To begin discussing the topic of mixing we must first talk about the safeguards. Conduct is the first. It is very important to note that along with hijab (covering of the body for women) and covering the awrah for men, comes modesty in our speech, actions and stature. Allah says in Surat Al Furqan 25:63
“And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allâh) are those who walk on the earth in
humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they
reply back with mild words of gentleness.”
Aisha(raa) relates, “I never saw the Holy Prophet laugh so much that the inner part of his mouth may be visible. He simply used to smile.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
This points out the importance of our behavior, to be full of humility and not to make a show by laughing so much or so loud. We should always remember Allah when we speak.
Abdullah bin Mas’ood(raa) relates that the Holy Prophet said:
“A Muslim never taunts or curses or abuses nor resorts to vulgar talking.”
Anas bin Malik(raa) relates the Holy Prophet said: “Using foul language
when mixed with anything mutilates it, while decency whenever it may be, beautifies it.” [Tirmidhi]
Jabir bin Abdullah(raa) relates the Holy Prophet said, “Dearest of you to me and closest of you to me on the Day of Judgment will be those of you who have the best of morals and the most hated to me and the farthest from me on the Day of Judgment will be the most talkative, harsh in their tone ant those persons who are haughty in talking.” [Tirmidhi]
These hadith are telling us and or reminding us the importance for us to speak softly, kindly and not too much. Allah says in Surah Luqman 31:19
“"And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice.
Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass." ”
We are encouraged to be moderate in our speech, more importantly women than men. Allah says in Surah Al Ahzab 33:32
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your
duty (to Allâh), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of
hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak
in an honourable manner.”
This verse is directed to the wives of the Prophet, but they were the mothers of the Mumin and stand as women’s example, Allah says in this verse “if ye do fear Allah” which we all do. With lowering our speech and guarding the content of it comes our actions. Allah says in Surah Al Nur 24:31
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden
things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to
show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands
or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil,
gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e.
their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment
except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their
husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their
(Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right
hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have
no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what
they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O
believers, that you may be successful.”
Keeping this verse in mind it would become difficult to be in a mixed situation without violating this verse. Women should try at all times to seek out the women for assistance first. Whether it is in the supermarkets, banks, post offices, doctors offices and hospitals, and especially in the Masjids.
Lastly, our stature or outwardly appearance as mentioned earlier in the verse of Allah Surah Nur 24:31,
“”That they should not display .....except etc.”
There are seven main conditions for acceptable hijab (covering of the body),
With the safeguards established we can move on. Allah says in Surah Anfal 8:25,
- Covering the entire body, except the face and hands.
- Material of the clothing should not be so thin or delicate as to display the body’s form or skin color underneath.
Allah’s Messenger said: There will be found amongst the latter day people of my nation (of Muslims), women who are ostensibly dressed, but (in reality) naked, their hair will be rolled in a bun at the tops of their heads like camels humps. Curse them, for verily they are cursed.” [At-Tabarani]
- The clothing must hang loosely and not be tight fitting as to show the shape and size of the limbs.
Usamma bin Zaid(raa) said, “Allah’s Messenger gave me a gift of coptian cloth which he had previously received as a gift from Dahiah Al-Kalby, so I gave it to my wife to use for her clothing. The Prophet later asked me, “What’s with you that you do not wear the coptian cloth?” I replied, “I gave it to my wife to wear.” the Prophet then said, “Order her to wear a gown under the coptian cloth, for verily I fear that it might reveal the size and shape of her body parts.” [Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqi, and Al-Haakim]
- The clothing should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
Abu Hurairah(raa) said, “Allah’s Messenger cursed the man who wears attire which resembles women’s clothing, and he cursed the woman who wears garments resembling men’s clothing.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
Abdullah bin Amr(raa) relates the Messenger of Allah said, “Women who
resemble men are not of us (they are not from the Muslim Nation of Believers), nor are the men who resemble women of us.” [Ahmad and Tabaraani]
- The clothing must not have such bold designs, or consist of such bright colors or shiny materials such as sequined material, or that which has gold or silver threads woven in with regular threads), that they charm, and attract men’s attention to the woman wearing them. As stated in Surah Al Nur, 24:31 “That they should not display their beauty and their ornaments...”
