(Part 1)

Are Women Welcome in the Mosque?

It was narrated from Um Salamah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), that during the lifetime of the Prophet, when women had concluded ordained prayer, they would rise (move away) and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would stay along with the men who happen to offer the prayer with him, and when he (peace and blessings be upon him) rose (to depart), the men would rise.[9]

It was narrated from Asma’ bint Abu Bakr that she said:

The sun eclipsed during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) … then, I came and entered the Mosque, and saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) standing up (in prayer).

Hence, I joined him in prayer, and he kept standing up so long that I felt I needed to sit down. Yet, I would notice a weak woman standing next to me, and then I would say, “She is weaker than me” and I would keep standing.

Then he (peace and blessings be upon him) bowed down for ruku` and kept bowing for long, and then he raised his head from Ruku` and kept standing up for so long that had a man approached then, he would have thought that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had not yet offered the Ruku`.[10]

Moreover, it was narrated from Asma’ that she said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say,

Whoever of you believes in Allah and in the Last Day should not raise her head until we (the men) raise our heads (after prostration),

That is lest they should see the private parts of men because their lower garments were short, knowing that they then used to wear such namirah (a lower garment).[11]

It was also narrated from her that she said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) stood up amongst us and preached to us, mentioning the trial a dead person suffers in the grave, and thereupon the people clamored in a manner that prevented me from perceiving the concluding words of the Messenger of Allah.

When they calmed down, I asked a man near to me, “May Allah bless you, what did the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) say concluding his sermon?”

He answered, “It was revealed to me that you would be tested in your graves in a manner almost similar to that of Ad-Dajjal’s trial.[12]

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that a black woman used to clean the Mosque, and when she died, the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) asked about her, they informed him that she had died. He then said, “Why did you not inform me? Guide me to her grave.

So, he approached her grave and offered the funeral prayer for her there.[13]

Moreover, it was narrated from lady `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that when Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas died, the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent a message to bring his bier into the Mosque so that they should offer prayer for him. They (the participants of the funeral) did accordingly, and it was placed in front of their apartments and they offered prayer for him.[14]

An-Nawawy said: The correct report upheld by the majority of scholars is that the Companions offered funeral prayer for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) individually, with each group entering at a time, and after men had offered the prayer, women entered and offered the prayer, followed by youngsters.[15]


In the next part we discuss in more detail the primary hadith on the issue and we refute claims that banning women from mosques is based on the principle of closing the doors of evil (sad adh-dhari`ah). Stay tuned.

[9] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, 173/1.

[10] Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on prayer upon eclipse, 32/3.

[11] Ahmad’s Musnad, 511/44. Al-Arna’ut said: This Hadith is Sahih (authentic) by virtue of another Hadith, and this chain of narration is weak, due to the doubt about Asma’s freed female-slave [who is listed as a narrator of the hadith], knowing that some other narrations read, “male slave of Asma'”. Besides, Al-Hafizh Al-Mazziy mentioned his biograhphy in hisTahdhib Al-Kamal among the anonymous male narrators, saying, “If he is not `Abdullah ibn Kaysan, then I do not know who he is”, though the rest of narrators in the chain are trustworthy, being judged as such by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

[12] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, chapter on Funerals, 479/3, till the word “clamored”, and then An-Nasa’y narrated the rest in his Musnad, 200/7, through the chain reported by Al-Bukhari.

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

[14] Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on Funerals, 63/3.

[15] An-Naway’s Commentary on Muslim’s Sahih, 36/7.

* Translated from the Arabic original by AboutIslam.net.
Pages: 1 2 3 4
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.