Friday, 6 April 2018

On Women and the Masjid

By Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Mamūd (born 1328AH/1910), may Allah have mercy on him, the Sheikh of al-Azhar from 1393AH/1973 until his death in 1397AH/1978. 

Sheikh Hisham al-Kamil teaching the book ar-Rahbiyyah in inheritance at Al-Azhar, Cairo

He says, may Allah’s blessings be upon him, in what has been related by Imam Aḥmad in his Musnad and Imam Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ, {“Do not hinder the handmaidens of Allah from the masjids of Allah.} Imam an-Nawawī says it is on the condition that they are not scented or beautified, or it is feared that they will cause temptation. Therefore, if women are conducting themselves modestly, there is nothing to prevent them from going to the masjid. Indeed, in this age it is desirable. We should encourage women to go. Maybe Allah will guide them by way of them hearing a word of exhortation or by way of them being exposed to Allah's blessings that are found in His masjids.

The doors of the cinema and the theatre have been flung wide open to women, and thus it would be wise to opens the doors of the masjids to them. As for what has been related by our Lady ʿĀʾishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that had the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, seen what women had invented by way of their embellishments he would have forbidden them from the masjids, what she meant is that women conduct themselves modestly when they go to the masjids. May Allah forbid that she, may Allah be pleased with her, intended to forbid something that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had permitted. Whenever there is modesty and the means of temptation have been nullified, women going to the masjids brings about nothing but good; good for them and good for the society, good in this worldly life and good in the Hereafter.

[Translated from Fatāwā al-Imām ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Maḥmūd (Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif, 1979, 5th edition), v.1, p.499]

Related Posts: 
Women in the Masjid: The Evidence from Sahih Muslim, with commentary by Sheikh al-Islam Yahya an-Nawawi
Women in the Masjid...Apartheid Revisited (Jurjis)

Also by Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Mamūd:
Can a Muslim be a Communist?
The Rank and Knowledge of Scholars

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