Women’s Attendance in Congregational Prayer
Q 591: Has the Divine Legislator encouraged women to take part in congregational and Friday prayers in masjids in the same way as it has done in the case of men? Or is it considered more preferable for women to perform prayers at home?
A: There is no problem if women go there to attend congregational and Friday prayers. Moreover, they would acquire the rewards for performing prayer in congregation.
Q 592: When can a woman be a congregational prayer leader?
A: A woman can lead congregational prayer for women only.
Q 593: What is the ruling of participation of women in congregational prayer as far as being makrūh or mustaḥabb is concerned?
i. What are the rules if women stand behind men?
ii. Do women need to have something separating them from the men when they are standing behind them?
iii. Is there any need for something to veil the women when they are offering prayer along side the men?
iv. It must be noted that to separate women from men, even when they are behind the men, during the prayers, the speech, etc is humiliating and insulting to women.
A: There is no problem in women’s attendance and participation in congregational prayer. There is no need for anything to separate the women from the men if they are standing behind the men. However, if women are performing prayers along side men, then it is preferable to have something to separate them to eradicate the karāhah arising due to the association of men with women in prayer. It is merely an assumption and baseless to say that separation affects the status and dignity of women. Furthermore, it is incorrect to enter one’s own opinion in jurisprudential matters.
Q 594: How should the lines of men and women be connected when there is no curtain between?
A: Women can stand behind men without any separation between them.
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