Imam ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Qurashi On Why There Are Only Few Female Hanafi Scholars

Imam ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Qurashi (696-775 AH) (1) wrote:

In this section, I will enumerate the female scholars among our (Hanafi) companions that I have come across. I have come across only very few.


Undoubtedly, the situation of women is grounded in (the principle of) concealment. Hence, they are ordered to veil in salah and cover their limbs. (The woman) lifts her hands to her shoulders (when commencing salah) and not to her ears. She sits on her hip, extending her left leg from beneath her right hip. She does not separate her stomach in prostration but rather joins her stomach to her thighs as much as she can. She joins her hands to her armpits. There is no requirement for her to march during tawaf. Nor does she run between the two green markings (during sa‘y). She does not raise her voice for talbiyah.


If she leads a group of women in salah, she stands in the middle (of the first row and not ahead of them). They are not obliged to attend the congregational salahs, both the non-elderly and the elderly, in accordance with the famous disagreement. (2) She may not travel unless accompanied by a husband or mahram. They are also forbidden to be alone with a strange male. (3)


All such things prevent them from teaching and learning (beyond what is necessary), besides someone in the far recesses of her house seeking self-sufficiency with the male scholars of her house, like a husband, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, grandfather, father and other close relatives.


It will occur under the biography of Fatimah al-Samarqandiyyah, the daughter of Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Ahmad, author of Tuhfat al-Fuqaha’, and the wife of Abu Bakr ibn Mas‘ud, author of Bada’i‘ al-Sana’i‘, that a fatwa would issue from her house with her writing on it as well her father’s and husband’s writing.


It has reached us about the lands of Transoxiana and beyond that, in most cases, a fatwa would not come out from a house except with the writing of the owner of the house, as well as that of his daughter, his wife, his sister or other close relatives. (al-Jawahir al-Mudiyyah, 4:119-120)

(1) Muhyi al-Din ‘Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Qurashi al-Hanafi was an Egyptian scholar of Hanafi fiqh, Hadith and history. He authored numerous works, including al-Jawahir al-Mudiyyah, his famous and extensive collection of biographies of Hanafi scholars.

(2) A reference to the disagreement over which prayers an elderly woman can attend in the masjid. As for non-elderly women, all Hanafi jurists agree they may not attend prayers at the masjid.

(3) It is also forbidden for non-mahram men and women to intermingle and freely mix (ikhtilat).

Zameelur Rahman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.