" Perjuangan tidak akan berakhir hari ini sebagaimana ia tidak bermula hari ini "

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Jawapan Ulama Besar terhadap Isu Wanita Jadi Imam Jumaat di USA
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, thank you for your question, which shows the confidence you place in us. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of Islam. In past and present times, there is a complete consensus among all Muslim jurists and scholars that women are not allowed to lead the Friday Prayer nor can they deliver the Friday khutbah. The logical as well as Shari`ah-based conclusion in this regard is that only men are allowed to perform such a function. The proponents of the weird view referred to in the question depend on evidence from the Sunnah that refers to very specific circumstances where a woman can lead the Prayer inside her home, and has no relation to Friday Prayer and general congregations. In answer to your question, we cite for you the following detailed statement issued by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America:
The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) totally denounces such an action, which is a complete heresy, and affirms the following facts: The ultimate reference and the supreme source of legislation of Islam is the Book of Allah, and the purified Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “I left among you that which if you hold on to it you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allah, and my Sunnah.” Consensus and unanimity on the interpretation of a certain text in these two sources (the Qur’an and the Sunnah) is an irrefutable proof for its meaning and a clear sign and evidence that any other later interpretation is nullified, void, and rejected. Allah Almighty says, (And whoso opposeth the Messenger after the guidance (of Allah) hath been manifested unto him, and followeth other than the believer’s way, We appoint for him that unto which he himself hath turned, and expose him unto hell a hapless journey’s end) (An-Nisaa’ 4:115).
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) described the successful group among the ones that went astray as being those “who follow and behave (after) what I and my Companions follow and behave (after).” Second, there is unanimous consensus for the entire Ummah, in the east and west, that women cannot lead the Friday Prayer nor can they deliver the sermon. Whoever takes part in such a Prayer, then his Prayer is nullified. It is never found in any jurisprudential text of Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi`is or Hanbalis, nor even from Shiite scholars, that a woman can lead the Friday Prayer or deliver the sermon.
This opinion [that a woman can lead the Friday Prayer] is an innovation and a heresy on any account, nullified by all scholars. Some of the evidences that led to the above-mentioned consensus is what came in the purified Sunnah that the rows of the women should be behind the rows of the men in the Prayer. In the hadith narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) we learn that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed as imam for Anas, his mother and his aunt, he made Anas stand on his right side and Anas’s mother and his aunt behind them. The same arrangement was followed in the masjid of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and across the entire Ummah for centuries.
Imam Muslim narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that, “The best rows for the men are the front ones and the least good are the ones towards the back; and the best rows for the women are the ones towards the back and the least good are the ones towards the front.” This was for no other reason but to protect them from any embarrassment and to close the door before any evil thoughts or temptations that might come into the hearts of whoever might be looking at them otherwise. How could it be possible then that a woman can be in front of all rows leading the Friday Prayer? Other evidence is that it is well established in Islamic jurisprudence that Allah has not made Prayer in congregation mandatory for women, neither is it obligatory that women pray Friday Prayers.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned in the authentic narration through Abu Dawud: “Friday Prayer is mandatory upon each Muslim (to be performed) in a congregation; the only types of people who are exempted are a slave, a woman, a young boy or a sick person.” In addition, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) informed Muslim women that their Prayer at home is better for them than attending the congregation, out of mercy upon them that they face the hassles of going out and to shield them from temptations. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not prevent the women from going to the masjid; however, it is better for them to pray at home” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud).

