Why Women Should Pray at Home Rather Than the Masjid

Why Women Should Pray at Home Rather Than the Masjid

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Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Women should pray at home rather than at the Masjid, as there is greater merit in this. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says:

“And stay in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former times of ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, O members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.” (Surah al-Ahzab, V: 33)

Similarly, the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), in many Hadiths, encouraged women to offer their prayers at home:

1) Sayyida Umm Salama (رضي الله عنها) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “The best Mosque for a woman is the inner part of her home.” (Musnad Ahmad & Tabrani)

2) Sayyidina Abd Allah ibn Umar (رضي الله عنه) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “Do not prevent your womenfolk from attending the Mosque, even though their houses are better for them.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

3) Sayyida Umm Salama (رضي الله عنها) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “A woman’s prayer in her inner room is better than her prayer in the outside room, and her prayer in the outside room is better than her prayer in the courtyard, and her prayer in the courtyard is better than her prayer in the Mosque.” (Mu’jam of Imam al-Tabrani)

4) It is narrated from Umm Humayd (رضي الله عنه), the wife of Abu Humayd al-Saa’idi, that she came to the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and said: “O Prophet of Allah, I love to pray with you.” He said: “I know that you love to pray with me, but your praying in your room is better for you than your praying in your house, and your praying in your house is better for you than your praying in your courtyard, and your praying in your courtyard is better for you than your praying in the mosque of your people, and your praying in the mosque of your people is better for you than your praying in my mosque.” So she gave orders that a ‘mosque’ be built for her in the innermost and darkest part of her house, and she used to pray there until she met Allah (i.e., died).(Musnad Ahmad)

5) Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Masud (رضي الله عنه) narrates that the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “A woman’s prayer in her house is much more merit worthy for her than her praying in her courtyard, and a woman’s prayer in that discreet portion of the house is much more merit worthy for her than her praying in that portion of the house where it is open” (Sunan Abu Dawud p 94 v 1)

6) Similarly, Sayyidina Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud (رضي الله عنه) used to refuse women entry to the Mosque for Friday prayers and would say: “Go, your homes are better for you.”(Recorded by Imam Tabrani. See: al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, 1/190)

Initially, in the time of the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) women were allowed to attend the Masjid for prayers.

However, during the time of Sayyidina Umar (رضي الله عنه), when Fitnahs (trials and temptation) started to creep into Islam, women were told not to offer their prayers in the Masjid. At that moment, the women were not pleased with Sayyidina Umar (رضي الله عنه) decision, so they decided to go to Sayyidah Aisha (رضي الله عنها) to see what she made of it. When they went to her she then narrated the following Hadith:

Umrah Bint Abdur Rahman narrates that Sayyidah Aisha (رضي الله عنها) said : “If the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was to know the situation of today’s women, then he would surely stop them from coming to the Masjids, just like the women of Bani Israeel were stopped (from entering their places of Worship). The narrator says: “I said to Umrah, were they stopped?”. She replied: “Yes”(Sahih Bukhari p.120 v.1, Hadith number 869)

Imam Badr al-Din al-Ayni (رضي الله عنه) states whilst commentating on the above statement of Sayyida Aisha:

“Had Aisha (رضي الله عنها) witnessed what women are involved in the various types of innovations and wrongdoings these days, she would have been even more extreme in her preventing women from entering the Mosques. Also the fact that there had not been a long time between her statement and the demise of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), and also the fact that women in her time were not involved in even one portion of a thousand of what women are up to these days.” (Umdat al-Qari, 3/230)

Imam al-Kasani (رضي الله عنه) states:

“It will not be permitted for young women to go to the Mosque for congregational prayers due to the fact that Sayyidina Umar (رضي الله عنه) prevented women from doing so. Moreover, women’s going to the Masjid is a cause of mischief (between men and women) and mischief (fitna) is Haram, and that which leads to something Haram will also be unlawful.” (Bada’i al-Sana’i, 1/157)

Imam al-Haskafi (رضي الله عنه) states:

“It is disliked for women to attend congregational prayers in the Mosque even for the Eid and Jumu’a prayers, and even for old women attending night prayers, according to the more reliable position in the Hanafi School, due to the corruption of the time.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, 1/566)

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“The Fatwa these days is that it is disliked for women to go to the Mosque for all prayers, due to widespread corruption.” (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1/56)

Hence, in our times, just as in the time of the great Caliph Umar ibn al Khattab’s time, it is more praiseworthy and meritorious for women to pray at home, especially where fitna and fasad is prevalent.

Wabillahi tawfiq

Checked & Approved by Molana Mohamed Aadil Saleh (Bradford, UK)

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