Woman in the Mosque:
Her Role, Position and Rulings with Special Consideration to Muslim-Minority Countries*
by: Dr. Jasser Auda**
Due to the relevant complex muslim historical traditions, the established wrong customs in the hearts of many muslim communities which contradict the Islamic principles and the objectives of their rulings and significant role in achieving the projected Islamic renaissance, I believe that there are two significant topics regarding the renewal movement in the contemporary Islamic thoughts and jurisprudence. These two topics are the role of woman in Islam and the relationship between Islam and politics. It is obvious that the significance of these two topics becomes higher for the countries of muslim minorities, in which inviting people to Islam should be a priority. Prevailing misconceptions about Islam especially regarding these two topics across those countries (of muslim minorities) have bad effects on the thoughts and deeds of muslims living there.
Thus, I am pleased that this session under the supervision of European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) is dedicated to focus on Woman’s Legal Rulings. It is also my pleasure to receive your invitation to discuss my research focusing on “Legal Rulings of Woman in the Mosque”.
In fact, mosques play a more significant role in countries with muslim minorities compared to those in muslim countries. In countries with muslim minorities, the mosque is a center that connects the muslim with his religion, Islam, and the only place that gathers all muslims together. The mosque also is a shelter for any muslim to revive his faith, worship Allah the Almighty, learn Islamic studies, solve social problems, organize weddings, celebrate eid (feast) and praying janazah (funeral). It is also a bridge that connects between individuals sharing the same religion and even the same language especially if they speak a different language than the majority.
In any society, a woman makes up one half of the society in number, significance and influence. Beside her social influence and role, she is a wife, mother, daughter and sister. Above all, she is a muslim woman, especially in the countries with muslim minorities and serves as the ambassador and representative of Islam through her appearance, reflecting her religion and abidance even before contacting or interacting with others.
This research is dedicated to ten (10) issues concerning Legal Rulings of Woman in the Mosque beginning with the ruling of preventing women from entering the mosque at the first place, the area allocated for her at the mosque and other detailed rulings regarding her participation in the ritualistic, scientific, social and organizational activities. This research follows a specific approach in quoting relevant Quranic Verses and Authentic Prophetic Tradition, taking into consideration the scholarships and their different reflections on these texts. If the legislating texts do not tackle a certain issue, we should follow the opinions that achieve the ultimate goals and highest objectives of Islam and go in the favor of the Muslim minorities. Allah the Almighty is the Helper Who leads us to success.
Preventing Women from Entering Mosques
The real dilemma
In this regard, we are facing an ugly reality in the countries with muslim minorities. Despite of the significance of the mosques for each muslim, in particular countries mentioned above, we find that women have almost no place. In case a muslim and of course a non-muslim woman thinks of entering one of the mosques in London, Johannesburg, Delhi or any other major capital cities, she will find a man by the door preventing her from entering or a signal “No room for women” or “Women are not allowed”. Adding fuel to the fire, some famous TV stations in Britain (recently BBC 4), America (recently ABC) and others are publishing from time to time some documentaries showing how women are prevented from entering mosques and how they are treated badly for just trying to enter. In fact, such documentaries affect badly the practices of Islamic preaching and reflect a false image apart from the real Islamic teachings.
If judging an issue depends on our own perspectives towards it, it is possible to have a different point of view in this regard. Some argue that Muslims abroad are facing temptations and plots, so men need to be attached to the mosque apart from any source of temptation. Thus, they believe that women should not be allowed to enter mosques, or they are allowed, but with restrictions, to help men avoid temptation and prepare their souls for worshiping and good deeds. This perspective does not suit the real life of muslims or even non-muslims. It originates from the unawareness of the equal rights of men and women regarding the House of Allah and the significant role played by woman inside mosques in serving her religion, muslim society and Islamic preaching. Indeed, the absence of woman’s role imposes a danger on both the spiritual and materialistic aspects.
In fact, this issue needs no evidence to be proven because Mosques are the Houses of Allah the Almighty Who is the Lord of both men and women.
Al-Mutanabbi, a prominent Arab Poet, says:
وليس يصح في الأذهان شيء إذا احتاج النهار إلى دليل””
meaning that if (a bright shiny) morning needs to be proved, all assumptions are doubtful.
However, the following evidences aim to give detailed advices and argue on behalf of the Muslim woman to unroot this dangerous phenomena and ugly innovation.
Evidences from the Holy Quran encouraging women to visit mosques:
In this regard, some Quranic Verses urge all Muslims, males and females, with no difference to visit Mosques for prayers and zikr. Allah the Almighty says:
“[Such niches are] in Mosques which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings. [Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about.” (An-Nur (The Light): 36-37) And “…A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves.” (At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 108).
Some exegetists differ in interpreting the word “Rijal” (men) in these two verses. Some believe that “Rijal” refers to men only. This opinion negatively affects the customs of Muslim societies in thinking that women have no place in the Mosque. Ibn Kather explained the term “Rijal” in the Verse of Surat An-Nour saying: “it is better for women to pray in their own houses ….and it is permissible for them to pray with men in Jama’ah (Congregational Prayer) if they are keen on not tempting any man with their beauty or perfume. Yet, the term “Rijal” in the languages of Arabs and the Quran refers to both males and females. Allah the Almighty refers to both genders in saying: “…and on [its] elevations are men who recognize all by their mark….” (Al-A’raf (The Heights): 46) and “…Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah…” (Al-Ahzab (The Combined Forces): 23). If Allah the Almighty wants to specify something to men only, He the Almighty adds the word Nisa’ (women) to the word Rijal (men) to differentiate, as mentioned in “…..And if not for believing men and believing women whom you did not know…“ (Al-Fath (The Victory): 25).
Linguistically, Arabs refer to the prominent women with the word “Rijal”. For instance, Mukhtar As-Sihah, an Arabic-Arabic Dictionary, adds the word “Niswah” (women) under the root “Rajul” (man)….Woman also is called “Rajulah” (رَجُلة). It was said that ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was “Rajulat Al-Ra’y”; referring to her wisdom. Lisan Al-‘Arab, a classical Arabic-Arabic Dictionary, mentions that Zyad Al-Kelaby says, while talking about a conversation with his wife, “فتهايج الرجلان” (Al Rajulan were fighting) referring to him and his wife. In another words, a man can be described to be perfect by saying (رجلٌ كامل) and woman is also described as (امرأة رَجُلة) Rajulah.
There are some other Verses that urge all Muslims to visit Mosques, dress up and purify their souls before visiting them as Allah the Almighty says: “The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah, for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided. ” (At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 18) and He also says: “Say, [O Muhammad], “My Lord has ordered justice and that you maintain yourselves [in worship of Him] at every place [or time] of prostration, and invoke Him, sincere to Him in religion.” Just as He originated you, you will return [to life] ” (Al-A’raf (The Heights): 29). Allah the Almighty also mentions the discourse of Jinns to their people: “And [He revealed] that the mosques are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone” (Al-Jinn: 18). The Holy Quran explicitly prohibits the action of preventing people from entering Mosques, as mentioned in “And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned in His mosques… ” (Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 114).
Evidences from Prophetic Tradition (The Sunnah)
In addition, many authentic sound Prophetic Hadiths (Sayings) state that women are present inside the Mosque in all prayer times and occasions. There is no space, here, to mention all the Hadiths.
‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated: “The believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with Allah’s Apostle, and after finishing the prayer they would return to their home…“
Al–Sha’bi reported: “We visited Fatima bint Qais… she said: ‘announcement was made for the people to observe prayer in the bigger Mosque. I went there along with people and I was in the front row meant for women and it was adjacent to the last row of men and I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) deliver sermon sitting on the pulpit. He said: The cousin of Tamim (Dari) sailed in the ocean’…”
Asma’ bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq may Allah be pleased with them said, “I went to ‘Aisha, the wife of the Prophet(ﷺ), may Allah bless her, during an eclipse of the sun, and everybody was standing in prayer, and she too was standing praying…The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) praised Allah and spoke well of Him, and then said…. 
It was narrated that ‘Aishah may Allah be pleased with her said: “Sa’d was wounded on the day of al-khandaq….the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) pitched a tent (khaimah) for him in the masjid so that he could visit him close at hand….” Ibn H’ajar commented: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) placed Sa’d near his Masjid in the tent of the nurse Rufaydah; he (ﷺ) ordered them saying: “place him in her tent so I can visit him close at hand.”
It was narrated that ‘Aishah may Allah be pleased with her said: “There was a black slave girl belonging to an arab tribe and they manumitted her but she remained with them. The slave girl said, ‘Once one of their girls (of that tribe) came out wearing a red leather scarf decorated with precious stones. It fell from her or she placed it somewhere. A kite passed by that place, saw it lying there and mistaking it for a piece of meat, flew away with it. People searched for it but did not find it. So they accused me of stealing it and started searching me and even searched my private parts.’ The slave girl further said, ‘By Allah! While I was standing (in that state) with those people, the same kite passed by them and dropped the red scarf which fell amongst them. I told them, ‘This is what you accused me of and I was innocent and now this is it.’ ‘Aisha may Allah be pleased with her added: ‘That slave girl came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and embraced Islam. She had a tent or a small room with a low roof in the Mosque. Whenever she called on me, talked with me or sat with me, she recited the following: ‘The day of the scarf (band) was one of the wonders of our Lord. He rescued me from the disbelievers’ town.’ ‘Aishah may Allah be pleased with her asked her: What is the matter with you? Whenever you sit with me, you always recite these poetic verses.’ On that she told me the whole story.”
It was narrated by Um Salama may Allah be pleased with her, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ), that in the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), women used to get up when they finished their compulsory prayers with taslim, while the Prophet (ﷺ) and the men would stay on at their places as long as Allah will. When the Prophet (ﷺ) got up, the men would then get up 
Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr may Allah be pleased with them reported: “The sun eclipsed during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ); I saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) standing in prayer. I stood along with him. He prolonged his qiyam till I wished to sit down. Then I cast a glance towards an old woman. So, I said: ‘She is older than I.’ I, therefore, kept standing. He (ﷺ) then observed ruku’, and prolonged his ruku’. He (ﷺ) then raised his head. He (ﷺ) then prolonged his qiyam to such an extent that if a person happened to come he would have thought that he had not observed the ruku‘“.
She also reported: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying: “One of you who believes in Allah and in the Last Day should not raise her head until the men raise their heads (after prostration)…” lest they should see the private parts of men, knowing that most of them at the time could only afford to wear a namirah  (a small lower garment).
And she also reported: “When the Messenger of Allah stood up and mentioned the trail with which a person will be tested in his grave; people became restless, which prevented me from understanding what the Messenger of Allah said. When they settled down, I said to a man who was near me: ‘May Allah bless you, what did he say at the end?’ he said: ‘It has been revealed to me that people will be tested in your graves with a trial close to that of the dajjal…'”
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that a black woman used to clean the mosque. Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) missed her and asked about her. He was told that she had died. He (ﷺ) said, “Why did’nt you inform me?” (It seemed as if) they (Companions) considered the matter insignificant. Then he (ﷺ) said, “Show me her grave.” When it was shown to him, he offered janazah (funeral) prayer over her…
‘Aisha may Allah be pleased with her also said: When Sa’d b. Abu Waqqas died, the wives of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent a message to bring his bier into the mosque so that they pray for him. They (the participants of the funeral) did accordingly, and it was placed in front of their apartments and they offered prayer for him. An-Nawawi said: scholars agreed upon the narration assuring that muslims prayed the janaza over the Messenger of Allah each individually. They entered in groups, men first then women and children. 
