Can a Man Lead Female Relatives in Prayer? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is it permissible for me to lead my mahram female relatives in prayer such as my wife, mother or sister? How should we go about the Adhan and Iqama?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is permissible for you to lead females in prayer, and for them to follow you, irrespective of whether or not they are related to you.

It is recommended to perform prayers in congregation. The Prophet – peace be upon him – is reported as having said that “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven times better than praying alone” [Bukhari, Muslim]. It is not a condition for congregation for the congregants to be of the same gender.

The Imam himself – in your case, you – can perform both the Adhan and Iqama at home to fulfill this Sunnah aspect. In all cases, an Imam can perform both, as well as lead the prayer.

Shuaib Ally