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Women and Congregational Prayer (a related question)

Posted by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM
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I saw the post about congregational prayer, and this reminded me of another issue that came up at our Islamic school.

We always have the children offer dhuhr salat at school, because it is at the proper time, and the older boys (generally 3rd-6th grade, but now some of the younger ones as well- down to 1st and 2nd) lead the prayer.  Of course, we've already talked with the older students about how when one of the very young boys is imam, that they could pray with the group as their sunnah prayer, to show support and encouragement, but then afterwards pray alone as their dhuhr prayer, since many of the girls especially are 10 and older.  And as an adult, I won't follow one of the boys who is too young to really lead, but will pray by myself during or after, as do many of the other teachers.

The question, however, is about women leadng prayer for other women only.  I know that women can lead children in their home, and I'm under the understanding that a knowledgeable woman could lead a group of other women, or mixed with women and children.  In fact, I've heard of the story of Fatima (I believe, may Allah forgive me if I'm wrong) leading prayer in her house and it included male slaves.  And as is usually the case with any congregational prayer, the most knowledgeable should lead, not the one who is brand new and may not yet know all of the words or movements.  

Please correct me if I'm wrong.  

So last year we actually had I believe 3-4 days where we split up the girls and boys during prayer, into two different rooms, and had them pray separately, with the oldest girls leading the other girls.  Some of the girls in the group have lead grown women as well in the past, mashaallah.  The question comes because one of the older girls (not the oldest or the most knowledgeable) told the teachers that her father (who happens to be the Islamic Studies teacher, which is why I'm confused) has told her she cannot pray in a group of just women, but must pray behind a boy.  Or by herself, I imagine.  The Arabic.QUran teacher and I had never heard this before, so I'm wodnering if this is a valid point, maybe coming from hadith?  Or is it something that only certain scholars follow?

Can anyone shed some light on this??

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
muhajjirah Group Admin
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 10:14 PM

asalaamalikum, it's ok for women to lead other women and this is found in our Islamic history amongst the female companions, radiAllahu anhum around the messenger salAllahu alayhee wasallam reported in Bukhari and in Muslim. maybe that girl was confused about what her dad taught her. if sister proud or someone else doesn't come back with the proof on this inshaaAllah I'll try to do it late. and yes, the most knowledgable should be the one leading and the male who is a minor can also be led but there is no harm for a male minor to lead for the purpose of teaching according to at least most scholars so long as he knows the basics of salaah. I just read this recently and will post more inshaaAllah when I get a chance. the explanation is not that they can lead the sunnah prayers, but that they can even lead the fard of duhr& asr (WITH voice) if of the same day they lead fajr, maghrib & isha (WITHout)- i just read the daleel on this yesterday before your post and inshaaAllah ill try to post it here today.

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:51 PM
A quick note while in mobile. Lol. Will come back with evidence when I can sit at my computer



In the Maliky madhab- women are not allowed to lead prayers. In the other three it is ok.

Women cannot lead men. In prayer. The story you are thinking about is actually the opposite where the slave led the prayer. I will inshaa Allah come back with that.

Why doesn't one of the male teachers lead the prayers ? Gather all students and all teachers and have a proper jama'a where the children learn the proper way of following an imam instead of all the confusion.

The one leading prayers. Young or old. Should be the one who has memorized the MOST Quran. If you have two with the same degree then it is the one with more knowledge.
My nine year old boy used to lead me in prayer at home. He knows a lot of Quran mashallah and knew how to pray properly. :)
Jazaakillahu khairan for your efforts in teaching the next generation of our ummah. May Allah grant you barakah.

If I speak in error then it is from me. May Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM. Ameen
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proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:14 AM

Assalamu alalikum dear sister. 

I'm back big smile mini. Before I list the hadiths I copied for you. indeed a lot of the  Imams of the Maliki madhhab don't allow for women to be imams of other women, though some do.  a boy can lead prayers if he is a discriminating boy, ie understands the prayer  and right from wrong, ) in one of the tribes the imam was a boy ( Amr bin-Salamah). he led men in prayer simply because he knew more Quran than the rest . subhana Allah..

Bismillaah:

 first, here is the hadith that tells of Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, being led in prayer by her Mamlook ( slave before being freed)  - this is from Saheeh Bukhaari 

XXVI: A slave or mawla (freed slave) leading the prayer

'A'isha's slave, Dhakwan, led her in the prayer, reading from a copy of the Qur'an. Is it permitted for a bastard, a Bedouin or boy who has not yet reached puberty to lead the prayer following the statement of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "The person among them who knows more of the Book of Allah should lead them"?

660. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said, "The first Muhajirun came to al-'Usba, a place at Quba', before the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, arrived. Salim, the mawla of Abu Hudhayfa, used to lead them in prayer. Of them, he had the most knowledge of the Qur'an."

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 

the hadith that refers to Umm waraqah praying as an Imam for her household including two men is classified dificient because of a break in the chain in narration, though the few scholars who take this hadith argue that it was specific only to her at the time. this hadith goes against the Saheeh hadith :A woman is not to lead a man in prayer.