‘Do not forbid the female slaves of Allah from (going into) the mosques of Allah.‘
In addition to many other Hadiths delivering the same message; assuring that a Muslim woman is allowed by all legal means to visit the Mosque at all times and joins all kind of prayers. Yet, there is an authentic Hadith which is considered to be the decisive statement in this issue. It was narrated by Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar that one of the wives of ‘Umar (‘Aatikah Bint Zayed) used to pray fajr and ‘isha’ prayers in congregation in the mosque. She was asked why she had come out for the prayer as she knew that ‘Umar disliked it, and he has great ghairah (self-respect). She replied, “What prevents him from stopping me from this act?” The other replied, “The statement of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ): ‘Do not stop (prevent) Allah’s women-slaves from going to Allah’s Mosques.'” Ibn H’ajar said that she was in the mosque while ‘Umar may Allah be pleased with him was being stabbed.
It is stated in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir that Bilal ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrated to me that one day his father said:Indeed, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Do not deprive the female slaves of Allah of their share in the mosques” So I [Bilal] said, “As for me, I shall forbid my household females. Whosoever wishes to let his women go out, let him do so.” Thus, He (‘Abdullah) turned to me and said: “May Allah curse you! May Allah curse you! May Allah curse you! You hear me say that the Messenger of Allah ordered that women are not disallowed, and you say such words.” Then, he wept and departed angrily. Another narration said, “He stretched his hand and slapped him. At-Tirmidhy reported: We were at Ibn ‘Umar’s, when he said, The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Permit women to go to mosques at night’ His son said, ‘By Allah, we would not permit them to do so as they would do mischief.’ Ibn ‘Umar replied, ‘I say that the Messenger (ﷺ) said such and such, and you say, ‘we would not allow them.'” This Hadith is narrated in the related chapter, from Abu Hurairah, Zaynab, the wife of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, and Zayd ibn Khalid, knowing that the Hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Umar is an authentic hadith.
The reaction of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar here assures the conclusive prohibition of preventing women from visiting mosques contrary to the Prophet’s command (ﷺ).
‘Aisha’ hadith about precautionary measures for a temporary consideration:
Despite the authenticity, soundness and generality of these proofs, scholars preventing women from visiting mosques depend on counter arguments, which they regard as absolutes, relating to the alleged temptation resulting from women’s visiting mosques. They support their point of view by quoting two hadiths. The first is the hadith narrated by ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, saying, “If the Messenger of Allah ((ﷺ had seen what new things women introduced (in their way of life) he would have definitely prevented them from going to the mosque, as the women of Banu Israel were prevented.”
The second hadith is that narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn Suwayd Al-Ansary, from his paternal aunt, the wife of Abu Humayd As-Sa’idy, that she approached the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I like to pray with you!” He (ﷺ) replied,” I already know that you like to pray with me, but your prayer in your room is better for you than your prayer in your hall and your prayer in your hall is better for you than your praying in your house, and your prayer in your house is better for you than your prayer in the mosque of your people, and your prayer in the mosque of your people is better for you than your prayer in my mosque.” Thus, she ordered that a prayer place be prepared for her in the furthest and darkest part of her house, and used to pray there until she met Allah (i.e. died ) .
As for the Hadith narrated by ‘Aisha may Allah be pleased with her she did not deny the original ruling, but she set her new ruling according to the principle defined by Usul scholars as “Sad Adh-Dhara’i`” which means blocking the means to evil. This ruling is a response to an emergent case at her time. It seems that women at Madinah were negligent in applying prescribed rulings of visiting the Mosque. Thus, she did not intend to cancel or abrogate the original ruling of permissibility or recommendation at all, as some jurists believe. All prominent jurists, in Madinah or any other town or even over history, explain that ‘Aisha’s statement indicated an abrogation of the original ruling. When asked about preventing women from visiting the Mosque, Imam Malek, the Imam of Madinah, may Allah be pleased with him, (a few decades after lady ‘Aisha), replied, “(Women) should not be prevented from going out to the mosques” .
Ibn Hajar also said: Some [scholars] held on to ‘Aisha’s prevention of women’s visiting the Mosque as absolute, though it is debatable. For, it does not entail a change in the ruling since she made it contingent on a non-existent condition that is her supposition, as she said, “If he had seen … he would have prevented…” The counter argument, however, is that he (ﷺ) neither saw it nor prevented that .Besides, new things are introduced only by a few – not all – women, so if prevention becomes obligatory, it would apply only to the few who introduce such new things. It is also more entitling to consider the things that could cause temptation or mischief and avoid it, knowing that the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade using perfume and adornment.
Ibn Hazm also has a similar argument, as he said, “Introducing new things is undoubtedly done by some women only, and it is impossible to prevent goodness for those who do not do such things because of those who commit them.” Ibn Qudamah also said, “The Prophetic Tradition is more entitled to be followed, and ‘Aisha’s statement is limited only to those who introduce new things, knowing that going out is reprehensible for those who introduce new things.
Restriction should be lifted in favor of interests:
Nowadays, restrictions should be lifted, ways should be facilitated and obstacles hindering women from visiting the mosque should be removed.In this age, women should be encouraged to go to the mosque to achieve the objectives of mosques in Islam, which is remembering Allah, acquiring knowledge, acquainting with other Muslim women who visit the Mosque and participating in public activities in a way that benefits herself, her family, community and religion.
Sheikh ‘Abdul Halim Abu Shuqqah, may Allah be merciful to him, commented on this Hadith revealing the same meaning by saying:
If ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, had seen women’s attitude nowadays in visiting places of entertainment without wearing the prescribed hijab and their exposure to vicious media invasion that controls and manipulates their minds and hearts, and that the only place they do not go to is the Mosque, would she have uttered her statement? Or she would have said, “Had the Messenger (ﷺ) seen what women have done, he would have made it obligatory for them to visit the mosque”! She would have encouraged ladies to visit mosques the same way she meant to deter them before. Thus, women would avoid the charm of temptation and get used to decency.
Hadith of Um Humayd is for a Specific context not a general ruling:
The context of the hadith narrated by Um Humayd which is not present in the narrations of Ibn Hibban and Ahmad, the famous narrators is also narrated in At-Tabarany, Al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Abu Shaybah, Ibn Abu ‘Asim and others in authentic additions. Its context was just an argument between a woman and her husband. This argument was because Um Humayd used to join congregational prayer in the Prophet’s mosque. In these narrations, Um Humayd said, “O Messenger of Allah, we like to pray with you but our husbands prevent us (from doing so).” This context resolves the contradiction between other relevant hadiths, especially the hadiths with general rulings prohibiting prevention of women from visiting the mosque, and this Hadith. Through this Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) meant to advising Um Humayd to solve her marital disagreement through complying with her husband’s request. So, he (ﷺ) did not intend to set a general legislation that obliges all Muslim women at all times and places. However, the Messenger’s intention in this case is not explicit; yet, it is the only possible interpretation that resolves the contradiction between texts, knowing that “applying a text is more proper than neglecting it”.
The Hadith “That No Man Should See Her” is categorized as weak due to its chain of narration and meaning:
There are several weak hadiths which scholars quoted as an evidence to support their ruling of prevention women from visiting mosques. However, such weak narrations are not deemed as a reliable proof or an abrogation of the various authentic hadiths supporting the contrary opinion. For example, the Prophet (ﷺ) asked Fatemah, his daughter, about which is best for a woman. She answered, “That she should see no man and that no man should see her.” So, the Prophet (ﷺ) hugged her and said, “(Good) offspring descending from one another.” Besides its weak chain of narration (Isnad), the meaning of the hadith contradicts dozens of hadiths mentioned above about the female companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. In addition, it contradicts explicit statements of the Holy Quran, through which Almighty Allah says: Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you – say, ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us].’ (Aal ‘Imran (Family of Imran), 61).
This verse explicitly involves Fatemah, the daughter of the Prophet (ﷺ), within the context of mubahalah (cursing). In Ibn Kathir’s commentary on the verse, he mentioned the story of Najran’s delegation, stating: “…They refused to acknowledge that. Then, when dawn broke, the Prophet (ﷺ) after informing them of the news, approached with Al-Hassan and Al-Hussayn wrapped in his velvet cloth, and Fatemah walking behind him for mula’anah. There are also other hadiths that show how Fatemah, may Allah be pleased with her, engaged in normal interactions with men within the confines of the Shariah.
A guardian has no right to prevent his woman from visiting the mosque:
According to the Prophet (ﷺ), the original ruling regarding preventing women from going out to mosques by husbands or guardians, for instance, is prohibited. Yet, we can deduct from the Hadiths of ‘Umar’s wife and of Um Humayd that both spouses should consult with each other and reach an agreement about this issue by considering the different domestic and social factors.
Thus, visiting the mosque should not negatively affect woman’s major duties towards her family and children; being at the top of her priorities. Her husband should cooperate with her in a manner that does not have negative bearings on his legally more important duties. In this regard, balance and moderation need to be achieved. Therefore, it is impermissible at all to prevent a woman from going out to the mosque, since this prevention is explicitly forbidden by the Prophet (ﷺ).
A muslim woman should regain her right in visiting the mosque, and it is prohibited to prevent her from doing so, either individually or collectively. In addition, a suitable place for women in the mosque should be allocated, and they should be encouraged to go out to it so that they, like men, can achieve desired benefits and objectives through visiting Allah’s places of worship, especially in the present age and in countries where muslims constitute a minority.
The Place of Prayer for Women at the Mosque
The real dilemma:
Mosques in muslim-minority countries, where women are allowed to pray, rarely permit them to pray behind the rows of men at the same space; as applied in the mosque of the Prophet (ﷺ). In the west, they usually include additional spaces or small rooms specified for women at the ground floor, the upper level or in a small building attached to the main mosque, where they can hear the imam via loudspeakers.
The dilemma in limiting women in such spaces appears as follows: first, rooms specified for women are very small compared to the main standard rooms. Women find no space during Friday sermons and other occasions. On the other hand, men have spacious rooms, despite that the numbers of women sometimes exceeds those of men in the general occasions as noticed. Second, these rooms are not well furnished or equipped with carpets, lightening system or sound system as men. Thus, women, contrary to men, may not feel welcomed and do not benefit from the mosque. Third, most Mosques allocate the same spaces of women for children from different ages, and so the noise level increases. Fourth, women are not allowed to enter through the main entrance but through special small entrances at the side of the building or from the behind side.
Last but not least, the followed standard in designing the mosque mislead the non-muslim visitors and the youth, brought up in those countries, in thinking that Islam “marginalizes” and “isolates” woman. This misconception will be rooted in their minds especially if they notice the narrowness, crowd and poor furnishing in women’s allocated spaces. This may falsely reflect that Islam does not welcome women in the places of worshiping, relieves men from bearing any responsibility towards their children and specifies the religion for men only as many westerns claim. In addition, there are other misconceptions originated from this design forming the awareness of the observer.
The Prophetic Tradition in designing the mosque:
At the era of the Prophet (ﷺ), mosques were designed as similar as the following form. During the Prophet’s lifetime, he (ﷺ) allocated the first rows closer to him (ﷺ), being the Imam, for men and the rows at the back from the end of the mosque are for women, while kids stand at the middle rows between men and women.
