Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Recently I have come across two different people – who aren’t necessarily operating on the principles of Ahl al-Sunna in their approach to fiqh – questioning the position of the madhhab concerning the difference in the way that the genders pray. There seems to exist a putative belief amongst such individuals that this is based either on no evidence, or weak evidence (as if!!). Might you cite some of the leading sources/references for this position of fiqh, maybe elaborate upon which areas of the salat this difference exists, as well as provide some exposition of the adilla and usul surrounding this matter, please?
It is usually useless to argue with people who don’t follow a madhhab about particular fiqhi issues, based on evidence. Even if they accept one issue, they’ll then open many others. The root of the issue is ijtihad and taqlid. The articles on Sidi Mas’ud Khan’s wonderful page (http://www.masud.co.uk) are virtually required reading for Sunnis in troubled times.
I believe Sh. Riad al-Haqq’s book The Prayer of the Believer According to the Qur’an and Sunnah, a Hanafi work, would answer your issues.