16 September 2009

Women attending the Eid prayer

Fatwa from Darul Ihsan Islamic Services Centre issued by Shafiq Jakhura:

Whether or not it is correct for ladies to attend the Eid Salaah?

A narration of Umme Atiyyah (R.A.) indicates that in the time of Rasulullah (s.a.w) females would come out for the Eid prayer and participate therein. (Tirmidhi)

However, Hazrat Aisha (R.A.) mentions that if Rasulullah (s.a.w) was present among us to see what the ladies were doing (adornment-wise), he would most certainly have prevented them from attending the Musjid just as how the ladies of the Bani Isra’eel were prevented (Sahih Bukhari).

In other words, during the time of Rasulullah (s.a.w), firstly there was less chance of evil and sin and secondly, women would come out without any form of beautification. Therefore they were permitted to attend the congregational Salaah. However, after the time of Rasulullah (s.a.w) women gradually began to beatify themselves when leaving the home and the chances of evil and sin spreading also increased.

Hence, they should no longer attend the congregational prayers and if Rasulullah (s.a.w) were present in that time he would have most certainly prevented women from attending. Hence, the fatwa of the latter jurists is that it is not correct for women to attend the congregational prayers, whether they are the daily prayers, Jumuah or Eid.

Imam Tahaawi (R.A.) has mentioned that the reason for permitting women to attend the Eid was to show the number of Muslims to the enemies of Islam. This reason and wisdom no longer exists in our times.

There has been a difference of opinion among the Scholars with regards to females attending the Eid prayer. Some have permitted females attending the Eid prayer under all circumstances, whereas other Scholars have prohibited this under all circumstances. On the other hand, other scholars are of the view that young females are prohibited from attending the Eid prayer, whereas the elderly are not prohibited.

Nevertheless, according to the overwhelming majority of Scholars, it is not permissible for a young female to attend the Eid Salaah. This is in keeping with the verse of the Holy Quraan, wherein the Holy Quraan commands females to remain in their homes. The reason for this prohibition is that the coming out of such young females could become a cause of spreading immorality in the society. This is especially clear in our times.

Question relating to above from Quraysha Yousuf:

Re your circular stating the majority of scholars deem it impermissible; this is not true as the majority of the Muslim countries worldwide have Eid salaat for women. Please clarify which majority you are speaking off?

2) In the Quraan, Allah mentions the words of the Prophet SAW "today I have completed your religion for you", hence to assume any actions other than the ones the Prophet SAW has deemed appropriate to leave behind as his final sayings, is to go against the Prophet's testimony that he has completed the deen for us. The Prophet SAW predicted many severe fitna and especially from
women and their dress, are you implying that in spite of knowing these prophecies he 'failed' to predict the 'harm' of women attending the mosque?

Perhaps you might consider the Prophet's greater wisdom than ours, he knew of many of the women's fitnas to come, yet he clearly stated more than once, 'do not prevent them.' And all the Khaiphs, the Ummayds and Abbasids all continued in this practise, only South Africa and a few isolated societies prevent it, so how do you define majority?


Tariq Hameed said...

Rather disappointing to see that the SA Ulema can be just as useless to the community as some are in the UK. These are the people who still cannot agree the basics (e.g. when to celebrate Eid, what constitutes Halal meat, etc.) so can hardly be taken seriously. I like how the word "majority" is used with impunity - hardly the mark of a "scholar".

Sha'ista Goga said...

"the coming out of such young females could become a cause of spreading immorality in the society."

Sigh...Here we go again. The evil temptresses and the helpless animalistic males who just can't control themselves.

Love Sister Qurayshas response.

Raeesah Mamoojee said...

Their argument is based only on distinguishing young from older women but maintain that women may attend.

Gosh, what if you are 40, but look 30... Are you young or old? I Don't think the argument is conclusive at all

organharvester said...

I have read Quraysha's argument and this and here is what I picked up. That Invoking Quranic verse you exclude the Prophet's (SAW) practice of allowing females to attend. which he (SAW) clearly did. I think the argument is simple enough, females were permitted and the conditions were clearly laid out. The assumption of if, the Prophet knew, is with respect, speculative.

For me personally, women have always attended Eid Salaah. But then this is the Cape where were a different breed. I think after more than 1400 years you should be able to know whether or not women are permitted.

Further, saying that we no longer need to have a showing for our enemies is like saying we need to represent less because we dont need it. Or that there is more fitna and therefore women should stay at home. I dont think its a case of quantity but rather a case of why is it still happening? And should we pretend that keeping women away from the Masjid is better than them attending?

For all the sins of humans, I think we should be honest and pragmatic about these arguments. Philosophy aside, we should then ban women from education, from computers, from public life. Because the description, with respect, portrays women as purveyors of evil. And the bottomline is that men are just as guilty and that if we dont respect our religion or our Creator, it doesnt matter what sex you are or where you are, you will commit sin.

I personally believe any activity that encourages love for the community around the Masjid should be encouraged and that as a community we should strive to bring men and women together under the roof of God's house. We know what the conditions are, so why is there need for further debate or scape goating as a means of negating an argument?

Just my humble opinion.

KiLLa said...

The tribe has spoken

Azra said...

Intention is the key factor in most things related to Islam. People are so worried about Fitnah, but what happened to pure intentions?

I do believe that most of the men today are taught that they can't control themselves, hence the reason for the Ulema to worry. Now instead of being such weak and pathetic creatures, wouldn't it be lovely if all the boys out there could step up and be real men and practice self control and enforce concepts like good intentions...like the Prophets and the Sahaba before them.

Bilal said...

People have different views and different reactions to different views.

If passengers in a plane to Timbuktu ended up in Cairo, then they can ask the pilot what is going on.

1. He may say they were going to refuel and then leave. ... Read More
Someone may say: "Okay, but you should have told us you didn't just change direction."
2. He may say that he is the pilot and you are a passenger. Someone may then keep quite and tell other passengers to keep quite, bcoz he is the pilot and you are a passenger.

You get my drift? But the question is, what do you do when you realise the plane is going to Cairo (and not Timbuktu as intended), and all the other passengers are enjoying the meals or in-flight entertainment too much to notice that they heading the wrong direction?

The Organ Harvester said...

no I dont get your drift. how about a straightforward response to your argument. because the essence of your argument is erroneously structured which gives it flawed credibility. read it again in the context of the Quaraysha argument.

Bilal said...

@organ Harvester:
Now u got me confused!
Basically, what I was saying is that how do you open other peoples eyes to the fact that they if continue following someone blindly, without asking questions and understanding what is going on, then they will end up in a place far from where they wanted to go.

Women are being told to stay at home. Most will listen and not question. Why? Becoz they do what the 'pilot' tells them to do. Why? Because he knows how to 'fly' and they don't know anything...

Get my drift now?

**Pilot analogy 101 coming up soon - watch this space:)

That Mash Guy said...

Considering that the Holy Quran continuously encourages the reader to think and reflect, I'm always surprised by how little of that we do.

This lack of thinking is also marked by the reluctance of anyone with a beard and title to engage in meaningful discussion with anybody let alone women.

It's a case of my way or the highway.

A lot of these discussion that haev been occurring are all related to the fact that a lot these 'Scholars' etc don't seem to realise they are there to serve the community and to engage with it. Rather than just sit up high and pass down edicts.

Instead of teaching people about rules and fiqh and laws pertaining to this and that. We really need to work to encourage people to think and understand that it's nothign to be afraid of. A big jinn won't come and eat you alive just because you have an opinion that is different or because something doesn't make sense to you and you want it clarified.

Until people realise there is nothign to be afraid of these issue will continue to arise again and again.

It all begins with cultivating a real relationship with Allah and the Qu'ran rather than just reading it without understanding.

Imtiaz said...

nicely said...
Attend Al Kauthar courses.. breath of fresh air in this traditional country... they promote a thinking and engaging approach to Islam (within limits of course)

Hajira Amla said...

Sorry, Bilal, but your reasoning is way out on this one. It's not even logical. As OH said, the hadeeth where Aisha R.A. said "If the Prohphet knew" is a matter of HER opinion.

So it's fine to change the rules after Rasullulah passes away because it's in the interest of men? If it were the other way around it would be bid'ah.

Dang, we women should have jumped on the bandwagon before y'all and banned you guys from the mosque. As the reasoning goes, you men are unable to control yourselves, so it's probably better for you all to stay at home where you can't make trouble. While you're there, please wash the dishes. They're piling up a bit.

Hajira Amla said...

Apologies, Bilal, I know YOU didn't write this contemptible fatwa and I'm not attacking you for that per se. But perhaps could you clarify your position on the issue a bit more? It's a bit murky from where I'm standing...

Anonymous said...

There is something known as Ittihad. Concensus of Ulema. This fatwa is not a general fatwa and ofcourse it depends on the area you are living in.

If you live in an area where no man lifts their gaze to a passing woman or vice versa, then women might be permitted to attend eid salah.

However in an area where there is a great possibility of fitna, then women may be advised not to attend or rather pray at the musjid if suitable facilities are available.

Ofcourse that narration from Ummul Mu'mineen Sayyida Aa'isha Radi Allahu Ta'aala Anha is thought provoking; if Ummul Mu'mineen Radi Allahu Anha proposes that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wasallam would have prohibited women from attending the musjid during her time, then imagine the fatwa Aa'isha Radi Allahu Anha would have issued for women attending the musjid during our current times(in places in general).
(There might be places/localities today where the environment is conducive for women to attend the salah).

People need to stick to one reliable Sheikh and people should understand that there are differences in opinion and should respect this. (Ofcourse there are limitations, and if someone goes overboard then kindly correct them).

However in general differences of opinion is (vital) to be accepted and tolerated otherwise the world will be in turmoil.