What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is it permissible for a woman to lead a congregation of women in prayer where there are only women present and then teach them their religious obligations. If it is permissible then what is the method of leading a jamā’at of women. If a woman led a group of women will their prayer be valid?
Questioner: Nasim from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
A woman should not lead even a voluntary prayer because the jurists have mentioned that a woman’s leading the prayer is unrestrictedly makrūh tahrīmī, however if a woman did lead other women in prayer their prayer would be valid.
However in light of the current situation if a woman called other women for a voluntary prayer or salāt al-tasbīh and lead them in congregation for the sake of preserving the beliefs and understandings of the women and for the purpose of teaching them their farā’id there should be no obstacle.
The noble scholars should think in relation to this because the women of the innovators are busy in corrupting the aqā’id of the innocent women of the ahl al-sunnah through the pretext of voluntary worship. Anyhow in each of the two situations the method of leading would be that the woman leading would not be standing ahead of the rest but she would be in the middle of the row of the women just as is mentioned in al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah:
“If women did pray in jamā’at their female imam would stand in their middle.”
[al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah Volume 1 page 83]
It is mentioned in al-Hidāyah:
“(If women did pray in jamā’at their female imam would stand in their middle) becasuse Sayyidah ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) did this.”
[al-Hidāyah Volume 1 page 352]
If the woman leading stood in front of the rest the prayer will still be valid but it is more superior that she stands in the midst of their row in leading the congregation as is mentioned in al-‘Ināyah:
“If women prayed in congregation then by consensus their prayer would be valid whether the female leading was ahead of the rest or in the middle of their row, due to all the conditions of validity of the prayer being present, but her standing in their midst is more favourable due to the superiority of the perspective of concealment.”
[al-Hidāyah with al-‘Ināyah Volume 1 page 352]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Ustadh Ibrar Shafi
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0759] Can a woman lead other women in prayer? If so, where would she stand?