In the Hanafi madhab there is a difference in the way women and men pray as proven thought various narration’s however some people quote the Hadith of The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) “Pray as you see me pray” therefore concluding there is no difference please can you explain


Verify the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said,

صلوا کما رایتمونی اصلی – “Pray as you see me praying.”

But when we study the books of Ahadith, we find that the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) prayer changed over time and hence we have many different narrations reported regarding this. For example, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) would do raf’a yadain and later he left it.

Islam strongly advises upon the covering and modesty of women therefore where uncovering may happen, there is difference in the way the prayer is performed.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said,

المراۃ عورۃ – “Women is a thing of covering.”

There are many examples to this which prove that the prayer of women is different to that of men.

1) It is wajib upon men to offer the prayer in congregation but it is best for a woman to offer it at home.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said “I should burn the houses of men who don’t come for prayer”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 1/95]

However for women, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “It is better to a woman to pray inside her room than her common room (drawing room) and it is better for her to pray inside ‘makh d’a’ (room inside room) than to pray in her room.”

[Abu Dawud 1/96]

2) A women cannot lead men in prayer but a man can lead the prayer for all. Even if a woman leads prayer for other women she can’t stand in the front but has to stand within the row of women.

Rabta Hanfia narrates that Lady Aisha (رضي الله عنها) led them in prayer, so she stood with them (in saf) in fard prayer.

[Musannif Abdul Razzaq 3/40]

3) Though makruh (disliked), a man can pray without covering the head but it is prohibited for a woman to do the same.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “A woman whose head is not covered, her prayers will not be accepted.”

[Abu Dawud 1/73]

4) Men should have their ankles exposed whereas women have to cover the ankles in prayer.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “A woman who has complete ‘qamees’ (dress wore on top) should cover the exposed part of foot.”

[Abu Dawud 1/73]

5) Men should raise the hands in takbir-e-tahrima till the ears whereas women should raise it till their chest.

Wa’il bin Hajar narrates that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) raised his hands till the ear lobes.

[Musnad Imam-e-Azam 47]

At’a was asked how the women should raise their hands in Salah he said they should raise till their breasts (i.e chest).

[Musannaf ibn abi Shaiba 1/239]

6) Men should place their hands below the navel in Salah but women should place them on their chest

It is Sunnah to place the right hand over left hand below the navel.

[Musannaf ibn abi Shaiba 1/427]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Mohammed Kashif

Also see [Q-ID0215] Should women pray their Salah exactly the same way as men or is there a difference?

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