A woman invalidating another woman’s prayer

Q: “If a woman passes in front of someone praying she invalidates the prayer, so does she also invalidate the prayer of a woman?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“We received this question many times very recently, and the answer is: yes, a woman invalidates the prayer of another woman under the condition mentioned in some established narrations: if she has reached puberty. There is no difference in legislative rulings between men and women unless there is legislative text that excludes women from the men; and there isn’t any such text here. Rather, the text is general: ‘Your prayer is invalidated if a (postpubescent) woman, a donkey or a black dog passes in front of you without there being something like the rear part of a camel saddle in front of you.’[1] So there is no difference in the ruling.”


[1] Saheeh Muslim 510

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 93 / alalbaany.com]


A woman invalidating another woman’s prayer

Eat while standing

Q: “Is it allowed to eat while standing?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There is no legislative text to prohibit eating while standing like the text that prohibits drinking while standing. But there is a narration from Anas bin Maalik رضي الله عنه that when he told those around him in a gathering that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited drinking while standing, someone said to him: ‘What about eating (while standing)?’ and he replied: ‘It is worse.’

I say here, we should follow this Companion because we don’t have anything with which we can contradict him. But what is the distinction between eating while standing and eating while walking? Eating while walking is allowed, because there is legislative text clearly stating that they used to eat while walking during the time of the Prophet ﷺ. As for eating while standing, there is no such text regarding it from the Prophet ﷺ, neither negative nor positive. All we have is this authentic narration from Anas bin Maalik and this is what we act upon.

Moreover, maybe some of you noticed in these times that it has become a fashion for disbelievers to eat while standing although chairs are available; but they don’t sit on them out of pride. In that case, the previous ruling is further strengthened. So we are with the narration of Anas because Anas knew what we don’t know, and because disbelievers nowadays and Muslims who imitate them eat while standing, hence we differ from them.”

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 246 / alalbaany.com]

Eat while standing

Eating with three fingers

Q: “Does it occur in the Sunnah to eat with three fingers in general with respect to all food or just with thareed (a dish of meat and bread)?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There isn’t anything in the Prophet’s ﷺ Sunnah that would help us answer this question. There isn’t anything except that the Prophet ﷺ used to eat with three fingers; but what we should say about the meaning of this hadeeth is:

This hadeeth definitely does not mean that it is impermissible for a Muslim to eat with other means like spoons that are well-known today. Rather it only means that if a Muslim eats a type of food that can be eaten with three fingers, then he does not show that he is greedy with the food such that he eats with the whole hand when he is able to eat like Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ would eat: with three fingers. This is the first point. Secondly, it is known that meat gravy for example cannot be eaten with three fingers so here one must use other means to eat it. This is from the worldly affairs; it is not from the affairs of the religion, all the rulings of which Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ was charged to convey to the people. Regarding the worldly affairs, he ﷺ said: ‘You are more knowledgeable about your worldly affairs than me.’”[1]

[1] Saheeh al-Jaami` 1488

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 692 / alalbaany.com]

Eating with three fingers

A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with 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. I do not say that a woman’s voice is `awrah, as many say, since the Mothers of the believers and the wives of the Companions, the foremost, used to speak and communicate with men; and oftentimes a woman would come to the Prophet ﷺ and ask him something in front of the men, and he ﷺ would answer her question. However, it is not proper for 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 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 Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ by listening to his recitation during prayer or outside of prayer.

If a woman prays with women as the imaam, she raises her voice and the women behind her also raise their voices, because of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men’[1] i.e. every ruling in which men are being addressed, women are also included except for that which is made an exception. For example, it is best for a woman, 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 mosque 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 she lead women in prayer as an imaam, she even gives the adhaan and iqaamah. Why? Because of the previous narration: ‘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.

Now I would like to draw your attention to something that wasn’t asked about: the woman here is also different from the man in that 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 legislative text regarding this also, and thus a woman in this case is not included in the general meaning of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’”


[1] As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 2863

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor  697/3 / alalbaany.com]

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

A resident combining prayers

Q: “Is it allowed for a resident to combine Dhuhr and `Asr prayers without any excuse?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“Imaam Muslim reported in his Saheeh that Ibn `Abbaas said: ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ combined Dhuhr with `Asr and Maghrib with `Ishaa in Madinah when he wasn’t on a journey nor was there any rain.’ They said: ‘Why did he do that O Abu l-`Abbaas?’ This was `Abdullaah bin `Abbaas’s kunyah. He replied: ‘So he would not make things difficult for his ummah.’’[1]

What is apparent from the narration is that it is permissible to combine two prayers while being a resident and without the excuse of rain, as rain is a legislated excuse that allows the combining of two prayers. And here Ibn `Abbaas says that the Prophet ﷺ combined while he was a resident and combined without the excuse of rain, and he confirmed that when he was asked the previous question ‘Why did he do that?’ by saying: ‘So he would not make things difficult for his ummah.’ This is the narration, and it is in Saheeh Muslim not al-Bukhaari. The same meaning is found in al-Bukhaari: that he combined prayers in Madinah as eight rak`ahs,[2] but it does not have this elaboration that Imaam Muslim reported from Ibn `Abbaas which contains this important subtlety – i.e. his رضي الله عنه statement ‘So he would not make things difficult for his ummah’ in answer to that question.

So some scholars of both old and recent times hold that this combining is permissible for a resident without any excuse, and I don’t consider this correct because the narrator justifies the Messenger’s ﷺ combining without an excuse with another excuse: which is to legislate and explain to the people, as Ibn `Abbaas said ‘So he ﷺ would not make things difficult for his ummah.’ This means that the ruling of combining as a resident is restricted to the presence of difficulty if one were to not combine. So when there is difficulty in performing the prayers in their known appointed times, it is permissible to combine to avoid the difficulty, which Allaah عز وجل negated in the likes of His Statement: {He has not placed any difficulty upon you in the religion}.[3] But if there is no difficulty, it is obligatory to maintain performing the five prayers, each prayer in its time, because there is no difficulty.

For example, I am sitting here and I hear the adhaan there in the nearby mosque and I am able to go out without any difficulty, then it is not permissible for me to combine. And vice versa: when I came on this trip I found that this electric elevator wasn’t working, and it is very difficult for me as you can see to go up or down by stairs because of a pain in my knees; so some prayers went by and I didn’t go out to the mosque, but when the electric elevator was fixed and saved me the difficulty of going up and down, it became obligatory upon me to pray every prayer in the mosque because I no longer experienced the difficulty I had when I just came here. Therefore, combining is only allowed to avoid difficulty; and when there is no difficulty, there is no combining. These are two inseparable matters: when there is no difficulty, there is no combining; when there is difficulty, there is combining. This is the best that can be said to reconcile between this authentic narrration and the narrations which clearly state that every prayer is to be prayed in its appointed time and that it is not allowed to distract oneself from it – especially since in most circumstances, combining necessitates that one leaves praying with the congregation, like my initial situation that I described to you.”


[1] Saheeh Muslim 705, Musnad Ahmad 4/192
[2] Saheeh al-Bukhaari 543
[3] Surah al-Hajj 22:78

[fataawaa jeddah 13/5 / alalbaany.com]

A resident combining prayers