- Her attire must not resemble the clothes normally worn by the disbelieving women.
Abdullah bin Amr Ibnul ’Aas(raa) said, “The Messenger of Allah saw me
wearing two portions of a reddish cloth dyed with safflower so he said, “Verily these are the clothes of the disbelievers so do not wear them.” [Muslim and Ahmad]
Abdullah bin Umar(raa) relates the Allah’s Messenger said, “Whosoever resembles a people, he is one of them.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawud]
- Finally, the dress must not be ostentatious or showy, due to pride or worldliness, or to gain a high reputation before people.
Abdullah bin Umar(raa) relates the Messenger of Allah said, “Whosoever wore ostentatious dress in this worldly life, Allah will clothe him in a dress of humiliation and disgrace on the Day of Resurrection, then will kindle it with fire.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial, etc.) which affects not in particular
(only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad
people), and know that Allâh is Severe in punishment.”
This verse shows us that the punishment falls on us all, the wrong doers actions have repercussions on the whole of society. Each one of us, as a Muslim, represents each other, as Muslims. Our impression on society will affect the next of generation to follow. Therefore it is important to remember that as Muslims we all share in the responsibility to protect our society. Ibn Al-Qayam says in his book [Aturuk Al Huqmia, The Righteous Ways of Shara] “Parents and guardians should prevent their offspring from mixing with the opposite sex in the shopping markets and the streets, and prevent women from congregating with men.” In a related hadith the Prophet said,
“I did not leave any dissension more harmful than the dissension of women upon men.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
Ibn Al Qayam goes on to say, “The Imam (caretaker) of the Muslims should prevent women from going outside with adornments on their faces and from wearing such clothing that shows their body, and prevent them from talking to men in the roads, and prevent the men also from talking to the women.” (At that time and even now the streets were very narrow so the women were to walk on the sidewalks only and the men in the streets only). It’s (mixing) considered the punishment on society descended from Allah in general. Also causing corrupted matters among the society in public and in private. Mixing of men and women is the cause of death in general and will lead to diseases, such as plagues.”
Abu Hurairah(raa) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Verily Allah
has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he of necessity must commit. The adultery of the eye is the lustful look, and the
adultery of the tongue is the licentious speech, the heart desires and yearns, which
the parts may or may not put into affect.” [Muslim]
Abut Hurairah(raa) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Allah fixed
the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in. There would be no escape from it. The adultery of the eye is the lustful look and the adultery of the ears is listening to the voluptuous (song or talk) and the adultery of the tongue is the licentious speech and the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip (embrace) and the adultery of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit adultery and the heart yearns and desires which he may or may not put into effect.” [Muslim]
The footnote to these hadith states; What the Prophet wanted to instill in the minds of the people is that different are the channels of the expression of sexual yearnings in man; lustful look, licentious speech, listening to voluptuous songs and talk or even actually committing the act of adultery. It, however, depends upon the will of a person whether he avoids this sin in all it’s forms or yields to his sexual lust and commits this evil. In other words, Allah has endowed him with a certain measure of sexual instinct for the preservation of the human race, building up of a family unit and for the protection of the moral health of society. Then the choice lies with him whether he commits adultery by misusing this power, or he uses it to the same ends for which it has been embedded in his nature.
Jarir bin Abdullah(raa) reported, “I asked the Prophet about a glance at a strange woman. He ordered me to turn away my glance.” [Abu Dawud]
Buraida(raa) reported the Messenger of Allah said to Ali(raa), “Oh Ali
don’t allow your glance to follow a glance, because the first (glance) is for you and
the other is not for you.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, & Abu Dawud]
This plainly tells us one thing, that avoidance at all times is best. Avoid that second look to prevent any temptations.
Jabir(raa) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Behold, no person should spend the night with a married woman, but only in case he is married to her or he is her mahrem.” [Bukhari]
According to Imam Nawawi, it is forbidden to sit with a woman in seclusion and there is perfect agreement amongst the jurists on this point that it is absolutely prohibited. It is significant to note that here in this hadith when sitting with a married woman is prohibited, the gravity of sin in sitting with an unmarried woman can well be imagined. There are more chances of one’s being led astray in the company of an unmarried woman as compared to a married woman. This hadith also shows how Islam is vehemently opposed to free mixing of males and females, and thus of co-education and joint meetings of men and women.
