A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with other women

Q: “Does a woman raise her voice when saying ‘aameen’ during prayer, and does she also give the adhaan and iqaamah?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

If she is praying with women, then yes she raises her voice when saying ‘aameen,’ but if she is praying with men who are not her mahram, then no. Because I do not say that the voice of a woman is `awrah, as many say, since the Mothers of the believers and the wives of the Companions from the early times used to speak and discuss with men. And oftentimes the woman would come to the Prophet ﷺ and ask him something in front of the men, and he ﷺ would answer her question. But (here), it is not from the etiquette of a woman to raise her voice when reciting the Qur.aan. We are often asked if it is permissible for a woman – when she is learning the recitation from a Shaikh, a Muqri – to repeat the recitation to him so that he may correct her. The answer is no. Although she learns, her learning is restricted to listening only, like the women of all the Companions learned from the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ by listening to his recitation during prayer or outside of prayer.

If a woman prays with women while she is the imaam, she raises her voice and the women behind her also raise their voices. That is due to his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed women are the counterparts of men’[1] i.e. every ruling in which the men are being addressed, the women are also included in this address, except that which is made an exception. For example, it is best for a woman, in other than the taraaweeh prayer – please pay attention – in other than the taraaweeh prayer, to pray in her house, whereas it is obligatory upon a man to pray the five prayers in the masjid with the congregation. So here, the woman is not like the man. But the fundamental principle is as he ﷺ said: ‘Indeed women are the counterparts of men.’

So if a woman leads women in prayer as an imaam, she does just as a man would do as an imaam. Firstly: she raises her voice when reciting and when saying ‘aameen,’ and the women behind her also raise their voices when saying ‘aameen.’ Secondly: not only does the woman lead women in prayer as an imaam, indeed she gives the adhaan and iqaamah too. Why? Because of the previous hadeeth: ‘Indeed women are the counterparts of men.’ Moreover, Aa.ishah – the Mother of the believers and the foremost of the Mothers of the believers in fiqh, knowledge and da`wah, may Allaah bless her and her father – used to give the adhaan and iqaamah when she led women in prayer as an imaam.

And here I would like to draw your attention to something that wasn’t asked about: the woman here is also different from the man as she does not step up before the women’s row, but rather she stands in the middle as if she is one of those in the row. She does not step up before them. There is text regarding this also, and thus a woman in this case is not included in the generality of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed women are the counterparts of men.’”


[1] Silsilat ul-Ahaadeeth is-Saheehah 2863

[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor  697/3 / asaheeha translations]

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4 thoughts on “A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with other women

  1. Do we now why sheikh is making exemptions of taraaweeh prayer for women ?This means it is better for women to attend taraaweeh prayer in masjid ?

    “For example, it is best for a woman, in other than the taraaweeh prayer – please pay attention – in other than the taraaweeh prayer, to pray in her house,

    1. In summary, the Shaikh mentioned that: this is what the righteous believing women of the Salaf as-Saalih were upon. There is a hadeeth saying that the best prayer for a man is at home except the obligatory prayers, i.e. the supererogatory prayers are better for a man to pray at home. It is also best for a woman to pray at home. This is the general rule. However, the night prayer during Ramadhaan – i.e. the taraaweeh prayer – is an exception. So just like it is an exception for men, it is likewise an exception for women. When ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) revived the sunnah of praying in congregation for taraaweeh, he gathered the men behind a sahaabee and the women behind another sahaabee.

      BaarakAllaahu feekum

  2. I would like to see the proof for his statement that women should not say “Aamee” out loud when praying behind non-mahram men. He says it’s not “from the etiquette” with no proof to back that up…so is this just his opinion (rahimahullah)? I also always thought that “Aameen” was not part of the Qur’an, and is only said in prayer (not when teaching a child suratul Fatiha, for example). This is very confusing.

    1. firstly, please note that the Shaikh precisely said: “it is not from the etiquette of a woman to raise her voice *when reciting the Qur.aan*” – he did not just say “when saying aameen.” and when we recite the Qur.aan, we are supposed to beautify our voices, and this is something a woman cannot do in front of non-mahram men based on text from the Qur.aan itself. as for your question about why we also should not do this with “aameen,” then the scholars have mentioned that this is because the “aameen” during recitation in prayer involves beautifying the voice too, hence it has the same ruling. however, if a woman’s voice cannot be distinguised among all the voices (maybe if the men’s voices overwhelm hers), then that is an exception to the ruling. this is what the scholars have said. and i’m sure you will notice any imaam who is leading prayer and reciting say “aameen” in a beautified manner, not the same way in which we would say “aameen” outside of prayer while simply talking. baarakallaahu feeki

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