Peace be upon you, I was wondering if there is any Quranic/Sunnah support for the view that women aren't permitted to deliver the Jummah Khutbah to a mixed audience, irrespective of whether they lead the prayer. Thank you!
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
As far as I’m aware there is no explicit evidence to prohibit women from giving Friday sermons. It is simply that it has always been the practice of Muslims for men to deliver the sermon. I believe the issue of whether women should be permitted to deliver it or not is a cultural matter and different cultures may reach different conclusions on it.
Brother 1. Can women do tasbeeh and tahleel and adhkar without covering the head? 2. Also i have often heard people say that you go to Kaaba by invitation. You will ONLY go for Hajj when invited by Allah. Is that true?
Yes, women can do all of those and also read Quran without wearing hijab. A woman should only cover up for salah. Regarding being “invited” by God, it just means that when God wants you to go, then He will make the means possible. And if He doesn’t want you to go, then there is no power in the world that can make it possible.
A random thought occurred to me a few days ago: perhaps one of the reasons as to why muslim women aren't to marry non-muslims has to do with preservation of their Islamic rights and protection? A non muslim man wouldn't necessarily be obligated to abide by Islamic standards of marital conduct, divorce protocols, nafaqah etc., all of which insures the wife. In the case an interfaith marriage goes south, the lines would get blurred. I'm just speculating and throwing this out there. Any thoughts?
That makes sense, and I’m sure it is one aspect of it. Another is the financial issue. A non-Muslim can always get usurious loans to have a house and car ready, while a Muslim man will usually be forced to work much harder for these things, so it will lead to an imbalanced situation where non-Muslim men, in comparison to Muslim men, will find it much easier to build families with Muslim women.
السلام عليكم Ur timely replies mean so much to so many ppl. I thank u on behalf of them all. My qs is:: 2 middle aged women undertake 4 hr plane journey to saudia for umrah Will sincere& جائز dua made during this visit to Kaaba be considered for acceptance?
In my previous qs just asked i forgot to write they traveled Saudi w/o mahram. Will this dua be acceptable???
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
There is no issue with women going on Hajj or umrah without a mahram if their safety is ensured. The wives of the Prophet PBUH went to Hajj together without a mahram during the caliphate of Umar b. al-Khattab RA. Prayers made during Hajj or umrah are more likely to be answered since a person is doing what God loves.
Salaam alaykum Can i ask ur opinion? Surah An nisa says "Men are protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other &because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women re devoutly obedient & guard in absence what Allah would have them guard" If a husb doesnt ever pay نفقه &isnt around to protect his wife, does he still have the right to b obeyed?If wife doesnt ask his permission in this case is she blameworthy
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
If a husband doesn’t carry out his duties then he loses the right to be treated according to the Islamic framework of qiwama in which a man is the head of the household. The wife has the right to look out for her own interests independently and to seek divorce, the husband would no longer be the head of her household. But the most admirable and pious thing for a woman to do in that situation would be to continue to fully embody her role as wife until she gets the situation resolved, either by seeking divorce or by convincing her husband to act responsibly. She will not need the husband’s agreement to get a divorce. She can go to an imam or scholar and explain the situation to them, and if they agree that the man is not acting as a proper husband, then they can officially divorce in the presence of witnesses without the husband needing to agree or to be present.
Islam has a zero-tolerance policy toward in-between situations where a husband or wife is only partly committed to the marriage. Either they should be fully committed or they should divorce.
Assalamu Alaikum, brother! I'm unmarried and belongs to a middle class family where I can't afford servants so we have to do all of our chores by ourselves. I usually get very angry when my mother asks me to do any work like cleaning the dishes or washing clothes. Because doing household harms your skin and rots the beauty. But also my mother is old and ill so she has to do most of the work by herself then. Am I doing wrong? Can't I take care of myself until I get married?
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
Some of the healthiest-looking and most beautiful girls I’ve seen are those that come from the mountainous area where I come from (the Zagros mountains). These girls do all the housework and work in fields and take care of chickens and sheep on their farms. Your skin can repair itself and be as good as new as long as you do not do anything too damaging (and you can always wear latex gloves when washing dishes, etc.). Doing housework is also a very good form of exercise. You can do it while having headphones on to listen to lectures of audiobooks on your phone.
Personally as a man I do not find the attitude of a girl not liking housework to be attractive at all. I like girls (and of course boys too) to feel as parts of the family who work together to maintain their home, as if they are all working together on a team project. And if you find it boring, you can always do it as an act of charity. God will reward you for it, it’s the same as volunteering at a charity organization.
I also don’t think avoiding housework is a way of taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself means getting enough healthy exercise, otherwise you can develop conditions like insulin resistance from sitting around too much. So doing housework may actually be a great way of taking care of yourself.
I also can’t imagine a good man blaming a girl’s appearance because she did a lot of housework. I would find it completely adorable to know that she had an important role in her family as someone who took care of her family’s home.
What is mahar and what is the requirement for me to decide how much mahar should I ask from the groom?
Mahr is a payment that the groom promises to give to the bride at the time of signing the marriage contract. The payment can be immediately or it can be in installments. Scholars say the wisdom in it is to impress upon the groom the seriousness of the marriage contract. It also makes divorce more difficult for him because it means he would lose that wealth if he were to divorce her. This makes it less likely for him to divorce her for frivolous reasons.
I would say another benefit is to give the woman a safety net in case of divorce, so that she is not left destitute. A woman with a mahr of $50,000 will be able to live comfortably on her own for a year after the divorce. This will give her the time she needs to prepare for the next stage of her life. It also helps make divorce easier for her, so that she is not forced to remain with an abusive man, for example, just because she’s financially dependent on him. The mahr will allow her to enjoy some financial independence.
How much you ask in mahr is entirely a personal choice. A man who is eager to be with you will likely be willing to agree to a year’s median salary (maybe $35,000 USD in the US). This is something that can be negotiated between the two of you (or between your families). If the man is rich you can ask to be given the payment immediately, while if he isn’t, if you trust him, you can agree to delay the payment, so that it becomes like a debt on him.
Sorry brother but I strongly disagree with your mahr question response. I think it should be answered in full, establishing the problems with expectancy and unrealistic proposals of mahrs in today's islamic society. If a wedding/mahr is judged or depended on by how much a man can give his possible future wife with underlying tones of materialism.. then it should be approached with caution… to be continued
Continued…. There’s brothers out there going broke trying to impress a muslimah and her high demands and also falling into sin, by dealing in usury and Riba JUST to give her a large sum. This current Ummah has many many issues with this particular subject.
I’m quite aware of that, but I believe that each society and couple can find their own balance. If a woman demands a mahr that’s too high, a man can always find another woman. Of course in gender-unbalanced societies like India things can be very difficult due to the scarcity of women. But I believe things will get easier as Muslim cultures start to take in the Western culture of romantic love.
Salam, people say posting selfies is a sin (they tend to focus this exclusively on females tho) is this accurate? And is it a sin for the person who liked the picture? Thank you jzk
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
There is nothing inherently sinful about that. Women are allowed to show their faces and hands in public, whether in pictures, videos or real life. If there is anything wrong with selfies then it fully applies to men too.
Assalamu walaikum. I have a debt, I read here, that for important reasons a woman can lead prayers at home to her family members, but why can't she in mosques? Why aren't there women leading prayers inside mosques? (I know there are many men guiding prayer, but wanted to know about women on this spiritual side) jazak Allah
As for the spiritual reason: Men and women have the same souls as far as we know. But they have different brains and genetic instincts, which requires the religion to treat them differently. This is why women have to cover their hair while men don’t have to. The way men experience their interactions with women is different from the way women experience their interactions with men.
As for the exact scientific reason why it’s better for men to lead prayers, I cannot say exactly what it is. To fully find out we’d need studies of communities where men lead the prayer and communities where women lead the prayer so that we can compare the results.
But since this is what the Prophet PBUH recommended, we are happy to go along with it. It is similar to accepting the ban on eating pork even though there are no detailed reasons for the ban in the Quran or hadith. If God commands us to do something, we obey, because we know He has our best interests at heart. We read the Quran and can see that it is really from God because of the intelligence and beauty in it. Once we are convinced that the Quran is really from God, then we don’t need proofs for everything in it (such as the ban on pork), we accept it based on the fact that we have agreed that the Quran is really from God and that God wants us to avoid pork.
What about a muslim woman who moves out of town far from her mahrams to attend university?
Note that the restriction on women traveling without mahrams only applies to traveling. A woman is allowed to go to another city or country to attend university without a mahram going with her if she is able to safely reside there (for example among fellow Muslim women) and there are no great moral hazards to her religion.
There are numerous authentic hadiths that mention restrictions on women traveling without a mahram (a relative like a husband or father). I was recently asked about the exact nature of the restriction, so I decided to do a thorough hadith study using the probabilistic hadith verification method. For those who want the conclusion immediately: the opinion I prefer is that women should be permitted to travel without a mahram if the journey is under three days and nights (72 hours). Also note that some scholars, such as al-Baji, believe that this restriction only applies to young women, not elders.
But we go into the study, below is a listing of the opinions of some of the great scholars of the past on this issue:
Ibn Taymiyyah and his students: If the road is safe, a woman is permitted to perform Hajj alone without a mahram. She is also permitted to engage in any other kind of travel as long as her safety is ensured.
Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal: A woman is permitted to perform Hajj without a mahram if she is with a group of women.
Ibn Sireen: If she is with other Muslims, then there is no issue with her performing Hajj without a Mahram.
Imam Malik: She can perform Hajj with a group of women without a mahram.
Imam al-Shafii: She can perform Hajj without a mahram as long as she is accompanied by a trustworthy free female woman.
It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that Umar b. al-Khattab permitted the wives of the Prophet PBUH to perform the Hajj without a mahram while being accompanied by Uthman b. Affan and Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Bakr. (Reference for the above scholarly opinions and hadiths: Fatwa from IslamOnline – Arabic PDF)
Note that if there is a restriction on women’s travel, it only applies to traveling. As discussed in this answer, a woman is allowed to go to another city or country to attend university without a mahram going with her if she is able to safely reside there (for example among fellow Muslim women) if there are no great hazards to her religion.
Below is a diagram of the result of my study, which includes all the hadiths I found with their chains:
Below is a listing of the relevant contents of the hadiths, arranged from the most reliable to the least reliable, along with the Companions they came from and the hadiths’ probability of authenticity. Note that all of these hadiths are considered sahih or authentic by hadith scholars despite their divergent contents:
Abu Hurayra 36%: No woman should travel more than the distance of a day’s and night’s journey without a mahram. (Muwatta)
Abu Saeed al-Khudri 13.82%: No woman should travel “more than three nights” without a mahram. (Bukhari, Muslim, Bayhaqi, Musnad Ahmad)
Ibn Abbas 12.96%: Women can only go on hajj if they have a mahram with them. (Bukhari and Musannaf Abu Bakr b. Abi Shayba)
Abu Hurayra 9.35%: No woman should travel more than a day without a mahram. (Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Ibn Khuzayma, al-Mustadrak)
Abu Saeed al-Khudri 6.48%: No woman should travel without a mahram. (Musnad Ahmad)
Abu Hurayra 3.88%: No woman should travel more than the distance of a three-day journey without a mahram. (Musnad Ahmad)
Abdullah b. Amr b. al-Aas 3.20%: No woman should travel more than the distance of a journey of three [days and nights] without a mahram. (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mujam al-Awsat)
Abu Saeed al-Khudri 2.80%: No woman should travel for more than three days without a mahram. It mentions Ayesha saying “Not all woman have mahrams.” (Sahih Ibn Hibban)
Ibn Umar 0.6%: No woman should travel for more than three [days and nights] without a mahram. (Sahih Ibn Hibban)
We can use probability theory to combine these authenticity scores as follows.
The meaning is that there is a 58.31% probability of authenticity for the principle that there is some sort of restriction on women traveling without mahrams, but we don’t know yet what the restriction is. This is a very high probability because sahih starts at 30%. Anything above 60% is sahih al-sahih, meaning it is many times more authentic than the average sahih hadith you run into, and this score almost reaches that.
We can now combine the probabilities of only those hadiths whose contents the say the same things:
Abu Hurayra 36%: No woman should travel the distance of a day’s journey without a mahram.
Abu Seed al-Khudri and Ibn Umar: 16.97%: No woman should travel for more than the duration of three days and nights without a mahram.
Abu Hurayra 9.35%: No woman should travel for more than the duration of a day (and night?) without a mahram.
Abu Hurayra and Abdullah b. Amr 7.02%: No woman should travel more than the distance of a three days’ and nights’ journey without a mahram.
Abu Saeed al-Khudri 6.48%: No woman should travel at all without a mahram.
We can ignore Abu Saeed al-Khudri’s 6.48% hadith that says no woman should travel without a mahram because it is contradicted by his own more authentic hadith (13.82%, over twice as authentic) that says a woman shouldn’t travel longer than three nights without a mahram.
Besides hadiths, we also have athars, or sayings of the Companions and Successors, on this issue. Below is a listing of the ones I found:
Al-Hasan al-Basri 36%: No woman should travel for more than three [days and nights] without a mahram. (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq)
Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri 36%: Ayesha was told about Abu Saeed al-Khudri’s hadith that says women should only travel with mahrams, and she said “Not all women can find a mahram.” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba)
Ikrima the freedman of Ibn Abbas 21.6%: A woman should not travel for more than three [days and nights] without a mahram. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba)
Ibn Umar 18%: No woman should travel for more than three [days and nights] without a mahram. (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq)
It seems to me that we have two choices now:
To rely on one Companion, Abu Hurayra, for his 36% authenticity hadith, which says that no woman should travel the distance of a day’s journey without a mahram.
