It is not permissible for a woman to pray with her feet uncovered

Q: “Should a woman cover her feet when she prays?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

It is not permissible for her to pray with her feet uncovered, indeed it is not permissible for her to walk in the streets with her feet uncovered, because the feet are part of a woman’s `awrah based on Allaah’s عز وجل Statement: {And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment}.[1] The woman during the Days of Ignorance used to wear what is known in the Arabic language as khalkhaal (anklet), meaning a bracelet with small bells. So when the woman walked, she – in order to turn the men’s attention to her – would strike the ground with her feet so the anklet would make a noise and the men would hear that; and such was due to shaitaan’s whisperings to her.

This means that the feet used to be covered. Because of what? Because of the jilbaab that the women were commanded to cast down from over their heads, according to Allaah’s Statement: {O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments  (jilbaabs) close upon themselves}.[2] And it is mentioned in the authentic hadeeth that the Prophet ﷺ said one day during a gathering in which there were also women: ‘Whoever drags his garment out of pride, Allaah عز وجل will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.’ One of the women said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, then our feet will be exposed.’ He ﷺ said: ‘let the women lengthen (their garments) by a hand-span.’ She said: ‘Then a wind will come and uncover (their feet).’ He ﷺ said: ‘let them add another hand-span, i.e. (a total of) one cubit, and not go beyond that.’[3] [4]

In this manner, the jilbaab of the Muslim woman – at the time of the revelation of the above-mentioned verse: {to draw their outer garments (jilbaabs) close upon themselves} – used to cover the feet since the socks that are widespread nowadays among both women and men were not widespread at that time. The woman used to cover her shins and feet with the long jilbaab that resembles the `abaa.ah. Therefore it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to uncover her feet while she is on the street, and it is even more impermissible for her to pray with her feet uncovered.”


[1] Surat un-Noor 24:31
[2] Surat ul-Ahzaab 33:59
[3] the Shaikh mentioned the general meaning, not the exact wording, of the woman’s speech
[4] Saheeh at-Tirmidhi 1731, Saheeh Abi Daawood 4119

[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor 697/3-4 / asaheeha translations]

It is not permissible for a woman to pray with her feet uncovered

The Creator of good & evil

The Prophet ﷺ said: “If you marry a woman or buy a slave, place your hand on her forehead, say ‘bismillaah’ and supplicate for blessing and say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِهَا وَخَيْرِ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا وَشَرِّ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ
(O Allaah, indeed I ask You for the good in her and the good characteristics You have created in her, and I seek refuge in You from the evil in her and the evil characteristics You have created in her)

If you buy a camel, place your hand on top of its hump and say the same.”[1]

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“This narration has evidence that Allaah is the Creator of good and evil, contrary to those – such as the Mu`tazilah and others – who hold that evil is not from His creation تبارك وتعالى. There is nothing in Allaah’s being Creator of evil that contradicts His Perfection تعالى, rather it is part of His Perfection تبارك وتعالى. Details of that are present in comprehensive volumes, one of the best being the book Shifaaul-`Aleel fil-Qadhaa’i wal-Qadari wat-Ta`leel by Ibnul-Qayyim, so consult it if you wish.

Also, is this supplication legislated in the event of buying something like a car? My answer is: yes, due to the good that is hoped from it and the evil that is feared from it.”


[1] Saheeh Abu Daawood 2160 and others

[aadaabuz-zifaaf 92-93 / alalbaany.com]

The Creator of good & evil

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

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