Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that:
a) the Friday prayer is not obligatory for women; and
b) if a woman performs the Friday prayer, it is valid. [Nawawi, al-Majmu`, 4.350, quoting Ibn al-Mundhir and others]
Imam Sarakhsi explains in his Mabsut that there is a difference between:
a) conditions of obligation (i.e. those conditions that make an action obligatory to perform); and
b) conditions of validity (i.e. those conditions that make an action valid, if fulfilled). [Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, 2.23]
The reason why it is not obligatory for women to perform the Friday prayer is because of the hardship and possible harm entailed in them doing so—especially in the case of mothers and others. However, if a woman goes ahead and attends the Friday prayer, it counts because she bore the hardship entailed. [Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut; Nawawi, al-Majmu`]
Imam Nawawi mentions that it has been established by a large body of authentic hadiths that women used to pray behind the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at his mosque, and women’s interaction with men is not haram when there isn’t seclusion (or any other harm) entailed. [Nawawi, al-Majmu`, 3.350]
And Allah alone gives success.
MMVIII © Faraz Rabbani and Qibla.
All rights reserved
No part of this article may be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of both copyright holders. For permission, please submit a request at our Helpdesk.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Knowledge is only through study." While some knowledge can be gained from reading or casually listening to lectures, the best means to gain knowledge is through finding a qualified teacher and then setting up a systematic program of learning. Picking up a book or reading an article and trying to figure things out on our own is no substitute for learning from someone who has a direct link to our living tradition.
Through joining an online class at Qibla, you can benefit from convenient, online courses that will give you access to reliable scholars and our popular curriculum learning tracks. Knowledge gained in these courses will both build your iman and assist you in putting into practice what you learn. Don't give yourself less than you deserve, register today.