Permitting Women To Attend The Mosque And The Severe Rebuke Of Those Who Prevent Them — Hadīth From Ibn Mājah, Explained By Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin

Permitting Women To Attend The Mosque And The Severe Rebuke Of Those Who Prevent Them — Hadīth From Ibn Mājah, Explained By Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin.

Ibn Mājah reported in his Sunan in Kitāb As-Sunnah: “Chapter: Veneration of the Hadīth of Allāh’s Messenger and rebuking harshly with those who contradict it.” (no. 16) that: Muhammad Ibn Yahyā An-Naysabūri narrated to us, saying: Abdur-Razzāq narrated to us, saying: Ma’mar informed us, from Az-Zuhri, from Sālim, from Ibn ‘Umar that Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

لاَ تَمْنَعُوا إِمَاءَ اللَّهِ أَنْ يُصَلِّينَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ  فَقَالَ ابْنٌ لَهُ إِنَّا لَنَمْنَعُهُنَّ  فَقَالَ فَغَضِبَ غَضَبًا شَدِيدًا وَقَالَ إِنِّي أُحَدِّثُكَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ وَإِنَّكَ تَقُولُ إِنَّا لَنَمْنَعُهُنَّ

“Do not prevent the female servants of Allāh from praying in the Mosque.” So the son of Ibn ‘Umar said: “We will surely prevent them!” So Ibn ‘Umar became very angry and said to his son: “I narrate to you from Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) and you say: ‘We will surely prevent them?!’” (Muslim 135,442; Ahmad 2/76)

Ash-Shaikh Al-‘Allāmah Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbād (may Allah preserve him) explained (slightly abridged): It means that you are not to prevent your womenfolk from praying in the mosques if they desire that, however their homes are better for them. Abu Dawūd reports (no. 567) from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said: “Do not prevent your womenfolk from the Mosques, though their homes are better for them.” (Authenticated by Al-Albāni in Al-Irwā, no. 515) Her prayer in her home is better and more virtuous than in the masjid, both obligatory and supererogatory (nafl) prayers. As for the man, then the supererogatory prayers are better for him in the home than in the Masjid. Al-Bukhāri (731) and Muslim (213/781) report from Zayd Ibn Thābit (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said: “The best prayer for a man is what he prays in his home, except for the obligatory prayers.”

So, if a woman desires to pray in the mosque, she is not be prevented as the above hadīth proves. She may attain good from attending the mosques, gain benefit in knowledge, listen to admonitions, reminders and guidance. However, permission is granted to attend the masjid so long as there is no fitnah — that she is not put to trial and she is not a trial for others by applying perfume or beautifying herself.

So the origin is that she is allowed and not prevented — her guardian should permit her so long as there is no resulting tribulation or harm — and likewise there is no neglect in her responsibilities at home, or in her responsibilities towards her children or other household duties.

This hadīth comes under the chapter heading in Ibn Mājah, Kitāb As-Sunnah: “Chapter: Veneration of the Hadīth of Allāh’s Messenger and rebuking harshly with those who contradict it.” In the hadīth, the son of Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar said: “We will surely prevent them?!” Upon that Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar became very angry and said: “I narrate to you from Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) and you say: ‘We will surely prevent them?!’” So Ibn ‘Umar censured him sternly, boycotted him and was harsh with him in speech — so this agrees with the chapter of Ibn Mājah: “Rebuking harshly with those who contradict it.” So the son of Ibn ‘Umar contradicted this hadīth of the Messenger due to his jealousy over women, and he saw that [acting on it] may result in harm. However, when the Sunnah of the Messenger comes then he must direct himself to act on that when it is requested of him, meaning: If she requests to go, she should be allowed to go — but if she does not request to go, it is not said to her: “Go to the Masjid.”

So, in this narration is a proof to reprimand the one who opposes the Sunnah and to censure him verbally. And this is something reported from the noble Companions (may Allāh be pleased with them).

The hadīth states: “Do not prevent the female servants of Allāh from praying in the masjid.” Meaning, if they request that, and in another narration he (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said: “Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the mosques of Allah.” (Al-Bukhāri, 900; Muslim 136/442). So in this is an allowance, not that it is recommended for them. So it is not recommended for the woman to go to the masjid — rather it is preferable for her to pray in her home just as it is reported in the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam). So that is better for her — but if she wishes to go and pray in the masjid, then she should not be prevented, and it is allowed for her to leave her home.

Those named in the chain of narration (Al-Isnād):

Muhammad Ibn Yahyā An-Naysabūri: He is Adh-Dhuhli. He is reliable (thiqah) — Al-Bukhāri and the compilers of the Sunan narrate from him.
Abdur-Razzāq: He is Ibn Hamām As-San’āni Al-Yamāni. He is reliable (thiqah) — all the compilers of the six books narrate from him.
Ma’mar: He is Ibn Rāshid Al-Azdi Al-Basri, then Al-Yamāni. He is reliable (thiqah) — all the compilers of the six books narrate from him.
Sālim: He is the son of Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattāb. He is one of the seven famous fiqh scholars of Madinah, according to one of the three well-known sayings as to who was the seventh faqīh. All the compilers of the six books narrate from him.
Ibn ‘Umar: He is Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar (may Allāh be pleased with him), one of four well-known Abdullāhs amongst the Sahābah, and one of the seven prolific narrators of the ahādīth of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam).

Taken from Sharh Kitāb As-Sunnah min Sunan Al-Imām Ibn Mājah, pp. 104-107, by Shaikh Al-‘Allāmah Abdul-Muhsin Al-Abbād.

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