How could it be possible then that it is not mandatory for a woman to pray in the masjid, to achieve the intent of the Legislator (Allah) of making it easy upon women by praying at home, while shielding them from temptations, then a woman goes up on the pulpit to deliver the sermon, and stands in front of the rows as imam! It was never recorded that a single woman, across Islamic history, has performed such an action, nor even demanded to do it; not in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), nor in the time of the Companions, or their followers, not even in later generations and centuries. This by itself constitutes a clear proof of the invalidity of this opinion, and anyone who calls for it or helps to implement it is a heretic. If any of this has legitimacy, the most qualified women to actually do it were the Mothers of the Believers; most of them were knowledgeable brilliant scholars.
It is enough to talk about the eloquent, articulate, bright, and knowledgeable of `A’ishah, daughter of Abu Bakr, wife of the Prophet, Mother of the Believers. If there was any shred of evidence that this action is good and permissible, these shining examples among Muslim women would have taken the lead to it. There were numerous women scholars across Islamic history, jurisprudential references and narration experts; they were honest, trustworthy, and experts in what they accomplished.
Imam Az-zahabi said, “It was never recorded that a woman propagated false hadith attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).” He also mentioned that “I am not aware of any woman that were accused of propagating falsehoods or ones whose narrations were disregarded.” Among the teachers of Imam Ibn `Asaker were 80 women. The same is for Imam Abu Muslim Al-Farahidi, who reported the narration of 70 women. Imam Shafi`i, Al-Bukhari, Ibn Khalkan, and Ibn Hayyan all had women among their teachers. None of these noble women scholars ever attempted to lead the Friday Prayer nor deliver the sermon, even though they were superior in knowledge over many of their contemporary men in jurisprudence, religious knowledge, and narrations from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Muslim women participated in all aspects of Islamic work throughout Islamic history: as scholars and jurisprudential references, as participating in all kinds of worship, as workers in the field of relief and emergency aid, and in the enjoining of good and forbidding of evil. But never were they imams for Friday Prayers or have ever delivered Friday sermons. It is a logical and Shari`ah-based conclusion that only men are allowed to perform such a function as leading the Friday Prayer and delivering the sermon. Whoever disputes this fact can take as much time as he wants to dig out one single example form the volumes of Islamic jurisprudence across the centuries, and he will miserably fail. Lastly, those who are calling for such acts are taking as an excuse a narration that Umm Waraqah was given the permission by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to lead her household members in the Prayer.
This narration, even assuming that it is authentic, has nothing to do whatsoever with the Friday Prayer. It is talking about some very specific circumstances where a woman can lead the Prayer inside her home, and has no relation to Friday Prayer and general congregations. AMJA is delivering this somber warning message to the entire Ummah, not to give any credit to such false initiatives that contradict the basics and fundamentals of the religion, and are totally heretical innovations. AMAJ reminds Muslims that we are to follow only the Book of Allah and the purified Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Muslims should pay careful attention to whom they are seeking the guidance from; indeed, he who strives to cling to his religion nowadays is suffering as much as a person who is trying to keep a tight fist on a piece of flaming charcoal in the palm of his hand. AMAJ is extending a sincere supplication to none but Allah to save us from all trials and tribulations, and to guide us all to that which is closest to the mercy and pleasure of Allah, as He is the only One capable of that. It is Allah alone that we seek in all of our actions, and it is He alone Who can guide to the straight path. Name Abu Mariam - Title Are Women Too Inferior to Lead Men in Prayer? Question As-Salamu `alaykum. Recently the issue of women leading men in Prayer in the mosque has raised a great controversy over the role of women in Islam. Are women too inferior to lead men in public Prayer? Date 21/Mar/2005 Mufti Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Thanks for this interesting question, which reflects part of the misconceptions that some people have about Islam and the way it deals with women. We really commend your efforts in pursuit of truth. This is what is required of all people, to seek truth and not to give in to anything that may cloud their minds with fake ideas about Islam. In fact, the status of woman in Islam constitutes no problem. The attitude of the Qur'an and the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is as vital to life as man himself, and that she is not inferior to him nor is she one of the lower species. Had it not been for the impact of foreign cultures and alien influences, this question would have never arisen among the Muslims. BR>
The status of woman was taken for granted to be equal to that of man. It was, of course, a matter of fact, and no one then considered it as a problem at all. As for the `ibadat (acts of worship), we have to carry out them in the same and exact way prescribed by Allah Almighty and taught by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). There are some slight differences in carrying out some acts of worship between men and women, in a way that best suits their different natures. For example, in Hajj women are allowed to wear their normal clothes or attire regardless of whether they are with seams or not, while men are not allowed wear clothes with seams.
This is, of course, in favor of women's nature and need to cover their entire body with the exception of the face and hands. Focusing more on the question at hand, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, states:
Islam places no restriction on women to teach, preach, and guide both women and men. The Qur'an says, (Men and women are supporters of each other. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong) (At-Tawbah 9:71).

There are many women today who are fully qualified to be jurists (faqihah) and give religious opinions (fatwas). They do issue fatwas and teach Qur’an and Hadith in schools, colleges, and universities all over the world. Many Islamic organizations, Islamic centers, and mosques in America also have very learned and knowledgeable sisters who participate in their masjids’ boards and involve themselves in administration, teaching, preaching, and counseling.
Muslims should give them more opportunities, allow them and encourage them to become full partners in Islamic work. Leading salah (Prayer), however, is restricted to male imams only when the congregation consists of men and women, whether the Prayer is performed in the mosques or outside mosques, whether they are daily Prayers or Friday and `Eid Prayers. Women are not allowed to lead such Prayers. This has also been the practice of Muslims all over the world since the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This Shar`i ruling is not because of any notion of spiritual deficiency among women. Men and women both are equal in the sight of Allah and both of them must be fully respected and honored. Women are allowed to lead the Prayer when the congregation is all women. They are also allowed to lead the Prayer in their homes among their family members, if they are more knowledgeable of the Qur’an and Islamic rules. Recently some people have started a controversy about this matter of Shari`ah. Questions are being asked about the Islamic reasons why women are barred from leading the Prayers of men and women both. In order to understand the rules and wisdom of Shari`ah in this matter, following points are in order:

1. There is a difference between salah and du`aa' (supplication) in Islam. Salah is a fixed and formalized form of prayer. Its timings, positions, postures, style including the wording and recitations were all fixed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It is not permissible to introduce any new style or liturgy in salah. Du`aa', however, is another form of Islamic prayer that is informal and there is no restriction as to who performs it and how and when it is performed. It can be performed in any language.
It can be done individually or collectively. It can be led by males or females. In salah we are supposed to follow the Sunnah. We cannot add or delete anything from the salah if we want our salah to be valid and acceptable to Allah. About du`aa' one can say that since we are not forbidden to do our du`a' in a particular manner, we are allowed to do it the way we want it; but in salah everything is forbidden unless it is allowed. For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not say that salah cannot be performed in English. He did not say that you cannot have salah in congregation six times a day. Now, based on this argument, we cannot start having our salah in English or six times every day.
2. In our salah, we stand very close to each other or as we say “shoulder to shoulder and ankle to ankle” almost touching each other. We stand in straight lines. We make ruku` and sujud. We are supposed to pray with sincerity and devotion concentrating our heart and mind towards the Prayer. For this reason the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that men and women should have separate lines. The lines of men should be in the front area, then the lines of children and then women.
The imam should stand in front of the congregation and should make ruku` and sajdah before the congregation and they should follow the imam. The ideal way in this structure of Prayer service is to separate men from women and not allow a woman to be ahead of all men and bow and prostrate in front of them. Haya’ (modesty) is a special character of Islam. It is emphasized that men and women both must observe haya’ always and especially in their places of worship. The Prophet’s wife `A'ishah and his Companion Ibn `Abbas are reported to have said that a woman leading other women in Prayer should not stand in front of them like a male imam, but in their midst.
3. Some people refer to the hadith of Umm Waraqah who was allowed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to lead the salah. According to the Sunan of Abu Dawud, the hadith says: “Umm Waraqah wanted to accompany the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to the battle of Badr, but the Prophet told her to stay in her home.” Further in this hadith it is said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit her in her home. He appointed a person to give the Adhan (call for Prayer) for her and he told her to lead the Prayer for the people of her house. `Abdur-Rahman ibn Khallad (the reporter of this hadith) said, “I saw her muezzin who was a very old man” (Abu Dawud 500). In other reports of this hadith it is said that the Prophet told her to lead the Prayers of the women of her house (Ad-Darqutni).
This hadith does not give permission to women to lead the salah of men in the masjid; it is restricted to home and according to some versions only for the women of the home. Most of the scholars of Hadith and fiqh did not use this as a general permission of the Prophet for women to be imams of the mosques and lead men and women in Prayers. If this would have been the general case, then many other very able and qualified women in the time of the Prophet and after him would have been leading salah in the mosque.
We pray to Allah Most High that we sincerely follow His religion without any innovation or exaggeration. Ameen.


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