The prophet (ﷺ) built his first Mosque in the month of Rabī’ al-Awwal (the third month in the Islamic calendar) at the first year of Hijrah (Immigration) in 622 CE. The size of the mosque was approximately 35 x 30 meters with a height of 2.5 meters approximately. Its ceiling was made of palm leaves and its columns from palm trunks. The walls were made of adobe and the mosque had a spacious hall at its middle. It included three gates for men and women: Bab Al-Rahmah which is called A’tekah (at the western side), Bab Othman which is currently known as Bab Jibril as it was the gate through which the Prophet (ﷺ) used to enter the Mosque (at the eastern side) and another gate behind the mosque (at the southern side). During that time, muslim prayed towards Jerusalem. When the Qiblah (the destination of prayer) was transferred towards Al-Ka’bah at the second year after Hijrah, the southern gate was closed, and another gate was built instead at the northern side.
These two groups of rows were not separated by walls or curtains, despite their ability to afford these stuffs. Yet, women stand adjacent to the last row of men. Many Prophetic hadiths prove this. For instance, ‘Urwah bin Az-Zubair narrated that he heard Asma’ bint Abi Bakr may Allah be pleased with her saying: “The Messenger of Allah stood up and mentioned the trail with which a person will be tested in his grave. When he mentioned people became restless, which prevented me from understanding what the Messenger of Allah had said. When they settled down, I asked a man who was near me: ‘May Allah bless you, what did he say at the end?’ he said: ‘It has been revealed to me that you will be tested in your graves with a trial close to that of the dajjal.'”.
Fatema bint Qais said: “An announcement was made for the people to observe prayer in the bigger mosque. I went there along with people and I was in the front row meant for women and it was adjacent to the last row of men and I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) deliver a sermon sitting on the pulpit. He (ﷺ) said: ‘The cousin of Tamim (Dari) sailed in the ocean’…”.
Allowing women to see the imam and learn from him:
Women used to see and hear the Imam, the Prophet (ﷺ), while he was delivering his discourse; it is scientifically proved that it helps them to learn, interact and concentrate. Moreover, some of them memorized Quranic verses only by listening to the direct recitation of the Prophet (ﷺ) such as Umm Hisham bint Harithah who said, “…I memorized Surat Qaaf from the tongue of the Messenger of Allah who used to recite it every Friday…” It was narrated from Ibn Al-A’bbas from Umm al-Fadl bint- al-Harith that when she heard him recite (Surat) Al-Mursalat, she said: “O my son! You reminded me with your recitation of this Surah. Verily, it is the last thing I heard from the Messenger of Allah. He (ﷺ) recited it in the maghrib prayer.
A’bdullah bin Rafe’, the freed slave of Umm Salama, said that she, the wife of the Prophet(ﷺ) said: I used to hear from people making a mention of the cistern, but I did not hear it from Allah’s Messenger .(ﷺ) One day while a girl was combing me I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say: “O people.” I told that girl: Keep away from me. She replied: He (ﷺ) addressed men only and did not invite women. I said: I am amongst the people also (and have thus every right to listen to the things pertaining to religion). Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: I shall be your harbinger on the cistern; therefore, be cautious lest one of you should come (to me) and may be driven away like a stray camel. I would ask the reasons, and you be told: You don’t know what innovations they made after you. And I would then also say: Be away.”
Aby Uthman said that Gabriel, may Allah be pleased with them, came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and there was with him Um Salamah and he began talking to him. He then stood up, whereupon the Prophet (ﷺ) asked Umm Salamah: (Do you know) who was he? She said: He was Dihya. Then she said: By Allah, I really thought he was (Dihya) until I heard the address of the Prophet (ﷺ) informing him Jibril.
Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr may Allah be pleased with them reported:”The sun eclipsed during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) ….I entered the mosque and saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) standing in prayer. I stood along with him. He prolonged his qiyam till I wished to sit down. Then I cast a glance towards an old woman. So I said: She is older than me. I, therefore, kept standing. He (the Holy Prophet) then observed ruku’, and prolonged his ruku’. He then raised his head. He then prolonged his qiyam to such an extent that any person passing by he would have thought that he had not observed the ruku’.”
Accordingly, there is no need to isolate women by building walls or hanging curtains to prevent them from seeing the Imam. It has been proven that watching the Prophet (ﷺ) in his mosque had a positive effect for women in attaining knowledge and encouraging them to visit the mosque. The marks or the short barriers muslims used to set on the floor are enough to organize the praying areas and avoid any disturbing disputes or jostles.
The hadith of “The worst (row in prayer) is the last” and its interpretation:
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “The Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘The best of the men’s rows (in salat) is the first row and the worst is the last; but the best of the woman’s row is the last and the worst of their rows is the first.‘”. Some people refer to this hadith as an evidence to prevent women from visiting mosques or isolate them in separate spaces as mentioned. This is strange because Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) could build another room specified for women or prevent them from visiting the mosque but he never done so! In fact, this hadith refers to the excellence of standing at the first rows for men and last rows for women only depending on the rational stipulations and reasons. First, men’s first rows and women’s last rows are specified for those who arrive early to pray; being a known virtue. Second, these two rows help the prayers to concentrate and achieve submissiveness while praying. Third, the Prophet (ﷺ) in other hadiths advised women not to raise their heads before men (after prostration) because, during the severe conditions witnessed by the new Muslim society at that time, not all the Companions could afford to buy a long garment to cover him while prostrating.
Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr may Allah be pleased with her narrated:”I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say: “Those who believe in Allah and in the Last Day should not raise her head until the men raise their heads (after prostration) lest they should see the private parts of men, knowing that most of them at the time could only afford to wear a namirah  (a small lower garment)'”
In addition, Sahl ibn Sa’d said: “women have been ordered at the era of the Messenger of Allah not to raise their heads during prayers until men stand first as they do not wear a decent garments (in another narration: for their tight garments).” (in another narration: lower your gaze from men’s private parts) .
Similarly, Amr ibn Salamah said: “….. so they looked for such a person and found none who knew more Quran than me because of the Quranic material, which i used to learn from the caravans. They, therefore, made me their Imam (to lead the prayer) and at that time i was a boy of six or seven years, wearing a burdah (a black square garment) proved to be very short for me and my body would become partly naked when i prostrated. A lady from the tribe said: ‘won’t you cover the anus of your reciter from us?’ so they bought (a piece of cloth) and made a shirt for me. I had never been so happy with anything before as i was with that shirt.” (Al-Bukhari).
This reasonable evidence shows the aim of separating men and women rows and advising women to stand at the last row.
Therefore, it is recommended, generally, to begin with the first row following the Imam then the next one till reaching the end. This Ruling is for men’s rows at any situation and women who pray together alone not with men. On the other hand, if women join men in the same congregational Prayer, the best row for them is the last one as prescribed in the previous Hadith.
The hadith of “A passing woman in front of a praying man will invalidate his prayer” and its distorted interpretation:
Some people reject the spacious open designs of Mosques, if the description is precise, depending on the opinion of that woman invalidates man’s praying by passing in front of him while praying. Some also believe that he must repeat his Prayer. This is against what is conveyed through many Authentic Hadiths regarding the Mosque of the Prophet (ﷺ). In addition, some support his opinion by quoting an authentic Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah and Abi Dhar that the Messenger of Allah said:” The prayer is invalidated by a (passing) woman, a dog and a donkey.”
Yet, these narrations contradict other narrations from another Hadith and with the same narrators.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “the prayer of you is not invalidated by (a passing) woman, a dog or a donkey, prevent anyone from pass as much as you can.” Yet, this hadith is not sound.
If the hadith of “The prayer is invalidated by a (passing) woman…” is more authentic than the Hadiths of “The prayer of you is not invalidated by….”, we should follow the authentic hadith narrated by ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, reported by Muslim and Others as she believed that all narrations that prove the invalidation of man’s prayer by a passing woman is inaccurate.
Abdullah ibn ‘Ubaid Ibn ‘Umaer narrated that ‘Aisha, the Mother of the Believers, was told that ‘Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).’ Then she said, ‘You are equating Muslim woman with those (dogs and donkeys) (in another narration: How wretched is that to regard us similar to the dog and donkey/ so you woman is regarded as an evil creature). I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla (in another narration: and I was lying (horizontally) like a dead body on his family bed between him and his Qibla).’
On this regard, Al–Shafi’i commented: “No man’s prayer is invalidated when a woman is in front of him. Therefore, if a woman stands next the man or at his right or left side, his prayer would not be invalidated.
Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan said: “It is permissible for a man to pray while a woman is sleeping, standing or sitting in front of him or next to him or even if she is praying alone. Yet, it is disliked praying next to him or in front of him during a congregational prayer .
For Hanbalis, it is disliked for a man to pray while a woman is praying in front of him. If she is just standing without praying it is permissible; depending on the hadith of ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her.
Noticing the contradiction of narrations on this regard despite of the actions of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, as they believe that nothing can invalidate the prayer of someone? Abu Dawud said: “when two traditions of the prophet (ﷺ) contradict each other, the practice of the Companions after him should be taken into consideration.“
Mosques welcoming Children:
According to kids, the grown-ups used to stand in special rows at the era of the Prophet (ﷺ). Some of them sometimes used to be the Imam such as ‘Amr ibn Salamah in the previous Hadith. However, it is a rare situation nowadays as known for all those participating in the Islamic educational activities in both east and west. We are witnessing, nowadays, a decrease in the percentage of mature kids who can achieve Humility and submissiveness in their prayer without the need of any guidance. Thus, it is better for our children to accompany their fathers or mothers or specify for them special spaces organized by volunteers, males and females, for learning and education especially during the public occasions witnessing a huge number of kids.
Prophetic Tradition states the permissibility of a mature person to guide a kid and teach him how to pray while praying. For instance, Ibn A’baas, May Allah be pleased with both of them, said: “One night I stood to the left of the Prophet (ﷺ) in the prayer but he caught hold of me by the hand or by the shoulder (arm) till he made me stand on his right and beckoned with his hand (for me) to go from behind (him). ” (Sahih al-Bukhari 728).
Ibn A’baas also said: “The dawn prayer had commenced when the Prophet (ﷺ) saw a person observing prayer, whereas the Mu’azzin had pronounced the Iqamah (The second call to Prayer). . Upon this he (ﷺ) remarked: Do you pray four (obligatory) rak’ahs in the dawn prayer?“
However, some muslim societies prevent kids, specially girls, from visiting the mosques; violating the authentic prophetic tradition.
Al-Bukhari dedicated a part in his book entitled “Carrying a Baby Girl on One’s Neck During Prayer“. Abu Qutadah Al-Ansary, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) prayed when he was carrying Omama, the daughter of both Zainab, the daughter of the Prophet (ﷺ), and Abul A’ss Ibn Ara’rabie Ibn Abdu’shams. When he prostrated, he put her down and when he stood, he carried her (on his neck).
And He (ﷺ) said: “I stand up to lead Salat with the intention of prolonging it. Then I hear the crying of an infant and I shorten the Salat lest I should make it burdensome for his mother”.