Uqba b Amir(raa) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Beware of getting
into the houses and meeting women (in seclusion).” A person from the Ansar said,
“Allah’s Messenger, what about husband’s brother?” Whereupon he said, “The
husband’s brother is like death.” [Muslim]
This hadith is very strong because being the brother-in-law and a member of the household he would have more opportunity to be alone with the wife of his brother.
Umar(raa) reported that the Prophet said, “A man shall never keep alone with a woman except that the third between them is the Shayton.” [Tirmidhi]
Allah says in Surah Bani Israel 17:32
“And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fâhishah
[i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads
one to Hell unless Allâh forgives him).”
The footnote to this verse (Revised edition of the English translation of the Qur’an) states;
Adultery is not only shameful in itself and inconsistent with any self respect for others, but it opens the road to many evils. It destroys the basis of the family, it works against the interests of the children born or to be born, it may cause murders and feuds and loss of reputation and property and also loosen permanently the bonds of society. Not only should it be avoided as a sin, but any approach or temptation to it should be avoided.
There is not a single instance in the history of early Islam of men and women being allowed to meet each other freely in any social, political or religious gatherings.. In reference to visiting the Masjid, While men are obligated to pray at the Masjids in congregation, women on the other hand are encouraged to offer their prayers in their homes.
This of coarse is not to say that women cannot pray at the Masjid, but it is recommended for them to do so as stated by the Prophet,
Umm Humaid Sa’idiyya(raa) reported, She asked, “Oh Prophet of Allah, I desire to offer prayers under your leadership.” The Holy Prophet said, “I know
that, but your offering the prayer in a corner is better than your offering it in you
closet and your offering the prayer in your closet is better than offering it in the
courtyard of your house, and your offering the prayer in the courtyard is better
than offering it in the neighboring Masjid, and your offering it in the neighboring
Masjid is better than your offering it in the biggest Masjid of the town.”
[Ahmad & Tabarani]
Despite the conditions that the women adhere to when going to the Masjid,
Umar(raa) felt that there was a danger in mixing up the sexes in congregations, he fixed a separate entrance for the women only, and forbade the men to use it.
Hamza b. Abu Usaid Ansari transmitted through his father that the Prophet
was coming out of the Masjid when he found that the men and women had got
mixed up. He asked the women to go behind and said, “It is not proper for you to walk in the middle of the street. You should walk on the edge of the street.” After this command, women walked so near the walls of the houses that their long sheets (over-garments) sometimes got stuck into the walls. [Abu Dawud]
Women are entitled to have their dignity and privacy preserved and protected. These so-called ‘Women’s Rights” have stripped women of their rights. They encourage women to work with men and wear ‘nice’ clothes, to carry on personal conversations with the men they work with, and we have all seen what these “Rights” have gotten them...
Sexual Harassment cases by the thousands. Allah has given us, through the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an, a guided Path, an easy way to make it through this life to the next. By avoiding any situation that might lead to unwanted personal conversation and mixing we are protecting our society. Some may think that a conversation , in a public place around a room full of people with a man is acceptable, but ask yourselves, ‘Would the same situation be acceptable if it were between two teens, male and female?” We are our children’s example, it is important for us not to give them mixed ideas. “Do as I say not as I do” is completely unacceptable in Islam.
In conclusion, we know that Islam removes the possible causes which may breed corruption. It strikes hard at the root of evil and suggests measures which may bring about peaceful, happy, and harmonious relations among Muslims. From these verses and hadith we find they discourage free unbridled contact between man and woman in order to check undesirable impulses. Most of the moral depravity and perversion of modern society today is the result of disregarding the safeguards. We as Muslims should not submit ourselves to believing that a harmless conversation between a man and woman in nothing more. This society wants to influence you into believing that, when we know what Allah and His Messenger have said.
Without the constant remembrance of Allah we may start falling into this corrupted society. Reading, researching, and putting into action what we’ve learned is detrimental to our preservation as a Muslim community. Allah says in Surah Al-Ahzab 33:36,
“ It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allâh and His Messenger have
decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever
disobeys Allâh and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.”
May Allah accept this paper based on my limited knowledge and forgive me
and others for our unintentional errors. ameen