Q. Can a Muslim woman lead prayers for a group of Muslim women?
A. Not only a woman can, but she must lead other women in jama`a prayer if there is no male imam. But she must stand in the same row as the women, i.e. she does not stand out in front as does the man leading prayer. By this is not meant that jama`a prayer is fard or wajib for women, or that women should go to the mosque to pray in congregation. This only means that if a group of women are together at the time of salat when there is no male imam, then one of them must lead them in prayer so as to obtain the reward mentioned in the hadiths whereby salat in jama`a is 25 or 27 times better than salat alone. What is said concerning the fact that jama`a prayer is makruh for women, refers specifically to their coming to the mosque to attend the jama`a prayer. Allah knows best.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America