Jama'ah of Women

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

Q.) Are women allowed to hold their Jama'ah in normal days if they so desire? Can women hold their separate Jama'ah on Eid days or on Fridays?

A.) It is not advisable for women to hold their jama'ah. The Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has always preferred it for women to offer their prayers in their homes. Some Muslim jurists have held the jama'ah of women as a makrooh practice. However, if some women overlook this principle and hold their own jama'ah the female Imam should stand in their midst, and not in front of other 'muqtadi' women, as a male imam would do.

However, in the case of jumu'ah and Eid the jama'ah of women is neither permissible nor valid. (See Radd-al-Muhtar v.l. p.600) It means that if some women held their jama'ah (without men) it will be void and they will have to perform Zuhr prayer again.

The women should not normally attend the jum'ah and Eid prayers of men, because both prayers are not mandatory for them, however, if some attend the jum'ah prayer along with men, their obligation of zuhr will be discharged and they will not have to pray Zuhr again.