Should Women attend the Eid prayer?


The following article courtesy of Jamiatul Ulama KZN:

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Respected Brothers and Sisters in Islam
There is a trend starting in various places to have Family Eidgaahs and women are being encouraged to attend the Eid Salaah.
Those that encourage women to go to the Musjid and to attend the Eid Salaah, generally do so based on the narrations stating that in the time of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, women used to attend the congregational prayer in the Musjid and the Eid Prayer as well.
In this regard, it is important to take note of the following:
Women in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) were not prevented from going to the Musjid. This was primarily due to the fact that they had the unique opportunity of praying behind the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) Himself. That was an act that cannot be paralleled today. Secondly, they used to observe all the requirements of Shariah including those of proper covering (hijab), hence they were not prohibited from attending the congregational prayers. Despite this, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) still advised and encouraged them to pray in their homes.
Sayyida Umm Salama (R.A) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said, “The best Musjid for a woman is the inner part of her home.” (Musnad Ahmad & Tabrani)
Sayyida Umm Salama (R.A) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said, “A woman’s prayer in her inner room is better than her prayer in the outside room, and her prayer in the outside room is better than her prayer in the courtyard, and her prayer in the courtyard is better than her prayer in the Musjid.” (Mu’jam of Imam Tabrani)
Sayyida A’isha (R.A) said, “If the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was alive to see what women are doing now (in that period of time), he would surely have prevented them from attending the prayers in the Musjid just as the women of Banu Isra’il were prevented.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
The renowned Hadith scholar and Hanafi jurist, Imam Badr al-Din al-Ayni (Allah have mercy on him) states whilst commentating on the above statement of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her):
“Had Sayyida A’isha (R.A) witnessed what women are involved in the various types of innovations and wrongdoings these days, she would have been even more extreme in her preventingwomen from entering the Musjids…
Also the fact that there had not been a long time between her statement and the demise of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), and also the fact that women in her time were not involved in even one portion of a thousand of what women are up to these days.” (Umdat al-Qari, 3/230)
The scholars of Islam always considered this aspect of the fitna and therefore many of them ruled that women should not attend the Salaah, neither at the Musjid nor at the Eid Gaah (Musallah).
After quoting the hadeeth regarding women attending the Eid Salaah in the time of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, Imam Tirmidhi (R.A) has reported from Imaam Abdullah ibn Mubarak (R.A) and Sayyiduna Sufyaan As Thawri (R.A) that they considered it makrooh for the women to attend the Eid Salaah. Imam Tirmidhi (R.A) also made reference to the statement of Sayyidatuna Ayesha (R.A) that was quoted above. (Sunan Tirmidhi Vol.2 Pg.430 #539-40).
Hereunder is a short list of the scholars of the past who also discouraged/prevented women from attending either the five Salaahs in Masajid or the Eid Salaah:
Sayyidatuna Ayesha (R.A) (Sahih Al Bukhari)
Sayyiduna Abdullah b. Mas’ood (R.A) (Majma’uz Zawaahid)
Sayyiduna Abdullah b. Umar (R.A) (Musannaf ibn Abi Sheyba #5845)
Sayyiduna Urwa b. Zubayr (R.A) (Musannaf ibn Abi Sheyba #5846)
Sayyiduna Qasim b. Mohammed b. Abi Bakr Faqih Al Madinah (R.A) (Musannaf ibn Abi Sheyba #5847)
Sayyiduna Ibraheem Nakh’ee (R.A) (Musannad ibn Abi Sheyba #5844, #5848)
Sayyiduna Abdullah b. Al-Mubarak (R.A) (Sunan Tirmidhi #539-40 Vol.2 Pg.420)
Imaam Malik (R.A) (Umdatul Qari Vol.3 Pg. 305)
Sayyiduna Sufyaan As Thawri (R.A) (Sunan Tirmidhi)
Imam Abu Yusuf (R.A) student of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A) (Umdatur Qari Vol.3 Pg. 305)
There are various other references that can be cited as well from the books of Hadith and Fiqh.
Thus, based on the above, women should not go to the Masjid for Salaah or attend the Eid Salaah as it is strongly discouraged in light of the fitna that is prevalent.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Taahir Hansa


Mufti Ismaeel Bassa