In Islam, can a woman be an imaam in a mosque? What are the conditions for a woman to be an imaam?
Praise be to Allaah.
is not permissible for a woman to lead men in prayer. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Keep women behind [in
the back rows] as Allaah has commanded.” (Narrated by ‘Abd al-Razzaaq
in his Musannaf, 5115. The
isnaad stops at Ibn Mas’ood with a longer report than this; the isnaad
is saheeh but it is not proven that this was said by the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)).
the position of imaam in the mosque is a kind of wilaayah [public office],
and wilaayah is only for men. “No nation prospers that appoints a woman
over its affairs [wilaayah]” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 13/45, 46), as
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said.
is an exception made by the Hanbalis, but this is a weak opinion. This
view says that a woman may lead the men in taraaweeh if she reads well and
the men present are illiterate, but she should be behind them and they
should be in front of her. But there is no evidence (daleel) to support
this view. The point is that it is not permissible for a woman to lead men
in prayer. Yes, women may lead other women in prayer, it is OK if she
leads other women. This is fine, as stated in the report of Umm Waraqah
leading some of her mahrams, but as for her leading non-mahram men or as a
public office [wilaayah], such as being an imaam in a mosque, this is not
Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd, p. 130