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Miscellaneous Articles

On the Imaamate of Women in Prayer

Author: Al-Adhimabadi
Source: `Awn al-Ma`bood (trans. Abu Rumaysah)
Article ID : FQH020002 [4100]

Awn al-Ma`bood [2/300-301], the commentary to Abu Daawood by Abu at-Tayyib al-
Adheemabaadee, may Allaah have mercy upon him
577) Umm Waraqah, the daughter of Nawfal reported, "When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi
wasallam) proceeded for Badr I said to him, 'Messenger of Allaah allow me to accompany you in the
battle. I shall act as a nurse for your patients and maybe Allaah will bestow martyrdom upon me.'
He replied, 'stay at your home and Allaah the Exalted will bestow martyrdom upon you.' [The
narrator said: hence she was called a martyr.] She read the Qur'aan and sought permission from
the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) to have a mu'adhdhin in her house. He therefore
permitted her to do so. She announced that her slave and slave girl would be free after her death so
one night they strangled her with a sheet of cloth until she died and ran away. The next day Umar
announced that anyone who has knowledge of them or has seen them should bring them to him.
(After they were caught) Umar ordered that they be crucified and this was the first crucifixion at
578) From Umm Waraqah, the daughter of Abdullaah bin al-Haarith, "the Messenger of Allaah
(sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) used to visit her at her house. He appointed a mu'adhdhin to call
adhaan for her and he commanded her to lead the inmates of her house in prayer." Abdurrahmaan
said, "I saw that her mu'adhdhin was an old man."
[Abu Daawood (Eng. Trans. #591&592)]
This hadeeth establishes that the imaamate of women and their praying in congregation is correct and
affirmed by means of the order of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) . Aa`ishah
(RA) and Umm Salamah (RA) led the women in prayer for the obligatory prayers and the prayer of
Al-Haafidh said in ‘Talkhees al-Habeer’,
"The hadeeth of Aa`ishah that the led the women in prayer by standing in the middle (of their first
row) was reported by Abdurrazaaq and via his route, ad-Daaruqutnee and al-Bayhaqee from the
hadeeth of Abu Haazim from Raa'ita al-Hanafiyyah from Aa'ishah that 'she led them in an obligatory
prayer standing amongst them.'
Ibn Abee Shaybah and al-Haakim report via the route of ibn Abee Laylah from Ataa from Aa`ishah
'that she used lead the women in prayer and stand in the middle of their (first row).'
The hadeeth of Umm Salamah that she led the women in prayer and stood in the middle of them was
reported by ash-Shaafi`ee, ibn Abee Shaybah and Abdurrazzaaq all from ibn Uyaynah from Ammaar
ad-Dahnee from a woman of his people who was called Hajeerah from Umm Salamah 'that she led
them in prayer and stood in the middle (of the first row).'
The wording of Abdurrazzaaq has, 'Umm Salamah led us in the Asr prayer and stood in the middle of
Al-Haafidh also said in ‘ad-Diraayah’,
"Muhammad bin al-Hasan reports from Ibraaheem an-Nakha`ee from Aa`ishah 'that she used to lead
the women in prayer during the month of Ramadaan and stood in the middle (of their first row).'"
I say: it is clear from these ahaadeeth that when a woman leads other women then she stands in the
middle (of their first row) amongst them and not in front of them (as a man does).
(as-Sana`aanee) said in ‘as-Subul as-Salaam’,
"The hadeeth lends proof for the correctness of a woman leading the people of her household, even if
their be a man amongst them - and in this case he was her mu`adhdhin and an old man. The literal
sense of the hadeeth shows that she used to lead him, her servant and her slave-girl.
Abu Thawr, al-Muzanee and at-Tabaree took to the opinion that this was correct while the majority
were of the opposite opinion."
…Abdurrazzaaq reports in his Musannaf from Ikrimah from ibn Abbaas that he said, "when a woman
leads women in prayer then she should stand in the middle of them."

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