A Boy Leading a Woman in Solāh and Vice Versa
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.
It should be noted that it is permissible for a boy who understands the Solāh to lead others in Solāh.
This is because the Prophet, (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), said: “People should be led in Solāh by the one who knows the most Qur`an among them.” [Narrated by Muslim, Al-Masājid Wa Mawadi’ Al-Solāh, 1078].
It was narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari that `Amr Ibn Salamah Al-Jarami said: “My father came from the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) and said that he had heard the Prophet, (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), say: ‘When the time for Solāh comes, let the one among you who knows the most Qur`an lead you in Solāh.’ They looked and they did not find anyone who knew more Qur`an than me, so they made me lead them in Solāh, and I was a boy of six or seven years.” [ Al-Maghazi, 3963. See Fatawa Al-Lajnah Al-Dā’imah, 7/389-390]
The evidence to be found in the hadith is that these Sahābah asked `Amr Ibn Salamah to lead them in Solāh when he was six or seven years old. This indicates that a boy who has reached the age of discernment can lead the Solāh. If that were not permitted, there would have been Revelation to say that it was not allowed. [Ahkam Al-Imāmah Wa`al-I’timam Fil-Solāh by `Abd al-Muhsin Al-Munif).
If your son fulfils all the conditions and obligations of the Solāh, then there is nothing wrong with him leading you.
With regard to a woman leading a boy in Solāh, this is not permissible, because he comes under the same rulings as a man. What is permitted is for a woman to lead other women in Solāh, because the Prophet, (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), commanded Umm Waraqah binti `Abd-Allah Ibn Nawfal to lead the members of her household – i.e., the women – in Solāh. [Narrated by Abu Dawud, Al-Solāh, Imāmat al-Nisā’, 500, Classified as sahih by al-Albāni in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud, 553].
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Via Islam Q&A]