what is the ruling with regards to women performing Salaah in the Haramain Sharifain behind the Imaams?
Under normal circumstances, women should not come to the Haram Shareef for Salaah to perform their Salaah behind the Imaam. Hence, it is strongly emphasized that she performs her Salaah in the hotel room, as we understand from the following Hadeeth:
“Umme Humaid who is the wife of Abu Humaid Assaaidi , narrates from Nabi that, Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said, I acknowledge that you very keen to perform Salaah behind me, you must know that, your performing Salaah in (the inner chambers of) your house is better than performing it in your balcony (i.e. in the front room of the house), and your performing Salaah in your balcony is better than performing it in your yard, and your performing Salaah in your yard is better than performing it in your local Masjid, and your performing Salaah in your local Masjid is better than performing it in MY Masjid”. Then she ordered the people to build for her a “Salaahroom” in the utmost corner of her house and the darkest part of it .
And further Allaamah Abubakr Muhammed bin Ishaq bin Khuzaima Rahimahullah has also prepared a whole Chapter on this topic in his Kitaab, and has named it: “Although there is a lot of virtue in performing Salaah in the Masjid-e-Nabawi, but as for women it is even more virtuous to perform their Salaah in their houses” and the Ahaadeeth that show virtue (for performing Salaah in the Haram) is specific for men and not for women, as we understand from the above mentioned Hadeeth.
It is mentioned in Ahsanul Fataawa that a woman will get the same reward for performing Salaah in her house (or hotel) that a man will get when performing it in the Haram. The reward for performing forty Salaah in the Masjid-e-Nabawi with Jamaat i.e. a person will be saved from the fire of Jahannam, punishment of the grave and from Nifaaq is specific for men. As for women, they should perform their Salaah in their hotel/house as we understand from the Hadeeth above.
In order for a woman’s Salaah to be correct behind the Imaam it is necessary that the Imaam makes the intention of leading them. It is difficult to establish whether the Imaams make the intention for women or not. Some Imaams have even mentioned that they do not make intention for women at all.
[Fataawa Mahmudiyya vol.6 p.598]
It is therefore strongly advised for women not to perform their Salaah behind the Imaams of Makkah and Medina, all other actions special to Makkah and Medina like Tawaaf and Salaam should be done at quiet times. If the women happen to be in the Haram at the time of Salaah they should perform their Salaah on their own and not behind the Imaams.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.
الصحيح لابن خزيمة ج ٢ ص ٨١٥
فتاوی محمود یه ج۶ص۵۹۸
احسن الفتاوی ج۳ص۳۴