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Women’s Congregations: A Question about the words of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her)

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In a previous it mentioned: On the authority of Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,  “There is no good in the congregation of women.”

Would it be possible for someone to explain why? I understand the answer, but I would greatly appreciate further clarification on the hadith quoted above.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

The reason is that women were thinking that their prayer would be optimum in the same way as men’s prayer: in congregation and in the mosque. Thus, they would disregard their household responsibilities and their kids and go to the mosque. This would, in many situations, lead to disequilibrium in the very root of society: the family unit, and its very seeds: the children.

As numerous hadiths explain, motherhood is not a ‘second rate’ vocation. Rather, it is the secret for the very survival of humanity and humane society. It is among the greatest of jihads.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Any woman who performs her five obligatory prayers, preserves her decency, and obeys her husband can choose to enter Heaven through any of its doors.” [Abu Dawud and Ahmad] This choice is one given to those of the rank of siddiqiyya (absolute steadfastness), and it is something the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) promised Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) about.

This is the wisdom behind women getting the very same reward by praying at home as men get by going to the mosque.

This is why the Light of Creation, our Beloved Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “It is best for women to pray at home.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and others, with similar narrations]

At the same time, if there is a reason to go to the mosque, such as learning, meeting with other Muslim women, or if one is out of the house for a need and the time for prayer is in, then there is nothing disliked about praying in the mosque whatsoever.

Rather, top traditional scholars say that women in situations (such as those prevalent in the West) where they are not in regular company of committed Muslim women should try to actively go to the mosque or Islamic center in order to sustain their faith and religious commitment through its essential factors: beneficial knowledge, worship, good company, and the remembrance of Allah in all its forms.

It is in this context, given the times, that we should keep in mind the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Do not prevent women from attending the mosque, even though their houses are better for them.” [Abu Dawud]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.