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Mixed Gatherings: A detailed response regarding gender interaction

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  • Mixed Gatherings: A detailed response regarding gender interaction

    Mixed Gatherings: A detailed response regarding gender interaction
    Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari


    Can you please comment on the permissibility of mixed social gatherings and whether its allowed as far as guys and girls going out together that are just friends to dinner or …



    "And We reveal of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increase the evil-doers in naught save ruin."

    (Qur'an, 17:82)

    "We sent you (O Prophet!) not except as a mercy for all people."

    (Qur'an,21:107)

    The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is a manifestation of the Mercy of Allah Most High. he was sent as a mercy to all humanity, as the Qur'an states. The Shariah is the guidance Allah Most High sent the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) with, to bring humanity out from darkness of confusion and bewilderment to the light of charity. Its rulings are all for the benefit of humanity, for, as Allah reminds us,

    "O mankind! You are the poor in your relation to Allah. And Allah! he is Absolutely Free of Need, the Owner of Praise." (Qur'an, 35:15)

    The regulations related to male-female interaction are essential to the very soundness of human civilization. If ignored, they threaten its very survival.

    Islam is not just a true religion but also a social order that enables individuals to attain the cherished goal of material happiness and welfare in the world and to prepare them for the next world through righteousness and virtuous deeds.

    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 the Muslims.

    It discourage s free and unbridled contact between men and women in order to check the consequences of undesirable impulses. It puts restraint to such impelling forces which might play a disastrous role in degenerating the mind of young men and women.

    The sexual instinct is the greatest weakness of the human race. That is why Shaytan selected this weak spot for his attack on the believer.

    In the present-day society, we see that the family system has been totally shattered. [F: See Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s excellent work, ‘The Fall of the Family’ at http://www.masud.co.uk]

    The husband and the wife are working in different places in an atmosphere of free mixing of the sexes. Sometimes it leads to unlawful contacts with strangers and ultimately to divorce and the destruction of the home.

    We can see for ourselves the disastrous outcome of giving unlimited freedom for mixed gatherings. Allah Almighty has created this attraction which exists between the sexes for each other. This cannot be denied. Where there is free mixing, this natural instinct will be aroused at sometime and lead to the committing of sin.

    Therefore Islam takes the preventive measure rather then suffer the consequences. This is also one of the principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, namely ‘blocking the means’ (saddal-dhara'i). This is based on the idea of preventing an evil before it actually materializes, and is taken from the heart of the guidance of the Qur’an and Sunna that, “Preventing harm is given precedence even to achieving possible benefits.”

    The harms of adultery, fornication and things that lead to it have been explained in detail in the Qur'an:

    Allah says in Surah al-Nur:

    “Say to the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That is purer for them, and Allah is aware of what they do. And say to the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty.” [Qur’an, 24:30-31].

    Similarly Allah says in Sur a a l-Ahzab:

    “When you ask them [i.e. the wives of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace)] for anything then ask from behind a screen (hijab). This is a mean s f or greater purity for your hearts and their hearts.” [Qur’an, 33:53].

    Imam Abu Abd Allah al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in his famous exegesis of Qur'an, al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur'an:

    “This verse indicates the permissibility to ask and converse with the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) from behind a screen or a curtain. All Muslim women would be bound by the same guidance. [Qurtubi, al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an, 14:227].

    Also in Sur aa l-Ahzab, Allah says:

    “O wives of the prophet! You are not like other women, if you are god-fearing. So do not be soft in speech. Lest in whose heart is disease should be moved with desire.” [v. 32].

    This verse clearly indicates that men and women should not talk unnecessarily and when they do so, the both the content and manner of conversation must be appropriate, and free of anything inciting.

    The Guidance of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

    The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) dealt with the issue of male-female relations at length

    1. Imam Abu Dawud and Imam an-Nasai relate from Sayyidatuna Aisha (Allah be pleased with him) that she says: “A women extended her hand from behind a curtain to hand a piece of paper to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). The Messenger of Allah pulled his hands back and said: “I don't know if this is a mans hand or a women's hand.” Aisha said that it was a women's hand.

