Can ladies call the iqamah for congregational prayers or prompt the imam if he forgets?

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Last Updated on 16th July 2021

[I met with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa on 13 April 2021.] In the… mulaqat, I said to Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa that, under the current circumstances, one was compelled to arrange congregational prayers at homes. So, people were praying at homes with their family members. I asked whether a woman could call the iqamah for congregational prayers and whether she could prompt the imam if he forgets. 

On this, Huzooraa said: 

“If there are women and only men from her own family, then a woman may prompt the imam. However, if there are men from outside her family present, then, as per the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa, she would just clap if [the imam makes] any mistake or forgets. She would not prompt him nor say subhanallah.”

Huzooraa also added:

“A woman must not say the iqamah even if the prayers are being offered at home because the Holy Prophetsa did not allow this and it is also said about the Promised Messiahas that whenever he prayed at home due to some compulsion, he would have Hazrat Amma Janra stand next to him. [Hazrat Amma Janra has mentioned the compelling reasons as to why the Promised Messiahas would have her stand next to him.] However, it has not been mentioned anywhere that he ever instructed Hazrat Amma Janra to call the iqamah. Therefore, the man must call the iqamah himself. Anyhow, regarding the iqamah, it is also mentioned in a hadith that the imam can call it himself when necessary.”

The hadith which Huzooraa referred to in his blessed guidance has been recorded in Sunan al-Tirmidhi. There, it is reported by Amr bin Uthman bin Ya‘la, who narrated it from his father, who narrated it from his [son’s] grandfather [Hazrat Ya‘la Bin Murrahra] that they were with the Holy Prophetsa on a journey when they ended up in a narrow area and Salat became due. Then, it began raining and there was mud beneath them. So, Allah’s Messengersa called the azan while he was on his mount and then the iqamah. Then, he continued moving forward on his mount. He led them in Salat using gestures. He would make his prostrations [sujood] lower than his bowing [ruku‘]. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Salat, Bab Ma Ja‘a fi as-Salati ala ad-Dabbati fi at-Tini wal-Matar)

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