To rely on the three hadiths of Abu Seed al-Khudri and Ibn Umar, with a combined authenticity score of 16.97%, and the non-hadith sayings of al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Umar and Ikrima, with a combined authenticity of 42.02%, which say that no woman should travel more than the duration of three days and nights without a mahram.
To me personally the second option is far more attractive, due to it relying on two Companions and two highly respected successors (al-Hasan al-Basri and Ikrima, the most respected freedman of Ibn Abbas), and due to it making life easier. Since everything we are dealing with here is authentic, we might as well choose the easier authentic option that comes from many respected individuals.
It appears that if there are any doubts about a woman’s safety during travel, then she shouldn’t travel alone for more than three days without a mahram. But if her safety is ensured, for example by being accompanied by trustworthy individuals, then she is permitted to travel without a mahram without any time restriction.
Salam if a girl happens to masterbate is she supposed to perform ghusul after? And if she should is it the same as the one she does after finishing her period? If asking for a friend jazakAllah kheir
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
For a woman masturbation requires ghusl only if she orgasms and her orgasm is accompanied by ejaculation (according to the Shafi`i opinion). A woman’s ejaculation is a discharge that comes out in quick spurts similar to a man’s ejaculation. Also, note that inserting fingers in the vagina does not require ghusl afterwards.
There is just one kind of obligatory ghusl, all you need to do is ensure that all of your hair and body get drenched in water. There are some voluntary sunna acts that you can do, but like I said they are voluntary. The sunna way is to wash your palms, then your private parts, then perform wudu, then wash your head three times, then wash the rest of your body.
Salaam. Do Muslim women need a mahram to go on a journey?
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
There is a strong hadith that comes from multiple Companions that says a woman shouldn’t go on a journey that takes a day and night (24 hours) unless there is a mahram with her. It is allowed (by Ibn Jibrin) for a mahram to drop off a woman at an airport and let her travel alone to the destination where another mahram picks her up. The scholar al-Baji says the restriction only applies to young women, elders may travel alone (although other scholars disagree). I haven’t studied the hadiths on this matter in detail, so I don’t have a personal opinion on it.
can you please help us define modesty? today, many people have fitted fashion around modesty and it's difficult to tell what is define as "modest clothing" or not. thank you!
A modest costume for a woman is one that doesn’t grab men’s sexual attention. If you pass a group of young men and none of them find anything in you to admire sexually, then you’re modestly dressed. Of course some men will leer at a woman regardless of how she’s dressed, but the point is to do your part and leave the rest to God. Islam wants men and women to interact as equals in public spaces, without sexuality intruding.
Asalam Walikum, I am wondering if it is haram to become an actress and a youtuber? I heard it is haram for females to do this but it is my dream goal to become one since I do not have another dream besides acting.
Salam, I have question about equality between men and women. Islam acknowledges equality when it comes to spirituality, sins etc. but then in marriage wife has to obey her husband despite the fact that it's supposed to be equal companionship, not superior and inferior relationship since men and women have equal intellectual capability to think and solve problems. Also what about a one man's testimony equals two women's testimony?
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
Men and women, despite their spiritual equality, have very different personalities determined by genetics, so scientifically there is no surprise in men and women functioning best when they have different roles in the family.
Islam’s view is that a family functions best when the man is the head of the household. Everyone is happier in such an arrangement; the man, the woman, and the children. If such an arrangement makes everyone happier, what right do we have to break it down? If someone believes in the ideology that men and women should have exactly the same roles in the family, and if that arrangement makes everyone less happy, then forcing such an arrangement on people does not make the world a better place, it makes it worse.
Marriage in Islam is consensual. The woman herself wants to be in a relationship where the man is the head of the household. This is her choice and she has the right to make the choice. Before marriage she can speak with the man to find out whether his ideas about how she should be treated fit with her needs and wants. And if afterwards the man turns out to be an unfit husband, she has the right to divorce.
