There is no hindrance for women to pray in the Mosques along with men. At the time of the Prophet, women used to perform prayers in the Mosque along with men. Not only that, but they used to attend religious classes and share the events such as the `Eid prayers with men. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Do not prevent the she-servants of Allah from Allah’s mosques.”

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, states the following: Women used to attend the jama`ah or congregational Prayers and the Friday Prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to urge them to stand in the last rows behind men.

At the beginning, men and women used to enter through the same door. When this caused overcrowding on entrances and exits, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him, said: “(It would be better) if this door is left for women.” Upon saying so, the men made that door for women, and it became known up until today as “The Women’s Door”.

Moreover, women, at the time of the Prophet, used to attend the Friday Prayer; they used to perform the Prayer regularly and listen to the khutbah to the extent that one of them could recite Surat Qaf as she heard the Prophet recite it several times in the Friday khutbah. Women also used to attend the `Eid
Prayers and participate in that big Islamic festival that included the old and the young, men as well as women, out in the open, all worshipping Allah.

Umm `Attiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated, “We used to be ordered to come out on the Day of the `Eid and even bring out the virgin girls from their houses and menstruating women so that they might stand behind the men and say takbir along with them and invoke Allah along with them and hope for the blessings of that day and for purification from sins.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

Moreover, women used to attend religious sermons with men at the Prophet’s house and they used to inquire about religious matters that many women nowadays would find embarrassing to ask about. For instance, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) praised the women of Al-Ansar for trying to understand their religion without being held back by bashfulness for they used to ask about such matters as major ritual impurity, wet dream, purificatory bath, menstruation, chronic vaginal discharge, etc.

And when women found that men’s questions were taking most of the Prophet’s time, they plainly requested the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to make a special day for women. So the Prophet dedicated a day for them when he used to give them lessons and sermons. (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

Shedding more light on the issue, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, adds:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explicitly told men not to exclude women from going to the Mosque. It is reported that the wife of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) used to attend the congregational Prayer in the Mosque at Fajr and `Ishaa’ Prayers. It was said to her, “Why do you leave home, you know that `Umar does not like that and he feels ashamed (that you leave home at that time)?” She said, “So what prevents him from stopping Me?” The person said, “It is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ‘Do not prevent the she-servants of Allah from Allah’s Mosques.'” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

It is not obligatory for women to attend the jama`ah or congregational Prayers at the Mosque, because they have other obligations as regards their home and children. However, if they have time and feel safe to attend the Mosque, in proper Islamic dress, then they should not be stopped.

We should rather make our Mosques in such a way that men and women both have equal chance to pray there observing the rules of Prayers.

Some people, in voicing objection against women going to the Mosque, rely on what `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said in this regard. She is quoted to have said, sometime after the Prophet’s death: “If the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have seen what the women do now, he would have stopped them from coming to Mosques.”

But the great scholar of Hadith Ibn Hajar states: “This statement does not say very clearly that `A’ishah gave the Fatwa that women are forbidden to come to Mosques.” (Fath Al-Bari, p. 928).

It is not known that any Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) or a prominent jurist forbade women from atten
ding the prayers in the Mosque. The custom of preventing women from attending the Mosques started later in times. This unfortunately has negative impact on many of our sisters, drawing them backward and making them ignorant of their faith.

Women in the West go everywhere. They are in the markets, in malls, in restaurants, and in offices. It is ironic that some men allow them to go to all the places of temptation, but they want to stop them from coming to the places where they can pray to their Lord and learn about their faith.