Al-Hassan or Al-Hussayn was on the back of the Messenger of Allah while he was prostrating, so he (ﷺ) made the prostration lengthy. They said: ‘O Allah’s Prophet (ﷺ), you prostrated during the prayer for so long that we thought that something had happened or that you were receiving a revelation.’ He replied: ‘But my son was riding on my back and I did not like to disturb him.’
When the Messenger of Allah prostrates, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussayn used to jump at his back. When The companion tried to prevent them, he pointed at them to leave them, and when he (ﷺ) finished his prayer he placed them on his legs .
The prophetic tradition allocating common gates for men and women to enter the mosque:
At the era of the prophet (ﷺ) and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, mosques have mutual gates. Yet, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, saw that it is better to specify a gate for women only; preventing men from entering through it but he did not prevent women from entering through men’s gates. Aby Dawud narrated that Nafe’ narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘if we reserve this door for women (it would be better).’ (in another narration by Nafe’: ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab advised (men) not to enter from the women’s gate) .
Thus, specifying a gate for women is something based on ‘Umar’s personal reasoning (Ijtihad) to organize the entrance and not a Prophetic Tradition. His advice not to enter through this gate specified for women is because of the public interest and is not deemed as an obligatory prohibition in every time and every place. This also does not mean that there are no mutual gates for both men and women.
Nowadays, it is better, especially in muslim minorities countries, that the main entrance of the mosque is allowed for all, men and women, even there is a need for an additional gate for women only. It is prohibited for men to treat women badly or rudely if they enter through what they call “men’s gates” as we see in the real life unfortunately.
In fact, bad treatment of women at mosques is one of the major dilemmas faced by the modern muslim generation at west that makes them detest Islam and its followers and keeps non-muslims away from Islam.
The prophetic tradition does not invite us to isolate women in special rooms or by building walls and hanging curtains to separate women from men. Yet, the prophetic tradition teaches us to place women behind men at the same hall in which men start their rows from the beginning (behind imam) and women start their rows from the end.
In addition, there is no blame upon women to walk through the mosque but not in time of congregational prayers. The prophetic tradition does not urge us to prevent girls and boys from visiting mosques or assign the mission of raising them for women alone. However, it is permissible to specify a front gate for women in case of crowd or draw lines or marks on the floor to divide the praying areas but without preventing women from entering through the main gates.
Muslims, especially those who are living in muslim minorities countries, should consider the significant role of woman in the Mosque and its influence on the youth nowadays and the image of Islam and its discourse.
A Normal Male-Female Interaction Inside the Mosque
The real dilemma:
Mosques allowing women to enter are facing another dilemma in the countries of muslim minorities. The dilemma is the severe restrictions imposed sometimes on the normal interaction between women and men in different affairs inside the mosque. However, the same groups of men and women interact normally and with other men and women in a non-muslim society freely in all fields of life, professional and social fields. It is obvious that these restrictions impose an adverse effect on women’s participation in the muslim society, the image of Islam in the minds of the modern muslim generations and the Islamic preaching delivered to non-muslims.
If we reflect on the prophet’s tradition at his mosque, we will notice a normal interaction between both genders inside the Mosque in various religious and social fields. We will notice also some mistakes but in very rare situations which do not need a severe change in the etiquettes inside the mosque, the praying rows and the architectural design itself. The following hadiths are examples of those interactions in the presence of the Prophet (ﷺ) at his mosque narrated by some males and females from the companions, may Allah be pleased with them. Those hadiths permit the normal interactions between men and women inside the mosque.
Evidences from the prophetic tradition that permit the male-female interaction inside mosques according to the islamic legislations rules:
Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr may Allah be pleased with said:”The Messenger of Allah stood up and mentioned the trail with which a person will be tested in his grave. When he (ﷺ) mentioned that the people became restless, which prevented me from understanding what the Messenger of Allah had said? When they settled down, I said to a man who was near me: ‘May Allah bless you, what did the end?’ he said: ‘It has been revealed to me that you will be tested in your graves…“
Abdul–Rahman said: Malek ibn Nafe’ ibn ‘Umar said: “‘they (men and women) used to perform ablution together, I said to Malek: ‘men and women?’ He replied: ‘Yes’, I said: ‘at the time of the Prophet (ﷺ)’? He replied: ‘Yes'” .
Reporting an incident that he witnessed, Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘while the prophet (ﷺ) was delivering a sermon while reclining on a trunk of a date-palm, a woman from Ansar told him: ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, my servant is a carpenter, shall I order him to make a minbar (pulpit) for you?’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘yes.’ Thus, he (ﷺ) from that time stood on the minbar instead. While the Prophet (ﷺ) was setting on the pulpit to deliver the Khutbah (sermon) the trunk of the date- palm on which he used to recline cried out. The prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of Dhikr near it.'”
‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The best of the women are the women of the Ansar. Shyness would not prevent them from inquiring about religion and from acquiring deep understanding in it.”
Abdullah ibn Masoud narrated: “the prophet (ﷺ) entered the Mosque accompanied by a group of women from Ansar and gave them a piece of advice saying: ‘In case anyone amongst you sees the sad demise of three children of (hers) she would be admitted to Paradise.’ A woman from amongst them said: ‘Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), even if they (the children who die) are two.’ Thereupon, he (ﷺ) said: ‘Even if they are two.'”
Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated: “I attended the prayer with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the day of ‘Eid. He started with the prayer before the Khutbah, with no Adhan (The call to Prayer) and no Iqamah. When he finished the prayer, he stood leaning on Bilal, and he praised and glorified Allah the Almighty and exhorted the people, reminding them and urging them to obey Allah the Almighty. Then he (ﷺ) moved away and went to the women, and Bilal was with him. He (ﷺ) commanded them to fear Allah the Almighty and exhorted them and reminded them. He (ﷺ) praised and glorified Allah, then urged them to obey Allah, saying: ‘Give charity, for most of you are the fuel of Hell.’ A lowly woman with dark cheeks said: ‘Why, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘You complain a great deal and are ungrateful to your husbands.’ They started taking off their necklaces, earrings and rings, throwing them into Bilal’s garment, giving them in charity.”
Asmaa’ bint Yazed said: “One day Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) narrated to us about Ad-Dajjal and a woman stood up and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, while kneading the dough for my family, I believe that I will die before it is finished. He (ﷺ) replied: “If he (Ad-Dajjal) comes forth while I am among you I shall be the one who will dispute with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth when I am not among you, a man must dispute on his own behalf, and Allah will take my place in looking after every Muslim.”
Abu Hurairah narrated an incident he witnessed saying: “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: ‘Do you describe the secrets (of intercourse) between you and your wives? Do you describe the secrets (of intercourse) between you and your husbands?’ then a black woman stood and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, they (the men) describe the secrets (of intercourse) and they (the women) also describe the secrets (of intercourse) to the people. He (ﷺ) said: ‘Do you know what the similitude is?’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘The likeness of this act is the likeness of a female Satan who meets the male Satan on the roadside; he fulfils his desire with her while the people are looking at him.'” 
Women helping sick men in the mosque of the prophet (ﷺ):
We need to reflect on the following hadith which explicitly proves that we, muslims, deviated from the path of the Prophet (ﷺ) regarding the status and the significant role of women in mosques.
Mahmud ibn Labid, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When Sa’d’s medial arm vein was gravely wounded in the Battle of the Ditch, they moved him to the house of a woman called Rufaydah who used to treat the wounded. When the Prophet (ﷺ) passed by him, he would inquire, ‘How are you this evening?’ and in the morning, ‘How are you this morning?‘ and he would tell him.”
“A woman is right while a man is wrong”:
This was the situation also after the era of the Prophet (ﷺ). For example, the story of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, and the issue of dowries is a famous one.
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, stand on the minbar of the Prophet (ﷺ) then said: “O people, why do you exaggerate in the dowries of women without following the footsteps of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and his companions. They used to pay sadaqah (charity) which does not exceed four hundred Dirhams (400). If exaggeration (in that) so was honorable in the world or taqwah before Allah then they would have been the first of you to do it. I do not know any man marrying any of his women, nor giving any of his daughters in marriage, for more than four hundred Dirhams (400).’ Then, a woman from Quraish (in another narration: a tall and snub-nosed woman) said, ‘It is no so, O ‘Umar, for Allah the Almighty said:’…and you have given one of them (your wives) a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it in injustice and manifest sin? (4:20).’ ‘Umar said: Oh Allah, grant us your forgiveness, all people are better than ‘Umar in understanding.’ “(In another narration, ‘Umar said, “The woman is right and the man is wrong.”)
The Tradition of pitching tents for I’tikaf and other social goals also lasted. For example, Abdullah ibn Al-Zubayr passed by a tent in the Mosque and met women serving water to the wounded and food to the hungry, according to the history.
Deviation and how to deal with pedagogically:
All previous hadiths and others do not indicate that the society of Al-Madinah was purified from all forms of deviations even in the mosque. According to Al–Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn), it was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said:There was a woman who used to pray behind the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) who was beautiful, one of the most beautiful of people. Some of the people used to go to the front row to avoid seeing her, and some used to go to the back row so that when they bowed they could see her from beneath their armpits. Then Allah revealed the words: ‘To Us are known those of you who hasten forward and those who lag behind.‘ (Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract):24)” 
Despite their deviated reaction in looking at this beautiful woman while praying, we notice that dealing with this deviation was by good advice and reminding them to fear Allah the Observer. However, the rules governing the interactions between men and women inside the Mosque and even the design of the mosque itself were not subjected to any change.
Nowadays, especially in muslim minorities countries and western countries, the real life records no misguidances in male-female interaction inside the mosque except for very rare cases. No ruling is set for rare cases as it is easy for an individual, at the west, to go to certain places, known at these societies, which are full of all kinds of prohibition, may Allah protect us. Thus, one does not need to visit the mosque with the intention to see the prohibited.
Restrictions to block al-dhara’i’ ( means to an expected evil) can also be lifted in favor of interests:
Some argue that there is a high probability of temptation (fitnah) to occur among youths, males and females, by allowing their interactions inside the Mosque. Yet, the society, especially the western, is in dire need to allow such kind of communication between males and females as a way of helping them to find their suitable match to marry. The reason behind marrying non-Muslims especially in the Western Non-Muslim countries, which unfortunately spread among those living at the west, maybe due to blocking the means by which Muslim males and females can interact and know each other during the ritual, social and scientific events to facilitate their marriage. The Prophetic Tradition opens this way expected to have an evil end instead of blocking it. It was narrated that Al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah said: “I proposed marriage to a woman during the time of the Messenger of Allah, and the Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘Have you seen her?‘ I said: ‘No.’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘Look at her, for that is more likely to create love between you.'”
If someone did not lower his gaze from looking at the forbidden, Allah forbids, and is about to yield to his temptation, the prophetic tradition mentioned in the hadtith of the beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath’am is the best way to solve this issue. For example, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas narrated (about the woman from the tribe of Khath’am):Al–Fadl ibn ‘Abbas rode behind the Prophet (ﷺ) as his companion rider on the back portion of his she camel on the day of nahr (slaughtering of sacrifice, 10th Dhul-Hijja) and Al-Fadl was a handsome man. The Prophet (ﷺ) stopped to give the people verdicts. In the meantime, a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath’am came, asking the verdict of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). Al-Fadl was attracted by her beauty and began to stare at her. The Prophet (ﷺ) looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet (ﷺ) held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the owner sides in order that he should not gaze at her…..”
Nowadays, if they know each other at the mosque in muslim minorities countries,
they won’t deviate, if Allah wills, because marriage will be their aim.
All the above mentioned hadiths refer to a normal interaction between men and women and a decent description of a woman’s beauty, her charming face, dark skin, dark cheeks, snub-nose or tall body …etc. When some men were misguided; staring at women inside or outside the mosque, the Prophet (ﷺ) did not order them (women) to cover their faces or ask to set a curtain or a wall in the mosque to separate both genders to avoid any possible temptation. However, the need to keep men with women inside the hall of the mosque surpasses the individual misguidances. The questions, comments and participation of women were very useful for all muslims. In addition, this normal interaction inside the mosque paves the way towards marriage, as a reasonable solution for a very severe social dilemma faced by the society.
Women Dress Code in the Mosque
Additional questions for a complete vision:
The following pages briefly view a set of additional questions around the Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) of the muslim woman in the mosque. I added them to this research in order to answer all the questions regarding woman at the mosque, despite the fact that they are common questions answered by the elder scholars explicitly. The question that must be raised is that: is there a special dress code for a woman to wear while praying or visiting the Mosque rather than the prescribed legal hijab? In fact, there is no difference between women’s prescribed hijab and the mosque’s dress code according to the prophetic tradition.
A woman should wear hijab and avoid using perfume while visiting the mosque:
‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated:
May Allah bestow His Mercy on the early emigrant women. When Allah revealed: “… and to draw their veils all over their juyubihinna (i.e., their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” (Surat An-Nour (The Light), 24:31) they tore their mantles (Murat: woolen dresses or waist-binding clothes or aprons etc.) and covered their heads and faces with those torn Murat. She, may Allah be pleased with her, also said: The believing women observed the morning prayer with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wrapped in their mantles. They then went back to their houses and were unrecognisable, because of the Messenger of Allah’s (ﷺ) praying in the darkness before dawn.
The only restrictions regarding visiting the mosque is that the prophet (ﷺ) prohibits women from using a powerful fragrance:
Zainab, the wife of Abdullah ibn Masoud, May Allah be pleased with both of them, reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to us: “When any one of you comes to the mosque, she should not wear a perfume.”
In another narration: Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from visiting the Mosques of Allah, but they may go out (to the Mosque) having no perfumed themselves.”
Abu Hurairah, May Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “The Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘If a woman fumigates herself with perfume, she must not attend the night prayer with us.'” In another narration: Ibn Nufayl said: Isha’ means night prayer.”
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that a woman met him and he found the odor of perfume in her. Her clothes were fluttering in the air too. He said: “O maid-servant of the Almighty, are you coming from the Mosque?” She replied: “Yes”. He said: “For it did you use perfume?” She replied: “Yes.” He said: “I heard my beloved Abul Qasim (ﷺ) saying: ‘The prayer of a woman who uses perfume for this mosque is not accepted until she returns and takes a bath like that of sexual defilement (janabah).'” 
However, this prohibition is not specific only for the mosque anyway as It was narrated that Abu Mosa Al-Ash’ari said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Any woman who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance then she is an adulteress.'”
There is no specific dress code for a woman to visit mosques or pray rather than the common prescribed hijab.
The Ruling of Congregational Prayer for Women at the Mosque
The Islamic jurisprudence schools agree that woman is not obliged to witness congregational prayers like man as the Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty for every Muslim, with four exceptions; a slave, a woman, a boy, and a sick person.” He (ﷺ) also said: “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should witness Friday prayer in congregation except a woman, child, slave or sick person.” He (ﷺ) also: “Women are not obliged to witness Friday prayer” and other narrations.” Despite that all scholars agree that friday prayer is not an obligation for a woman, it is preferred to witness it if she could.
Congregational prayer is preferable for both men and women and there is no evidence that states a difference between them in this regard. This ruling is deducted from the hadith of the Prophet (ﷺ): “Prayer in congregation is better than the prayer of a man by himself by twenty-seven degrees.” 
In addition, Abu Hurairah, May Allah be pleased with him, reported that:The Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The reward for Salat performed by a person in congregation is more than 20 times greater than that of the Salat performed in one’s house or shop. When one performs Wudu’ perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of performing Salat, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and one of his sins is eliminated until he enters the mosque, and when he enters the mosque, he is considered as performing Salat as long as it is the Salat which prevents him (from leaving the mosque); and the angels keep on supplicating Allah for him as long as he remains in his place of prayer. They say: ‘O Allah! have mercy on him; O Allah! forgive his sins; O Allah! accept his repentance’. This will carry on as long as he does not pass wind”. He (ﷺ) also said: ” As long as any-one of you is waiting for the prayer, he is considered to be praying actually..”
The Ruling of staying a Menstruating Woman at the Mosque
Scholars differ regarding allowing the menstruating woman to enter the mosque. The prominent scholar Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has his own verdict in this regard that is worth quoting. He states:”Jurists have considerably deferred regarding staying in the Mosque for a menstruating woman and a Junub person without performing ablution, as Allah Almighty says, “O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your body]” (An-Nisa’ (The Women), 4: 43). So, Hanbali jurists deemed it permissible for such a person to stay in the Mosque in case one has performed ablution (Wudu’), depending on the Hadith narrated by Sa’id ibn Mansur and Al-Athram from ‘Ata’ ibn Yasser that he said, ‘I saw junub Companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) staying in the Mosque after performing the ablution due for prayer’. Other jurists, however, deemed it permissible for a Junub person and for a menstruating woman or a woman in her postpartum period (nufasa’) to stay in the mosque whether they have performed ablution or not, since no authentic hadith is reported in this regard. Besides, the hadith that states: “I do not allow a menstruating woman or a junub person to enter the mosque” is ranked weak. Hence, there is no solid proof prohibiting it, and in turn the original ruling of permissibility remains applicable. This view is maintained by Imam Ahmad, Al-Muzni, Abu Dawud, Ibn Al-Mundhir and Ibn Hazm. They all depend on evidence on the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah and recorded in Al-Bukhari and Muslim and other hadith compilations that ‘A Muslim never becomes impure’. They also drew on analogy between the case of a junub muslim and that of a non-muslim. Since a non-Muslim is allowed to enter the mosque, a junub muslim is more entitled to such permissibility.
I personally incline towards this opinion given the available proofs and on our approach of making things easy and lifting distressful hindrances for the Muslim, especially for a menstruating woman. For, she is more entitled to such facilitation than a junub person, since janabah is a willingly incurred state that can be lifted by the man whenever he wishes, i.e. through Ghusl [ritual bath]. It is different from menstruation, which Allah the Almighty has predestined for females; a woman cannot lift it willingly or finish it before its due course. Therefore, a menstruating woman is more entitled to be excused than a junub person. Moreover, some women need to frequent the Mosque in order to attend religious lessons or participate in other events, and thus they should not be prevented.“
The Hadith quoted here by Shaykh Al-Qaradawi, “I do not allow a menstruating woman or a Junub person to (enter) the Mosque” is part of the hadith narrated by Abu Dawud through his own chain of narrators from Jasrah bint Dijaja saying: “I heard ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, say, ‘The Messenger of Allah came and saw that the doors of the houses of his companions were facing the mosque. He (ﷺ) said, ‘Turn the direction of the houses [doors] away from the Mosque.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) then entered and the people did not take any step in this regard hoping that some concession might be revealed. He came upon them again and said, ‘Turn the direction of these (doors) from the mosque; I do not permit a menstruating woman or a junub person to (enter) the Mosque.’ ” (in another narration: “except for Muhammad and the household of Muhammad”). This hadith is graded as weak, as stated above, though some jurists cited it as evidence. It was ranked as a weak hadith by Al-Bukhari, Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqi and the modern scholar Al-Albani.
We already referred to the hadith narrated by ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, about the freed African slave who came to the Prophet and embraced Islam and “had a tent or a small room with a low roof in the mosque…“. Explaining how this hadith implies the permissibility of staying in the mosque for a menstruating woman, Ibn Hazm stated, “This was a woman residing in the Mosque of the Prophet (ﷺ)and as a woman, she normally has menses. Yet, the Prophet (ﷺ) did not prevent her from staying there and whatever is not banned by the Prophet (ﷺ) is lawful.
It is permissible for a menstruating woman to enter and stay at the mosque, recite the Holy Quran and perform other legal activities for her except prayer.
Ruling on a Woman Leading Men and Women in Prayer and Performing Adhan and Iqamah
Many common questions are raised in regard with two cases: the ruling of a woman leading other women in congregational prayer (without men) and a woman leading both men and women in prayer. The relevant questions can be divided into two categories; leading the congregational prayer at the mosque and the prayer performed only at home. Regarding the congregational prayer, some people, especially at western countries, call for the right of woman to lead congregational prayer at the Mosques, ascend the pulpit and deliver friday sermon and lead the prayer just like men. In fact, this is already applied at America and Canada in two or three mosques. On the other hand, some arab sisters who are married to non-arabs especially new muslims ask about leading the prayer only at home saying: “I am good at reciting the Quran and he (my husband) could not and he has no problem allowing me to lead him in all our prayers (at home). Is it permissible to lead him at the prayer?” In some circumstances, it is permissible for a woman to perform adhan and iqamah for women or both men and women.
A woman leading other women in prayer:
The hadith of Um Salamah that she led the women in prayer and stood in the middle of them was reported by ash-Shaafi`ee (315), ibn Abi Shaybah (2/88) and Abdurrazzaaq (5082) all from Ibn Uyaynah from Ammaar ad-Dahnee from a woman of his people who was called Hajeerah from Um Salamah “that she led them in prayer and stood in the middle (of the first row).” The wording of Abdurrazzaaq has, “Um Salamah led us in the a’sr prayer and stood in the middle of us.” Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar also said in Ad-Diraayah (1/166):”Muhammad Ibn al-Haseen reported from Ibraaheem an–Nakha’ee from ‘Aisha that she used to lead the women in prayer during the month of Ramadan and stood in the middle (of their first row). Abdurrazzaaq reported, in his Musannaf (5083) from Ibraheem ibn Muhammad from Dawud ibn Al-Haseen from ‘Ikrimah from Ibn ‘Abbaas that he said, “when a woman leads women in prayer, then she should stand in the middle of them.” He also stated in Al-Moghny that there is another narration about whether is it preferable for a woman to lead other women in congregational prayer or not? And he reported that this is preferable. For example, it was narrated that ‘Aisha, Um Salamah, A’ta’, Al-Thawri, Al-Awza’y, Ash-Shaafi`ee, Ishaq and Abu Thawr reported that woman is allowed to lead other women in prayer. Ahmad, May Allah put him in His Mercy, narrated that this matter is not preferable and Ashab Al-Ra’y (the jurists who depend on their personal reasoning) believe that it is disliked. Al-Sha’by, Al-Nakh’y and Qutadah said that women are allowed to do so in other prayer than obligatory.
Al-Hakem in his Mustadrak narrated that ‘Aisha, the mother of the believers, May Allah be pleased with her, used to perform adhan and iqamah and lead women in prayer.
The hadith of “No woman should be appointed as Imam over a man”:
It was narrated that Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah, May Allah be pleased with both of them, said:
“Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) delivered a sermon to us and said: “No woman should be appointed as Imam over a man,” and in other narration: “…No woman should be appointed as Imam over a man, no Bedouin should be appointed as Imam over a Muhajir, no immoral person should be appointed as Imam over a (true) believer, unless that is forced upon him and he fears his sword or whip.‘” Al-Arnaout commented on this hadith saying that its narration is ignored as Ali ibn Zayed ibn Jad’an is a weak narrator and the narrator Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al-A’adawy is abandoned (Matruk) and are accused by a group of people. On the other hand, Al-Waleed Ibn Bakeer accepted the Hadith. Muhammad Foad Abdulbaky states that its narration is weak due to the weakness of Ali ibn Zayed ibn Jad’an and Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al-A’adawy.
There is another weak hadith delivering the same message that Ibn Aby Shaibah mentioned in his Musannaf. Abu bakr narrated that one of the slaves of Bani Hashem ibn Ali said: “woman should not lead the prayer.”
“Let them (women) at the last (prayer-rows) as prescribed by Allah Almighty”
This is not a hadith and it is prohibited to use it as a proof in this regard. It is just a saying mentioned in Al- Muwatta’ quoting Ibn Masoud’s words: “Let them (women) at the last (prayer-rows) as prescribed by Allah Almighty.”
In his Musannaf, Abdulrazaq reported that Ibn Masoud said: “Men and women of the children of Israel used to pray together. Some women would wear high heels to get taller so their lovers can identify them. Thus, they were afflicted with menstruation. Therefore, Ibn Masoud said: “Let them (women) at the last (prayer-rows) as prescribed by Allah Almighty.” We asked Abi Bakr: “what are high heels?” He said: high wooden shoes. In his Sahih, Ibn Khuzaimah mentions that Abu Bakr stated that this is a discontinued hadith.
Hadith of Um Waraqah leading her family in prayer at her household:
It was narrated by Um Waraqah bint Nawfal: When the Prophet (ﷺ) proceeded for the Battle of Badr, I told him: ‘Messenger of Allah allows me to accompany you in the battle. I shall act as a nurse for patients. It is possible that Allah might bestow martyrdom upon me.’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘Stay at your home. Allah the Almighty will bestow martyrdom upon you.’ The narrator said: ‘Hence she was called martyr. She read the Qur’an. She sought permission from the Prophet (ﷺ) to have a Mu’azzin in her house.’ He (ﷺ), therefore, permitted her (to do so). ‘Abdul-Rahman said: I saw her Mu’azzin who was an old man. Narrated by Abu Dawud who accepted the hadith and did not weaken it and graded it as hassan.
Hadith scholars differ in the narration of this hadith: Al–Arnaout said that this hadith is weak due to the weakness of Abdul-Rahman ibn Khalad and Lailah bint Malek, the Grandmother of Al-Waleed ibn Adbullah ibn Jamee’. The full and brief narrations of this hadith with the same chain of transmission are reported by Ibn Sa’d in Al-Tabaqat (8/457), Ibn Abi Shaibah (12/527-528), Ahmad (27282), Ibn Abi A’asem in Al-Aahad wal Mathani (3366-3367), At-Tabarany (326/25-327), Al- Hakem (203/1), Al-Bayhaqi in As-Sunan (1/406) and (3/130) and Ad- Dalae’l (381/6).
This ruling is controversial because Al-Hakem reported the same Hadith in Al-Mustadrak. He stated: “…and he (ﷺ) commanded her to lead the inmates of her house in obligatory prayers..” saying that this is the only authenticated hadith in this regard (according to his knowledge). On the other hand, Muslim quoted the words of Al-Waleed ibn Jame’. Narrated by Ibn Khozaimah in his Sahih. Narrated by Hasan (Al-Albani). Habban ibn Khalad and Al-Waleed ibn Jame’ also mentioned it in their Theqat.
Commenting on the hadith of Um Waraqah, Al-Sana’nee states in his book, Subul as-Salam: This hadith proves that it is permissible for a woman to lead her household in prayer even if there is a man amongst them. In this case, she (Um Waraqah) had her Mu’azzin who was an old man, according to the narration. The literal meaning of the Hadith conveys that she used to lead him, her servant and her slave-girl. In addition, Abu Thawr, Al-Muzani and At-Tabari adopted the same opinion while the majority was of the opposite opinion.
On the other hand, Ibn Taymiyyah supported women leading men in prayers, and rejected Ibn Hazm’s claim that there is consensus among scholars on prohibiting women from leading men in prayers altogether. Ibn Taymiyah wrote: “A well-versed woman leading unlettered men in the night prayers of Ramadan is permissible according to the famous opinion from Ahmad. As for all other congregational prayers, there are two different opinions that Ahmad stated. He also wrote: “The famous opinion of Imam Ahmad is his permissibility for a woman to lead men in prayer under certain conditions, such as when she is a better reciter of the Quran while men are not. Thus, she can lead them in the tarawih prayer, since the Prophet (ﷺ) allowed Um Waraqah to lead her household in prayer and appointed a Muazzin to call for prayers for her. While leading men in prayer, a woman is supposed to stand behind them..
In Al-Moghni, Ibn Qudamah said:”Some of our companions argue that a woman can lead men in tarawih prayer by standing behind them. They depended on the narration of Um Waraqah bint ‘Abdullah ibn Al-Harith, reported by Abu Dawud, that the Messenger of Allah appointed a muazzin for her and told her to lead her household, which includes both men and women. On the contrary, the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “A woman may not lead a man in prayer” In addition, a woman cannot call adhan for men, and sensibly, she cannot lead them in prayer.“We mentioned above that the hadith of “no woman should lead men in prayer,” quoted by Ibn Qudamah, is weak.
However, allowing woman to lead men in prayer depends on personal reasoning specified only for the prayer places spread at that time at houses not at mosques. For example, ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet (ﷺ) ordered the construction of the mosque in all houses and that they be kept clean and scented.” Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “When the ‘Iddah (waiting period) of Zainab was over, the Messenger of Allah said to Zaid: ‘Propose marriage to her on my behalf.‘ Zaid went and said: ‘O Zainab, rejoice, for the Messenger of Allah has sent me to you to propose marriage on his behalf.’ She said: ‘I will not do anything until I consult my Lord.’ Then, she went to her prayer place….”
Woman performing adhan and iqamah:
According to Al-Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn by Al- Hakim, ‘Ataa narrated that ‘Aisha said that she “used to perform adhan and iqamah and lead (other) women in prayer standing in between.” The same meaning is conveyed in other narrations.
However, some scholars prevent woman from performing adhan and iqamah depending on the hadith narrated by Asmaa bint Abi Bakr that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “No woman should perform Adhan or Iqamah, participate in Friday Prayer or its Ightisal, a woman should not stand in front of them (when leading other women in prayer) but in the middle.”
Ibn Ma’een said that Al-Hakam ibn Abdullah ibn Sa’d is neither trustworthy nor honest. Al-Bukhari also said that he (Al-Hakam) is abandoned. An-Nasa’i said: This hadith is not accepted, while Ibn Mubarak ranked this hadith as weak. In At–Tahqeeq, Ibn Al-Jawzi did not regard it as a hadith and said: our companions narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “no woman should perform adhan or iqamah,” but this hadith was not said by the Prophet (ﷺ) but it is attributed to Al-Hassan Al-Basri and Ibraheem An-Nakhee’. Thus, this hadith should not be an evidence.
Ibn Qudamah, Ibn ‘Umar, Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musaeb, Al-Hassan, Ibn Sereen, An-Nakhei’, A-Thawri, Malek, Abu Thawr and scholars of ra’y said that women should not perform adhan or iqamah. I think it is not a controversial issue. Is it preferable for them? Ahmad said: “it is permissible to do or not to do..” Al-Shafi’i said: “it is permissible for women to perform adhan and iqamah.” ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, also mentions that she used to perform adhan and iqamah, and so said Ishaq .
In conclusion, it is prohibited for a woman to lead men in the mosque, but it is permissible to lead them at the prayer place allocated at houses under certain conditions especially if she is well-versed in the Quran and men are unlettered (Cannot recite the Holy Quran perfectly).
Participation of Woman in The Social Activities and I’tekaf
The ruling of woman’s participation in the charitable activity at the mosque:
Ar-Rubi’ bint Mu’awadh narrated:”The Prophet (ﷺ) sent a messenger to the village of the Ansar in the morning of the day of ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) to announce: ‘Whoever has eaten something should not eat but complete the fast, and whoever is observing the fast should complete it.’ Since then we used to fast on that day regularly and also make our boys fast. We used to make toys of wool for the boys and if anyone of them cried for, he was given those toys till it was the time of the breaking of the fast.“
It was narrated that ‘Aisha May Allah be pleased with her said:”Sa’d was wounded on the day of Al-Khandaq…The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) pitched a tent for him in the mosque so that he could visit him close at hand.” Ibn Hajar said: ‘The Messenger of Allah ordered to place Sa’d in the tent of the nurse Rufaydah who used to treat the wounded,’ saying: “place him in her tent so i can visit him close at hand.” 
Reporting an incident that he witnessed, Jabir, May Allah be pleased with him, said: “while the prophet (ﷺ) was delivering a sermon while reclining on a trunk of a date-palm, a woman from Ansar told him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, my servant is a carpenter, shall I order him to make a minbar (pulpit) for you?’ he (ﷺ) said: ‘yes.’ Thus, he from that time stands on the minbar instead. while the Prophet (ﷺ) was setting on the pulpit to deliver the khutbah (sermon) the trunk of the date- palm on which he used to recline cried out. The prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of dhikr near it.'”
Woman’s participation in the event at the mosque:
‘Aisha May Allah be pleased with her reported: “.…and it was the day of ‘Eid and the black men were playing with shields and spears. (I do not remember) whether I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) or whether he asked me if I desired to see (that sport). I said: ‘Yes’. I stood behind him with his face parallel to my face, and he said: ‘O Banu Arfadah, be busy (in your sports) till I was satiated. He said (to me): ‘Is that enough?’ I said: ‘Yes’…”
Woman’s participation in collecting charities in the mosque:
Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated: “I attended the prayer with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the day of ‘Eid. He started with the prayer before the khutbah, with no adhan and no iqamah. When he finished the prayer, he stood leaning on Bilal, and he praised and glorified Allah the Almighty and exhorted the people, reminding them and urging them to obey Allah the Almighty. Then he (ﷺ) moved away and went to the women, and Bilal was with him. He (ﷺ) commanded them to fear Allah the Almighty and exhorted them and reminded them. He (ﷺ) praised and glorified Allah, then urged them to obey Allah, saying: ‘Give charity, for most of you are the fuel of Hell.’ A lowly woman with dark cheeks said: ‘Why, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘You complain a great deal and are ungrateful to your husbands.’ They started taking off their necklaces, earrings and rings, throwing them into Bilal’s garment, giving them in charity.”
Woman’s participation in cleaning the mosque:
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that a black woman used to sweep the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) noticed she was missing, and he asked about her after a few days. He was told that she had died. He said: “Why did you not tell me?” Then he (ﷺ) went to her grave and offered the funeral prayer for her.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Malek said:
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw some sputum in the Qiblah of the mosque, and he became so angry that his face turned red. Then a woman from the Ansar went and scratched off, and put some perfume in its place. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘How good this is.'”
Women’s participation in i’tekaf and her visits to places of i’tekaf:
Allah the Almighty says: “…and Al-Masjid Al-Haram, which We made for the people – equal are the resident therein and one from outside..” (Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage), 25) and “…And do not have relations with them (wives) as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah, so do not approach them….” (Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 187).
‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to engage himself in i’tekaf (seclusion for prayers) in the mosque during the last ten nights of ramadan till he passed away; thereafter, his wives followed this practice after him.
‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, also narrated:”The Prophet (ﷺ) wanted to observe I’tekaf during the last ten days of Ramadan, so he commanded that a Khiba’ (tent) be pitched for him. Then Hafsah ordered that a Khiba’ be pitched for her, and when Zainab saw her tent she ordered that a Khiba’ be pitched for her too. When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw that he said: ‘Is it righteousness that you seek?’ And he did not observe I’tikaf in Ramadan, and observed I’tikaf for ten days in Shawwal.”
Ali bin Al-Husain narrated:”Safiya, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) told me that she went to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to visit him in the mosque while he was in ‘itekaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet (ﷺ) accompanied her. When they reached the gate of the Mosque, opposite the door of told Um Salamah, two Ansari men were passing by and they greeted Allah’s Apostle. He (ﷺ) them: ‘Do not run away!’ And said, ‘She is (my wife) Safiya bint Huyai.’ Both of them said, ‘Subhan Allah, (How dare we think of any evil)…
It is permissible for a woman to engage in the social, charitable and public entertainment activities held at the mosque and sit meanwhile with one of her mahrams (non-marriageable men). It is also permissible for her to perform i’tekaf in a tent at the mosque and visit the place of i’tekaf too.
Woman to Deliver a Lecture for Both Men and Women at the Mosque
During his era, the Prophet (ﷺ) was responsible for the process of education
and supervision at the mosque. After his era, His companions put rules to assign woman to teach and preach at the mosque. However, there are hundreds and thousands of narrations of the prophetic sayings reported by women. In addition, hundreds of hadiths report that the female companions, especially the Mothers of the Believers, are vital custodians of the prophetic tradition. The scientific atmosphere, after the era of the Prophet (ﷺ), was distinguished by male scholars of hadith attaining knowledge from female companions and the successors who have narrated the prophetic tradition.
Amal Qardash, a researcher, wrote a masterpiece entitled “The role of woman in serving hadith in the first three centuries). In her book, she mentions many hadith scholars from the female successors and others who taught the senior scholar of hadith such as Fatimah bint Malek Ibn Anas, Khadijah Um Muhammad, Zainab bint Soliman Al-Hashmiah, Zainab bint Soliman ibn Abi Ja’far Al-Mansour, Um ‘Umar Athaqafyah, Asmaa bint Asad ibn Al-Forat, Salehah bint abi Na’em Al-Fadl ibn Dakeen, Samanah bint Hamdan Al-Anbaryah and A’bdah bint Abdel-Rahman ibn Mosa’b. She also concluded from the narrations of the scholars reported by the female companions, may Allah be pleased with all of them, that Al–Bukhari, in his Jame‘ al Sahih, collected many authentic hadiths narrated by 31 female companions, while Muslim collected the narrations of 36 female companions. Abu Dauwd collected also in his book the narrations of 75 female companions, while Al-Tirmidhi collected the narrations of 46 female companions. In Al-Mujtaba, An-Nasa’i collected the narrations of 65 female companion and Ibn Majah mentioned the narrations of sixteen female companions. Then, she said:
“Transmitting hadith (from females) stopped only with the death of the Mothers of Believers, may Allah be pleased with all of them. They were a model for other women and a beacon for female knowledge seekers. However, the spread of narrations (transmitted from females) witnessed a decline by the death of the last generations of the companions who lived for a long time such as Anas, Abdullah ibn Abi Aufa, Ibn ‘Umar and others. 
Such degradation, mentioned by the researcher, coincided with the backwards of the islamic civilization itself. Yet, such great contributions of those prominent women during the golden age reflect the significant role a muslim woman could play to carry the flame of knowledge and learning.
In conclusion, there is no evidence to prevent woman form delivering lectures for men and women at the mosque. In fact, history proves that woman’s scientific achievements contributed to the prosperity of the Islamic Civilization.
Assigning or Nominating Woman to Manage the Mosque
Many muslims, some of them unfortunately from the islamic scholars, believe that woman is not qualified to lead a state or an organization or even to drive a car! This ruling is deduced due to the misconceptions that appeared from mixing between the specialty of some islamic legislations, which distinguish between men and women depending on some circumstances, and the equality established between men and women in distributing the religious obligatory responsibilities. Yet, many women are qualified to participate in Islamic leadership roles better than men themselves as we can observe in the real life especially muslim-minority countries.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research published a research by Dr. Ali Mohyi Ad-Deen Al-Qaradaghi entitled:” woman and her participation in politics and democracy. In his research, he extensively discusses different views of scholars, permitting and prohibiting the feminine leadership. He wrote:
“I believe that the preponderant opinion is to achieve equality by distributing the roles between men and women without setting certain roles as superior. Human survival, pregnancy, delivering a baby and taking care of one’s family are from the most significant roles in this life and the hereafter; it is the role of raising men and building generations…by maintaining this great and blessed role, woman is entitled to have part in politics and be in charge of a leadership positions except the presidency of the state. This can be achieved under certain conditions:
* Providing the legally suitable environment which help in preventing the obvious harms and religious prohibitions such as illegal khalwah (privacy), not looking at the forbidden (instead of lowering the gazes) and others.
* A woman, who is eager to lead, should be abiding with the islamic legislations, Islamic ethics and values, Islamic dress code and others.
*Participating in politics or leadership should not affect her duty towards her kids and family. In another words, the best mission for a woman is the role of raising generations, building future men and superheroes and providing peace and calmness to her husband, herself and her family. Thus, if her participation negatively affects her major role, I believe that it is prohibited for her (to participate in such role neglecting her major one).
Through these conditions, it is permissible for a woman to participate in politics and leadership positions appropriate for her innate and physical nature. For example, woman is more qualified than men in leading the education processes.
This discussion shows that the ruling of feminine leaderships at the mosque and organizations for muslim communities is easier than many of political ministerial and juridical positions which are permissible according to Dr. Al-Qaradaghi. In fact, his view helps the Muslim minorities to benefit from muslim woman and her potentials and contributions in charitable and preaching activities.
Throughout this research, we can deduce some useful conclusions by the help of Allah Almighty as follows:
*Mosques at muslim-minority countries are more important than mosques in muslim countries. At muslim-minority countries, the mosque act as a bridge between each muslim and his religion and muslim woman acts as an ambassador and representor to her religion.
*Preventing women from visiting mosques nowadays is a dreadful innovation (Bid’ah) that greatly harms Islam. Instead, muslim woman should be allowed to achieve their role in the mosque and no one can prevent her from.
* The Holy Quran and prophetic tradition encourages everybody, males and females, without any discrimination to visit the mosque and remember Allah Almighty and pray inside. For instance, female companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, used to play her major role at the mosque and participate at its organized ritual, scientific and social activity.
* ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, meant by her saying: “If the Messenger of Allah had seen what women do now, he would have forbidden them to go into the mosques…” to block the ways towards any harm (saddu dhara’i) in certain circumstances at her era and not to abrogate the original ruling; being allowed or recommended.
* Restrictions (dharia’h) nowadays should be lifted instead of blocking its ways to help woman overcome any obstacles in visiting the Mosque to achieve the Islamic objectives of this beacon.
* When the Prophet (ﷺ) told Um Hameed that her prayer in her house is better than her prayer in the mosque, he was giving her an advice to solve her marital disagreement and not to set a general legislation for all muslims.
* The Hadith of Fatemah, may Allah be pleased with her, which implies that “…no man should see her (a woman).” is a weak hadith in both chain of transmission and meaning.
* Visiting the mosque should not negatively affect woman’s major duties towards her family and children; being at the top of her priorities. Her husband should cooperate with her in a manner that does not have negative bearings on his legally more important duties. In this regard, balance and moderation need to be achieved.
*The famous design of the mosque, by which women are isolated in separate narrow rooms with back entrances, makes non-muslim visitors and even the youth citizens think that Islam “marginalizes” and “isolates” woman. Therefore, such design should be changed.
*During the era of the Prophet (ﷺ), the mosque was designed to have spacious wide halls in which men stand at the first rows behind the Imam while women start their rows from the end, without setting walls or curtains despite they can afford them.
* During the era of the Prophet (ﷺ) and after him, women used to see the Imam at the same hall while praying to help them learn, interact and communicate. They also used to memorize the Holy Quran by listening to the Imam.
* The Prophet (ﷺ) by saying: “The best of the men’s rows in prayers is the first row and the worst is the last; but the best of the woman’s row is the last and the worst of their rows is the first,” refers to the preference of joining the prayer early. This ruling also is resulted from historical circumstances as the companions were very poor to the extent that they could not afford to purchase a long Izar (a lower garment) to be totally covered while prostration.
* Woman does not invalidate man’s prayer by passing in front of him while praying. ‘Aisha, the mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, rejects this hadith according to what she had learned from the Prophet (ﷺ).
*Children should stand at special rows in the mosque. According to the prophetic tradition, it is permissible for a child to lead others in prayer if he is well-versed in the Holy Quran. It is also permissible for an adult to guide a child while praying.
* Some islamic communities violate the authentic prophetic tradition in preventing children from visiting mosques.
* It is prescribed that both men and women are allowed to enter from the same gates at the Mosque. Nowadays, it is preferable, especially on those Muslim-minority countries, to allow men and women enter from the main gate of the Mosque even if there is an extra gate special for women.
*It is prohibited for men to mistreat or abuse women if they entered the Mosque from the so-called “men’s gates”, as we notice nowadays.
* The prophetic tradition regarding the mosque records normal interactions between men and women at the mosque during different religious, social affairs. Yet, muslims dealt with any individual misguidances, resulted from the interaction between men and women, by good advice without the need for changing the design of the mosque itself.
*It is significant to allow the male-female interaction inside the mosque to encourage marriages between muslim youths.
* Some hadiths decently describes a woman’s beauty, her charming face, dark skin, dark cheeks, snub-nose or tall body. This description proves the normal male-female interaction inside the mosque.
*There is no dress code for a woman to praying or visiting the mosque except the known prescribed hijab. The only restriction regarding visiting the mosque is to forbid women from wearing perfume excessively.
*Islamic Jurisprudence scholarships agree that no woman should join congregational prayer like men; it is obligatory for men and permissible for women.
*It is permissible for a menstruating woman to visit the Mosque, stay inside it, recite the Holy Quran and perform all legal activities for her except prayer.
*It is permissible for a woman to lead other women in the prayer, perform adhan and iqamah. The hadith of “woman should not lead the prayer” is a weak hadith.
*No woman should lead men in the mosque. However, it is permissible to lead them at the prayer place allocated at home under certain conditions.
*Woman is allowed to participate in the social, charitable and entertaining activities held at the Mosque with one of her maharems.
*A muslim woman is allowed to join i’tekaf in a tent at the mosque and visit mo’takifs.
* A woman is allowed to deliver lectures for both men and women at the mosque.
*It is permissible to assign or nominate women to manage the mosque.
And Praise be to Allah the Lord of All Creatures
Rehab Jamal Bakri
DR. Neamat Mashhour
* A Research Published in AL-Muslim AL-muassir Magazine. (2015) Issue 157- 158. PP. 305- 358.
