Women's Jamaat in Taraweeh

By Mufti Taqi Usmani
Posted: 17 Zul-Qa'dah 1424, 10 January 2004

Q.) Is it permissible for three sisters who have completed their hifz of Qur'an to have taraweeh in their house with their mother? The Imam will be one of the sisters and will stand in the saff (row) with the rest of the followers. The sole purpose will be to improve the memorization of the Qur'an.

There is a hadith in Ela'us Sunan of Maulana Zafar Thanavi, Rahmatu-Allah alayhi, regarding the non permissibility of Jamaat of women. Is that only for the fard prayer? Or does it also include nafl/tarweeh prayers? What will be the answer of the precedence in which Sayyidah Aishah, Radi-Allahu-anha, made Imamat of women?

A.) It is normally not advisable, rather it is Makruh to hold a congregational prayer for women; the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has directed them to perfrom their prayers alone in their houses. But if women make a congregational prayer in order to improve the memorization of Qur'an as is in your case, it may be permitted with the following conditions:

1. It is not regarded as a better way of prayer for women.

2. No other woman is invited to join the congregation

3. The Imam should stand in the center of the row and not in the front of the followers.