Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Shariah rules relating to mixing between the sexes

In Islam, the basic principle of the interaction between men and women is segregation. This means that in all areas of life and in all places whether private or public, contact between men and women is generally prohibited. Many evidences establish the principle of not mixing between the sexes, and there are many ahadith which clarify that this is the case in both public and private areas:

Abu Dawud narrated the following ahadith: The Prophet (saw) said, “The best row for men is the front row, (furthest from the women’s row) and the best row for women is the back row and the worst is the front row (just behind the men).” The Prophet (saw) saw men and women outside the mosque moving side by side in the crowd. He stopped the women saying, “It is not proper for you to walk in the middle of the path, you had better walk along the walls.”

In Abu Dawud, p.284, Hadith No. 4931, it is narrated upon the authority of Aisha (ra) that she said: "I used to play with my friends and whenever the Prophet (saw) entered they would leave and whenever he (saw) went out they would come back in."

In Abu Dawud Hadith No.4933, it is narrated that Aisha (ra) said: "The Prophet married me at seven and we had relationship at nine and when I moved to medina some women prepared me for the wedding and they nor I ever mixed with men in a house of women. The women received me and men received the Prophet and then we went to the house."

In Abu Dawud V.4, p.370, Hadith No .5273, it is narrated upon the authority of Nafih that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, "Do not walk between two men or between two women in the street."

This means that the Muslims should avoid contact with members of the opposite sex, whether Muslim or not, as a general rule. However, there are exceptions to this general rule, where the mixing or interaction between men and women is permitted in certain situations.

For example, it is permitted for men and women who are mahram to each other to mix freely for any purpose that Islam permits. As well, there are certain areas where it is permitted for non-mahram men and woman to interact with each other, such as for the purpose of da‘wah (invitation to Islam). However, the type of mixing that can occur here is not free, and is restricted by the Shari‘ah to be within certain guidelines and boundaries, and the Muslim must be sure to understand these before any type of mixing takes place.

The ahkam (rules) to do with mixing also vary with regard to the kind of place in which the mixing occurs.

In an Islamic society, there are two types of areas where men and women come into contact with each other, which are quite different in their descriptions and in the ahkam (rules) which relate to them. The nature of the interaction between people in them may involve the mixing among men, among women, and between men and women. These are:

The Public Areas - These consist of areas wherein anybody can be present without permission, e.g. the mosque, the streets etc.

The Private Areas - These are areas where permission is required to enter them, such as houses. In such areas, it is forbidden to enter without permission, or even to look inside. Sahl ibn Sa’ad narrated, “A man peeped through a round hole into the dwelling place of the Prophet (saw) while he had an iron comb with which he was scratching his head. He (saw) said, ‘Had I known you were looking (through the hole) I would have pierced your eye with it (the comb). Verily, the order of taking permission to enter (a dwelling place) has been enjoined because of that sight (that one should not look unlawfully at the state of others)’. ” [Bukhari]

Allah (swt) says:

“O you who believe, don’t enter houses other than your own until you have asked permission and saluted those in them, that is best for you, in order that you may heed (what is seemly). If you find no one in the house, don’t enter until permission is given to you; if you are asked to go back, go back; that makes for greater purity for yourselves, and Allah knows well all that you do).” [TMQ An-Nur: 27-28]

It was deduced from these verses that the place which is considered a house and upon which the rules of the private life apply is the one no one from outside is allowed to enter it except with a permission. In such place, the woman has special rules, to which the term of private life was given. This applies to that known as house or home. It was compared to it, by analogy, the places that are closed to the public i.e. in those areas which nobody is allowed to enter unless he had a special permission. However if those areas can be seen by people outside of them for example if they were made of transparent glass, where their inside is exposed to the public, then they are considered public places. Similarly, the places open to the public, wherever anybody has an enquiry or a transaction can enter, such offices are not subject to the rules of the private life.

Islam defines rules and laws which regulate the relationships between men and women in each of these spheres.

The Private Life

This concerns the conduct of people when they are in the private areas. Here, the principle is that mixing between unrelated (non-mahram) men and women is forbidden as a general rule. However, the Shari‘ah gives permit for mixing to occur under certain special circumstances. In all these cases, a woman cannot be in Khalwa (seclusion) with another man alone. These areas include:

1) Medicine: It is allowed for men and women to mix for the purpose of seeking medical treatment. The Sahabiyat used to treat the Sahaba and the Prophet (saw) consented to that.

2) Da’wa: It is allowed for men and women to be present in the same class if the purpose of their mixing is learning about Islam or other types of education permitted by the Shari‘ah. The sister of Umar (ra) was being taught from the Quran by Khabab ibn Arrat (ra) with her husband when Umar entered upon them. It has been narrated that Umm Salamah and Aisha (ra) who used to do da'wa to men and women

3) Marriage: If a man is looking to marry a woman then he is allowed to talk to her about issues related to finding out about her and related to the marriage. A man came to the Messenger Muhammad (saw) to ask about marrying a girl and the Prophet (saw) told him to go and see her i.e. see her in her Mahram’s presence.

4) Duress or Compulsion: At times of absolute necessity or emergency, such as earthquakes, war or hurricanes, the necessary mixing is permitted for men and women in order to remove any danger or threat.

