Given the family is mahram, there wouldn't be lust or any evil thoughts involved what would be the issue to that. Please provide a sound argument from Quran and Hadith, to justify a claim or counter.

  • Have the males reached puberty?
    – Ahmed
    Mar 15 '20 at 6:38
  • For argument's sake, yes Mar 16 '20 at 4:37

No, according to the majority. That is because the texts preventing a woman from imamah over men:

  • are general, not specific to strangers
  • do not provide a criterion (such as lust or any evil thoughts) on which they are conditional
  • do not make an exception for a mahram

Whereas texts on imamah of women (such as those narrated from or regarding Aisha, Umm Salama and Umm Waraqah) specify that they only lead other women. [see مصنف ابن أبي شيبة]

A few jurists have considered it permitted under specific conditions, for example when there is no other male who knows recitation. This view is based on the second of the variants of the hadith of Umm Waraqah:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أذن لها أن يؤذن لها ويقام وتؤم نساءها

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ gave her permission that adhan be called, iqamah be said and that she lead her women in prayer.

Sunan al-Daraqutni

وكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ... وأمرها أن تؤم أهل دارها

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ ... commanded her to lead the inmates of her house in prayer.

Sunan Abi Dawud

For Reference:

فلا يجوز للمرأة أن تؤم الرجل عموما -ولو زوجها- عند عامة أهل العلم، وذهب بعض أهل العلم إلى صحة ذلك في النافلة، أو قيام رمضان بقيود


لا يجوز للمرأة أن تؤم الرجل سواء أكان زوجها أم ابنها أم أباها

It is not allowed for a woman to lead men in prayer, regardless if he is her husband, son or brother.

— Ibn al-Uthaymeen, translation of فتاوى المرأة

  • Can you please state what text are you referring to in the first statement. The link just directs me to another post. Or could you provide a proper reason as to why a woman can't lead a family of mahrams, given that she wants to? Mar 16 '20 at 4:42
  • 1
    @EPICTubeHD The answer to that question has quoted the relevant texts. What one wants to do is not of any weight in matters of ritual worship, it must be done according to how it has been taught and there need not be a logical reason behind it that we can comprehend.
    – UmH
    Mar 16 '20 at 5:33
  • Yes, I have looked at those quotes from the hadith. But I don't think, it can be said general. It's pretty clear it's based on the context of a mosque with men as the imam. I would honestly think, a claim that a quote is very general needs to be backed with evidence from prominent scholars or from other hadiths. Because no verses or hadith of Islam can be judged without context and just saying it applies to all situation, would seem awkward to say, IMO Mar 17 '20 at 16:34
  • Additionally, I do agree when there's a clear verse from the Quran or narration from hadith...as a ruling from Allah without no corresponding or logical reasoning...we must trust Allah and take the rules into consideration. For example, how women are not allowed to visit the graveyard...no proper explanation can be given but it was mentioned pretty clear (if my knowledge is correct) but yea...in that case yes. But in the case, of a woman leading say a mother leading her children and husband, just because he wants to praise Allah and recite her verse aloud and lead her family to prayer.... Mar 17 '20 at 16:38
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    @EPICTubeHD The Prophet was a mahram to the woman (Umm Sulaym or Umm Haraam), but that is not all. Anas stood besides the Prophet and not with his mother like two males would have stood behind the imam. This is evidence that a woman does not stand with or in front of a mahram but stands behind the men. By extension she can not be an imam over them as that involves being besides or in-front of the congregation. I don't understand what you mean to ask at the end. I have updated my answer with some scholarly references.
    – UmH
    Mar 17 '20 at 18:31

There is no guidance in the Qu'ran itself on this.

Within the Hadith, none of the following reports concerned women-led prayer was deemed entirely reliable by classical scholars in the four main Sunni traditions due to a weakness in the chain of transmitters - they all go back to a single unreliable narrator:


a. A woman reported that 'Aisha led us. And she stood between us during obligatory prayer.

b. It is reported that 'Aisha used to say the adhan, the iqama and lead women in prayer whilst standing amongst them in the same row.

c. It is reported that 'Aisha used to lead women in prayer during the month of Ramadan while standing among them in the same row.

Umm Salama

Umm Salama led us [women] in the afternoon prayer and stood amongst us (in the same row).

Umm Waraqa

a. The Prophet (pbuh) used to visit Umm Waraqa in her own home; he appointed a mu'adhdhin (muezzin) for her, and ordered her to lead the members of her household salat (obligitary prayers).

b. Abu Dawud reports that Umm Waraqa said, “I said: O Messenger of God! Permit for me to participate in the raid with you. I'll nurse your sick. Perhaps God will grant me martydom!” He said, “Remain in your house. For verily God will grant you martydom.” And she asked permission to take a mu'adhdhin in her dar (home or neighbourhood). And she allowed her.

Notably, whilst the transmission has a weak link, two of the hadith mutually corroborate each other and this is important; however, for the Maliki school, what was known about the islamic practise in Medina over-ruled any weak hadith; thus the Malikis discounted this evidence and ruled that all women-led forms of worship are prohibited, including when the congregation was solely made up of women, or just women of their own household.

The Shafi'i and Hanafi schools, however, were willing to use these reports and so ruled these forms of worship legal. The Hanbali went one step further and accepted all three reports. They preferred a somewhat reliable report to other forms of legal evidence such as arguing by analogy. Thus Hanbali were willing to argue that women are permitted to lead mixed-gender congregations in special prayers such as the tarawih if she stands behind the men whilst doing so.

According to Ibn Rushd (Averroes), the hadith concering Umm Waraqa is the key evidence supported unrestricted female prayer leadership over men; and it's important to add, that according to Ibn al-Arabi,

"There are those who unconditionally permit women to lead men [in prayer], which is my opinion as well. There are those who completely forbid her from such leadership and there are those who permit her to lead women, but not men. Their reasoning is that the Messenger of God (pbuh) testified that some women attained perfection just as he testified regarding some men - even though the later were more than the former.

This perfection is in reference to prophecy, and prophecy is leadership (imama), thus a women's leadership (in prayer) is sound. The default state is that her leadership is permissible, and one should not listen to those who prohibit it without proof, for there is no text to support their claim, and any evidence they bring forth [is not female specific, and] could include them in the prohibition as well, thereby neutralizing the evidence in this regard, and maintaining the default state of her leadership's permissibility"

Al-Futuhat Al Makiyya

One can ask, given this view, and the divergence with the former, whether women have been disinherited in the Sunni traditions ...

  • Wait....so, when u're talking about "woman leading men", are u referring to a woman leading "mahram men". Can u clarify on that, please? Mar 25 '20 at 3:14
  • @EPICTubeHD: I've said what I want to say on it. Mar 25 '20 at 3:17
  • I don't understand what u mean. Mar 25 '20 at 6:24
  • @EPICTubeHD: I don't understand you either. Mar 25 '20 at 6:25

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