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Is There a Difference in Prayer (Salah) of Men and Women? (Answered)

This is a question received on the QuranClub Facebook page (my answer is below)
i have a question for you, please it's an earnest request to you for giving me true explanation according to Qura'an and Hadith.
Question: is there any difference of offering salah between men and woman?
If so or not so, can you provide me any proper link showing and explaining the method of offering ''sunna way salah'' for woman?
NB : i have seen two videos showing method of prophetic (sallalahualihi wasalam) way salah.
1. by Honourable Zakir Naik :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkoGRmdS1HA
2.is the link for sunni or shia'a ?!?!?!? OR THE PROPER WAY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id7WRNGCxzQ
please, i will be waiting for your reply as it has become very burning situation for me. i, myself, am searching and researching many websites but finding difference. so i am feeling very much confused.
may allah give you best reward for it. jazakallahu khairan

Answer

Assalamu Alaikum,

The main, fundamental rule is that there is no difference between the salah of men and women, for the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said "Pray as you saw me pray", and this saying is to both men and women, not just men.

So this is the main rule. Everything besides this are just recommendations that some scholars have made so that women follow somewhat stricter rules of modesty, and many respected scholars are against any difference.

For example some scholars have said that a woman in sujood should lower her chest to touch her legs, so that she does not have their backside raised (which makes the shape of her body stand out more). But this is not a necessary recommendation because a woman should either pray at home or in the women's area at the mosque which is behind the men's. So there would be no stranger (non-mahram) men to see a woman in that position, so that the rule is unnecessary.

So if a woman finds herself praying in a situation where a random male may see her body shape due to some of the salah positions, she could try to make some differences to keep more modest, but this is about the larger, general rule of being modest and not limited to salah.

When it comes to salah, if there are no random males looking, a woman should pray exactly like a man (and like the Prophet), since this is what the Prophet said.

Below are good anwers by Shaykh ibn Baaz and Ibn al-Uthaymeen saying that the rule is that there is no difference (they are in Arabic):
http://islamqa.info/ar/ref/38162
http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/877