Is it Permissible for Women to Lead Each Other in Prayer? [Shafi’i School]

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Is it permissible for me, a woman, to lead my sisters in prayer, especially in Ramadan for the taraweeh prayer?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

In the Shafi’i madhhab, it is permissible for a women to lead other women in prayer, be it an obligatory prayer or a Sunna prayer in which congregational prayer is recommended, such as the Tarawih prayer.

It is recommended that the female Imam stand in the middle of the line of the congregation, not ahead of them, because it is reported that “Aisha and Umm Salamah led other women in prayer and stood amongst them” (al-Bayhaqi).

It remains a Sunna for women to pray in congregation (a congregation being comprised of at least two people) and is not disliked.

Sources: Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, al-Hawashi al-Madaniyyah

wassalam,

Shuaib Ally