Why is the Prayer Area for men and women same in Makkah and segregated in Madina?

Generally, the prayer area is segregated: The prayer area for Muslims is segregated from men and women. The Muslims men offer their prayer at a different place then Muslim women. For instance, if you visit any mosque, you will find that the female entrance to the mosque is separate from the male side entrance.

The prayer area for Muslim men is separated from the prayer area of women even in Masjid al Nabawi. This has been done so that both men and women would focus on their prayer and on Allah SWT. By having a single Prayer Area for men and women, concentration on Salah is likely to be diverted.

However, most people question that why Prayer Area for men and women is the same in Makkah? Why don’t they have segregated areas there? People often raise this question that why men and women have the same area in Makkah, Mina, and Muzdalifah? Why male and female Hajj and Umrah pilgrims perform their Salah in the same area?

Prayer Area in Makkah: Well to brief about the query, let us talk about Makkah, Mina and Muzdalifah separately. Starting with Makkah: when Hajj and Umrah pilgrims reach Makkah they ought to perform Tawaf and Saee around the Holy Kaaba. The Tawaf and Saee area cannot be segregated for males and females.

However, the Prayer Area is. As soon as the Salah starts, tawaf is to be stopped and women ought to reach their designated Prayer Area which is separate from men. However, due to crowding, some women might not reach their place and offer their prayer to men.

In such a case, you might see a few women offering prayer with men; otherwise, women have been allotted a separate prayer area in the Grand Mosque. So those who say that Prayer Area is same in Makkah, they need to improve their knowledge.

Prayer Area during Hajj: The situation of Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat is different. These are large areas where people with families come to perform Hajj. As the area is large and pilgrims come in form of families or groups, they ought to pray together.

Yet there, men and women do not pray together, they pray in separate rows. They are scattered in the area and pray in separate rows. Men and women there as well do not pray together. But if we talk about the mosques there like Masjid Khaif of Mina and Masjid Nimra of Arafat, there are separate spaces allotted for men and women to offer their prayers.

Even when they stay in Mina, women, and men have separate areas in the same camp. But there are many things which you cannot separate between men and women. For example, when you go to Jamarat to stone the pillars, the area cannot be segregated.

Prayer Area in Madina: Masjid al Nabawi is the second most important mosque for the Muslims.

However, if you look at the activities Muslims perform at Masjid al Nabawi they are similar to any other Masjid apart from marking attendance to the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W tomb. That’s the reason they have separated areas for praying for men and women.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.