Are women allowed in mosques?

There is no verse in the Holy Quran which prohibits the women from praying in mosques. Neither is there any authentic Hadith (anecdotes of Prophet Muhammad) on the same.
In fact, there are various Hadith which prove that Islam allows women to pray in mosques given there are separate facilities for women, so that both the groups can concentrate in prayers.
Sahi bukhari (hadith) , chapter 832 says “when your wife asks to go to the mosque, do not forbid them. Volume 1, Ch 80, Hadith 824 says that when the women ask to go to mosque at night, allow them.  Sahi muslim (chapter no. 177, hadith no.891) says, “do not take away the share of the mosque of the women.”
Prof. Hasnath Mansur, former member of Karnataka state Minorities Commission and says that superficial knowledge of Islam is responsible for women not getting their due status in the community. “It is the responsibility of educated class and the ulema to look into issues which are crucial for women to discharge their duties as Muslims”, says she.

Mumbai-based Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadwi is a noted Ahl-i Hadith scholar. In a book titled Kya Musalman Khawatin Ka Masjid Mai Ana Fitna Hai? (Is the Entry of Muslim Women into Mosque a source of Strife?’), Nadwi quotes the Qur’an and the Hadith to press his case for allowing Muslim women to enter and pray in mosques.

He criticises those who insist that doing so would lead to strife (fitna).

Nadwi refers to the time of the Prophet, when women, too, would participate in congregational prayers in the mosque.

He quotes a hadith narrated by Ayesha, wife of the Prophet and contained in the books of Bukhari and Muslim (considered by most Sunnis to be authoritative compilations of Hadith), where he is reported to have said that women used to attend even the early morning (fajr) congregational prayers in the mosque along with the Prophet, although it was still dark outside.

If the ‘ulama who oppose women praying in the mosques are consistent in their argument, he writes, how is it that they allow women to participate in congregational prayers with men, although separately, at the two major mosques of Islam, the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and the Masjid Nabavi in Madinah, where women have always been allowed to pray?

Those who forbid women from worshipping in the house of God, Nadwi concluded, will be held answerable in God’s court’.

So, the trend of men outnumbering women in mosques cannot be attributed to Islam.

The absence of women in mosques in our localities can be attributed to the fact that not many mosques have facilities for them. There are no provisions such as separate entry and places to perform ablution and offer prayers for women.

Mosques with these provisions (more than 500 mosques in kerala, many in Maharashtra handful in Delhi, Bhopal and Gujarat) witness females performing prayers throughout the year.

In August 2005, Fatima, a 15-year old girl from Chennai released a pamphlet arguing that when the Prophet had expressly stated that women could enter mosques, there should be no hesitation.

Sharifa Khanum of Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu have established a mosque for women in Pudukottai, 110 kms from Madurai.

In many countries in the Gulf and in the USA, women even offer prayers in congregation, though there are separate arrangements.

According to a study conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, America ’s largest Islamic civil liberties groups, at least seven out of ten mosques offer programs for women. The study surveyed 416 mosques nationwide.

In May 2006, Morocco appointed 50 women as state preachers for the first time as part of the government’s drive to promote a more tolerant version of Islam.

The Islamic Cultural Centre, New York City ’s largest mosque in size and congregation, provides one of the most convenient places for women worshippers. A separate washroom is marked “For Sisters Only” and signs posted on walls advise women on appropriate mosque attire. There are cubicles allotted for women, who can also pray in the main hall during large sermons, and co-ed religion and Arabic classes taught by men and women are offered at the mosque.

So, friends, the answer is yes. Women are very much allowed in mosques.


8 Comments on “Are women allowed in mosques?”

  1. Maqsood Khan says:

    Assa’kum Danish Raza bhai. nice article good going i expet this from you particularlt muslim journo’s, yhey should try to make efforts like true Islam.

  2. noname says:

    I once was acquainted with someone who was a Muslim. He told us that he had stopped going to Mosques. When asked why he narrated an incidence. He went to read his prayers and he was wearing jeans and t-shirt. His t-shirt had a popular american rock band’s photograph on it. One elderly man approached him and rebuked him for wearing such a dress inside the mosque. He decided never to go to a mosque again as he refused to change his identity for it. He said his family was deeply religious, his dad had gone to Hajj as well, but he decided never to enter a place of worship as a matter of principle. He did not need mediators to converse with his God.

    I learnt a big lesson from him which has stayed with me forever. One should not be at odds with one’s identity while being with God. There are many people who, for some reason, say that women should not enter Temples when they are menstruating. I just scoff at them and tell them to get lost. One of the most important figures in Hinduism is Goddess Durga/Parvati. Does she leave her femininity aside. No she does not.

    Same goes for all Muslim women as well. If someone tells you that you cannot enter a Mosque if you are a woman, tell them to get lost!

    • daanishraza says:

      Thanks for reading. Its true that in almost all the religions lot of things are self- imposed. One of the issues is that we tend to follow what people have been following without making an effort to find out if the Books actually say so.

  3. Lavanya says:

    I have always wanted to enter a mosque…..should I enter one and say that your religion doesn’t deny me that right?

  4. Farrukh Nadeem says:

    Verily there is no problem in women going to mosque but if you see in Haram Sharif (Kaaba), situation is getting worse to worst now. Quran rightly say that two women are equal to one man thats because of their diameter of thinking is very small. They starts taking advantage of the liberty which is quite evident at the time of Haj. Even our Prophet (PBUH) used to pray Fajar namaz early so that there is no direct eye contact with women…since today it is impossible to make separate path for women or places in masjids it is better women confine to their homes for prayers or otherwise they should follow veil religiously. Hope I have made my point quite clear without writing much on the topic. Even Allah sent first verse of Quran which was related to studies (Iqra bismi rabbikal lazi khalaq), so we should read more and more to clear our thoughts.

    • daanishraza says:

      I am glad that you took out time to read the post, Sir. The purpose of the post was to clarify the doubts of those (and there many such people) who believe (out of ignorance or otherwise) that in Islam, women are banned from entering mosques. As far as the conditions in Haram Sharif are concerned, I agree with you views and have all the regards for them.

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