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Can a Woman Read Quran Loudly?

03 July, 2023
Q Dear respected scholar, I have a very important question related to women in Islam. Can women recite the Quran aloud or participate in Quran competitions?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

The voice of women is not awrah. Therefore, there is no reason to suggest that women cannot recite the Quran aloud or participate in Quran competitions.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

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Islam does not consider the voice of a woman as an awrah to be silenced or hidden from men. 

A woman is allowed to speak to men and perform services such as teaching and preaching. The Quran mentions many examples of men and women communicating; they did so using their voice. 

During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), men and women were always interacting without any issue and communicating with each other without any problem. The wives of the Prophet were no exception.

However, when towards the end of the Prophet’s life, there was a huge number of men (some of them with questionable integrity) visiting the Prophet from all over Arabia, Allah advised them to speak with men using an appropriate tone: 

We read in the Quran: {O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.} (Al-Ahzab 33:32)

So even then, they were allowed to speak to men, albeit appropriately, to preempt any impure suggestions.

We also know that the Prophet’s wives, including Aishah and Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with them), used to teach and advise both men and women.

Aishah, for one, has the credit of teaching more than two hundred scholars. 

Muslim women continued the legacy left by the Prophet’s wives in succeeding generations.

Biographical sources list more than two thousand women scholars of hadith; many of them taught both men and women. 

Imam Adh-Dhahabi, the renowned Hadith scholar and critic, was so appreciative of women scholars of hadith that he said, “We couldn’t find a single instance of a woman scholar of hadith being guilty of lying in the hadith narrations.”

In light of these, there is no reason for us to suggest that women cannot recite the Quran aloud or participate in Quran competitions. After all, they are reading the Glorious Book and not singing or playing music.

📚 Read Also: Is Covering the Awrah While Reading the Quran Necessary?

Almighty Allah knows best.