Doing some research just now on another matter, I came across this gem in a Sharia manual:
“It is offensive for an attractive or young woman to come to the mosque to pray (O: or for her husband to permit her), though not offensive for women who are not young or attractive when this is unlikely to cause temptation.” — ‘Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) F12.4
‘Umdat al-Salik is a Shafi’i manual of Islamic law endorsed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, as “conforming to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community.”
The mind reels. Who determines whether a woman is old or unattractive enough for it not to be offensive for her to go to mosque? Is this the opinion of the husband, father, and male relatives alone? And what if they decide that a particular Muslima is sufficiently ugly to attend prayers in the mosque, but men at the mosque differ, and believe her to be so attractive that they take offense and contend that she should have stayed home? Does internecine warfare ensue?
Oh, the glories and complexities of the Religion of Peace and Tolerance!