Praying behind or next to women in the Haram area

Reference: Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa.il Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen – Volume 13, Fatwa No.412

Question: Sometimes due to the extreme crowds in the Haram (al-Masjid al-Haraam, Makkah) the men [end up] praying behind the women or [you find] a man praying beside a woman, so is that correct?

And if a woman or women came and prayed beside him, then what should he do?

Response: If a man prayed behind the row of the women, then there is no harm in that as the jurists have stated, because the people are in need of doing so [when the need arises especially in the Haram area]. However, if a woman prayed beside him and he feared the fitnah [of her praying beside him] then he should indicate [with his hand] she move away from him if he came and prayed there before she did. If, however, she came before him, then he should move to another place. And if a woman or women came and prayed beside him whilst he is praying, then he should indicate to them (with his hand) to move away from him.

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

– from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee’ah in 2004.