5) State arrest: The evidence for this is from Uthman and Umar (ra) said, "O women, cover yourselves we are entering" and he entered a house to arrest someone with his army and there was Ijma of the Sahaba (consensus of the companions) on this.

6) Eating: In Surah Nur Allah (SWT) says:

“The blind is not to be blamed, the crippled is not to be blamed, nor is the handicapped to be blamed, just as you are not to be blamed for eating at your homes, or the homes of your fathers, or the homes of your mothers, or the homes of your brothers, or the homes of your sisters, or the homes of your fathers' brothers, or the homes of your fathers' sisters, or the homes of your mothers' brothers, or the homes of your mothers' sisters, or the homes that belong to you and you possess their keys, or the homes of your friends. You commit nothing wrong by eating together or as individuals. When you enter any home, you shall greet each other a greeting from Allah that is blessed and good. Allah thus explains the revelations for you, that you may understand.” [TMQ 24:61]

For men and women to eat together is permitted in the places mentioned in the verse such as the home of your fathers or your friends as it says, “You commit nothing wrong by eating together or as individuals”.

However people should be careful that even though eating together with the women at a friends house is permitted that they should leave once they have eaten and beware of socialisation with the opposite sex which would be exceeding the permit.

7) Silat ar-rahm (maintaing the relationship between kith and kin): It is allowed for non-maharam relatives to sit with their non-maharam (people to whom marriage is permitted) for the sake of silat ar-rahm as long as it is without khalwah (privacy). There exist a number of hadith concerning the keeping of good relations with the relatives.

It was narrated by Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth, and that his lease of life be prolonged, then he should keep good relations with his kith and kin". It is narrated by Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (saw) said: "Allah created His creation, and when He finished it, the womb got up and said, I seek refuge with you from Al-qatia (ties being severed with me)". On that Allah (swt) said: "Don’t you accept that I bestow my favours on him who keeps your ties, and withhold My favours from him who severes your ties?" On that it said, "Yes, Oh my Lord!" Then Allah (swt) said: "That is for you".

The Public Life

This concerns the conduct of people when they are in the public areas. Here again, the principle is that mixing between unrelated (non-mahram) men and women is forbidden as a general rule. However, the Shari‘ah gives permit for mixing (in the sense of presence in the same area) to occur under certain special circumstances. In all these cases, it is not a condition that a woman has a mahram in her presence. The areas can be broadly categorised to include:

1) Hajj: Through the Prophets (saw) consent.

2) Trade/hiring: This includes markets/shops, buying, selling, hiring, borrowing and lending. Tirmidhi narrated that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) traded with women, and Abu Bakr saw the Messenger Muhammad (saw) trade with a woman.

3) Work: If the nature of the work means that one needs to mix then there is a permit. Work involves looking for work e.g. interviews, etc. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) permitted Zubayr Ibn Awwam's wife to work. She carried water both to men and women. The Messenger even offered his camel to assist her.

4) Every day life affairs: This involves the unavoidable interaction between men and women in areas like streets, markets, restaurants, etc.

Special cases within the Public life

There are private places upon which the rules of private life apply, such as houses. There are public places upon which the rules of the public life apply, such as the markets. There are public places with special rules like separating men from women, such as the mosques and attending the public talks at lecture theatres and the like which are compared by analogy.

The Prophet (saw) said, “The best row for men is the front row, (furthest from the women’s row) and the best row for women is the back row and the worst is the front row (just behind the men).” [Abu Dawud]

In Abu Dawud Kitab Al Salat, V.1, in the Chapter on Segregation, it is narrated that Umar bin Al Khattab (ra) said: "Make a special door for women in the mosques."

So in the markets, it is not a condition that men separate from women during trading. But in the mosque and the lecture hall, the separation of men from women is a condition. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) used to address men and women in the mosque in medina, men in front and women behind. Similarly, in the hospitals the sections of men should be separated from the sections of women.

In all these cases, where men and women are present at the same time, there must not be free mixing, where both sexes are mingling with each other. The general rule is that any contact between members of the opposite sex is minimised as much as possible, so any contact between members of the opposite sex must be necessary to the business at hand. Thus in the Islamic State, for example, in the trains or buses there would be separate areas for men and women.

In any case, the activities which are occurring must be halal (i.e. permitted) in nature. Accordingly, mixing between non-mahram men and women for the purpose of amusement, leisure-activities or entertainment is strictly prohibited. Thus issues such as boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, dating, or enjoying leisure and company with unrelated women is haram. However, Islam does see these types of activities as acceptable, but only when regulated within the framework of marriage.

Weddings

Mixing (ikhtilaat) is not allowed unless it is for a need recognised by the Shariah for which there is a text in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) such as buying, selling, silat rahm (maintaining relations with kith and kin), etc.

There is no text regarding the mixing of men and women in halls for wedding celebrations. Rather what has been mentioned in the time of the Messenger of Allah and his Sahabah is that the women used to sit with the bride on their own and the men used to sit on their own. Thus, mixing in halls is Haraam and no exception is made for it.

In Abu Dawud Hadith No.4933, it is narrated that Aisha (ra) said: "The Prophet married me at seven and we had relationship at nine and when I moved to medina some women prepared me for the wedding and they nor I ever mixed with men in a house of women. The women received me and men received the Prophet and then we went to the house."

What has been reported with respect to the wedding feasts is the wedding procession when the woman is taken to her husband’s house. It is allowed for men and women to take her to her husband’s house and then the men should separate form the women since this has been the established during the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he approved of it. This occurred outside and therefore falls under the rules of the public place.

Khalwa (Seclusion)

Khalwa relates to the presence of a non-mahram man and woman being on their own together without the presence of a mahram or any other person. This could happen in a private place, or a public place. In either case khalwa is forbidden from Islam, and both the man and woman involved are sinful.

Khalwa in a Private Place: This could occur in any place that requires permission for entry, such as a house or bedroom in a residence building.

Khalwa in a Public Place: This could occur in any public place whose nature is that no other people would be likely to pass by or come there. An example of such a place would be in a forest or an isolated room in an office.

Muhammad (saw) said, “If a man and a woman are alone together in an isolated place, then the third is Shaitan.” Bukhari narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “No man should stay with a lady in seclusion except in the presence of a mahram to her.” A man stood up and said, “O Rasul Allah! My wife has gone out intending to perform the Hajj and I have been enrolled in the army for such and such a campaign.” The Prophet (saw) said, “Return and perform the Hajj with your wife.”

Modesty and Lowering the Gaze

Part of the provision of maintaining the dignity and honour of men and women in Islam is in the regulation of the way they are regarded by each other. It is forbidden for the Muslim man to look at any woman with lustful intentions, except for his wife. The same is true for a Muslim woman with regard to other men.

Rather, the emphasis is on lowering the gaze away from members of the opposite sex at times when they are present, like in the streets or the market place. Allah (swt) says,

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that will make for greater purity for them, and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.” [TMQ 24:30-31]

Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah reported, “I asked Allah’s Messenger about the sudden glance (that is cast) on the face (of a non-mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes.” [Muslim]

This reflects the principle that the way that Muslim men and women view each other is completely different to the way of the West, where women are seen as sex objects, and respect of both men and women in this context is almost non-existent. Indeed, if it does exist at all, the criteria upon which it is based mainly concerns the superficial physical attributes. Allah (swt) says:

“And the believers, the men and women, are protecting friends of one another, they bid to honour and forbid dishonour, they perform the prayer, and they pay the alms, and they obey Allah and His Messenger. Upon them Allah will have mercy.” [TMQ 9:71]

This aspect of the Social System of the Islamic State will prevent exploitation of women in pornography, or the use of their bodies as an enticement for people to buy products. Additionally, in the media as a whole, whether on television, magazines, newspapers or films, neither men nor women will be portrayed in roles where they reveal their awrah, or involve in activities that are forbidden in Islam.

Thus the sexual bombardment from the media that is faced by people in the West, and the distorted image of men and women that this builds in the mind, will be absent in the Islamic State.

71 comments:

Mujahida_1924 said...

alhadulillah a very gr8 article, indeed good stuff to learn frm,
wid wonderful hadiths to back it up.

jzk

wasalaam

~*Sabrun Jamil*~ said...

As'salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

JazakAllahu khairan brother for the article, it's a very important topic. InshaAllah I put it in my blog, hope you don't mind.

Fi Amanillah

Edward Ott said...

You have written a very interesting article. i enjoyed reading it.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

Salams

Thank you for your comments

You can put this article on your blog or use it for any other da'wa purpose.

Wassalam

Adnan said...

Salaams

i just wanted an explanation about an aspect of this artical

It is said that the rule in the mosque is men and women can be present however they must be seperated, hence the rows of men and women should be seperated. in another q&a a few hadith are used which are all on the lines of men and women should be seperated in the mosque and this ruling is then extended via qiyas to include both the lecture hall and the cinema.

My question is how was the illah deduced. could this be elaborated upon explaining how the illah is then applied

Jazakhalah, thnaking you in advance

Adnan

Anonymous said...

Salam,

What would the rule be on Going to a gym where both men and women attend. This would be non muslim men and woman. If you go to the Gym and just do your own workout, would that be ok?

salam

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

Unless the Gym is segregated where the men and women are segregated it would not be allowed. The same applies for other things like cinemas as well, check:

http://abuismael.blogspot.com/2006/11/qa-going-to-cinema-watching-licentious.html

Anonymous said...

Assalamualeikum

Nowadays, there are women gyms, where a fee is paid and only women are allowed entry (If men have to enter for any repairs, this would be announced to everyone in the gym).

So my question is: Is such a gym considered to be public or private, since ANY female who paid a fee would be able to enter?

The reason being that if it were public, then I would still have to wear a jilbab to workout and if not, then I wouldn't need to.

Islamic Revival said...

AA

Sorry for the late reply

You are not obliged to wear your jilbab in such a place as long as you cannot be seen by people outside.

Anonymous said...

Is co-education allowed in Khilafah when Islamic dress code & segregation maintained at same class?
What sort of conversation allowed between non-Mahrams specially relatives, in presence of Mahram?
What's the Islamic ruling when opposite sex not follow Islamic dress code?
What's the Islamic dress code for Mahram female, how far they can mix(touch, sleep together etc.)?

Islamic Revival said...

1) There will be no co-education in the Khilafah. Even if the Islamic dress code is maintained, the issue is related to mixing between the sexes and not only dress code.

2) Maintaining relations with the extended relatives (silat ar-rahm) is mandub (recommended). It is allowed to discuss what is normal with them such as family affairs, what is happening in their life, their health, etc. Of course it is prohibitted to engage in talk that leads to haram such as lewd matters.

3) As the article mentions we must lower our gaze when the opposite sex does not cover their awra.

4) Please refer to the relavent chapter in the following book regarding the dress code of the woman:

http://www.khilafat.pk/home/images/books/english/the_social_system_of_islam.pdf

Anonymous said...

salam,

Brother is it allowed for a woman to eat out at restarunts with family? sometime there is music being played as well, what is the Hukm on that pleas?

jizakalllah Kahir

Islamic Revival said...

AA

It is permitted to eat with your family in public restaurants.

Anonymous said...

Please update us in detail regarding mixing between sexes at internet e.g. at chat room, at facebook, e-mail etc.
Regarding facebook kindly inform us the Sharia status at least covering following issues: having Mahram & Non-Mahram opposite sex at friend list, having personally known & unkhown Non-Mahram opposite sex at friend list, is it allowed to discuss personal or dawah topics in general without maintaning any particular privacy, uploading personal-familial images & sharing views on such.

Anonymous said...

Fatawa regarding mixing between the sexes at virtual world e.g. chat room, facebook etc?

sadia said...

salam,
it is very important for me to know the rule of hijab at home. is it obligatory to wear jilbab at home when any non mahram present at home or if we go to talk with them drawing room ??

2. what is the actual criteria of inner garment beca if any women wear catsuit dress at home and go infont of mahram is it will allowed? so what is the definiton of inner garment at home ( except at husband)
plz give my answer , its urgent not only for me but for all siser too.

Islamic Revival said...

@Sadia: Salams, the answer to your questions:

It is not obligatory to wear jilbab whilst at home in front of non-mahrams, however your awra must be covered (everything apart from face and hands) and you must not be in a state of tabarruj (display) this means in effect you must wear loose fitting clothes and clothes that do not reveal the colour of your skin, etc.

This topic has been elaborated in detail by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani in The Social System in Islam in the chapter 'Looking at Women', please read this chapter, you can download the whole book from: http://nahdaproductions.org/media/k2/videos/resources/ebooks/HT%20books%21/The%20Social%20system.pdf

Islamic Revival said...

The rules regarding mixing on the internet between men and women are the same as in real life i.e. it can only be for a purpose the Shariah sanctions and in the manner that the Shariah allows. So for example socialising with non related members of the opposite sex through any means whether that be facebook, sms, telephone etc is haram. Allah told us in the Quran, in translation: "Do not approach fornication" and "Do not approach faahisha (lewdness)".

Anonymous said...

Salaam
This is a question which has come up again and again with regards to weddings, can men and women be together when the food is served i.e Not attend the whole wedding function but come in only at the time of food being served and them leaving immediately therafter without socialising? kindly reply soon...jzk

Anonymous said...

Sheikh writes in Social System regarding Joint families:- "Accordingly, it is permitted for a man to live with his relatives. In this
respect the Mahram and non-Mahram are all equal, for example, the father,
brother and cousin. There is no harm for the woman to appear in her home
clothes in front of those living in the same house with her husband or
brother. The man who resides therein is obliged to lower his gaze. There is
no harm for him to look at her normally whilst she is attired in her home
clothes except in the three circumstances, i.e. except in the three mentioned
time periods, that is, except the situation in which she will be in the three
(stipulated) times."
shouldn't joint family system be disallowed fundamentally as it is mixing b/w sexes? Regarding the last line that non-mehram male can "partly" look at her except in 3 circumstances. How is the analogy drawn b/w slaves, etc mentioned in Nur:58 and brother in laws, etc? Please explain the para. Jazak Allah !

Anonymous said...

Can a Muslimah go to market along with her Sister's husband in presence of her sister & eat together at a restaurant without informing her husband? How far she can socialize with her Sister's husband in context of kinship?

Anonymous said...

The husband of elder sister is not from ULU-AL-ARHAM, is he to be considered as non-Mahram from AL-ASABA? For those distant non-Mahram relatives who are neither from ULU-AL-ARHAM nor AL-ASABA, can be mixed like maintaining Silat-Ar-Rehem during Ulu-Ar-Arham & Al-Asaba?

Islamic Revival said...

The following is in reply to the brother who asked about the male electrician entering the house when the woman is alone. The following is a Q&A that deals with the issue, translated from Arabic:

Question: Is it allowed for the non-mahrem to be alone in a house, if the front door remains open? So for example can a doctor or a builder be alone with the non-muharram women? If not, who can be present, in such place for the doctor or builder to be present?

Answer: It is not allowed for a foreign man to be present with a woman who is on her own in one house whether the front door was open or shut. So it is not right that a man should teach her in the house while they are on their own or that she should be visited by a male doctor while she is on her own. So the house is a private life for the woman, it is not allowed for anyone to be there other than the people the Sharee’ah has allowed such as her husband and mahrams. As for who should be with her when a doctor needs to enter for example; these can be her husband, a mahram, trustworthy women or a female neighbour about whose Deen and character she is sure. Or it can be her children if they are of a discerning age.

Islamic Revival said...

Regarding the question about mixing at weddings it has already been answered in the article:

Weddings

Mixing (ikhtilaat) is not allowed unless it is for a need recognised by the Shariah for which there is a text in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) such as buying, selling, silat rahm (maintaining relations with kith and kin), etc.

There is no text regarding the mixing of men and women in halls for wedding celebrations. Rather what has been mentioned in the time of the Messenger of Allah and his Sahabah is that the women used to sit with the bride on their own and the men used to sit on their own. Thus, mixing in halls is Haraam and no exception is made for it.

In Abu Dawud Hadith No.4933, it is narrated that Aisha (ra) said: "The Prophet married me at seven and we had relationship at nine and when I moved to medina some women prepared me for the wedding and they nor I ever mixed with men in a house of women. The women received me and men received the Prophet and then we went to the house."

What has been reported with respect to the wedding feasts is the wedding procession when the woman is taken to her husband’s house. It is allowed for men and women to take her to her husband’s house and then the men should separate form the women since this has been the established during the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he approved of it. This occurred outside and therefore falls under the rules of the public place.

Islamic Revival said...

Regarding the question of a woman appearing in her home clothes to non-mahram male relatives, the following is the translation of a Q&A from 2003:

Question: If the wife is residing in the house with her husband, and her brother in law, what type of clothes is she obliged to wear. It seems from the social system, in the chapter of looking at women, that she is allowed to wear her “home clothes”, whereas how do we reconcile this with the ayah of the Quran,

“They should not show their zeenah (charms) in public beyond what may (decently) be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their head-coverings (khumur) over their necks and bosoms (juyub). And let them not display (more of) their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands fathers, or their sons, or their husbands sons, or their brothers, or their brothers sons, or their sisters sons, or their women folk, or their concubines, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of women’s nakedness; and let them not swing their legs (in walking) so as to draw attention to their hidden charms”

Although it mentions that in the private life the tuwafoona alaykum, are allowed to be present, and the brother in law who lives in the house is one of them, the ayah obliges the women to cover her zeenah, and not to reveal her awrah to people apart from which is mentioned in the text. So how do we include the brother-in-law, or any other non-mahram who lives with the women, to be exempt from this ayah.

Answer: The places of zeena (charms) cannot be shown by the women except to the following people mentioned in the ayah:
“They should not show their zeenah (charms) in public beyond what may (decently) be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their head-coverings (khumur) over their necks and bosoms (juyub). And let them not display (more of) their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands fathers, or their sons, or their husbands sons, or their brothers, or their brothers sons, or their sisters sons, or their women folk, or their concubines, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of women’s nakedness; and let them not swing their legs (in walking) so as to draw attention to their hidden charms”

This is because the ayah has stated this. Also, the women should not appear in her home clothes before non-mahrams and those mentioned in the ayah. So it is not allowed for her to show more than her hands and face except to the above categories.

As for the ‘tawwaafoon’ (those who move around) this is a deficient ‘illah (illah qaasirah) and does not extend beyond what the ayah mentioned. And they are the children who have not reached the age of maturity and the slaves i.e. not free servants. The children living in the house and the slaves in the house are entitled to move around and enter the rooms for the purpose of serving and other reasons without seeking permission except in the three times of nakedness.

Islamic Revival said...

Regarding the questions regarding interacting with non-mahram relatives of the opposite sex. The following some translated Q&A's from 2003 that cover this subject:

Question: Is it allowed for non-mahrem relatives to sit with each other for silat-ar-rahm (maintaining the relations with kith and kin) purposes?

Answer: It is allowed for non-maharam relatives to sit with their non-maharam cousins for the sake of silat ar-rahm (maintaing the relationship between kith and kin) without khalwah (privacy). And it is not a condition that a mahram be present. As for conversations taking place; this is normal as long as the discussion is not about haram matters.

Question: Is it allowed for me to visit my sisters from my father while their half-sister is present?

Answer: When you go to visit your two sisters (from your father), and since they are from your mahrams, then silatur-rahm (kindness to close relatives) is wajib on you. It is okay for their half-sister (from their mother) to sit with you even though she is not mahram to you. However, it is allowed to sit with your two sisters with in her presence, because she is mahram to your two sisters, as long as her ‘awrah is covered; otherwise you should lower your gaze, ghadd al-basar, because she is non-mahram to you. It is not allowed for you to have Khalwah (privacy) with her, or to sit alone with her because she is not a mahram to you. It is allowed for you to sit with your to sisters from your father while she is present, because she is mahram to your two sisters.

Question: Is it allowed for me to sit with my sisters while their mahram relatives are present, even though they are not related to me?

Answer: It is allowed for you to sit with your sisters (from your father) while their mahram relatives are there even if they are not your mahrams. However, it is not allowed to sit with your stepsisters (from your father), if people are there who are not mahrams to them, but are their female friends who are sitting with you.

