The Law of Women Leading Prayer in Islam
Dua is a wish that contains requests, hopes and praise to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. As Muslim, we should pray to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to ask for his forgiveness,his protection and even to share your moaning to Him.
One of the ways to make our wishes come true quickly in Islam is dua, because Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is All-Hearing, All-Seeing and Most Gracious. He will surely grant his servant’s request that pray seriously to Him.
In dua, both men or women can do it, both individual or in congregation. Then how is the law of women leading prayer in Islam?
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Women Leading Prayer according to Islam
In this era, women’s position has equaled with men or it has emancipated and woman’s emancipation in Islam is allowed. Women do not only stay at home again and not limit again from the outside world, even women may have a career outside as long as they do not forget the obligation of women in Islam.
Women start to emancipate and have a career, for example as an Woman who become Islam Theologian or lead a religious activity, a teacher to teach Quran, Dhikr or yasin and so on.
As Muslims, we have often met women who become leaders of prayer in a religious activity. There are many women who lead dua, both in formal or non formal events.
Then what is the law of women leading prayer in Islam? Is not woman’s voice an awrah for the opposite sex? And may men agree prayers that are lead by women?
In Islam, women are allowed to lead prayers, if their worshippers are women. But, if there are some men among their worshippers, then the women should low their voice. You may also read law female leads prayer in Islam.
Is women’s voice an aurat for the opposite sex? About women’s voice, some Ulama argue that women’s voice are aurat. Ajnabi men are forbidden to hear it except for emergency. It is based on the word of Allah SWT which means :
“Do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet.” (Al-Ahzab : 32)The speech prohibition shows that their voices are aurat and haram to be heard.
But some fiqh Ulama also argue that women’s voice are not aurat because the Prophet has heard a woman’s voice. His companions have also talked to them face to face.
Many hadith approved from Islam Theologian accept hadith about women teachers and their sanad are still maintained until now.
There is no dalil that explain directly about this matter, and according to one of madhhab, he argued that woman’s voice is not an aurat, except if it is feared , it will cause a slander in Islam, that opinion is according to Jumhur Ulama.
And according to Sheikh Wahbah Zuhaili i Fiqh Al Islami wa Adilatuhu said,
“According to Jumhur Ulama (the majority of Ulama) woman’s voice is not an aurat, because the companions of the Prophet Muhammad shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, listened the voices of Rasulullah’s wives to study religion laws, but it was haram to listen woman’s voice that are voiced by singing and blow it up although she was reciting Quran with concern, it will cause a slander.”
So, we can know clearly that the voice of women are not an aurat, and as Muslimah, when we are talking, we should not blow our voice up. Although we are reciting Quran because it is haram and can cause a slander.
In this regard, Dr. Nasr Farid Wasil, the Egyptian Mufti, argues and issues his fatwa about the law of women reading Quran in front of men. He said :
“Islam does not prohibit women to do many good deeds, even it stimulates them to take available opportunities, with terms they should respect the boundaries of religion and akhlaq.
They are justified in reciting Quran in front of men and preaching to them, on condition, they should obey the boundaries of religion and be guaranteed not to bring a slander and the passion of men to them.”
Besides that, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala forbids women in general and the wives of the Prophet specially, not to pamper their voices to the men, because the foul hearted person will find a way to do something immoral.
So, may men agree prayer that is led by women?
As a Muslim, we have to agree with dua from others because it is sunnah. As it is in the following hadith :
“If someone who bring (prayer) said amen, then say amen, because angels will be amen, and whoever say amen along with angel’s amen, then his past sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by Muslim)
From that hadith, we can conclude that as Muslim, we are recommended to ensure the prayer of others, whether the prayer is led by women or men. And if we ensure a prayer along with angel’s amen, then Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala will forgive our past little sins.
And the Prophet Muhammad shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam always ensured the prayer of others or angels, like it is narrated in the following history :
From Jabir bin Abdullah, he said :
“One day the Messenger of Allah saw ascended to the pulpit, when he climbed the first stair, he said amen, when he climbed the second stair, he also said amen. Similarly, when he climbed the third stair, he said amen.
Then the companions said, “O the Messenger of Allah saw, we hear you say amen three times, what the hell happened? The Messenger of Allah saw answered, “When I climbed the first stair Jibril came and said : “May the accident befall to a servant who meets Ramadan but he is not forgiven’ I also said amen. Then Jibril also said :
“May the accident befall to a servant who has met his parents or one of them who are still alive, but both do not enter him to the heaven (because he is rebellious to them), then I answered amen. Then Jibril said again :
‘May the accident befall to a servant who do not say shalawat to you, when your name is mentioned in front of him’ then I said amen.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
So, men should say amen for dua that is read by women because they are not forbidden to speak and pray in legal terms.
However the women have not to lead the congregational prayer to men. They also have not to be the highest leader in a country. Reading dua in majlis, reading tahlil and leading majlis, reading Quran without playing voices and songs are an obligation for women. See also how women should behave in Islam.
Thus, it can be concluded that the law of women leading prayer in Islam is allowed, because there is no direct prohibition to women lead prayer in Islam.
And that is a good deed, but it should still be guided by the sources Islamic law and the basic of Islamic law, so that we do not do something that can cause muda’rat, but it will be blessed by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.
So, may it be Useful. Aamiiin.
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