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Is women’s Friday prayer valid?

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Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is women’s Friday prayer valid?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that:

a) the Friday prayer is not obligatory for women; and

b) if a woman performs the Friday prayer, it is valid. [Nawawi, al-Majmu`, 4.350, quoting Ibn al-Mundhir and others]

Imam Sarakhsi explains in his Mabsut that there is a difference between:

a) conditions of obligation (i.e. those conditions that make an action obligatory to perform); and

b) conditions of validity (i.e. those conditions that make an action valid, if fulfilled). [Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, 2.23]

The reason why it is not obligatory for women to perform the Friday prayer is because of the hardship and possible harm entailed in them doing so—especially in the case of mothers and others. However, if a woman goes ahead and attends the Friday prayer, it counts because she bore the hardship entailed. [Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut; Nawawi, al-Majmu`]

Imam Nawawi mentions that it has been established by a large body of authentic hadiths that women used to pray behind the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at his mosque, and women’s interaction with men is not haram when there isn’t seclusion (or any other harm) entailed. [Nawawi, al-Majmu`, 3.350]

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani


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