Q:) Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. When
there are all females and no males present, can the best one in reciting
Qur’an lead the other women in jama`ah (congregational) Prayer? Is there
a hadith that prohibits females from praying in jama`ah when there are
only women? I haven't found anything yet, but Allah knows best, and I'm
sure you have more knowledge. So please reply?
A:) Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon
Dear sister in Islam, it gives us pleasure to receive your question and
to see your interest in knowing the teachings of Islam, which Allah has
chosen for His servants as a way of life. According to the Qur’an, a
true Muslim should refer to scholars to become well-acquainted with the
sound image of Islam.
First of all, it should be clear that the Qur'an and the Prophet’s
Sunnah bear witness to the fact that woman is at least as vital to life
as man himself, and that she is not inferior to him nor a lower species.
When the Shari`ah restricts some positions to men, it does not mean
discrimination, but this should be understood within the frame of the
general objectives of the Shari`ah, which are set by the Law-Giver
(Almighty Allah) to order the lives of men and women in a way that best
suits their natures.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer
and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario,
“It is a well-known principle established by the well attested and
authentic traditions reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings be
upon him) that praying in congregation is far superior to praying
individually. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Prayer in congregation is twenty-seven degrees better than praying
It is equally agreed upon among scholars and jurists that all general
statements shall be interpreted as general unless there is evidence to
indicate otherwise. Since there is nothing in the sources to suggest
that the above rule about superiority of jama`ah Prayer is applicable to
men only, there is no reason to exclude women from such rewards.
It is one thing to say that Islam does not compel women to go to mosques
for praying in congregation burdened as they are with the duties of
providing nurturing care and love for their family; it is another to say
that they are not supposed to make use of the opportunity to reap the
rewards of congregational prayer whenever and wherever an opportunity
arises for them to avail of such rewards.
We are confirmed in the above reasoning when we know from the practice
of the Mothers of the Believers that they availed themselves of the
opportunity of praying in congregation whenever they had an opportunity
to do so. Thus, aside from the fact that the women during the time of
the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed in congregation in
the mosque, they also used to pray in jama`ah at other times whenever
they were all by themselves. We read in the sources that both `A’ishah
and Umm Salamah, the most knowledgeable among the wives of the Prophet
(peace and blessings be upon him), used to lead women in congregational
Prayers. We also read in the sources that the Prophet (peace and
blessings be upon him) appointed Umm Waraqah to lead the members of her
household in Prayers.
Based on the above, we can safely conclude that women never deprive
themselves of the opportunity to pray in jama`ah whenever they have an
opportunity to do so: either praying in jama`ah in a mosque or by
themselves by appointing one of them based on her superior knowledge to
lead. Isn’t it humbler on our part to assume that the beloved wives of
the Prophet such as `A’ishah and Umm Salamah are more knowledgeable of
such issues than men themselves, no matter how knowledgeable they may
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty
Article Taken (with Thanks) from Islamonline.net
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