Question

Is it allowed for women to pray in congregation making a lady amongst themselves as a imaam? Please support your answers with reference. Jazakallah khayr kaseera.

Asked by a visitor.

Answer

بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In terms of present time, the answer to this question demands plenty of discussion/explanation but we'll try to sum everything up as briefly as possible.

In the holy era of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and later in time of rightly guided Caliphs (RZ), at some occasions the Imamate performed by (Leading the prayers) the female companions and Holy wives of Prophet (SAW) is proven in the history. But this should be kept in mind that praying five times a day are obligatory acts and praying in congregation is Sunnat-e-Muakkadah(regular, emphasised practice of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ)) but it's isn't for women, they are not even encouraged to do so. Just also keep in mind that Friday prayer is not even included in this discussion because Friday prayers is not even obligatory for women. As presence of women in Friday prayers is allowed, similarly women leading a congregation of women is also allowed if they take good care of Shari`ah rulings۔

Let us present a briefly what we find from the guidelines provided by the following Hadiths.

1. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: 

If something happens during someone's prayer, he should say Subhan Allah (Glorious is God), when he will utter these words, attention will be drawn towards him clapping is for ladies.

(Sahih Bukhari - Kitab ul Azan - Hadith 684)

There is general consensus on this Hadith and it's the same Hadith in Sunane Abu Daud, Sunane Nisai and Sunane Ibne Majah.

It's a last part of a long Hadith in which Leader of Prophets (ﷺ) teaches the Muslim nation that when men and women are praying together and Imam (one who leads prayers) makes any mistakes then to attain his attention men who are attending the prayer shal say Subhan Allah loudly and if attending women want to draw Imam's attention they should hit their one hand with the other (clap) . So in the light of this Hadith، if women are praying in a group with a woman imam (leader) and the group is organized in such a way that men can't hear them praying, then it's allowed. Not for sake of putting such congregation on social media in order put more division in this nation which is already divided in lingual, political, regional and sectarianism.

2. Hazrat Asma binte Yazeed narrates that Allah's (SWT) Apostle (ﷺ) said :

Azan (Calling for prayers) and leading the prayers is not for women

(Explanation of Sahih Muslim from Hazrat Allama Ghulam Rasool Syadi madzalah c 5 p 658)

Now let us describe some Hadiths where we can find evidences that a woman can lead the prayers.

1. Hazrat Beiqi narrates that:

Hazrat Ayesha (RZ) led the Farq (Obligatory) prayers and she stood between them.

(Sunane Kubri c 3 p 131- Sunane katni c 1 p 403)  

Jajirah narrates that:

Hazrat Umme Salmah (RZ) led the women in prayers and stood between them

Hazrat Ibne Abbas (RZ) narrates that

Women shall lead Women congregation and shall stand between them

(Sunane Qubri c 3 p 131)


May ALLAH (SWT) grant us faith til the last breath and may ALLAH (SWT) gives us strength to follow consensuses of the Muslim Nation instead of inventing new ways in religion.