has already received death threats as a result of a previous prayer she lead in her home Canada. This is despite 3 out out 4 mainstream schools of Sunni Islam allowing women to lead female only congregations and there being nothing explicitly in the Quran that forbids female imams. Ms Raza has said that her work ‘is not about taking the job of an imam, it’s about reminding the Muslim community that 50% of its adherents are women who are equal to men’ and ‘it’s about opening one’s heart, one mind at a time’.This could signpost a great deal of change within the religion as there are also growing numbers of female Muslim scholars, known as imamahs.”

Record yourself for radio:

Or record yourself for TV:

Why do people agree and disagree with her?

As you should now know, not everyone in Islam would agree with Raheel Raza’s work. Have a look at the diagram below.

Your task is to pick the 2 most convincing arguments that Raheel Raza might use to support female lead prayer.

Once you have picked 2, explain why they are convincing, you can use the sentence structure below:

If a woman wanted to be an Imam a convincing argument is… because..

Here’s an example one if you need it.

If a woman wanted to be an Imam a convincing argument is that the quran doesn’t mention whether women can be in imam because the Quran consists of the words of God and if he didn’t want female imams he would have included it within.

Practice Question

Instead of answering a full practice question this lesson, you are going to have a go at writing a justified conclusion to a 15 mark question:

Men and women should have equal roles in leading worship’

Your conclusion should include whether you agree and or disagree with the statement and details of why based on evidence.

Here’s an example conclusion, but remember your answer should have your opinion in it.

In conclusion, I think that the stronger argument is that men and women should have equal roles in leading worship. This is because more and more religious people are starting to support this view, such as Raheel Raza, and doing so isn’t forbidden in religious text such as the Quran.

Here if you need it..

Here’s a few useful links if you need a bit more help or want to research today’s topic a bit more: