Women: In congregation

Q683 :Where exactly should the wife stand physically in relation to her husband when they pray in congregation ?

A683 : If two women are praying in congregation together, the woman leading the prayer stands a little ahead of the two who must stand to the right of the imam. However, if the congregation is composed of one man and one woman, whether she is his wife or his sister or any other relation to him, she stands behind him, not to his right. If the congregation is composed of two men and one woman, the imam stands in the front and the other man a little behind and to his right, while the woman stands behind them. If the congregation is composed of one man, one boy and one woman in addition to the imam, the imam stands in the front and the other man to his right and the boy to his left while the woman stands behind. If the man and the boy stands to the imam's right, that is acceptable. If they stand in a row behind him, the arrangement is appropriate, if the prayer is voluntary, but in obligatory prayer the matter is debatable. However, the woman stands behind them in all situations. If the congregation has several men, boys and women, the front row is for men who are followed by the boys and then by the women. [Added: In no case can a woman ever lead a congregation that has men in it.] It is strongly discouraged for a woman to stand in a congregational prayer in the same row as men. However, her prayer is not rendered invalid. It is important for her, however, to observe the rules for congregation - as outlined.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )