(Part 1)

Are Women Welcome in the Mosque?

The Sunnah proofs

Among the scores of authentic Hadiths indicating that women’s presence in the mosque at all times and on all occasions was permissible, here are a few examples:

It was narrated from lady `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said,

The believing women, covered with their veiling sheets, used to attend the Fajr prayer with Allah’s Messenger, and after finishing the prayer they would return to their homes.[3]

It is also narrated that Ash-Sha`bi said: We entered upon Fatimah bint Qays, and she said, “It was announced publicly that the people should gather for prayer, and then I was among those heading for the Mosque.”

She added, “I was in the front row of women, which was behind the last row of men, when I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say while he was on the pulpit, ‘Indeed, paternal cousins of Ad-Dary sailed the sea…[4]

It was also narrated that lady Asma’ bint Abu Bakr said,

“I came to `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), when the sun had eclipsed, and found out that the people were standing in prayer …

when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) finished the prayer, he thanked and praised Almighty Allah, and then said …”[5]

Are Women Welcome in the Mosque? - About IslamIt was narrated from lady `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said:

Sa`d was wounded on the Battle of the Al-Khandaq (Ditch) … Then, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) set up a tent in the Mosque (for him) to be able to visit him at such a close distance.[6]

Commenting on this narration, Ibn Hajar stated that: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) let Sa`d stay in Rufaydah’s tent near his Mosque, and she was known for treating the wounded, saying,

let him stay in her tent so that I can visit him from a close distance.[7]

It was narrated from lady `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that there was a black female slave owned by an Arab tribe; they freed her but she stayed with them. The girl said:

Once one of the (tribe’s) girls came out wearing a red leather scarf decorated with precious stones. It fell from her or she placed it somewhere.

A kite passed by that place, saw it lying there and mistaking it for a piece of meat, flew away with it. Those people searched for it but they did not find it. So, they accused me of stealing it and started searching me and even searched my private parts.

The freed girl further said,

“By Allah, while I was standing (in that state) with those people, the same kite passed by them and dropped the red scarf and it fell amongst them. I told them, ‘This is what you accused me of and I was innocent and now this is it.”

Lady `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) added:

That slave girl came to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and embraced Islam. She had a tent or a small room with a low roof in the Mosque.

She used to visit me and chat with me. Whenever she sat with me, she would recite the following, “The day of the scarf (band) was one of the wonders of our Lord, verily He rescued me from the disbelievers’ town.”

Lady `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) added,

“Once I asked her, ‘What is the matter with you? Whenever you sit with me, you always recite [those poetic verses.] On that she told me the whole story.”[8]

[3] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, chapter on Prayer, 195/2 and Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on Masjids, 118/2.

[4] Muslim’s Sahih, the chapter on ordeals, 205/8.

[5] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, chapter on ablution, 300/1, and Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on prayer upon eclipse, 32/3.

[6] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, chapter on Expeditions, 416/8, and Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on Jihad, 160/5.

[7] Fat-h Al-Bary, 415/8.

[8] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, 95-6/1.

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About Dr. Jasser Auda
Jasser Auda is a Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, a global think tank based in London, and a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Canada. He is a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fellow of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, and General Secretary of Yaqazat Feker, a popular youth organization in Egypt. He has a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. Early in his life, he memorized the Quran and studied Fiqh, Usul and Hadith in the halaqas of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He previously worked as: Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London; Founding Deputy Director of the Center for Islamic Ethics in Doha; professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Alexandria University in Egypt, Islamic University of Novi Pazar in Sanjaq, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of other universities and organizations around the world. He wrote 25 books in Arabic and English, some of which were translated to 25 languages.