Congregation: A duty on the Muslim Community

Q111 :I have noticed that most women either pray at home or do not pray at all. Is it obligatory for women to offer their five prayers in mosque as men?

A111 : Women are exempt from the requirement of attending congregational prayers in the mosque. This is due to the nature of their role in looking after young children and household duties. If they go to the mosque to attend prayers, they are welcome to do so. In a congregational prayer in a mosque, women stay in the rear forming their own ranks. They are, however, required to offer the same obligatory prayers in their respective time ranges. When a woman has her menstruation period, she is exempt from prayer. The same exemption applies to a woman in her postnatal period. It is this exemption that sometimes may give the impression that many women do not offer prayers. It is important, therefore, not to judge them on the basis of a casual impression. Many women attend to their religious duties with keenness and enthusiasm. Perhaps I should also explain that while congregational prayer is a duty on the Muslim community, it is not obligatory on every single one of us to attend every single obligatory prayer in the mosque. Allah has given us a time range for each prayer and allowed us to pray individually because He knows that our circumstances may be difficult and we may not be able to attend congregational prayers all the time. Nevertheless we must be keen to pray with the congregation in the mosque as frequently as possible.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )