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Is it permissible for women to lead the congregational prayers?

Will the prayers of those praying under her leadership be void, if they did unknowingly or were misled?

Background: Women promote mosques ‘for all’ in Britain

Answers should be backed with some source.

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A woman can lead the Salat only if all the followers are women; however, if all of the followers are men or there is a congregation of men and women, then the Imam must be a man.

In this case it is recommended that the leading woman stand at the first line and not in front of others.

Reference:

The qualifications of the Imam of Salat al-Jamaat

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A women may not lead a man (whether they are old or young) in salat at all. Though it is fine for a women to lead women in salat, and there is some differences among scholars in this. There is a Hadith:

لاَ تَؤُمَّنَّ امْرَأَةٌ رَجُلاً

No woman should be appointed as Imam over a man

But this hadith is not authentic and is weak, but there are authentic Ahadeeth which support the meaning, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said:

لَنْ يُفْلِحَ قَوْمٌ وَلَّوْا أَمْرَهُمُ امْرَأَةً

Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler

صحيح بخاري (Bukari)

Another is, The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

خير صفوف النساء آخرها

the best of the woman's row is the last

صحيح مسلم (Muslim)

Ibn Uthaymeen said:

And this is proof that women have no place in the front, and the Imam is in the front, so if the Imamat of Women is correct then the position of the women would still not be flipped, so that would mean that a women would have been put in front of the men and that is not supported by the Shariah.

الشرح الممتع صـ312و313

  • 2
    I would like to add to the above answer. This is not putting the women down its more of a ....if you think about it...you will be more distracted if the women is in front of the prayer and you are behind her... – user3995 Jan 6 '14 at 19:22

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