The vast majority of well-educated Muslim women I have met have no problem with the gender role that Islam gives them. They like it and they do not ask for an alternative. Women, being free humans, have the right to be taken seriously and to be respected when they choose to be in such relationships. A very small minority of Muslim women think that Islam’s traditional gender roles are unfair to them. But these are just a minority who happen to be very prominent in media and academia. They do not have the right to speak for all Muslim women, and they are free to marry men who share their views on gender equality. But when it comes to the vast majority of Muslims, men and women, they are happy with the way things are.
As for a man’s testimony being equal to two women’s, that is a very controversial issue and there are many different opinions on it. The verse of the Quran that mentions it is related to financial transactions and may not apply to all situations. This question can only be settled with scientific studies that show how men and women differ in their functioning as witnesses. If we discover that there are significant differences in the functioning of men versus women witnesses, then the interests of society as a whole are best served when these differences are taken into account. If we discover that a woman’s inheritance or marriage contract is better protected when she uses two male witnesses instead of two female witnesses, then it only makes for her to choose male witnesses in such cases. But if we discover that the sex of the witnesses does not make a difference, then we can use that to re-analyse the Quranic verse in question to find out why God asked for two female witnesses instead of one in that particular situation.
Assalumalaikum Can a woman leave her house without the permission of her husband? Is the Hadith forbidding this authentic?
The Islamic family functions according to the principle of qiwāma, which refers to the fact that the husband is the ultimate authority in the household. Women are free to seek divorce or threaten divorce, but while remaining married to a man, they are required to respect the fact he is the chief of the household. If her husband is a tyrant and refuses to let her leave the house, she should seek the help of her family, his family, religious authorities, or should threaten divorce. In Islam the man and the woman are equal as humans and have equal human rights. Neither is allowed to oppress the other. The husband’s higher authority is similar to a CEO’s authority over his employees. He does not consider him employees lesser humans, he knows they are his equals when it comes to their human rights, but he is given a higher authority so that the business can function more effectively.
This is merely the theoretical framework. In the real world, Muslim husbands and wives, just like Western couples, agree with each other on what is acceptable behavior and what is not. So regarding your specific question, the husband’s permission does not mean that she should ask him whether she can go out every time she wants to (like a school child in a classroom). It means that her activities should be with the general knowledge and approval of her husband. So if the husband accepts the fact that she usually goes out for grocery shopping, or for work, or for medical appointments, then his acceptance is the “permission” that is meant.
So in the real world things are just like any other marriage. Needing her husband’s permission simply means that she should not do things that he finds unacceptable. She should not randomly go to a concert without first finding out whether her husband agrees with her going to that concert. But when it comes to ordinary daily activities, then she can do whatever is normal without requiring her husband’s specific approval, since he knows about these activities and approves of them.
Assalamualaikum I wanted to know if it is permissible for a Muslim woman to be the head of an Islamic state. Many people quote a Hadith from Abu Bakrah, one of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) ,that indicates it is not permissible.Is that Hadith authentic?
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
There are different opinions on this question. The highly respected scholars Muhammad al-Ghazali and Yusuf al-Qaradawi believe that it is permissible for women to be leaders of state and consider the evidence of the Quran (which portrays the Queen of Sheba as a good leader) to be more important than the evidence of hadith.
The hadith of Abu Bakra that you referred to is the following:
During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."
Sahih al-Bukhari 7099
I decided to conduct a study of all existing chains of this hadith to find out its level of authenticity based on my hadith verification methodology. Below is a diagram of the result:
The result of my computations is that this hadith has a 24.3% authenticity score, which makes it fall below the 30% needed for ṣaḥīḥ. This means that this is a relatively low-quality hadith whose authenticity is inherently doubtful (even without this computation, all hadiths that come from a single companion, such as this one, are inherently doubtful). All of the chains of the hadith have problematic transmitters:
The first one comes through Hasan b. Yasar, a known mudallis (a person who misattributes hadiths). It then comes through Uthman b. Haytham, known to err often, Mubarak b. Fudala, who is considered a non-hujja by one hadith scholar (his hadiths are not worth being used as evidence), and Humad b. Tayrawayh, another mudallis.
The second one comes through Abd al-Rahman b. Jawshan, a little-known transmitter, then through Uyayna b. Abd al-Rahman, whose hadiths are considered worthless by one hadith scholar.
The third one comes through Abd al-Aziz b. Nufay`, an unknown person, then through Abu al-Minhal al-Bakrawi, another unknown person.
None of the chains come through highly respected transmitters.
Therefore this hadith has no power to form the basis of judgment on such an important issue.
The opinions of al-Ghazali and al-Qaradawi is therefore to be preferred. Since we do not have any strong evidence against the leadership of women as heads of state in the Quran or Sunna, the matter is left to the judgment of the people themselves.