><><><><><><><><><><><>

Hadith no: 768
Narrated: Amr bin Salamah
“When my people came back from the Prophet (saw) they said that he had said: ‘Let the one who recites the Quran most lead you in prayer.’ So they called me and taught me how to bow and prostrate, and I used to lead them in prayer, wearing a torn cloak, and they used to say to my father: ‘Will you not conceal your son’s backside from us?’” (Sahih) ( Sunan Annasaaii) 

,><><><><><><><>

and this is from Islamweb , concerning having a discriminating child leading prayer : 

What is the Fatwa of letting a 10 year old boy be the Imam when he prays with his father and mother.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. 
The Imama (the fact of leading prayer) of any child who has reached an age where he could differentiate between the right and the wrong, i.e. an age where he could use his own intellect in reasoning, is valid even in Friday prayer. This is the opinion of the scholars and their evidence is the sound Hadith of Amr Ibn Salamah who said: "I led people in prayer as Imam during the life of the Prophet. I was then a child, seven years old". Another evidence is the Hadith reported by Muslim that "People should be led in prayer by the person who reads (knows) the Qur'an most". If that person is a child then he is the most entitled to lead the prayer.
Allah knows best. 

__________________________________________

if I speak in error then it is from me. may Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM. ameen. 

please let me know if I forgot to post anything.. I leave you in the trusted care of Allah. 


Laurin283
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM


Oh how I wish!  We only have 2 male teachers, both part time volunteers, and both leave for their regular jobs before dhuhr comes in.  In the past when the class schedules were different, we did have a male teacher lead 2 days per week.  Sadly, we can't get any males to volunteer their time to lead, including jummuah, which is almost always led by one of the 3rd-6th grade boys (and we only have 4 of them right now)



Quoting proud2bmom3:

A quick note while in mobile. Lol. Will come back with evidence when I can sit at my computer



In the Maliky madhab- women are not allowed to lead prayers. In the other three it is ok.

Women cannot lead men. In prayer. The story you are thinking about is actually the opposite where the slave led the prayer. I will inshaa Allah come back with that.

Why doesn't one of the male teachers lead the prayers ? Gather all students and all teachers and have a proper jama'a where the children learn the proper way of following an imam instead of all the confusion.

The one leading prayers. Young or old. Should be the one who has memorized the MOST Quran. If you have two with the same degree then it is the one with more knowledge.
My nine year old boy used to lead me in prayer at home. He knows a lot of Quran mashallah and knew how to pray properly. :)
Jazaakillahu khairan for your efforts in teaching the next generation of our ummah. May Allah grant you barakah.

If I speak in error then it is from me. May Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases HIM. Ameen



Laurin283
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Thank you sisters, and thank you for correcting the story I had heard about.

I'm wondering if maybe they follow the Maliki school, then.  

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Assalamu alaikum dear sister. 

just a quick note no offense.. hmm. I can understand about Thuhur prayer during school. but Jumuah? led by boys ? I am assuming since there are boys, then there are fathers.. right? Friday prayer is FARDH on the men, not the boys and women.. since there are enough students to make a school then there are enough fathers to make Friday prayer, even if there are only three men in your town those MEN are under the OBLIGATION to perform Jumuah,, one them should give a brief Khutbah and pray in congregation. Khutbah should not be that complicated, and they can take turns.. 

have the wives remind their men that Friday prayer is the MEN'S Duty and responsibility.. :(  insha' Allah once I have more time, I will start a thread about the importance of Jumuah and it's obligation on the men. it is a very very serious sin neglecting Jumuah.. 

if I speak in error then it is from me, may Allah forgive me, and guide us all to what pleases HIM. 


Quoting Laurin283:


Oh how I wish!  We only have 2 male teachers, both part time volunteers, and both leave for their regular jobs before dhuhr comes in.  In the past when the class schedules were different, we did have a male teacher lead 2 days per week.  Sadly, we can't get any males to volunteer their time to lead, including jummuah, which is almost always led by one of the 3rd-6th grade boys (and we only have 4 of them right now)

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

Laurin283
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:14 PM

It's a good suggestion.  We've asked several times for volunteers (men) to come give a khutbah for the kids and teachers.  I can only remember it happening once in my time there, and it was because we were having the school spelling bee directly after jummuah and to encourage the parents to come (since most would not come by the time if they were at regular jummuah prayer and then had to drive to the school), the islamic studies teacher made a point to come that day and give it for parents, teachers and children.  It's very frustrating because we have one 7th grader who is capable (cyber student), 2 fifth graders (only one could give it because other is esl), one 4th grader (with reading disability), and one third grader (gave just one khutbah so far) who are boys.  In fact, it is very rare that us teachers get to pray jummuah at all because of this.  Even when we had 4 or 5 different boys in the cyber program, and they complained about doing jummuah behind the younger boys, they themselves refused to give the khutbah.

We seem to have a big problem in the community when plenty of men can attend jummuah and offer to give jummuah, but none of those same men will offer to give it for the only islamic school in the city to teach our youth.  The only times I actually get to pray jummuah during the school year tend to be during holiday breaks, if they fall on Friday.  This issue has been brought to the principal's attention before, and I don't know that she's done anything to find us khateebs, but has just said that we don't have any volunteers.

It's a frustrating problem.  Even for our open house, which was held beginning before the time of mahgrib until past isha time, we had 3 brothers pray even though there were many, and none of them wanted to lead.  The one told me when I asked (because he was the parent of one of my students) that no, each can just pray by themself.  Three brothers praying, and I think 2 lines of women!  Finally he was convinced.  But it's no wonder that our students don't learn about religion in the home, don't go to islamic school, many don't go to sunday school, and when they grow up we talk about what bad Muslims they are because they don't pray and fast!  How will they develop the desire, love, and knowledge about Islam if no one teaches them!??!

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I'm confused. Your Islamic school is not part of the masjid??
Maybe the school should have Friday a half day so the kids attend the real Jumah at the masjid do they learn never to skip it instead of teaching them to have their own. Know what I mean.
I thought the school was part of the masjid and there is no Jumah. Sorry I misunderstood

As for your last, very important question about how to teach kids what. I think that deserves a thread of its own. Jazakillahu khairan for your efforts and gheera.
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Laurin283
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM

No, we are an independent Islamic School that once upon a time was part of one of the masjids, the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, but since has strained relationships with almost all the masjids in the area.  It's sad.  Especially since the other 2 Islamic Schools that were associated with other masjids closed for lack of funds/support/students.  

Although we are an Islamic School, the students get only 45 mins/day of combined Quran and Arabic, and 45 mins 2x per week of Islamic Studies (a class I WISH was daily!!!).  We do double periods of math and Language Arts each day (90 mins/subject), and science and social studies are 2-3x a week for 45 mins/ class (depending on the grade- for example 5th/6th has social studies 3x and science 2x, and 3rd/4th has social studies 2x and science 3x).  the students also get art 1x a week and gym 2 x per week.  We sacrifice 30-45 minutes of class tiem daily for wudu and prayer time.  I say sacrifice, because we could be using it for a subject, but it's probably the most important part of the day.  We put so much emphasis on trying to be like a public school, that I (and I know other teachers feel this way) often feel as if we lose the point of ISLAMIC school- islamic studies and arabic/quran rarely get any instructional time, although we are advertised to have very intensive programs.  I find it misleading.  My son attends, and I teach here, so I know the ins and outs.  

But mashaaallah we have some dedicated teachers.  The problem is that the pay is so little that one cannot support a family on it, so we mainly get volunteers or teachers who work for tuition discounts, and when they get fed up wit hthe way its run, they leave, taking the quality with them. 


I digress.

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM

so basically, a weekend school will probably accomplish more. since you can concentrate on Arabic, Quran and Islamic studies.. giving them two hours a week of each.. might probably be more cost effective.. sigh.. it is sad when an Islamic school loses sight of its purpose and turns into a "private" "public" school that teaches Islam as an after thought.. 

I am sorry you find yourself in this position.  our masjid does not have enough funds, nor students to start a full school, but I like to believe that even through the Sunday school, we managed to change lives.. insha' Allah. it is all volunteer .. giving the kids the chance to study in public or private schools of their choosing, and parents to have a job, but volunteer for the sake of  Allah on Sundays.. :) 


(((hugs))) may Allah reward you for your efforts.. teaching a child a letter of Quran is an ongoing  charity for you that you benefit from even after you die.. as every time this child recites that verse, you get hasanaat and every time he teaches it , you get the same..from him and those whom he teaches.. insh'a Allah 

that is why a person's hasnaat and sayyi'aat do not end by their death.. it is by the blessings of Allah that you leave things behind that insh'a Allah will stack up hasanaat for you even while in your grave/ subhaana Allah. 


Quoting Laurin283:

No, we are an independent Islamic School that once upon a time was part of one of the masjids, the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, but since has strained relationships with almost all the masjids in the area.  It's sad.  Especially since the other 2 Islamic Schools that were associated with other masjids closed for lack of funds/support/students.  

Although we are an Islamic School, the students get only 45 mins/day of combined Quran and Arabic, and 45 mins 2x per week of Islamic Studies (a class I WISH was daily!!!).  We do double periods of math and Language Arts each day (90 mins/subject), and science and social studies are 2-3x a week for 45 mins/ class (depending on the grade- for example 5th/6th has social studies 3x and science 2x, and 3rd/4th has social studies 2x and science 3x).  the students also get art 1x a week and gym 2 x per week.  We sacrifice 30-45 minutes of class tiem daily for wudu and prayer time.  I say sacrifice, because we could be using it for a subject, but it's probably the most important part of the day.  We put so much emphasis on trying to be like a public school, that I (and I know other teachers feel this way) often feel as if we lose the point of ISLAMIC school- islamic studies and arabic/quran rarely get any instructional time, although we are advertised to have very intensive programs.  I find it misleading.  My son attends, and I teach here, so I know the ins and outs.  

But mashaaallah we have some dedicated teachers.  The problem is that the pay is so little that one cannot support a family on it, so we mainly get volunteers or teachers who work for tuition discounts, and when they get fed up wit hthe way its run, they leave, taking the quality with them. 


I digress.



Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

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