Women's mosques (Chinese: [清真]女寺; pinyin: [Qīngzhēn] nǚ sì) have existed in China for several hundred years. They can be found in the Chinese provinces of Henan, Shanxi and Hebei. Some countries beyond China also have women-only mosques, but they are rare.
In China, separate women-only mosques were built by the Muslim communities there. This is in contrast to Muslim communities outside China, where usually men and women will use the same mosque, with gender-segregated washing and prayer rooms. At the end of the Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty, Hui women had begun to form their own mosques. The oldest surviving nǚsì in China, is Wangjia Hutong Women's Mosque of Kaifeng, which dates to 1820.
For religious reasons, Hui communities had started to cultivate more theological learning among the women. As a result, a portion of the female Muslims who had experienced a religious education, gradually incorporated Islamic observances into their daily religious activities, and this produced the establishment of women's mosques.
By the 20th century, there were separate places of worship as women-only mosques. They are a special form of the sacred building, either as a separate institution or mosque attached to an existing larger mosque. Their managers are women, wives of the imam of a larger mosque. The commonly used title for it is Shiniang (师娘).
Female Islamic clerics are referred to as nü ahong (女阿訇) in Chinese.
List of selected women-only mosques
Women's mosques in China
- Beidajie Nusi, Zhengzhou (Henan)
- Beixiajie Nusi, Zhengzhou
- Minzhulu Nusi, Zhengzhou
- Xishilipu Nusi, Zhengzhou
- Jiangfanglu Nusi, Xi'an (Shaanxi)
- Qian Xinchengdao Nusi (Hohhot Nüsi), Hohhot (Inner Mongolia)
- Hexi Nusi, Zhoukou (Henan)
- Tiedanjie Nüsi, Kaifeng (Henan). In Kaifeng, there are 16 women's mosques
- Botou Qingzhen Nüsi, Botou, Cangzhou City (Hebei)
- Beijing (Women's mosque, jap.)
- Xiaotaoyuan Mosque, Shanghai
Women's mosques outside China
- The Women's Mosque of America, Los Angeles, California. The first women's mosque in the United States opened in 2015, located in a multifaith cultural center in the Pico-Union district.
Qal'bu Maryam Women's Mosque, Oakland, California. The first women's mosque in the San Francisco Bay area, and the second in the United States, opened March 4, 2017, is located in City of Refuge Church in Oakland.
- (English) Maria Jaschok: "Religious Women in a Chinese City: Ordering the past, recovering the future - Notes from fieldwork in the central Chinese province of Henan". February 2005. QEH Working Paper Series - QEHWPS125 (Working Paper Number 124)
- (English) Maria Jaschok, Jingjun Shui: The History of Women's Mosques in Chinese Islam. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000 (the Chinese edition's title was: Zhongguo Qingzhen nüsi shi 中国清真女寺史 (水镜君/ (英)玛利亚•雅绍克), ISBN 978-7-108-01699-7; cf. preview)
- (English) Ping-Chun Hsiung, Maria Jaschok, Cecilia Nathansen Milwertz: Chinese women organizing: cadres, feminists, Muslims, queers
- (English) Jaschok, Maria & Shui Jingjun, 'Restoring history to women, restoring women to history: reconstructing the evolution of Qingzhen Nüsi (women's mosques) in China's Islam', Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies: Alam-e-Niswan 10 (2003) 2, 153-173
- (French) Elisabeth Allés: "Des oulémas femmes : le cas des mosquées féminines en Chine", Revue du monde musulman et de la Méditerranée, Année 1999, Volume 85, Numéro 85-86, pp. 215–236
- (French) icampus.ucl.ac.be "Les minorités musulmanes en Chine" ("Les mosquées féminines")
- (English) For the Hui, Women Imams and Women's Mosques (China)
- (English) China: Female Imams a tradition in Chinese mosques
- (English) China's nu Ahong
- (French) Mosquées féminines (Qingzhen nusi)
- (Chinese) Qingzhen nüsi zai Xuanwu Shouliu hutong 39 hao
- (Chinese) Yisilanjiao baiyi
- Maria Jaschok: "Religious Women in a Chinese City: Ordering the past, recovering the future - Notes from fieldwork in the central Chinese province of Henan". QEH Working Paper Series - QEHWPS125, S.8
- icampus.ucl.ac.be "Les minorités musulmanes en Chine" ("Les mosquées féminines") (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- cf. chinalink.de: Die chinesische Frau (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- cnki.com.cn: Beijing lishi shang de Qingzhen nüsi ((accessed April 1st, 2010)
- cf. "Weibliche Imame", source: Jaschok, Maria and Jingju Shui, p. 287-292, German translation from English: C. Schneider (accessed April 1st, 2010) and Ingrid Mattson: "Can a Woman be an Imam?" - macdonald.hartsem.edu (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- Zhengzhou counts from algerie-dz.com: "Mosquées féminines" ("Qingzhen nusi") 18 men's mosques and 7 women's mosques.
-  Google Maps
- vgl. flickr.com: A Women's Mosque in Xian (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- moritzleuenberger.net und sambuh.com: "Abu'l Faiz Khan Mosque (1720)" (accessed April 1st, 2010); cf. the article Naqshbandi.
- deutsche-welle.de: Erste Moschee für Frauen in Kabul (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- haumaldives.wordpress.com: Aid to women’s mosques terminated and women Imam’s left jobless, as if the deprivations the MDP government of Mohamed Nasheed cause is not enough. (accessed April 1st, 2010) - see also Islam in the Maldives
- giga-hamburg.de (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- unesco.org (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- welt.de: "Frauenmoschee für niederländische Feministen" (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- loccum.de: "Wie geht der Dialog weiter?" (accessed April 1st, 2010) & dmk-berlin.de: "Moscheen und Gebetsräume in Berlin" (accessed April 1st, 2010)
- Tamara Audi, "Feeling Unwelcome at Mosques, 2 Women Start Their Own in L.A. New Entity Believed to Be the First of Its Kind in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2015.