THE SALAH OF WOMEN
Q: What are the differences between the salat of a woman and that of a man?Ans: These are as follows:
1. A woman, before starting salat, raises her hands up to her shoulders. She does not make a circle round the wrist of her left hand using the fingers of her right hand. She places her hands on her breast with the palm of her right hand on the back of her left hand.
2. When bowing for ruku, she does not join her left foot to her right foot. She bends her waist a little. She does not keep her head level with her back. She bends her knees and puts her hands on them. She does not grasp her knees or spread her fingers over them.
3. In sajda (prostration) position, she should place her arms on the floor in a manner close to her abdomen and keep her abdomen over her thighs.
4. In the sitting position (tashahhud), she sits on the floor sticking out her feet to the right. She keeps her fingers close together.
5. A woman does not stretch her hands forward while making du’a, but she keeps them inclined toward her face.
6. It is not mustahab for her to perform Salat al-Fajr late within its time. It is better for her to perform it as soon as the time for it starts.
7. She does not recite in a loud tone during salat. She recites in a low voice the Takbir of Tashrik, which is said after fard salats during Eid al-Adha. (Radd-ul-mukhtar, Tahtawi)
Q 2: It is written in the books Halabi and Radd-ul-mukhtar that it is sunnat to bring the feet together when one is bowing for ruku. Does this ruling apply to women as well?
Ans: No, women do not bring their feet together. It applies only to men.
Q 3: Sometimes my hair is accidentally uncovered during salat. I cover it some time later. Does my salat become invalid?
Ans: Hair is awrah (the part to be covered) for a woman. If her awrah part remains open for a time during which one can say “Subhanallah” three times, her salat will become nullified. If she covers it immediately by using one hand, her salat will not be nullified. It is written in some fiqh books that her salat will be invalid if she covers it by using both hands. For this reason, she should try to cover it with one hand.
Q 4: Is it permissible for women to perform Salat az-Zuhr before men exit the mosque after Salat al-Jumu’ah?
Ans: Yes, they can perform it.
Q 5: If my hair remains open as long as one rukn, will my salatbecome invalid? How long does a rukn continue?
Ans: The duration of a rukn is important in matters concerning a salat’s becoming invalid and sajda-i sahw. Therefore, one should know it well.
The fards (obligatory elements) within salat are termed a rukn each. There are five rukns: qiyam (standing), qiraat (recitation from the Qur’an al-karim), ruku (bowing), sujud (prostration), and sitting in the final tashahhud.
If the hair of a woman is opened during any of these rukns, her salatwill be nullified if she cannot cover it in a time in which she can recite one verse or say “Subhanallah” three times. The standard duration for one rukn is to say “Subhanallah” three times at a normal pace.
If a person, getting confused on how many rak’ats of salat he has performed, thinks and thus extends one rukn by one additional ruknand hence delays the next rukn for a time during which one can say “Subhanallah” three times, he has to make sajda-i sahw, even if he said some verses or tasbihat in the interim.
Q 6 : Is it makruh if a woman’s head covering moves downward on her forehead when she is making prostration?
Ans: Yes, it is makruh. The forehead must touch the place of sajdanakedly.
Q 7: Physically able women perform salat sitting where it is likely that non-mahram men will see them, such as on farms and in mosques. Is it not fard (obligatory) to perform salat standing? Is it permissible to perform it sitting lest non-mahram men see them?
Ans: It is not permissible. It is fard to perform a fard salat standing. Only a sick person who cannot stand is allowed to perform it sitting. It is not permissible for women to perform salat sitting lest non-mahram men see them. (Radd-ul-mukhtar, Hindiyya)
Q 8 : Is it permissible for a woman to perform salat barefoot?
Ans: There is nothing wrong with it if she wears a long skirt that covers her feet.
Q 9 : If a woman has missed salats for years, should she work out the number of them by deducting the number of salats missed due to menstruation?
Ans : Yes, she should.
Q 10 : When a woman is performing salat, is there anything wrong with her jewels being visible?
Ans : It is better if they are not.
Q 11: Is it better for a woman to perform salat in jama’at with her husband or her mahram relatives at home than to perform it individually?
Ans : Yes, it is better.
Q 12 : Will a woman’s salat be invalid if one-fourth of her area between her knee and foot is uncovered accidentally?
Ans : Yes, her salat will be invalid.
Q 13 : Is it permissible for a woman to perform salat by covering her face with a thin cloth?
Ans : No, it is not permissible.
Q 14 : I have a skirt that I wear during salat. There is a cross picture on it. Is it makruh to perform salat in it, just as it is makruh to perform salat in a skirt with pictures?
Ans : Yes, it is makruh.
Q 15 : I have heard from some people who work in the production of lipstick and nail polish that they contain placenta. Is there anything wrong with performing salat when a woman is wearing lipstick or nail polish?
Ans : Nail polish does not let water reach the nails. Therefore, even if it is not made from placenta, one’s wudu will not be valid if one performs it when having nail polish on one’s nails.
Q 16 : Will a woman’s salat become nullified if her wig appears under her headscarf?
Ans : No, it will not become nullified.
Q 17 : If a woman follows one of the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab out of necessity, should she undo her braid before performing wudu’or ghusl?
Ans : In the Maliki Madhhab, a woman does not have to undo her braid before performing wudu’. She applies masah over her hair, together with her braid.
Similarly, it is not necessary to undo the braid for ghusl if water reaches the scalp. The ruling of the Hanafi Madhhab is the same. That is, when a woman wets the skin of her braided hair, it suffices to wet the braid without undoing it. If the water cannot reach the scalp, then it will be necessary to undo the braid. It is fard to wash all parts of the hair that is not plaited. In the Maliki Madhhab, it is also necessary to do khilal of hair (passing of fingers through hair) in ghusl.
Q 18 : Some people say that a woman’s salat will not be valid if she does not use kursuf (a piece of cloth or cotton placed at the vaginal opening). Is it true?
Ans : It does not have any basis. A woman’s salats are valid even if she does not use kursuf. If she does not use it, her underwear may be soiled (by vaginal discharge). In this case, she must change into a clean one and perform salat in it. If she uses kursuf, her underwear will not become dirty. Alternatively, if she follows the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab, neither her wudu’ nor her salat will become nullified even if her vaginal discharge comes out of her vagina during salat.
Q 19 : Can a woman perform salat while having menstrual or postnatal bleeding?
Ans : No, she cannot. It is in Hadith - "A woman is not allowed to perform salat while menstruating". (Bukhari, Muslim)
[A woman experiencing non-menstrual bleeding [istihaza] takes a bath when her menstrual bleeding ends. Then she performs salat and fasts.] (Darimi)
Q 20 : One of our neighbors said, “If a woman performs salat without wearing a jilbab, that is, a chador, her salat will not be acceptable.” Is it true?
Ans : It does not have any basis. Jilbab means a dress or a shirt worn by men and women. As a matter of fact, it is stated in hadith-i sharif:
(The salats of a man wearing a jilbab [shirt] obtained through haram means will not be acceptable.) [Bazzar]
(It would not be backbiting to tell [negatively] about a person who took off the jilbab [covering] of bashfulness.) [Bayhaqi]
Jilbab is a cloth larger than a headscarf and smaller than a shirt. Any garment that covers the body is called a jilbab. (Tafsir-i Abussuud, Tafsir-i Ruh-ul-bayan)
Ummul Momineen Ummu Salama (ru), narrates: I asked the Apostle of Allah (saws), “Can a woman offer salat wearing only a shawl and shirt without an izar?” He answered, “She can if the dır’ [a long shirt] she is wearing covers her entire body together with the tops of her feet” [Abu Dawud].
In other Ahadith it is mentioned that (A woman is considered to have complied with the Islamic dress code and her salat is accepted only when she performs salat in clothes that covers her head and her entire body.) [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]
(Perform salat in izar and rida.) [Ibn Adiy]
Izar is a garment covering the lower half of the body. Rida is a garment covering the upper half of the body. Similarly, the lower part of ihram is called izar, and the upper part of it is called rida. Izar is a kind of waist cloth, and rida is a kind of shirt.
It is written in the book Bahr-ur-raiq: A husband has to buy these things for his wife: Kiswa (clothes) is two dirs, two khimars, and two milhafas yearly. Milhafa is a piece of clothing that a woman wears as she goes out. [Today people call it faraja, saya, or overcoat. Khimar is a head covering.] The dir’ is a long shirt with an openable collar. The qamis (chemise) is a long robe openable on the shoulder.
The 31st verse of Surat an-Nur says: “Let women wear their khimars [head coverings] over their necklines.” Women did not wear chadors. If the opposite were true, they would not have been told that they had to wear their khimars, that is, their head coverings, over their necklines.
It is fard upon women to cover themselves with any garment that does not highlight their body contours [the shapes and colors of their qaba-awrah parts]. Our religion commands women to cover their bodies, but it does not stipulate specific clothes for them. (Durar-ul-multakita)
All above-mentioned proof show that women do not have to wear chadors. There is no report that Ummahatul Momineen or the wives of the blessed companions ever wore a chador. The clothes that should be given by a husband to his wife are listed in fiqh books, but there is no mention of chadors in them.
Chadors were first introduced into Turkey from Iranians by those who went on a pilgrimage to Mecca during the Ottoman Reform Period. They did not initially become popular and fashionable, and wearing them was even considered bid’at. Then they became widespread in 1870. Afterwards, they were banned by Abd Al-Hamid II Khan through a written command dated Ramadan 4, 1309 (April 2, 1892). (İslam Ansiklopedisi Diyanet Vakfı)
Those who emigrated to Turkey from the Balkan States in 1913 came wearing black chadors that were being used by Jewish and Orthodox Christian women in Rumelia. They became widespread in Istanbul as well with time. (Osmanlı Tarih Deyimleri Sözlüğü)
Q 21 : Is there a madhhab saying that it is fard (obligatory) upon women to perform Salat al-Eid and Salat al-Jumu’ah?
Ans : Salat al Eid is Sunnah in the Madhabs of Shafi'i and Maliki and wajib in the Hanafi Madhhab. It is stated in hadith-i sharif that Salat al-Jumu’ah is fard only upon men. Two of them are as follows:
(Salat al-Jumu’ah is fard upon every Muslim except a slave, a woman, a child, and a patient.) [Abu Dawud, Hakim]
(I thought, “I wish I appointed a man to lead people in salat and then I went to demolish the houses of those who do not attend Salat al-Jumu’ah.”) [Bukhari]
The conditions of Salat al-Eid are similar to the conditions of Salat al-Jumu’ah. Therefore, just as a woman does not have to attend Salat al-Jumu’ah, so she does not have to attend Salat al-Eid.
It is stated in hadith-i sharifs that men’s performing salat in jama’at in a mosque is 27 times as rewarding as their performing it individually at home while women’s performing salat at home is more rewarding than their performing it in a mosque.
Q 22 : Is it permissible for a woman to lead men in salat?
Ans : It is written in all of the fiqh books that being a male is one of the requirements one needs to fulfill in order to act as an imam. A woman cannot lead men in salat. (Halabi)
A hadith-i sharif written in Durar says:
(Women’s being placed ahead [as an imam in salat] is not permissible.) [Razin]
If a woman performs salat in jama’at among men, the salats of the three men, two of them on her either side, and one right behind her, becomes nullified. (Radd-ul-mukhtar)
Q 23 : Why is it impermissible for women to perform salat among men? We are brothers and sisters in Islam. What is wrong if we perform salat with men shoulder to shoulder?
Ans : It is certain that no man among jama’at does any harm to women during salat. Then why is it impermissible for women to mix with men? Every woman is the mother or sister or wife or daughter or aunt of one of us.
Yes, a man cannot even perform salat with his mother side by side in jama’at. Her salat will not become nullified, but the man’s salat will be nullified. One of the female readers said to us that what harm men may do to her. Yes, men will not do any harm neither to her nor to us. Nevertheless, the man’s salat is nullified when a man and a woman perform salat side by side in jama’at. Why is it nullified? The reason for it is that Allah prescribed it this way.
It is permissible for a man to marry his aunt’s daughter, but why is it not permissible for him to marry his sister? The reason for it is that it is a law laid down by Allahu ta’ala. If He had ordered us otherwise, we would marry our sisters or brothers now. Why is a woman not allowed to marry two men at the same time? The answer is the same. This is Allahu ta’ala’s law. That is, there is not a specific answer to these questions. For example, it is haram for men to wear silk. Why is it haram? The answer is the same. This is Allahu ta’ala’s order.
Q 23 : What is the purpose of the female imam in leading men in Salat al-Jumu’ah in a church in the USA? Was it done out of feminist feelings, or are there other ulterior motives?
Ans : Of course, it was not done aimlessly, but we do not know the main purpose. She emphasizes these issues in her discourses and statements:
“A woman must do what a man does. For example, the woman cannot be punished for committing adultery. She has the right to commit adultery and to conceal it. Mine is a reformist movement, rather than a feminist one. The rules of Islam must change. It is my desire to lead men in salat in the Blue Mosque in Turkey as well.”
An Iranian female professor and a male theologian approved of the act of that American woman by saying, “It is not important whether the imam is male or female. The imam must be the one who is more deserving of it.” We also heard nonsense comments from many other people. Their purpose is not feminism or a reformist movement, but to demolish Islam from within on the pretext of a reformist movement.
Many deviant thoughts were brought forward. First, it was argued that women had to attend Salat al-Jumu’ah. Then it was said that women could perform salat while having menstrual or postnatal bleeding, and they were encouraged to perform Salat al-Janaza when they were menstruating. Then it was claimed that a woman could lead other women in salat. Now it is said that a woman is allowed to lead men in salat. They try to demolish the rules of Islam in stages. These efforts are one of the signs of Doomsday.
In such a time, the importance of adhering to the books of Sunni scholars is growing bigger and bigger.
Q 24 : It is written in the book Büyük İslam İlmihâli, “It is permissible for a woman to lead other women in salat.” Why do you say that it is makruh?
Ans : It is not written in any of Ilmihal books that it is permissible. We have also referred to the book you mentioned. It is written in it, “A woman’s leading other women in salat is permissible with karaahat [reprehensibility].” We cannot understand why you have not mentioned the phrase with karaahat.
That is, it is makruh for a woman to lead another woman in salat. When used alone, the word makruh means makruh tahrimi. Makruh tahrimi means a makruh close to haram, which eradicates the rewards (thawab) of salat. Such women will be considered to have paid the debt of salat, but they will not be able to earn rewards.
Has Islam been sent very recently? Are the rules of our religion unknown? What is the point of trying to distort one of the rules of Islam every day?
Q 25 : Is it fard for women to attend funerals, to perform Salat al-Janaza, to carry coffins, and to bury corpses?
Ans : No, they are not fard for women. A hadith-i sharif says:
(Women do not attend funerals.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud]
Q 26 : A person who does not follow any madhhab says, “According to popular opinion, a woman, when menstruating, is not allowed to perform salat, fast, touch the Mus-haf, or enter a mosque. But there is neither a hadith nor any other proof prohibiting women from these acts.” Then is what is written in all of the fiqh books wrong?
Ans : What is written in fiqh books is true. It is based on proof.
A woman cannot do the following acts during her monthly period:
1. She is not allowed to perform salat. A hadith-i sharif says:
(A woman cannot perform salat while menstruating.) [Abu Dawud]
Ummu Bussa radiy-Allahu anha narrates: “I asked Ummu Salama radiy-Allahu anha during the time of hajj: ‘O the mother of Believers! Is it necessary to make up the salats that are missed during menstruation?’
‘No, they are not made up. One of women did not perform salat for 40 days because of postnatal bleeding. The Messenger of Allah did not order her to make up those salats she missed because of postnatal bleeding’” (Abu Dawud).
It is stated this way because the ruling regarding menstrual bleeding is similar to that regarding postnatal bleeding.
2. She is not allowed to read or recite the Qur’an. It is stated in ahadith-i sharif: (A menstruating woman and a junub cannot read the Qur’an.)[Tirmidhi]
3. She is not allowed to fast. Once a woman asked our mother Aisha (ra) : “Why does a menstruating woman make up her missed fasts but not make up her missed salats?”
Our mother Aisha (ra) asked the woman: “Are you a Kharijite?”
“I am not a Kharijite. I asked it only to learn.” (replied the woman) then Aisha (ru) said “Our monthly periods used to coincide with Ramadan. We did not use to fast, but we used to be ordered to make them up. We did not use to be ordered to make up salats” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai).
