At college, aside from the subjects I do during the normal college day, I also do Arabic at the end of the college day. In this class there are only Muslims, and when Salah time commences, for example Maghrib Salah, then we must pray it during the lesson time since the Salah will be over by the time we reach home.
It has been emphasised for men to pray with Jama’ah, whereas for the woman, her place of prayer in the home is where she will reap in rewards.
It has been my practise over the past month, that when it is Salah time, I go and pray in another room due to ease since I wear the niqab and the teacher insists on doing Jama’ah, but since there were many males in the class, i did not feel comfortable and so prayed in another room. However, now there is only one male in the class and three females, plus the female teacher.
Today also, I went to another room to pray Salah, but when I came back my teacher asked me why I go to pray separately, when the reward is more for jama’ah. In other words, me, the teacher, and the two other girls praying behind the male person in the class.
Dear respected Mufti Sahib, please advice me on what to do in the future. As a female, is it better for me to join the jama’ah for Salah held in the class, or does it not matter if I go to pray Salah in another room? I feel I know the rules for praying Salah on my own far more than that of the rules for praying in jama’ah, although i do know the rules, so what would you advise?
Muhtaram / Muhtaramah
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.
For a male the best place of worship is in the musjid whereas for a female the best place of worship is in her house, rather the corner of her room. (Abu Dawood, Mishkaat, Vol.1, Page 96). Shariat considered the purdah issue and made it such that the best place of worship for a lady is in the corner of her room.
The Hanafi position is that women leading a congregation is disliked (Makruh Tahrima). (Hidayah vl.1,pg.305; Bada’i-us Sanai vl.1,pg.157).
It is Makrooh for women to perform Salaat in a congregation of females only even in Taraweeh Salaat. (Shaami vol.1 pg.565)
Sayyidatuna Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘There is no good in the congregation of females except in the main Musjid (with men) or in Janaaza.’ (Musnad Ahmad & Tabrani – see I’elaa-us-sunan vol.4 pg.242)
Sayyiduna Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu) is also authentically reported to have prohibited this. (Ibid).
Hadhrat Úmar (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) said that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘When your womenfolk request permission of you to attend the Musjid at night, grant them permission.’ (Sahih Bukhari vol. 1 p. 119, Chapter on women coming out to the Musjid).
This permission is in the absence of Fitnah. In view of the above it is advisable for you to perform Salah by yourself thereby minimizing any possible fitnah by performing Salah behind a male.
And Allah knows best
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah