Hesham A Syed

January 4, 2009

Lady Imam for Prayers – why not ?

Filed under: English Articles,Islam,Religion — Hesham A Syed @ 10:04 am

Lady Imam for Prayers – A comparative study and stand of islam on this issue – Hesham Syed

Woman Imam-to lead prayers why not ?

Can Woman lead prayers ? – various religious perspective including Islam – hesham syed  


You may share with any please. 


# My first reaction and comment – dated March 7, 2005.

There is a historical record that only one time under special circumstances Prophet Muhammed ( saw ) had allowed one Woman to lead a prayer for her own close family member only but with a Moazin assigned who was an old male family member again , This was done in a situation where no male member of that family had memorized Quranic surahs to recite during Salaat – Traditionally this has not been in practice during Prophet’s life time in this world nor Sahabaas any time practiced it and during almost  past1400 years – Even if one considers that one time record at initial stage can be a reference to start this practice then there have been a few practices which were changed or overruled by subsequent commandment of Allah and the Prophet – if it was so important then there should have been any other example in the history during life time of Prophet or Sahaabaas — Now to claim that Quranic revelations were really not understood or were not practiced by the Prophet himself or any one of his companion because the male chauvinism existed and they all did not give the women their equal right is some thing which obviously is satanic interpretation and an addition of another cult in Islam – I personally think a woman can lead a prayer if it is just a women or children gathering and not male mixed gathering – OR if it is circumstantial again that  there is a situation where no man knows how to pray or recite Quran and if any woman is present , then she can lead the prayer but this again would be an exceptional case ( most likely same like the one on record when Prophet ( saw ) had allowed this one time. This new cult would also like women to stand beside men in Qiyaam and walk through the front door of mosque –  Walking through front door or any door is no problem but to do Qiyaam beside a ghair mahram obviously will cause emotional , social and ethical problem – Further more there are a few biological reasons also why Woman at time can not participate in congregational prayers – Considering many other Ahaadees where Prophet ( saw ) has not forbidden woman to go to mosque but encouraged them to offer their regular prayers at home – Woman should take it as a relief from Allah- swt, than twisting it otherwise to make it sound like a disparity or discrimination of gender.

All such issues are being fabricated to destroy the harmony of Islamic tradition or may be it is an over reaction of male chauvinism ( which is non Islamic ) which exist  in so called Muslim world . Although this needs to be debated and statistically discussed to compare the records as how much of an abuse of women is done in so called non Islamic  or Muslim world – In principle any practice of abuse or exploitation whether it is of woman or man is non Islamic , so any one found guilty of it is not following Islam although he may carry a Muslim name or may  live in so called Islamic country.

Hope this explanation helps.

Hesham Syed. 

# Further to my comments dated March 7 2005,  I have carried out a research to find out what other popular religions of the world have to say about it and what is their standing in this regard.


Question asked:


To: Priest / Pastor / Rabbi / Pundit and checked on websites + Books

I like to know if in your religion there is a Woman Priest? Conceptually would you accept Woman leading your prayer or doing ceremonials – Is there any reference in your holy book to affirm this or to negate this? Do any woman priest / pundit head your place of worship / church / temple /Synagogues, anywhere?

Please advise

Best wishes
Hesham A Syed



In response to your query :

Only one who is themselves obligated to do a service can lead one. Leading a service means representing the entire congregation. Women are not obligated to do the services (though, of course, they may participate) therefore they cannot lead them. There is also the issue of modesty.

In short, a woman cannot be a Rabbi or lead a service.

Rabbi Moshe Spalter 


In response to your question re: women priests/pastors, the Holy Bible is clear that God calls men to be pastors in the church.  IF you have a Bible, you may read 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Timothy 3:1-13.  More passages from the Bible may be mentioned. 

I’ll explain the rationale from the Bible as brief as possible and we can always follow up with more discussion.  According to what God says in the Bible, both men and women are created in God’s image (Genesis 1 & 2).   And both Christian men and women share the same status with respect to God’s salvation for them. In this sense, the man is not superior to the women.  But according to the Bible women have a different function than men within the home (Ephesians 5:22-33) and within the church (1 Timothy 3:1-13).  In both the home (marriage) and in the church, the man is called to exercise headship or leadership in a loving way.  This is not a cultural thing, but an ordinance from God since the beginning of the creation of the world. 

However, in practice, many churches have departed from this teaching of Scripture due to the influence of feminism within the culture.   Many women are pastors in the church and leads in the home today and this is not proper as it is not in agreement with God’s design for the family or the church.  In our churches, we continue to teach and practice what the Holy Bible teaches re: the headship of man.  Therefore, in our churches there are no woman pastors (priests). 

Hope this answer helps. 

Best wishes to you also. 

Pastor Tony Zekveld 


Hindu religious Books clearly deny Woman leading any prayer.

Any one can go to Hindu religion websites; multiple choices are available to read the text from their religious books. 


Their stand is same like Hindu – which can be verified by any one at websites to read the text of their religious book. 


In response to you question:

There are Buddhist nuns and they do perform ceremonies, teach and lead.  There are references in the Buddhist scriptures to women who have been enlightened and who followed in the Buddha’s footsteps. 

If you search for “Women in Buddhism” on Google you will find more information on this subject.

Best regards – Andre (Buddhist Priest). 

The above research was done only to present the facts to the people to counter the negative impression generally, purposefully and constantly created by so called enlightened modern people whether by Muslim in name or non Muslim about Islam.

This also proves that the standing against Woman as Imam is not from people who have orthodox approach or are male chauvinist but a tradition maintained through out human civilization —Trust the above explanation would remove the fog. 

It may also be noted that none of the Jurists or Sufis in Islam among Sunnis or Shias agree that a woman can lead a mixed gathering prayer if any male member adult is available who can recite Quran and knows how to conduct the prayer. 

This has nothing to do with gender disparity and has never been a matter of any conflict since past 1400 years or even earlier with other religions of the world. Islam offers special significance and respect to Woman and complete equality to both genders but defines responsibility taking in to account the physical, biological and temperamental or psychological aspects to create a balance and harmony to the society – Any step to create an imbalance in the natural social environment would lead to a catastrophe at the end. 

Hesham Ahmed Syed


Email : heshamsyed@yahoo.ca


 Also go to website : http://www.icssa.org/amina_wadud.html  to know more facts about the event or issue or dispute started.


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