    This Hadith is clear that the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to observe separation (hijab) in a way that there use to be a curtain or a veil between the sexes. If free mixing was acceptable, then there was no need for this. Besides, if such separation was against the spirit of the Sharia, the Messenger of Allah would have certainly pointed it out to her.

    2) Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim narrate in their Sahih from Uqba ibn Amir (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said: “Do not go near [non-Mahram] women.” A person inquired: “What about in-laws?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded, “The in-laws are death.”

    The Prophet of Allah (Allah have mercy on him) compared male in-laws to death. This means that one should be even more careful with in-laws with regards to interaction as there is greater risk for fitna, especially given the comfortable, social atmosphere in which both parties may lower their guard and forget lowering their gazes.

    3) Imam Muslim narrates from Jarir ibn Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) who says: ”Iasked Allah's Messenger about the sudden glance on a Non - Mahram. He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes.

    4) Buraida reported that the Messenger of Allah said to Ali [Allah be pleased with him]: “O Ali! don't allow your glance to follow a glance, because the first [glance] is forgiven and not the second. [Narrated by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Imam Ahmad].

    The above mentioned [and other] verses of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam] indicate the importance of observing the proper limits of gender interaction.

    The following are the rules deduced from the Qur'an and Sunnah regarding the social behavior of men and women, as outlined by the scholars:

    a) Both men and women should dress properly and modestly, such that their nakedness (awra) is covered with loose clothing that does not define the shape of the limbs below. This, of course, includes women being in proper hijab, both avoiding tight-fitting clothing;

    b) Men and women who are not immediately related should not talk to each other unnecessarily. When there is a genuine need (such as work or education) to talk, the conversation should be in a modest, restrained manner, and be limited to the extent of the need;

    c) It is from the guidance of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that women cannot wear fragrances that might catch the attention of strange men;

    d) Both men and women should lower their gazes. It is disliked to look at someone young of the opposite sex even without the fear of desire; when one even fears desire, it is impermissible to look;

    e) Particular care must be given to one’s interaction with in-laws, relatives, and others one is likely to have sustained contact with, such as co-workers.

    In the light of the above, we can see that the free intermingling of both the sexes is not allowed. Islam enjoins on both men and women to cast down their looks in presence of each other. How is it possible for men and women to meet freely in dinners, tea parties and other social events with looks cast down?. 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 gathering. Even in the Masjid men and women had their separate rows at the time of prayers. The Hadith considers the free mixing with in-laws as death, as there is a greater risk of Fitna.

    In one narration, listening to the voice of a woman with lust has been termed as adultery. The scholars have debated whether the voice of a women is Awrah, although according to the Hanafi Madhab it is not considered awrah, but it shows the importance of keeping away from free mixing. If a young woman says Salam to a Non-Mahram, he should reply within himself and not let the woman hear his reply [see “Taqreerat” of Rafi'e on the “Hashiya” of Ibn Abideen].

    Ibn Abideen says in his “Hashiya”: If one fears Fitna or lust then it will be Haram for him to look at the face of a woman. This was in the early days. However, in our times [Ibn Abideen's] one is not allowed to look at the face of a Non-Mahram woman, not because it's part of the Awra, rather due to Fitna.

    It is thus clear that Islam insist on the segregation of sexes to the utmost extent compatible with individual and collective self-preservation. Its pattern of society is one in which men and women do not intermingle too freely. If intermixture becomes necessary at any time, then too much freedom must be avoided and all the rules and conditions must be observed.

    In conclusion, mixed gatherings are not permissible. Men and women must sit apart from each other. If they sit apart and there is no free mixing [as was also mentioned in the Question] then it will be permissible. May Allah guide us to the straight path. Ameen

    And Allah knows best.

    Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

    Edited by Faraz Rabbani.

    Sunnipath.com
    Last edited by Salman Al-Farsi; 17-08-05, 01:43 AM.
    "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

  • #2
    Segregation between men and women
    Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari


    I have heard that at wedding functions it is obligatory to separate men and women so that they do not mix freely, and so this does not lead to fitna. If this is correct does it mean that they have to be in separate rooms - or should their be some barrier between them if at all possible.





    In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,


    It is clear from the general and particular guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) that it is necessary to minimize unnecessary interaction between the opposite sexes.

    This has been discussed in some detail in a earlier post regarding mixed gatherings.

    As such, it would most definitely be better to have men and women in separate areas or at least a barrier between them. If that is not possible, then at least they should be seated separately.

    And Allah knows best

    Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
    Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK

    www.daruliftaa.org
    "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

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    • #3
      Its really sad nowdasy that Muslims do not care about segregation especially at wedding ceremony's and have adopted concepts like mixed tables, match making, eyeing up, churbsing, and unnecessary interaction between sexes. :(
      Last edited by Salman Al-Farsi; 17-08-05, 01:53 AM.
      "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

      Comment


      • #4
        i know, its really haraam what theyre doing nowadays, a while ago in a isna conference IMO had this little program where they would let the young people call out to a member of the oposite sex to talk to, they would go in a corner and talk to each other if they were interested... really, really sad. and the sad thing is that some of the ppl actually came to this and since it was under imam supervision.. they now believe its halal. just clearin this thing up IT IS HARAM TO TALK ALONE WITHOUT A WALI TO A NON MIHRAM. And that is not even the main haram that was going on u walk in the conference no separatio whatesoever having brothers walk past u, bump into u its all so digusting how the muslims are comprimising theyre islam for medernization.
        "Islam began as something strange and will return as it was, so give glad tidings to the strangers."
        "Don't ever argue with an idiot....
        they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mujaheedah
          i know, its really haraam what theyre doing nowadays, a while ago in a isna conference IMO had this little program where they would let the young people call out to a member of the oposite sex to talk to, they would go in a corner and talk to each other if they were interested... really, really sad. and the sad thing is that some of the ppl actually came to this and since it was under imam supervision.. they now believe its halal. just clearin this thing up IT IS HARAM TO TALK ALONE WITHOUT A WALI TO A NON MIHRAM. And that is not even the main haram that was going on u walk in the conference no separatio whatesoever having brothers walk past u, bump into u its all so digusting how the muslims are comprimising theyre islam for medernization.
          Its absolutely forbidden for a man and women to be alone because prophet (saw) said the third will be shaytaan.

          However alot of Muslims think its ok in mixed gatherings like islamic conferences, weddings, etc to exchange numbers, fix others/match making, unnecessary chats etc.

          Weddings nowdays are astaghfirullah just pure fitnah, i stopped going to weddings long time ago unless they are segregatd. :)

          And this ISNA is really bad :(
          "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Salman Al-Farsi
            Its absolutely forbidden for a man and women to be alone because prophet (saw) said the third will be shaytaan.

            However alot of Muslims think its ok in mixed gatherings like islamic conferences, weddings, etc to exchange numbers, fix others/match making, unnecessary chats etc.

            Weddings nowdays are astaghfirullah just pure fitnah, i stopped going to weddings long time ago unless they are segregatd. :)

            And this ISNA is really bad :(
            :) alhamdulillah its good to hear you've stopped going, something i need to do.

            Wedding can really annoy you, especially ones where they have to dance, arrghhhhhhhhhh. you just think what the heck!! whats's wrong with them

            May Allah give us the strength to speak to our families and guide them to what's right, so we can make a statement to the inviters. and from that inshaAllah more people will refuse to come to such weddings and they will resort to segregated weddings.
            In the past i know of families who refuse to go to weddings which aren't segregated and thats excellent, as it makes a statement to them.

            InshaAllah we can be examples of sunnah weddings
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Voyager
              :) alhamdulillah its good to hear you've stopped going, something i need to do.

              Wedding can really annoy you, especially ones where they have to dance, arrghhhhhhhhhh. you just think what the heck!! whats's wrong with them

              May Allah give us the strength to speak to our families and guide them to what's right, so we can make a statement to the inviters. and from that inshaAllah more people will refuse to come to such weddings and they will resort to segregated weddings.
              In the past i know of families who refuse to go to weddings which aren't segregated and thats excellent, as it makes a statement to them.

