Is it permissible for a woman to pray following the imam of al-Masjid al-Haraam on TV?.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/213): can a Muslim – especially women – pray following a prayer that is being transmitted via TV or radio without seeing the imam?
It is not permissible for anyone to follow the imam via radio or TV, because prayer in congregation means being together in the same place, so it has to be in one place and the rows should be connected to one another (i.e. immediately behind one another). It is not permissible to pray via radio or TV because they do not meet these criteria. If we were to allow that, anyone could pray all five prayers in his house, and Jumu’ah too. This goes against the wisdom behind the prescription of Jumu’ah prayer and prayer in congregation. Based on this, it is not permissible for women or anyone else to pray following the radio or TV. And Allaah is the Source of strength.
The Standing Committee (9/218) was asked:
Is it permissible for women to pray Jumu’ah prayer in their houses, and all the other prayers, following the loudspeakers in the village? Is it permissible for a sick person who cannot pray in the mosque to follow the imam from his house through the loudspeaker?
It is not permissible for men or women, weak or strong, to pray in their houses, individually or in groups, following the prayer of the imam in the mosque via the loudspeakers, whether that is an obligatory prayer or supererogatory (naafil), Jumu’ah or any other prayer, whether their houses are behind the imam or in front of him, because the obligatory prayers must be offered in congregation in the mosque by men who are strong and in good health, but women and men who are weak and in poor health are excused from that duty.
The Standing Committee was also asked about a woman praying in her house, following the radio or TV, if she can hear the recitation and takbeer, if that is an obligatory or naafil prayer.
They replied: She is not permitted to do that, regardless of whether it is an obligatory prayer or a naafil one, even if she can hear the recitation and takbeer of the imam.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta’, no. 6744.