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How Should Women Pray Behind an Imam?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salamu alaykum,

I have questions regarding praying in a congregation for women at a mosque with the Imam leading:

1. When creating a line should you start on the right, or the middle (right behind the imam)?

2. Am I (while in prayer) supposed to fill a gap in the line of worshipers in front of me?

3. How close should I stand to the person praying next to me?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. You should start from the centre, directly behind the imam.

2. Yes, you should close the gaps, even during the prayer if need be, yet without moving more than a couple of steps at a time.

3. You should stand next to each other which is practically shoulder to shoulder, but your feet should be reasonably close together, and certainly not touching the person beside you.

Please see the following resources: A Reader on Women’s Prayer and: An Explanation of the Hanafi School’s Position on Women’s Congregational Prayer

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.



This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.