Question: Are women allowed to be leaders?
Answer: Women posses certain talents endowed to them by Allah. There are many qualities which women have and men don't. In like manner, men have qualities which women don't possess. There is a vast difference between men and women in terms of physical formation, physical strength, having an impact on others and the approach towards the effectiveness of others. Every sane person will accept the existence of these differences without demanding any evidence.
Women are a means of alluring men. When a man and woman enjoy each other's company, they naturally become attracted to each other. Many a times, due to their commitment to each other, they tend to lose sight of their motive in life and gradually engage in haraam acts (forbidden). It is for this reason that Islam has prohibited the intermingling of sexes and ordained the ruling of hijaab (head covering) for women. In order to be a leader, it is imperative for one to make public appearances, have authority, command and be awe-inspiring, which are all lacking in women due to their natural disposition and the sharia rulings which they are confined to. As a result women are not allowed to be leaders. Allah (S.W.T.), The All Wise, has sent many prophets who were all males. Never did He send a female as a messenger and leader to the people. "And prior to thee, We sent only men (as apostles) with miracles and Scriptures, to whom We inspired (the revelation)." (An-Nahal, Verse 43)
Nabi (S.A.W.) [The Prophet Muhammad] has mentioned that: "That people who elect a woman as their leader and entrust their affairs to her, will never be successful" (Saheeh Bukhari with reference from Mishkaat, Page 321) However, women are allowed to select a representative from amongst themselves, who will forward their cases, complaints etc., to someone responsible. Hadith proves that a lady came to Nabi (S.A.W.) as a representative on behalf of all the ladies and presented their case to Nabi (S.A.W.). Nabi (S.A.W.) responded by sending her back to the womenfolk with the answer to their case. (At-Targheeb-wat-Tarheeb with reference from Musnad-ul- Bazzaar and Tabraani, Vol. 3, Page 53, Hayaatus Sahabah, Vol. 1, Page 647)