Saturday, December 01, 2007

Can a Woman be an Imam?

There are couple of very interesting pictures posted on buzzvines, one of the blogs syndicated by You can check them here and here. (If they have not edited them out yet)

One of the pics shows a woman, as imam, leading a prayer session which includes men as well. Interesting questions have been raised that whether a woman can be an Imam or not. Can she lead the prayers? Whether women should stand behind men in rows and that whether they should or should not intermingle in mosques.

I have always believed that Islam is the property of Allah and not humans.. so muslims better don't trespass!

Let me start off with an excellent verse that forms the basis of my argument.

6:114 - Say: "Shall I seek for judge other than Allah? - when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, explained in detail." ...

Now if Quran is 'explained in detail' as God puts it.. then we should find in it whether a woman can be an Imam. hmm. Unfortunately there is no such info in Quran.

So what does that mean? Did God forget? Did He commit a mistake? typo?

20:52 - He replied: "The knowledge of that is with my Lord, duly recorded: my Lord never errs, nor forgets,-

There goes the erring and forgetting portion. OK. Then probably Prophet Muhammad would have said anything about it if God did not mention it right?

10:15 - But when Our Clear Signs are rehearsed unto them, those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, Say: "Bring us a reading other than this, or change this," Say: "It is not for me, of my own accord, to change it: I follow naught but what is revealed unto me: if I were to disobey my Lord, I should myself fear the penalty of a Great Day (to come)."

But prophet is saying that he only follows what God has revealed. Further the prophet is being warned here not to change anything and recite whatever that has been revealed.

Ok then what? How about I say that such and such thing is in Islam and such and thing not? This thing is 'haram' and that thing is 'halal'. Religious scholars keep doing that after all...

6:150 - Say: "Bring forward your witnesses to prove that Allah did forbid so and so." If they bring such witnesses, be not thou amongst them: ...

So if I say that a woman can not be an imam, then I would have to bring something as evidence that God said that. Which of course I do not have. Similarly, if I say that God said that a woman can be imam! Hell! I don't have an evidence for that either!

So what should be done? It is very simple actually... keep the opinions to yourself! No one has the right to say that such and such thing is Islamic or unislamic or this is haram or this halal. If anyone does that.. recite to him the above verse! No religious scholar is smarter than God! And that includes Dr. Zakir Naik as well! He has no right to brand things islamic or unislamic.

So if you are not comfortable with offering salat with women - do not offer salat with them! And if you are ok offering salat with them or they being the imam - suit yourself! But keep the judgment for later!

6:164 - Say: "Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than Allah, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is towards Allah: He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed."

Its His religion. Let Him decide who was wrong or right on the day of judgment!

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    Anonymous said...

    "qawwamuna ala' al-nisa"
    Men are guardians over women

    and "lirijalun darajaatun alehinna"

    and for men are a level above women.

    Both in the Holy Qur'an.

    salam laykum

    PostMan said...


    Yes both these verses are in Quran but they are not even remotely associated with women being imam.

    Both of these verses 4:36 (former) and 2:228 (latter) are related to divorce.


    Anonymous said...

    Haya (modesty) is an important part of Islam, which is why a woman is not allowed to lead the congregation of men.If that were the case, then there would've been examples from our Prophet's time, such as Khadija (RA).

    However, they can lead a group of women by standing amongst them and not infront. Allah has gifted women and protected them by making this restriction. Wallahu A'lam.

    PostMan said...

    Thanks Annonymous..

    Unfortunately, 'haya' has got nothing to do with women being imam - what if the women is dressed 100% according to definitions of shariah? (if there are any definitions for that matter)

    So unless and untill we 'have the proof' that women are not allowed by Allah to be imams.. I am sorry, at aleast I, can not say that is is forbidden.

    Anonymous said...


    May Allah give you hidaya to seek repentence over such rubbish you are spreading!!!

    Anonymous said...

    i m very sorry to read such comments in your blogs. Mr. Post Man! You should to do extinsive research and clear your confussions by discussing such issues with learned scholars or muftis instead of giving misleading fatwas in your blogs.

    PostMan said...

    Thanks for the comment :)

    I know the reply of religious scholars :)