10 Hadiths About Women I`tikaf and Engagement in Mosque Activities

Women and i`tikaf

1. `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to perform I`tikaf (seclusion for worship in the mosque) during the last ten days of Ramadan till he passed away; his wives followed this practice after him.[1]

2. `A’ishah also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan and she used to pitch a tent for him; he would enter it after offering the Fajr prayer.

Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the permission of `A’ishah to pitch a tent for herself and `A`ishah allowed her. So, Hafsah pitched her tent. When Zainab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) saw it, she pitched another tent.

In the morning the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) noticed the tents. He asked, ‘What is this?” He was told of the whole situation. So, he commented, “Do you think that they intended to do righteousness by doing this?[2]

So, he abandoned I`tikaf in that month and observed it later in the month of Shawwal for ten days. [3]

3. Safiyah bint Huyai, wife of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), narrated that she visited the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) while he was staying in the mosque to observe I`tikaf during the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.

She spoke to him for a while and then she got up to return home. The Prophet got up to accompany her.

When they reached the gate of the mosque, two Ansari men passed by. They greeted the Messenger [and quickly went ahead.]

The Prophet said to them, “Do not be in a hurry, She is Safiyah bint Huyai.

They exclaimed, “Subhan Allah! (i.e. how dare we suspect you?).” [4]

Women participated in mosque activities

4. Ar-Rubayyi` bint Mu`awwidh ibn `Afra’ (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) sent (a person) on the morning of `Ashura’ to the villages of Ansar around Madinah (with this message):

He who got up in the morning fasting he should complete his fast, and he who had had his breakfast in the morning, he should complete the rest of the day (without food).

So, we henceforth observed fast on it and, God willing, made our children observe that. We used to go to the mosque and made toys out of wool for kids so that when they felt hungry and wept for food we gave them these toys till it was the time to break the fast. [5]

5. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

Sa`d was wounded during the Battle of the Al-Khandaq (Ditch)… Then, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) set up a tent in the Mosque (for him) to be able to visit him at such a close distance. [6]

Commenting on this narration, Ibn Hajar stated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) let Sa`d stay in Rufaydah’s tent in his Mosque, and she was known for treating the wounded. He said, “let him stay in her tent so that I can visit him from a close distance.  [7]

6. Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the following incident:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to stand on a tree trunk when he delivered his sermons. So, a woman from the Ansar said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! I have a slave carpenter, shall I get him construct a pulpit for you?”

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) responded, “Yes“.

So, the Prophet started using the pulpit, and one Friday, while he was delivering a sermon standing on it, the tree trunk issued a groaning sound like that of a child. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) commented, “Indeed, this (trunk) wept due to what it missed of Dhikr[8]

Women participating in festive events in the mosque

Are Women Welcome to Mosque? Part 1 |Part 2

7. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

It was the day of `Eid and some Ethiopians were playing with shields and spears. Either I requested Allah’s Messenger or he himself asked me whether I would like to see the display. I replied in the affirmative.

So, he let me stand behind him; my cheek was touching his cheek and he was saying, “Carry on, O Bani Arfida (i.e., Ethiopians)!” When I got tired, he asked me if that was enough. I replied in the affirmative and he told me to leave. (Al-Bukhari) [9]

Women and charity collection

8. Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

I attended the `Eid Prayer along with the Messenger of Allah; he started with the prayer, before the sermon, without an Adhan or an Iqamah. Then, he stood up leaning on Bilal, commanded (people to) fear Allah and encouraged obedience to Him. He admonished the men and exhorted them, and then moved towards the women.

When he reached the women place, he admonished and exhorted them and said, “Give out charities, for most of you are the fuel of Hellfire“.

Hence, an ordinary, dark-cheeked woman stood up and asked, “Why is that, O Messenger of Allah?”

He replied, “Because you complain much and show ingratitude to your spouses“.

So, they started giving out their jewelry in charity, throwing their earrings and rings in Bilal’s garment. [10]

Women maintained the Prophet’s Mosque

9. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that an African woman used to clean the Mosque. One day, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked about her and he was informed that she had died. He said, “Why did you not inform me? Guide me to her grave.

So, he approached her grave and offered the funeral prayer for her there. [11]

10. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saw some sputum in the Qiblah of the Masjid. He got so angry that his face turned red.

So, a woman from the Ansar went and scratched it off, and put some perfume in its place. The Messenger of Allah commended her act saying: ‘How good this is.’”[12]

Conclusion

It is permissible for women to attend all kinds of social, charitable or entertainment activities in the mosques, to set next to close male relatives during  these activities, to practice i`tikaf and to visit those performing i`tikaf.


[1] Al-Bukhari, chapter on fasting 5/177

[2] Editor’s note: according to scholars, this question means, “Is the real purpose of pitching these tents devotion and worship or is it only a matter of wives’ rivalry and competition?”

[3] Al-Bukhari, chapter on women i`tikaf, 3/48-49.

[4] Al-Bukhari (3/49), chapter on houses of the prophet’s wives, Muslim (4/1712); Al-Baihaqi in As-Sunan Al-Kubra (4/529); chapter on woman’s visiting her husband in i`tikaf; Ibn Khuzaimah (3/349) in his Sahih, Chapter on concession (rukhsah) for woman to visit her husband in I`tikaf; Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, chapter on permissibility of woman’s visiting her husband in i`tikaf during night; and others.

[5] Al-Bukhari 3/37; and Muslim 2/798. The report quoted here is Muslim’s version.

[6] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, chapter on expeditions, 8/416, and Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on jihad, 5/160.

[7] Fath Al-Bari 8/415.

[8] Ibn Abi Shaibah, Al-Mussanaf, 6/319

[9] Al-Bukhari, chapter on the two `Eids 3/95, and Muslim, chapter on the two `Eids 3/22.

[10] Muslim, chapter on the two `Eids 2/603.

[11] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, chapter on expeditions, 8/416, and Muslim’s Sahih, chapter on jihad, 5/160.

[12] An-Nisa’i in Sunan (2/52) and authenticated by Al-Albani.

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