A Research introduced to the 24th Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research held in Istanbul dated 16 August 2014 under the title ” Jurisprudential Developments of the European Muslim woman”
** A Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Qatar
 *a note from the Translator: (This is a controversial issue)
 Tafsir Ibn Kathir (6/67)
 Mukhtar As-Sihah (P.119)
 Lisan Al-‘Arab (11/267)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Prayers (As-Salah), (2/195) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Mosques and Places of Prayer (Al-Masajid), (2/118)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Tribulations (Al-Fitan), (8/205)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Ablutions (Al-Wudu’), (1/300) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer- Eclipses (Kusuf As-Shams), (3/32)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (ﷺ) (Al-Maghaazi), (8/416) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Jihad, (5/160)
 Fath Al-Bari (8/415)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (96-1/95)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (1/173)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer- Eclipses (3/32)
 Musnad Ahmad (44/511). Grade: Sound Hadith in other narration (Al-Arnaout). The chain of transmission is weak because the name of Asmaa’s female servant is not mentioned. Some narrations reported: “the male servant of Asmaa’.” In Tahdhib al-Kamal fi Asma’ Al-Rijal, Hafiz Al-Mizzi mentioned this Hadith saying: “if it is not Abdullah ibn Kaysan, I do not know- and the rest narrators in the chain of transmission are trustworthy for Al-Bukhari and Muslim.”
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Funerals (Al-Janaa’iz), (3/479) till the word “restless.” Then, An-Nasa’i narrated the rest (7/2000) as Al-Bukhari.
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Al-Maghaazi, (8/416) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Jihad (5/160)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Funerals (Al-Janaa’iz) (3/63)
 An-Nawawi’s commentary on Sahih Muslim (7/36)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Prayers (2/6), Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayers (1/327), Ibn Hibban (5/587), Al-Muta’ (1/197), Sunan Al-Bayhaqi (3/199) adding ” but they may go out (to the mosque) having no perfumed themselves” and so as Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (3/90) (3/90), Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (2/156), Al–Mu‘jam al–Awsat (1/178), Marefat As-Sunan wa Al-Athar (4/237), Sunan Al-Darimi of a good grade of narration, Sunan Abi Dawud reporting Abu Hurairah (15/405).
 Fath Al-Bari (3/34)
 Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir by At-Tabarany (12/326) and (12/399)
 At-Tirmidhi (1/709), Al-Bukhari’s narrations (1/305): “Allow women to go to the Mosques at night“
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Prayers (1/173) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayers (1/328) and others
.Sahih ibn Hibban (2/815), Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (2/495) saying: “This Hadith was compiled by Ahmad and At-Tabarany. The Narration of Ahmad: Hasan (Good)”
Al-Mudawwanah Al-Kubrā (1/106)
 Fath Al-Bari (2/495)
 Al-Mahla (3/136)
 Al-Moghny (2/375)
 Taḥrīr al-mar’ah fī ‘aṣr al-Risālah (Arabic: تحرير المرأة في عصر الرسالة) (3/36)
 Al-Bayhaqi (3/190), At-Tabarany in Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir (25/148) and Al-Ahad and Al-Mathani (6/150)
 A weak chain of transmission; Al- Hafedh Al-‘Iraqi in Takhreej of Ihya‘u Ulumiddin said that it was narrated by Al-Bazzar and Ad-Daraqutni.
 Ibn Kathir (2/54)
 see Ibn Sa’d’s Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra (3/609) and Wafa’ al-Wafa bi Akhbar Dar Al-Moustafa (1/249-275)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Tribulations (Al-Fitan), (8/205)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Friday Prayer (3/13)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Adhan (2/388), Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer (2/40)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Virtues (4/1795)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Virtues and Merits (7/442), Sahih Muslim, The Book of Virtues and Merits of the Companions (7/144)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer-Eclipses (3/32)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer (2/32) and others
 Musnad Ahmad (44/511). Grade: Sound Hadith in other narration (Al-Arnaout). The chain of transmission is weak because the name of Asmaa’s female servant is not mentioned. Some narrations reported: “the male servant of Asmaa’.” In Tahdhib al-Kamal fi Asma’ Al-Rijal, Hafiz Al-Mizzi mentioned this Hadith saying: “if it is not Abdullah ibn Kaysan, I do not know- and the rest narrators in the chain of transmission are trustworthy for Al-Bukhari and Muslim.”
 Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (2/817), Mawared A-Dham’an (1/136)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (5/150)
 See, for example, Majmū’ Sharh Al-Muhadhdhab (4/301), Bada’i’ al-Sana’i’ fi Tartib al-Shara’i’ (1/195) and others of the same opinion in this regard.
 Sahih Muslim (1/365), Musnad Ahmad (2/299). Shuaib Al Arna’ut: Sound Hadith reported by trustworthy narrators according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim. They disagreed upon Qutadah. This Hadith is reported in Sahih Ibn Hibban (6/151) also, Sunan Ibn Majah (1/305) and others.
 Sunan Ad-Daraqutni (2/196) and with other narration conveying the same meaning in Sunan Abi Dawod, Al-Muta’ and Musnad Ahmad
 Musnad Ishaq ibn Rahwayh (3/613), Sahih Ibn Hibban (6/111), Sunan Abi Dawod (1/189). Al-Albani commented on the narration of Abi Dawod: Sahih (Sound)
 Sahih Muslim (1/366)
 Kitab Al-Um (1/198)
 Al-Muta’ (Narration: Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan) (2/58)
 Kashshāf al-qinā’ ‘an Matn al-Iqnā’ (1/330)
 Sunan Abi Dawod (2/44)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Prayer (1/255)
 Ibn Hibban (6/221)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (1/109)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (1/143)
 It was narrated also by Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, according to Zawa’id Abi Ya’la al-Mosuli (3/202) and also in Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
 Abu Dawod (1/348), “باب اعتزال النساء في المساجد عن الرجال”. Al-Arnaout said: the narrators are trustworthy. Yet, Abdul-Wareth, the son of Sa’eed Al-‘Aanbary doubted its attribution to the Prophet (ﷺ) as it was narrated by Ismae’l ibn ‘Alehah and Bakeer ibn Abdullah ibn Al-Ashaj from Nafe’ from Ibn ‘Umar. The compiler accepted its attribution to ‘Umar. It was collected by Ibn Hazm in Al-Mahla (3/131) and Ibn Abdul-Bar in At-Tamhid (23/397)…and At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat (1018) from Abi Mu’amar. Al-Bukhari reported the Hadith in At-Tarikh Al-Kabir (1/60) from ‘Umar who narrated: “Do not enter Mosques through women’s gate”
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Funerals (Al-Janaa’iz), (3/479) till the word “restless.” Then, An-Nasa’i narrated the rest (7/2000) as Al-Bukhari.
 Al-Muta’ (1/24), Musand Ahmad (2/103) and (5/490) (in different wordings), An-Nasa’i, Purification (At-Taharah) (1/57), men and women perform Ablution altogether and Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (1/63).
 Musanaf Ibn Aby Shaibah (6/319)
 Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm wa-Fadlih (1/375)
 Al–Mu‘jam al–Awsat (6/158), An-Nasa’i from Anas (2/400)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer-Two ‘Eids (2/603)
 Al–Mu‘jam Al-Kabir (24/173)
 Musanaf Ibn Aby Shaibah (4/319)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (ﷺ) (Al-Maghaazi), (8/416), see Fath Al-Bari (8/415) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Jihad, (5/160). Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (385). Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)
 Musnad Al-Farouq by Ibn Kathir (2/573), Zawa’id Abi Ya’la (2/335)
 Al-Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn (3/634)
 Al-Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn (2/348), Al-Hakim said that this Hadith has a sound chain of transmission but not collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (2/818) and Sahih Ibn Hibban (2/126)
 Sharh Ma‘ani al–Athar (3/14), Al-Mustadrak (2/179) and others. Al-Hakim said that this Hadith has a sound chain of transmission but not collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (2/132) and (8/51)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Prayers (2/195) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Mosques (2/118)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayers (2/31)
 Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (3/90)
 Sahih Muslim (1/328), Al-musnad al-mustakhraj ‘ala sahih al-Imam Muslim by Abi Na’im (2/65) and others
 Abu Dawod (4/79)
 Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn. Al-Hakim said: its chain of transmission is Sahih but Al-Bukhari and Muslim did not include it (2/430). Al-Hakim: this Hadith is compiled by Al-Sana’ny in the interpretation of the Verse of Allah the Almighty: ” Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.” (24:30)
 Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn. Al-Hakim said: its chain of transmission is Sahih but Al-Bukhari and Muslim did not include it (1/425). Abu Dawod (2/295), Musanaf ibn Abi Shaybah (2/109), Musnad Al-Shafi’i (1/61)
 Subul as-Salam (2/58)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (1/131)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (3/66)
 Al-Qaradawi, Fiqh al-Taharah, 100
 Al-Bukhari, At-Tarikh Al-Kabir (1/786), Al-Bayhaqi (2/620), Abu Dawod (1/60)
 Al-Bukhari (1/95-96)
 Ibn Hazm, Al-Mahla (1/776-777)
 Al-Moghny (3/37)
 Al-Hakim, Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn (1/320)
 Sunan Ibn Majah (2/183) and (1/343)
 Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (1/430)
 Al-Muta’, the narration of Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan (2/58). Collected by At-Tabarani and Abdel-Razaq
 Musanaf Abdel-Razaq (3/149)
 Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (3/99)
Sunan Abi Dawod (1/442)
 Nasb al-Rayah (2/32)
 Ibn Khuzaimah (2/810)
Al-Badr Al-Munir (4/392)
 Subul as-Salam (2/35)
. Naqd Maratib al-Ijma’ (290)
 Al-Qawa’id An-Noraniah (1/120)
Al-Moghny fī fiqh al-imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal Ashaybany (2/34)
 Sunan Abi Dawod (1/342)
 Sahih Muslim, The Book of Marriage (Niqah) (4/148)
Mustadrak ala aṣ-Ṣaḥeeḥayn (1/320), Al-Bayhaqi (1/600), Ibn Abi Shaybah (1/202) and others
 Nasb al-Rayah (2/32)
 Al-Moghny (1/467)
Sahih Al-Bukhari (3/37). This narration is by Muslim (2/798)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Al-Maghaazi (8/416), Sahih Muslim, The Book of Jihad (5/160)
 Fath Al-Bari (8/415)
 Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (6/319)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Prayer-Two ‘Eids (3/95) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer-Two ‘Eids (3/22)
Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer-Two ‘Eids (2/603)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Al-Maghaazi, (8/416) and Sahih Muslim, The Book of Jihad, (5/160)
 Sunan an-Nasa’I (2/52). Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Fasting (Sawm), 177/5
 Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of I’tikaf (3/48-49)
 Al-Bukhari (3/49), The Houses of The Prophet’s Wives, Muslim (4/1712), Sunan Al-Bayhaqi, (4/529), Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (3/349), Sahih Ibn Hibban (A woman to visit her husband during his I’tikaf) and others
 Amal Qardash Bint Al-Hussayn, “دور المرأة في خدمة الحديث في القرون الثلاثة الأولى”, (كتاب الأمة). Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Qatar.
 Dr. Ali Mohyi Ad-Deen Al-Qaradaghi entitled “المرأة والمشاركة السياسية والديمقراطية“, www.e-cfr.org/ar/bo/22.doc