Women leading prayers

Can women pray in congregation ( Jamaah ) with a woman performing as Imaam ?


Praise be to Allaah.

It is not prescribed for women to recite the adhaan and iqaamah as it is for 
men. If a woman does recite the adhaan and iqaamah, it may be one of the 
three following scenarios:

1       – She recites the adhaan and iqaamah for a group of men only, or for 
a mixed group of men and women. This is not prescribed in Islam and her adhaan and iqaamah for a group of men do not count

2       – She recites them for a group of women only.

3       – Or she recites them for herself when she is alone.

It is permissible for her to recite the adhaan for a group of women or for 
herself, but it is not like the case with men. For men it is  more emphatically required, whereas for women, if they give the adhaan it is permissible, and if they do not, it is also permissible. If a woman does recite the adhaan, she must keep her voice low and make it just loud enough for her companions to hear.

If a woman says the iqaamah for herself or for a group of women, that is better and is closer to what is mustahabb, but if she does not do that, the prayer is still valid.

With regard to a woman leading the prayers and acting as an imaam, one of 
the two following scenarios may apply:

1 – A woman leading men, or a mixed group of men and women. It is not correct for a woman to lead men in prayers at all, regardless of whether it is a fard (obligatory) prayer or a naafil (supererogatory) prayer.

2 – A woman leading women in prayer. It is mustahabb for women to pray together (in jamaa’ah) when they get together in a place. One of them should lead the others, but she should stand with them in the middle of the row. It is permissible and correct for a woman to lead other women in prayer.

From Wilaayat al-Mar’ah fi’l-Fiqh al-Islami (www.islam-qa.com)

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