Sun 20 Jm2 1435 - 20 April 2014
3832

Women seeing the imaam during prayer

i know that for congregational prayer to be valid a person must pray behind imam so to see him or to pray behind a man who can see imam....etc...
but my questionis ..is it same for women?? as i heard that at least one woman should see imam.....and u do understand that most of the women's area in mosque is arranged that it impossible to see imam but to hear from speakers
which sometimes can break so that we cannot hear......
or also one time happened to me thaty during traveling with my husband we stopped to pray at mosque and we were running a bit late so what happened was that when i went into prayer area there were no one there at all..and imam was saying takbir and i had no idea to which part of salah that takbir was reffered so i ended up confusing the oreder of salah.

Praise be to Allaah.

When a woman prays behind an imaam, it is not essential for her to see him or some of the people who are praying behind him, but the rows have to be straight and the women who are praying should be within the boundaries of the mosque and be able to hear the voice of the imaam, so that they can follow him. If women are unable to hear the imaam’s voice for some reason, then they should pray individually, or in a jamaa’ah with other women, if they cannot hear the imaam’s voice or follow him. If a woman enters the mosque and hears the imaam saying takbeer, she should not follow him in saying takbeer until she knows whether he is in sujood or rukoo’ etc. The way out of this dilemma – if she cannot see the imaam or any members of the congregation – is to wait until the imaam says “sami’ Allaahu liman hamidah”, then she can pray with him. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Kaafi (1/212): “Everyone who can see or hear the imaam, and knows where he is in the prayer, and is behind him, it is permissible for him to follow him in prayer. This is the Maaliki view.” And Ibn Qudaamah said: “If there is a barrier between the imaam and the person who is following him, which prevents him from seeing the imaam or the people praying behind him, then there are two views narrated from Ahmad, one of which says that it is not valid for him to pray behind him… and the second view is: it is valid because he can follow the imaam without seeing him, as a blind person does. But for his following the imaam to be valid, he has to be able to hear him.” (al-Mughni, 2/208)

In conclusion, if you are inside the mosque and you can hear the imaam’s voice and you know where he is in the prayer, then follow him, otherwise pray by yourself or with a group of women after the imaam finishes the prayer.

With regard to whether your prayer is valid or not, we asked Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, and he replied that to be on the safe side you should repeat the prayer. And Allaah is the source of strength.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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