              InshaAllah we can be examples of sunnah weddings
              Inshalah I agree.

              we need to make a statement about these gatherings, because if we dont they will get worse and worse. :(
              "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

              Comment


              • #8
                I havent been to a wedding in a decade Can't stand them. I hate people getting dressed up for one day (and most of the time, the women are hardly dressed) and i disagree with holding mass gatherings.. If we are muslims, we should emulate the Prophet's daughter Fatima's marriage to Ali which was very simple.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by witty
                  I havent been to a wedding in a decade Can't stand them. I hate people getting dressed up for one day (and most of the time, the women are hardly dressed) and i disagree with holding mass gatherings.. If we are muslims, we should emulate the Prophet's daughter Fatima's marriage to Ali which was very simple.
                  However, Walima is a Sunnah and one should celeberate is by organising a feast inviting as many people as he can afford. This should be done in moderation, nowdays its just getting extravagant by the day :(

                  I ve missed loads of weddings before for this reason, but last weekend was my cousins wedding and I did not go, so the heat was on me and alhamdulilah things are cooling down :)
                  "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

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                  • #10
                    Well.. hmm.. I suppose you could hold a walima or give half the money or all of it to charity and hold a small gathering of close family and friends.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by witty
                      Well.. hmm.. I suppose you could hold a walima or give half the money or all of it to charity and hold a small gathering of close family and friends.
                      No, the sunnah is to celeberate it after consumating the marriage and make it public by inviting loads of people. :)

                      I think what we need to change is what goes on in these gatherings, rather than socialising, its perfect oppertunity to reach a large number of Muslims to have islamic discussions and create awareness of whats happening around.
                      "The objective behind Shari'ah is to liberate individuals from his desires in order to be a true Abd (slave) of Allah and that is the legitimate Maslaha... Violating the Shari'ah under the pretext of following Maqasid al-Shari'ah is like the one who cares about the spirit without the body and since the body without the spirit is useless therefore the spirit without the body is useless too." ~ Imam Shatibi - The greatest intellectual founder of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

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                      • #12
                        :start:

                        :salams

                        SubhanAllah i cannot stand weddings nowadays.

                        People have no Hayaa, you walk in and you feel like a lab experiment, people look at what you're wearing, who your with, if your married or not, if there are tell tale signs of being some sort of loose person and off they go to move onto the next victim.

                        People dance around and sometimes there is no segregation

                        It's sickening.

                        :salams
                        Allah and His angels call down blessings on the Prophet . O you who believe! call down blessings on him and ask for complete peace and safety for him :inlove: (33:56)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by *IslamicGirl*
                          :start:

                          :salams

                          SubhanAllah i cannot stand weddings nowadays.

                          People have no Hayaa, you walk in and you feel like a lab experiment, people look at what you're wearing, who your with, if your married or not, if there are tell tale signs of being some sort of loose person and off they go to move onto the next victim.

                          People dance around and sometimes there is no segregation

                          It's sickening.

                          :salams
                          last wedding i went to all was fine until they brought the belly dancers out
                          "Islam began as something strange and will return as it was, so give glad tidings to the strangers."
                          "Don't ever argue with an idiot....
                          they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

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                          • #14
                            :start:

                            :salams

                            LOL! @ belly dancers :p


                            :S eek

                            I remember going to my first segregated Arab wedding, it was cool, yes there was dancing and so on, but there was not a guy in sight and it the atmosphere was relaxing cuz there was no guy coming up with the excuse 'to pass a message to mum'

                            :salams
                            Allah and His angels call down blessings on the Prophet . O you who believe! call down blessings on him and ask for complete peace and safety for him :inlove: (33:56)

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                            • #15
                              I dont like people or socialising, period :(

                              If they're nice, then okay. But if their the extravagent type showing off nonstop and careerdriven money making kind of people with a bad attitude and opinionated, i'd rather not talk to them.
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