Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’m a single woman living alone and I would like clarity on women praying at the mosque. Is it permissible to attend irregularly for a quiet place to read the Quran and for reflection time, and to pray in the congregation while I am there? I find going to the mosque connects me to the community as well.
My family insists that it is not preferred and considers this as going out of my way. If this is true, can I not attend Taraweeh either?
Thank you for your question. Your question is fully answered in the following links:
Can Women Go to the Mosque?
How to Respond When Women Feel Unwelcome in the Mosque
The short answer is that yes, it is perfectly permissible and encouraged for women in our times to go to the mosque for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that widespread corruption, irreligiosity, and lack of knowledge are harming us, and going to the mosque is our best weapon against that.
As long as a Muslim woman is modestly dressed and has the correct decorum that is deserving for a mosque, she should join the congregation, reflect there, perform dhikr there and worship there in general.
Your family says that going to the mosque is going out of your way; you are both right. You are going out of your way, but it’s beneficial for you. In times when TV, the internet, social media, and imitating non-Muslims have become an acceptable way of life, you must seek refuge. I commend you for that.
As for praying tarawih, Muslim women have been attending the tarawih prayers in throngs in Muslim countries for decades. The spiritual uplift that one gets from a massive congregational prayer in Ramadan where the whole Quran is recited is quite incomparable with what she can accomplish at home. I pray that you continue this good habit as long as you can. Realistically it will be virtually impossible to frequent the mosque after you are married with kids, so take advantage and pray for us while you are there!
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.