In the time of the Apostle of Allah (saws), one of women did not use to fast in Ramadan because of menstrual or postnatal bleeding, and she did not use to make them up until the month of Shaban with the Apostle of Allah. (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai)
4. She is not allowed to touch the Mus-haf. A hadith-i sharif says:
(Only a person who is in a state of purity can touch the Qur’an.)[Nasai]
5. She is not allowed to enter a mosque. A hadith-i sharif says:
(It is not lawful [halal] for a junub or a menstruating woman to enter a mosque.) [Ibn Majah]
6. She is not allowed to circumambulate the Ka’ba. A hadith-i sharif says: (Circumambulating the House of Allah is similar to performing salat. That is, one has to be in a state of wudu’.) [Tirmidhi]
7. She is not allowed to have sexual intercourse with her husband (Al-Baqarah 222). A hadith-i sharif says: (A woman who conceals the beginning and the termination of her menstruation from her husband is accursed.) [Jawhara]
As sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman is haram, she becomes sinful if she conceals from her husband the fact that she is menstruating.
Q 27 : Do women have to cover their feet or outer parts of their hands for salat?
Ans : It is written in Endless Bliss: All parts of women, except their palms and faces, including their wrists, outer parts of their hands, hanging parts of their hair and under their feet are awrah for salat in the Hanafi Madhhab. There are also many scholars saying that the outer parts of their hands are not awrah. According to them, it is permissible for women to perform salat while outer parts of their hands up to wrists are bare. But, for having followed all the scholars, it is better for women to perform salatwearing a gown with sleeves long enough, or a head cover large enough, to cover their hands. There are (scholars) who said that women’s feet are not awrah in salat, but those same scholars said that it was sunnat to cover and makruh to open them when performingsalat.
The ruling on hanging parts of hair is similar to the ruling on feet. (Qadihan)
Q 28 : Should a woman, when making du’a, stretch her hands forward just as a man does?
Ans : No, she should not. She does not stretch her hands forward while making du’a, but she keeps them inclined toward her face. (Endless Bliss)
Q 29 : If the part of a woman’s hair hanging down from ear level is uncovered during salat, will her salat become nullified?
Ans : The part of her hair hanging down over her ears is awrah. According to the majority of scholars, the part of her hair hanging down from her ear level is awrah, too. For this reason, her salat will be nullified if it is uncovered. According to some scholars, the part of her hair hanging down from ear level is not awrah for salat, but it is not permissible for non-mahram men to look at it. (Halabi al-kabir)
Q 30 : How should a woman sit in between two sajdas?
Ans : She should sit in the same way as she sits during sitting posture in salat. (Radd-ul-mukhtar)
Q 31 : It is said that if a woman performs Salat al-Jumu’ah it will be considered valid. Does its being valid not prove that Salat al-Jumu’ah is fard upon women, too?
Ans : No, it does not. Salat al-Jumu’ah is not fard upon women. Salat al-Jumu’ah is not fard upon a woman and a traveler. (Fatawa-i Hindiyya)
When a traveler performs Salat al-Jumu’ah, it will be valid. Similarly, it is not fard for a traveler to fast in the month of Ramadan, but he is considered to have performed it within its prescribed time if he fasts. It is not fard to perform any of the five daily salats as soon as the prescribed time for it starts. Performing a salat becomes fard upon one when it gets very close to the end of the time for it. The case is the same with sacrificing an animal (qurban) during Eid al-Adha. Sacrificing it becomes wajib on a well-off adult on the third day of Eid al-Adha. However, if it is sacrificed on the first day of it, it is considered to have been performed within its prescribed time. (Radd-ul-mukhtar)
Though Salat al-Jumu’ah is not fard upon a traveler, it will be valid if he performs it. The same thing applies to a woman offering Salat al-Jumu’ah. It becomes valid when she performs it, but it does mean that Salat al-Jumu’ah is fard upon women.
Salat al-Jumu’ah depends on two groups of conditions for being fard: conditions related to its becoming obligatory and conditions related to the performance of it.
If a person does not fulfill one or a few of the conditions related to its becoming fard, Salat al-Jumu’ah will still be valid if performed. If he does not perform it, he will not be sinful because the conditions related to its being fard are not present.
If a person performs Salat al-Jumu’ah even though these conditions are not present, he will still be considered to have performed it.