Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: I had a question about the prayer of women in the hanafi madhab… In a sisters only gathering,
a) could there be a jama’ah of sisters praying together , or should they pray separately?
b) when praying alone, by myself, at home could I recite loudly for the fajr, maghrib, and, ishaa prayers? what if I’m in congregation ..could the female imam recite loudly?
c) is there a need to make iqama and adhan when sisters are praying?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
1. Women’s prayer in congregation
In the Hanafi school, it is not recommended for women to pray together in congregation. Rather, it is prohibitively disliked for the reasons mentioned in the following answer: An Explanation of the Hanafi School’s Position on Women’s Congregational Prayer
As such, in general, a Hanafi sister should not pray in a women’s only congregation, and a group of Hanafi sisters should not pray in congregation together.
However, if one honestly fears that not praying in such a congregation could lead to undue confusion, argument, or other forms of discord (fitna), the scholars say that it would be superior to go ahead and pray, because of the principle that, “Avoiding harm is given precedence over achieving benefits,” and because, “The lesser harm is borne to avoid greater harm.”
2. Reciting aloud when praying alone
It would be fine for a sister to raise her voice a little when praying the loud prayers alone, but not such that non-mahram men would hear her recital.
3. Iqama and Adhan for Women
Giving the call to commence (iqama) and call to prayer (adhan) are both prohibitively disliked for women, for the same reasons as the dislikedness of their congregational prayer alone.