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Female leading Taraweeh



What is your opinion regarding this?

Some Ulama have mentioned that there is leeway for a female Hafizah to lead Taraweeh Salah if she fears she may forget the Quran. They say that there are a few Ahadith that indicate that Sahabiyaat lead other women in Salah.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, a follower of a Madhab is required to follow the ruling given by the Fuqaha of the Madhab.

Fuqaha are Jurists who are experts in deriving rulings from Quran and Hadith.

The Fuqaha investigate all dimensions of an issue and all the Ahadith on the topic prior to coming to a decision.

In many issues, there are apparently contradicting Ahadith. It is the job and expertise of the Fuqaha to reconcile between such apparently contradicting texts and give a decisive ruling.

In the issue of a female leading other women in Salah, the Fuqaha have clearly stated that this is Makruh Tahrimi, even if it is Salatut Taraweeh. The Ulama have mentioned that this is applicable even if a female fears she may forget Quran, since there are other ways to keep the Quran strong other than Salatut Taraweeh.[1]

There are clear Ahadith that prohibit a female from leading Salah, whether she leads men or women.[2]

There are very few occasions, where we find a female Sahabiyah leading other women in Salah. This was not a widespread practice amongst the Sahabah.

The Ulamah have written that these few occasions were due to a certain reason, that is to teach other women how to perform Salah.[3]

If the Imamah of a female was permissible without Karahah (dislike) then this would have been a widespread practice amongst the Sahabiyaat. This is the reason why Imam Muhammad, after quoting the Hadith of the Imamah of Ayshah Radhiyallahu Anha, states that we do not like that a female should lead Salah. [4]

Furthermore, when there are texts that indicate the permissibility of an action and other texts that show its impermissibility, the texts that indicate impermissibility are given preference.[5]

In conclusion, the Hanafi Fuqaha have clearly stated that it is Makruh Tahrimi for a female to lead Salah, even Salatut Taraweeh. If she fears she may forget the Quran, she may recite to someone outside of Salah and repeat the same in Salah individually.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

(Mufti) Abdul Azeem bin Abdur Rahman


Checked and Approved by

My Esteemed Ustadh Mufti Husain Kadodia Saheb Damat Barakatuhum


[1] Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, Vol. 7, page 280-281 Faruqiyyah

Fatawa Rahimiyyah, Vol. 6, page 247

[2] I’laa as-Sunan, Vol. 4, page 242-243

[3] I’laa as-Sunan, Vol. 4, page 242

[4] I’laa as-Sunan, Vol. 4, page 244

[5] I’laa as-Sunan, Vol. 4, page 244

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