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Is it permissible for a woman to lead prayer of a group of women in a gathering?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Jamaat salaat for men, the men pray behind one who leads them in prayer. Is this permissible for women in a women only gathering? I have heard of such happening and was wondering if it is permissible or not. Thank you.


Respected Brother-in-Islam

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuhu

It is Makrooh Tahrimi (serevely reprehensible) for a woman to lead the
Salaat for a group of females. This is stated clearly in the books of Fiqh
(see Tabyeenul Haqaaiq vol. 1 p. 13; Darrul Mukhtaar vol. 1 p. 528)

The reason for this severe Karaahat (reprehensibility) is the following
It is related from Hadhrat Áaisha (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) that Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘There is no good in women performing
Salaat with Jamaat except in a Masjid where the Salaat of the males is
performed with Jamaat.’

It is reported from Áli (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) that he said, ‘A woman must not
lead the Salaat.’ Hence, it is incorrect for a woman to lead the Salaat and
for other females to follow. We find that this practice was not encouraged
(that women make their own Jamaat) from the time of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Álayhi Wasallam). If an incident or two can be found where this occurred, it
was an absolutely rare case which cannot be used to justify the procedure of
a woman leading the Salaat. We also cannot find any mention of this practice
taking place in the time of the Khulafaa-e-Rashideen. Instead, Hadhrat Áli
(Radhiallaahu Ánhu) clearly forbade women from leading the Salaat.
Therefore, the Hanafi (jurists) have, on the basis of the above mentioned
Ahaadith, stated quite clearly that this practice is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi.
Salaat is a means of earning the Mercy and blessings of Allah Taãla. These
two aspects therefore cannot be reconciled. Hence, women should totally
desist from it. They should perform their Salaat individually in as much
privacy as possible, in the light of what has been mentioned in various

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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