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Is It Permissible To Pray a Congregational Prayer With a Non-Mahram Woman Present?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Is it permissible to pray a congregational prayer with a non-mahram woman present? Does this same ruling apply if my aunt was present?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

It is prohibitively disliked to perform prayer in a congregation consisting of a man and a non-mahram woman in a private place. [Tumurtashi, Tanwir al-Absar]

However, if this occurs in a mosque or a public place or there is a mahram (non-marriageable woman) of his or her present, it is permissible without dislike. [Ibid.]

Therefore, your prayer, with the presence of your aunt, is permissible, valid, and not disliked.

What Is Considered Seclusion?

Seclusion with the opposite gender is prohibitively disliked. Seclusion occurs when an unmarriageable man and woman are alone in a secluded private place such that a third-party is not expected to enter or cannot enter. [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

The Prophetic Guidance

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Let not any man be secluded with a woman for Shaytan is the third of them.” [Tirmidhi, Ahmad]

Commentators of this narration have said, “Shaytan is the third of them means that he is with them, stirring up each’s desires, casting love for the other in each’s heart till eventually leading them to fornication.” [al-Zidani, al-Mafatih Sharh al-Masabih]

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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.