WOMEN ATTENDING THE EID GAH
The practice of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was to perform Eid Salaah on an open field at the outskirts of the city. It is thus Sunnah to perform Eid Salaah at the “Musallah” (Eid Gah).
Indeed in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) women attended the Eid Salaah. Initially, women were permitted to even attend the daily Salaah in the Musjid. Subsequently, many senior Sahaaba (R. A.) stopped women from attending the Musjid due to the conditions having changed from that of the glorious era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Nevertheless, even in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the permission to attend the Musjid was subject to several conditions. Some of these were:
* Complete Hijaab (Purdah) – Hazrath Aisha (R.A.) reports that women used to come to the Musjid completely covered in their sheets (Sahih Bukhari).* No perfume must be used – Hazrath Zainub (R.A.), the wife of Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.), reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “If any woman attends the Musjid, she should not use any perfume” (Sahih Muslim). In fact Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has commanded that if women attend the Musjid, it should be in a manner that they are “tafilaat” (Abu Dawood). The word tafilaat is literally translated as untidy. In this context it will mean that they will not take any steps to adorn themselves. Rather they will be dressed in clothing that is completely unattractive. The purpose for this was to prevent every type of fitnah. Hazrath Aisha (R.A.) has also reported that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Do not prevent the servants of Allah (women) from the Masaajid but they should go out “tafilaat” . After reporting this Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Hazrath Aisha (R.A.) comments:”Had Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) seen the condition of women today, he would have prevented them from attending the Musjid” (Jamiul Masaneed).Allama Ainee (R.A. ) the author of the famous commentary of Sahih Bukhari comments that this was regarding the time of Hazrath Ayesha (R. A.). He then says regarding his time: “As for today, na-oothubillah! (we seek Allah’s refuge from the fitna that is prevalent).” That too was several centuries ago.* They should not be adorned in any way. It is reported that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was in the Musjid when a woman from the people of Muzaina who had adorned herself came into the Musjid. Upon this Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “O People, prevent your women from wearing attractive garments and walking proudly in the Musjid since the people of Bani Israeel were cursed because of this very action of their women (Ibn Majah).* No intermingling of males and females. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) ordered the women to stick to the edges of the road (to avoid any intermingling even due to the Musjid). Hence it is reported that after this command women walked so closely to the walls of the houses that their clothing would at times be caught in the wall (on anything that might have been protruding from the wall) (Abu Dawood). Similarly, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) forbade women from walking in the middle of the path (Al-Jamius Sagheer, Vol. 5, Pg. 379).Later when these conditions were not upheld as they were in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), many Sahaaba (R.A.) prevented women from attending the Musjid. It is reported that Hazrath Abdullah bin Umar (R.A.) used to chase women away from the Musjid. Hazrath Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.) also prevented the women from attending the Musjid (Targheeb).
Whatever conditions applied to women attending the Musjid, the same will apply to the Eid Gah. When the strict conditions could not be upheld shortly after the era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), in this time of fitna there is not even a faint chance that they will be upheld in the manner of the women in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallallu Alaihi Wasallam). Hence the decision of the Fuqaha is that women must not attend the Musjid or Eid Gah. Imam Tirmizi (R.A.) has recorded the narration of Umme Atiya (R.A.) in his famous collection of Hadith. She says: “We were ordered to go out with the single and menstruating women to the two Eids.” After quoting the statement of Umme Atiy’a (R.A.), Imam Tirmizi (R.A.) quotes the statement of the great Muhaddith Abdullah bin Mubarak (R.A.) who said: “I believe that in these times it is makrooh for women to go for the Eid Salaah to the Eid Gah. If a woman insists on going, her husband should permit her to go in old clothes and she should not adorn herself. If she does not agree to this, he must prevent her.” It is also reported from Sufyaan Thawri (R.A.) that he regarded it as makrooh for the women to go to the Eid Salaah in these times (Jami Tirmizi). EXPERTS OF HADITH REGARD IT AS MAKROOH Imam Tirmizi (R.A.) is one of the great scholars of Hadith. His compilation, Jami Tirmizi, is one of the “Sihah Sitta.” He has concluded the discussion on the Hadith of Umme Atiya upon the statement of Abdullah bin Mubarak (R.A.) and Sufyan Thawri (R.A.). This is itself evidence that he is also of the view that it is not sunnat to go to the Eid Gah. His quotation of Hazrath Abdullah bin Mubarak (R.A.) is very significant. Hazrath Abdullah bin Mubarak (R.A.) is the Ustaad of Imam Bukhari (R.A.). In his famous treatise titled “Raff’ul Yadain,” Hazrath Imam Bukhari (R.A.) described his Ustaad thus: “Imam Abdullah bin Mubarak is the greatest Aalim of his time. If people followed him rather than others who possess lesser knowledge, it would have been better.” This great personality, who himself was an expert in the knowledge of Hadith, and who was the Ustaad of the expert of Hadith in the calibre of Imam Bukhari (R.A.), declares clearly: ”
According to me it is makrooh nowadays for women to emerge for the Eid Salaah to the Eid Gah!!”
The proverbial adherence to the Sunnah of Hazrath Abdullah bin Umar (R.A.) is well known. He would diligently practice on every sunnah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is reported that he would not take the women of his family to the Eid Gah (Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah). Thus an act which was prevented by many Sahaba (R.A.) who were the ardent followers of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) cannot be encouraged in this time of extreme fitna and fasaad. On the one hand are the strict conditions that were set by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for women leaving their homes for Salaah. On the other hand is the lax attitude towards Deen of many Muslims of this era. To suggest that women should attend the Eid Gah is to open the doors to fitna. When Hazrath Aisha (R.A.) observed a slight departure; from the strict conditions in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), she declared that had Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) been present he would have forbidden women from leaving their homes for Salaah. What would she have said if she witnessed the conditions of this day and age!
It is thus clear that women must not leave their homes for Salaah, whether it be the five daily Salaah, Jumu’ah, Taraweeh or Eid Salaah.
Sheikh Sudais encourages Ladies to pray at home
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for Two Holy Mosques, has called on all pilgrims and worshippers to uphold the sanctity of the two holy mosques. He reminded women worshippers at the mosque that it is better for them to stay in their homes.
“We all must respect the sanctity of the two holy mosques, and respect each other and cooperate with one another,” Al-Sudais said while giving a lecture at the mosque on Wednesday. He said all believers must keep away from activities that violate the sanctity of the two holy mosques such as taking photos and chatting on mobile phones and women mingling with men.
“Some women come to the Haram neglecting the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), applying perfumes, showing their beauty and without wearing Islamic dress,” said Al-Sudais, who is also an imam of the Grand Mosque.
He quoted a Hadith of the Prophet saying, “You should not prevent women from entering the houses of God (mosques), but homes are better for them,” indicating the imam preferred women to stay at home without jostling with men at the Haram during this peak season.
Sheikh Al-Sudais does not favor people doing itikaf (retreat in a mosque for worship and meditation), sleeping in the mosque’s ground floor, although his predecessor had allowed it. “We have to respect the Grand Mosque. We should know that Haram is not a hotel,” said Al-Sudais, who has been imam of the Grand Mosque for three decades.