in category Fiqh (Jurisprudence)

Are the ahadith about it being better that Muslim women pray in their homes authentic?

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(60.9k points):

Islamic researcher, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Islamic Studies in the English language. I also studied at Temple University in the US.
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In a Nutshell:
Yes, most of these ahadith are authentic and narrated by a large number of chains of narrators. An Islamic civilisation organises itsrlf whereby Muslim women pray in their homes.


These narrations are cited in Medina, where the prophet (saw) had created an Islamic polity. Mosques were central institutions where men were obliged to attend for congregational prayers.

Allah (swt) relieved women from attending the congregational prayers and preferred they pray at home.

There are many ahadith narrating this expectation, but some feminists and modernists argue one of the clearest ahadith on the subject is weak.

Abu Dawud narrated the Prophet (saw) said:

صَلاَةُ الْمَرْأَةِ فِي بَيْتِهَا أَفْضَلُ مِنْ صَلاَتِهَا فِي حُجْرَتِهَا وَصَلاَتُهَا فِي مَخْدَعِهَا أَفْضَلُ مِنْ صَلاَتِهَا فِي بَيْتِهَا
"It is more excellent for a woman to pray in her house than in her courtyard, and more excellent for her to pray in her private chamber than in her house." (Abu Dawud 570, Haythami, Majma' az-Zawa'id, Vol. 2, p. 37, al-Wadi'i, as-Sahih al-Musnad 865, al-Arna'ut, Takhrij a;-Musnad, 570 and others)

This hadith was considered sahih by almost all the scholars I have come across.

For example, the Shafi'i jurist Imam Nawawi in commenting on this hadith he said:

إِسْنادُهُ صَحِيحٌ عَلَى شَرْطِ مُسْلِمْ
"Its isnad is authentic according to the condition of (Sahih) Muslim." (Nawawi, al-Majmu' Vol. 4, p. 198, al-Khulasah, Vol. 2, p. 677)

Which means it was narrated by one of the best chains of narrators.

The ninth-century jurist and muhadith ibn Hajar also argued it is a hasan hadith. (Ibn Hajar, Takhrij Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 1, p. 467)

The Egyptian jurist Suyuti argued it is a sahih hadith. (Suyuti, al-Jami' as-Sagheer 5074)

The fifth-century Zahiri jurist ibn Hazm states at the introduction of his book 'al-Muhala, he would only use in his book sahih ahadith. He also cited it. (Ibn Hazm, al-Muhala, Vol. 4, p. 201)

What makes some people argue it is a weak hadith, is the fact Abu Dawud usually does not comment on the hadith being sahih, hasan and so on. So, they jumped to the conclusion it must be weak, but in reality, Abu Dawud argued in the introduction to the people of Mecca:
كُلُّ مَا سُكِتَ عَنْهُ فَهُوَ صَالِحٌ
"All that on which i remained silent is sound." (Abu Dawud, Risalat Ahl Makkah, Introduction)


Most of these ahadith are authentic and narrated by lots of chains of narrators.

The meanings are also consistent amongst the narrations, preferring Muslim women in an Islamic society to pray in their homes.


Nawawi, al-Majmu;
Nawawi, al-Khulasah;
Ibn Hajar, Takhrij Mishkat al-Masabih;
Suyuti, al-Jami' as-Sagheer;
Ibn Hazm, al-Muhala;
Abu Dawud, Risalat Ahl Maccah.

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