What Is the Shafi’i View On All Women’s Congregational Prayer?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Omar Quereshi

Question: According to the Shafi’i madhab what is the position of women praying amongst themselves in jamah ?
If it is praisworthy to do so in what manner should it be done? Eg. Where does the sister who is leading stand, does she recite aloud etc.?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaikum.

According to Shafi’i jurists, the group prayer for women is recommended, and an all female congregation is valid as well. It is best for women to pray in congregation at home than for her to pray in the mosque, which is preferable for men. All of the women do earn the reward of a group prayer if prayed at home. (Mughni al-Muhtaj, v.1 p. 351)

A woman who is leading an all female congregation is recommended to stand in the middle of the first line of the congregation. Her heals should be slightly ahead of her followers. A woman may not recite aloud in the presence of non-mahram men. If non-mahram men are not present then she may recite aloud. Her prayer will not be invalid if she does recite aloud in the presence of non-mahram men.

It is one of the conditions of validity in the Shafi’i school that the call to prayer (‘adhan) be male. Thus it is not valid, and unlawful, if a woman gives the call to prayer in a congregation that has male and female members. It is the same whether or not the male members are mahram of the female. It is recommended that a woman give the call to commence (iqamah) for an all female congregation. (Mughni al-Muhtaj, v.1 p. 213-214)

Allah the Exalted knows.
Omar Qureshi

Related Answers (Hanafi):

Women’s Prayer: Praying in Congregation, Reciting Aloud, and Calling the Adhan and Iqama

 An Explanation of the Hanafi School’s Position on Women’s Congregational Prayer