Saudi Arabia: What is a Halaqah?

                    Halaqah postser

 

 

If you are living in the Kingdom you may receive an invitation to come to a Halaqah.  In its purest sense a halaqah is a social gathering where one comes to learn more about Islam.  The primary invitees are women and young children. 

 The Halaqah may take place in ones home, an estraha or in many cases, even various organizations will allow their facility to be used for this purpose. Many halaqahs are for the primary purpose of gathering together to learn about Islam and Islamic ways.

  An Islamic oriented halaqah will likely have an agenda.  There may or may not be provisions on-site at the halaqah for daycare in order to allow the women to focus their full attention on the halaqah agenda.  It is common for special guests to be invited as speakers who will present a lecture on various issues of interest to Islam and living an appropriate Islamic life.  Some halaqahs will also provide Arabic language lessons within the agenda. 

 Others may use the term ‘halaqah’ but in fact are having a true social get-together.  The term halaqah is used as that is an acceptable practice in the Kingdom and does not arise suspicion on the part of the Muttawa. Female newcomers to the Kingdom may find themselves the recipient of an invitation to a halaqah. 

 Basically the only way you will know in regards to the purpose and specific agenda of the halaqah is to know who has invited you. I am in no way attempting to discredit or “knock” the halaqah but pointing out that a traditional halaqah may not be for everyone.  Many women come to the Kingdom and especially if they do not live in a compound are eager to make friends. 

 A halaqah is one way of getting to know others but it is also equally important to ensure one is making like-minded friends who are compatible with ones interests, values and mindset.

 

One link which provides additional details on halaqahs and halaqah etiquette is: 

 http://www.geocities.com/mutmainaa/youth/tips_halaqah.html

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