Can a woman lead men in salaat?
Can a woman lead men in salaat? If a man performs salaat behind a woman, will he have to repeat that salaat? Some groups in Canada and America who are associated with homosexual groups say it’s permissible for women to lead men in salaat.
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
Alhamdulillaahi was salaatu was salaamu `alaa Rasoolillaahi wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa man waalaahu, wa ba`d:
It is not permissible for a woman to lead men in Salaah, this is an innovation that has been introduced in these latter times by women rights groups that wants women to stand side by side with men, and this innovation is addressed in the Hadeeth of Hadhrat `Aa’ishah Radhiallaahu `Anhaa, where she reports that Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam said:
“Whoever introduces something into this matter (i.e. Islaam) of ours that is not part of it, it shall be rejected.” – Saheeh Muslim. [i]
Regarding these gay groups, they do not accept the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, so there’s no need to even reply to them. Ironically these people are not even certain whether they’re men or women, so in reality, who’s the Imaam of who?
But for people who follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the illustrious `Ulamaa, then this is the ruling:
From a Hadeeth point of view, Imaam Al-Bayhaqi Rahimahullaah has a chapter in his Sunan Al-Kubraa titled: “No man may follow a woman in Salaah.” [ii]
In that chapter he reports the following Ahaadeeth:
Hadhrat Abu Bakrah Radhiallaahu `Anhu reports that when the news reached Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam that the Persians had made the daughter of Kisraa (title used for their kings) their queen, Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam said: “A nation who entrusts their affairs to a woman will never be successful.” [iii] – It is an authentic Hadeeth, also reported by Imaam Al-Bukhaari Rahimahullaah in his Saheeh.
And indeed, Salaah is one of the most important affairs in the life of a Muslim.
He continues and quotes:
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah Radhiallaahu `Anhu said that Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam said: “The best row (in Salaah) for men is the first one, and their worst one is the last one, and the best row for women is the last one and their worst one is the first one.” [iv]– It is an authentic Hadeeth, also reported by Imaam Muslim Rahimahullaah in his Saheeh.
This action of theirs is in direct conflict to this Hadeeth, because they are not even in the front row of the women, which is their worst row, but in fact they are right in front of all the men.
He then ends the chapter by quoting:
Hadhrat Jaabir Ibn `Abdillaah Radhiallaahu `Anhu reports that he heard Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam on his (Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) pulpit saying: “Let it be known, that no woman may ever lead a man in Salaah.” [v] – This narration, although it has some weakness in it, but its meaning is accepted as being authentic by the `Ulamaa.
Hadhrat `Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood Radhiallaahu `Anhu said: “Put them in the back where Allaah has put them.” [vi] – Musannaf `Abdur Razzaaq Rahimahullaah.
As for the views of the four Madhaahib:
Imaam Al-Haskafi Rahimahullaah says in Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar: “And it is not permissible for a man to follow a woman (in Salaah).” [vii]
Imaam Az-Zayla`ee Rahimahullaah says in Tabyeenul Haqaa’iq: “The salaah is invalid of a man performing behind a woman or child.” [viii]
The same is stated by Imaam Ibraaheem Ibn Muhammad Al-Halabi Rahimahullaah in Multaqaa Al-Ab’har. [ix]
Imaam Ash-Shaafi`i Rahimahullaah says in Kitaabul Umm: “And it is not permissible for a woman to be an Imaam for men in Salaah ever under any circumstance.” [x]
Imaam An-Nawawi Rahimahullaah says in Al-Majmoo`: “Our companions (the shaafi`i scholars) have consensus that the Salaah of a male adult or child behind a woman is not permissible.” [xi]
Imaam Ibn Qudaamah Rahimahullaah says in Al-Mughni: “As for (the ruling concerning) a woman, then it is not valid for a man to perform Salaah behind her under any circumstance, be it in Fardh or Nafl (Salaah).” [xii]
Imaam Mansoor Al-Bahwati Rahimahullaah says in Kashshaaf Al-Qinaa`: “And it is not permissible for a woman to be an imaam for men, because of what Ibn Maajah has narrated from (Hadhrat) Jaabir (Radhiallaahu `Anhu) narrating it from Rasoolullaah Sallallaahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam: ‘No woman may ever lead a man (in Salaah)’” [xiii]
Imaam An-Nafraawi Rahimahullaah says in Al-Fawaakihud Dawaani: “And it is not correct for a woman to lead men or women in Fardh or Nafl Salaah, because of the Hadeeth: ‘A nation who entrusts their affairs to a woman will never be successful’” [xiv]
Imaam Al-Qurtubi Rahimahullaah says in his Tafseer Al-Jaami` Li Ahkaamil Qur’aan: “Our (Maaliki) scholars say, it not valid for her (a woman) to be an Imaam for men nor women.” [xv]
Therefore, salaah of a man behind a woman is not valid, and if a man performs Salaah behind a woman then he will have to repeat his Salaah.
And Allaah knows best.
Ubaidullah Ibn Adam Aal-Ebrahim.
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Rashid Ahmed Moosagie.
Tuesday 6th Muharram 2012 – 20th November 2012.
[iii]بَلَغَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّ أَهْلَ فَارِسَ مَلَّكُوا عَلَيْهِمُ ابْنَةَ كِسْرَى، فَقَالَ: لَنْ يُفْلِحَ قَوْمٌ وَلَّوْا أَمْرَهُمُ امْرَأَةً. – رواه الإمام البيهقي رحمه الله في سننه، وهو حديث صحيح، رواه الإمام البخاري رحمه الله في صحيحه.
[iv]عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: خَيْرُ صُفُوفِ الرِّجَالِ أَوَّلُهَا، وَشَرُّهَا آخِرُهَا، وَخَيْرُ صُفُوفِ النِّسَاءِ آخِرُهَا، وَشَرُّهَا أَوَّلُهَا. – رواه الإمام البيهقي رحمه الله في سننه، وهو حديث صحيح، رواه الإمام مسلم رحمه الله في صحيحه.
[v]عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى مِنْبَرِهِ يَقُولُ، فَذَكَرَ الْحَدِيثَ وَفِيهِ ” أَلَا وَلَا تَؤُمَّنَّ امْرَأَةٌ رَجُلًا. – رواه الإمام البيهقي رحمه الله في سننه، وقال: وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ فِي إِسْنَادِهِ ضعْفٌ، ثم قال: وَهُوَ مَذْهَبُ الْفُقَهَاءِ السَّبْعَةِ مِنَ التَّابِعِينَ فَمَنْ بَعْدَهُمْ.