A lady wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa and asked whether a woman was permitted to lead men in prayer at home if she was the only one capable of doing so and if not, then why? Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 16 January 2021, gave the following answer to this question:
“A virtue of the Islamic teaching is that in it the rights and responsibilities of men and women are determined separately according to their nature. Hence, only men are obligated to observe salat in congregation and women have been excused from it. Their observing salat in congregation has the status of a supererogatory act of worship. Therefore, in the presence of men, a woman cannot become their imam and lead them in congregational prayers.
Neither the Holy Prophetsa nor any of his successors after him have ever assigned a woman to the position of an imam of men.
Sometimes, when the Promised Messiahas, who is the Hakam ‘Adl of this age, used to offer his prayers at home due to some illness, he used to lead the prayers himself. Since standing would cause Huzooras to become unsteady, he used to have Hazrat Amma Janra [his wife] stand next to him instead of her standing behind him.
Therefore, if there are both men and women in a place, then the imam of the prayers will be a man, because the man who has the authority to perform the prayers, and his own prayers become valid, the prayers of others will also be valid under his leadership.”