Question: Is it allowed to mix with wives/women of my close friends who are not related to me?

Answer: It is not allowed to mix with women/wives of your close friends because your friend is not mahram to you. The womenfolk of your friend’s family are not mahrams to you and so it is not allowed to mix with them except for a need, which the Sharee’ah permits such as being invited for food. As for mixing merely because of the visit, this is not allowed.

Anonymous said...

Salaams in the Hadith of jarir ibn Abdullah, concerning the looking at women, you have added the looking at the face in the look of surprise as part of the Hadith. Yet no Hadith reference mentions actually looking at the face rather it was looking at the awra. Please explain?

Islamic Revival said...

It is taken from a commonly used translation of Sahih Muslim, Book 025, Number 5372: Sahih Muslim.

Anonymous said...

Salaams, IR re above thread, are you suggesting it is not allowed to look at the face and hands (a second glance) as I thought this was only for the follow up look at the awrah parts!

Islamic Revival said...

Looking at even the face and the hands of the non-mahram woman with desire is haram.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "The adultery of the eyes is the sight, the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes, desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it" [Bukhari]

momo said...

Salaamoe alaikoem

I read a bit from the pdf book SocialSys (It is obligatory to separate Man from Woman in Islamic Life). In the end of this chapter:

Upon studying the rules of Islam we find that the Legislator permitted women to buy and sell, to hand over things and receive, obliged the Hajj upon her, allowed her to attend the Salah in Jamaah in the Masjid, to fight the Kuffar, to own and invest her wealth, besides other matters allowed to her.

Besides other matters allowed to her. I understand herefrom that there are other situtions when it is allowed.

I also read the comments.

My question is: As I have learned that it is possible that in certain siutations a woman can be in her house alone and for example a (internet)technician comes in the house to install the modem.

Main thing is that these two persons have to follow certain rules: no talking about anything else then the matter. (not: how was you day, etc). signing paper after he finished then byee.

I understood that kwulwa has a meaning more then only seclusion, seclusion with free talkig added to it

that's why if if two persons come together and talk freely, the third person is Shaytaan.

But in these situations , where the woman is staying home as most muslima do and the man working outstide, sometimes someone has to come to fix a problem or to install internet.

Even when we moving to our new appartement, the police will surpise us , just to be sure we are living there, but I was working when He came.

I don't want to proof my point by giving practical examples.

But I learned that it's is not khoelwa if a man comes to a house to do his job and leave.

Does the sheick of the socialsys book can maybe add someting about this point?

Islamic Revival said...

@momo - Salam, what you said about khalwa is incorrect, it is not connected to whether they are interacting/talking or not, the ahadith only mentions being alone in an absolute way without any other condition. This means even if you were in a private house and in one room and a non-mahrem woman in another room of the same house, the third will be shaytan thus it is prohibited whether you interacted with each other or not.

Mixing (ikhtilat) with non-mahrem's without a shariah reason is a separate prohibition.

We do not determine the shariah rules based on ease or difficulty, the shariah rules are only derived from the detailed evidences in the Islamic sources of law i.e. the Quran, Sunnah and what they indicate.

We need to look for ways within the permissible (mubah) to deal with difficult situations that may arise such as some that you described. For example, if a workman comes to fix something in the house, the woman can call her neighbour (another woman) to break the khalwa in this case he is allowed to enter, to do his job and leave. They should not socialise with him and can only interact regarding the job he has come to do.

Regarding the example of the police, we are not accountable for what is beyond our control so if an authority comes to inspect a house in the man's absence then this is an imposition beyond our control.

Anonymous said...

Salaam
Excellent article....JZK
i just have question to ask...
is it allowed for females to travel in taxi/bus/auto....alone..
i.e can she hire a public transport and be alone with the driver..
will that be Khalwa (Seclusion) for her....

Islamic Revival said...

This question is answered in detail on: http://islamicsystem.blogspot.co.uk/2006/11/qa-woman-riding-in-car-alone-without.html

Anonymous said...

Salams Shiekh
Social system says: “Accordingly, it is permitted for a man to live with his relatives. In this
respect the Mahram and non-Mahram are all equal, for example, the father,
Brother and cousin. There is no harm for the woman to appear in her home
clothes in front of those living in the same house with her husband or
brother.”

I have couple of question related to this :
1. What about if you are living together with wife’s sisters family? Is it okay for my wife to appear in her home cloth in front of her sister’s husband?
2. What if non related families are living in the same house ? Will home cloth rule apply here?

Social system also states:
As for those entering the house from the outside whether relatives, nonrelations,
Mahrams or non-Mahrams, they are all obliged to seek permission
before they enter................ If the visitors are non-Mahrams, the woman is obliged to conceal her charm from them, showing no more than her hands and face.

if we are living in a foreign country and when visiting the home country, if we are residing in parent’s house, where in-laws ( brother-in-law/ sister-in-law) are also residing? Which rule will apply – conceal charm or home cloth?

Abu Khaled said...

As Salam Aleikum wr. wb.

What is the Hukm of visiting cinema?

Anonymous said...

http://islamicsystem.blogspot.com/2006/11/qa-going-to-cinema-watching-licentious.html

Salaam, This Q&A relates to going to the cinema.

Zainab said...

Salaam u alaikum warahmatullah,
Since Zubayr ibn Awwam's wife was permitted to work by the Prophet PBUH and she used to give water to both men and women - can it be inferred that it is ok to work in an office with men as long we only interact with them for work purposes, not sitting close to them , waring jilbaab? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Salamun aleykum Brother this Case about gym is Making me And a few Brothers very uncertain because of different opinions. Some Brothers say that it is allowed to workout during Times if there are less or no women And if you do your workout far away from them in areas they dont come And use which only the Men use. Jazakallahi khair Brother

Anonymous said...

salamun aleykum wr wb
brother my question is about training in a mixed gym in times where no women are for example late times. is it allowed to workout then?
and is it allowed then if there is a women or two which arent finisched jet and to workout then in areas in the gym which are only used by men normaly and women dont came and use where you cant see them?

jazakallahi khairun

Atika said...

Jazakallah for sharing this article.

I need some further clarification with regard to work place. As you mentioned in the article "If the nature of the work means that one needs to mix then there is a permit. Work involves looking for work e.g. interviews, etc. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) permitted Zubayr Ibn Awwam's wife to work. She carried water both to men and women. The Messenger even offered his camel to assist her."

So what is the ruling for working in a smaller company, where you are the only female amongst other males. Is it permissible? If so, would it be ok to attend work lunches, functions where she is the only female. Your reply would be highly appreciated. Jazakallah Khayr

Ahmed said...

Salaam alaikom

One issue you haven't addressed is flat sharing...

Theres a flat with 2 section one section is the owners theyre totally separate family with separate enterance, then the other section has 3 rooms and theres communal sharing like kitchen and bathroom. Im renting one room, another male is renting another room next to me and upstairs a female is renting.

Is this permitted?

Anonymous said...

Assalam.
Its urgent to know about a issue. If wife living with huband n his family where his brothers living, In that case when husband go out and wife n husbands brother in house, if they stay seperate room and they keep the front(main door of house) door open, then is it okay according to sharia??

Anonymous said...

Salam
A gathering in an outdoor area with men seated on one side and women on the other and the partition being a dinner table would be considered mixed or segregated? Please note that most women are not in proper hijab and couple of people also come to the women's side to talk to some ladies. Can you please provide related Islamic evidence with an answer.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu Alaikum,

I have a question regarding keeping family ties with Silat ar rahms, e.g. Cousins.

Could you outline some of the limits?
I.e. What would be permissible, what would be haraam.

For example;
Would it be permissible to play board games, cards, games, watch TV, etc with a Silat ar Rahm? (Not in seclusion though)

Or is it limited to certain conversations?

Jazak'Allah khair

Anonymous said...

As Salaamu Alaikum. My Husband Trains at a Mixed Gym (Boxing and Weights) He claims he does not mix or Train with the Females 'but' it has come to light that he has been talking to a couple of Females (maybe more ! I dont know for sure) He is doing an Instructors course & there is also a female doing it. He has been seen talking to this woman, my Husband says it is permissable in Islam for him to talk to her if it is work related (the course) and anyone else as it is a Public Place ! These women are NOT appropriately dressed (covered) and i would have thought the whole Environment was not allowed ! But my Husband accused me of not knowing about Islam. There are women from the same Gym who send my Husband Friend requests on his Facebook/Instagram ETC & even leave comments ! So he is clearly friendly with these women ! My Husband has always been a good practising man but has changed. He is always criticising me, my looks, my body my hair my age etc. I have been left feeling very insecure with myself and my marriage.

Islamic Revival said...

Salams sister,

The mixing in a gym between men and women as you described is not permitted in the shariah as you rightly said. It is advisable to ask your husband to discuss this matter with a pious knowledgeable jurist who will help convince him, as well as to point him to this article and other relevant literature.

The following is a relevant Q&A from the time of Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom (rh) on this matter:

Is mixing in entertainment, exercise etc allowed? For example is it allowed to go to a mixed Gym or Cinema?
The mixing which is prohibited in the public life is the Khultah ie sitting next each other and talking to each other. So entering a public park for example is allowed for the men and women as long as they do not mix i.e. they do not sit together or converse. Thus, attending a public celebration or sports tournament can be attended by men and women as long as there is no mixing in the meaning mentioned above (and this is on condition that there are no Sharee’ah violations such as uncovering the ‘awrah and the like).
As for if there is a text mentioned regarding a specific situation we restrict ourselves to this. So buying and selling in open markets, mixing there is allowed in the meaning mentioned above. So it is allowed for a woman to stand and sit next to a trader and haggle to make a purchase because the Messenger (saw) accepted this.

Thus, mixing in the public life is prohibited in the way mentioned above.

Islamic Revival said...

The following is an answer to questions above about the shared house between two families. This is from the time of Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom:

"It is not possible to live together in every house. This is because the availability of a private life for the women is a condition for her living there. If the house is big and two private lives are possible for two families then they can live there such as when they have two entrances for example. If two private lives for two families are possible in a big house then whatever extra can be for common usage. If the discussion goes beyond this then the women need to separate from the men. This is because mixing (sitting and talking) is not allowed except for a need approved by the Sharee’ah and here it is the house which residents share and nothing more. I wish to repeat that the house in which the shared living is allowed requires its reality to be studied if a private life is possible for each family which lives there such that the house is big with two entrances or the like."

Anonymous said...

Assalamualikum,...... In buses there occurs mingling of sexes.How can a person protect himself or can be a person sinful

Anonymous said...

Assalam o alaikum brother Islamic Revival , I found the material very helpful but could you tell me the source for the section under the title 'Weddings' as I would like to share it with someone but I would need some refrence. JazakAllah khair for your efforts!

Islamic Revival said...

Ws, the section of weddings is adapted from Q&A's of Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom (rh)

Anonymous said...

Prophet(saw) said,"Do not go near women when they are alone." A man from the Ansar said,"What about the husband's elder and younger brothers?" The Prophet(saw) said ,"Intimacy with them is to be avoided as death." What is the meaning of intimacy? In this context how will be the relationship between a women and her husband's brothers?

Anonymous said...

I find this highly contradictory in several sections.

First there is this part:

Da’wa: It is allowed for men and women to be present in the same class if the purpose of their mixing is learning about Islam or other types of education permitted by the Shari‘ah.

But then later it says under "Special cases within the Public life":

But in the mosque and the lecture hall, the separation of men from women is a condition.

This is a contradictory.

Then we have this part:

Medicine: It is allowed for men and women to mix for the purpose of seeking medical treatment.

But later is says:

Similarly, in the hospitals the sections of men should be separated from the sections of women.

This is also a contradiction.

Another problem is that there is no illa (reason in the islamic texts) regarding the separation between men and women in the mosque, so I cannot see how it is possible to make qiyas (analogy) to a lecture hall from a mosque. If we say that the illa is the general notion of keeping men and women away from fitnah, then we have a major problem as this then applies to a lot of issues not even mentioned in this leaflet.

Rather, most education cost money, hence in such issues we're dealing with an issue of sales and transactions.

In one question a sister asks about a gym, but many details are relevant to such a question and brothers should be careful about giving legal advice.

If the gym has big windows such as the public can view inside, then it is a public place.

Also such a place, if a person is paying for the usage of training equipment, then this part is relevant:

Similarly, the places open to the public, wherever anybody has an enquiry or a transaction can enter, such offices are not subject to the rules of the private life.

I am not saying anything specific regarding the question from the sister, I am just addressing this issue in a general manner.

I am sorry, but according to my knowledge this leaflet is filled with mistakes and contradictories. Maybe this is due to translation errors, or maybe it is due to it being formulated and explained poorly.

Now, do not take this as an excuses to go about in "public life" mixing without due halal reason, and do not exceed the limits set by Allah (swt), this is NOT the point of this comment.

The intention is simply to point out things I believe are mistakes. We are all human and mistakes happen all the time.

May Allah (swt) bless the great shaikh (rha) for this leaflet and may he forgive all our mistakes.

Maybe someone with more details can present an explanation for the contradictions.

And Allah (swt) knows best!

Islamic Revival said...

Salams,

What you have mentioned are not contradictions:

1. For the purpose of da'wah it is permitted for men and women to be in the same class and mix speak to the teacher/lecturer which is classed as mixing. However, the class must be segregated so the men sit on one side and women on the other, or men at the front and women at the back etc. As you commonly find in Islamic events. It is not permitted for unrelated men and women to sit together in a mixed crowd for such a purpose. The example of Khabab ibn Arrat (ra) teaching the sister of Umar bin al Khattab and her husband together does not legitimise a mixed classed as they were husband and wife being taught Quran by a teacher together in their home which is permitted.

2. It is permitted for a male patient to be seen by a female nurse or doctor and vice versa as long as they are not in seclusion (khalwa). However this does not mean that it is permitted for the wards of men and women to be mixed. Patients are not treated by each other and therefore the permission of mixing doesn't apply to them. Patients mix with the medical staff whether they are male or female. However according to the shariah it is not permitted to have a ward where there are unrelated men sleeping in beds next to unrelated women etc. This is what is meant.

3. There are 4 types of illah (legal reason) that are legitimate these include the sarahatan (explicit), dalalatan (implicit), istinbatan (derived) and qiyasan (derived through analogy). Please refer to the books of Usul or the article on the blog explaining this topic for further details. Qiyas is performed utilising any of these types of illah.

4. You mention something costing money and that therefore maybe this legitimises mixing in that entire issue. This is incorrect, the mixing allowed in trade means the actual trade itself, so to pay cashier of the opposite gender is allowed in order to play a game of squash, this doesn't mean that you can play that game of squash with non-mahrem women. They are two separate matters.

5. With regards to the gym where men and women are together training where there is woman using the exercise bike next to a man using one, where there is a woman using the rowing machine next to a man etc - then it is irrelevant if this is a private or public place - whether the people can see them or not. As training in such close proximity falls under mixing.

May Allah forgive us all for our errors, strengthen our knowledge and keep us humble.

Anonymous said...

As-Salamu alaikum

What is the daleel for the mixing in a class room or in a public gym - that it is haram? Is this only based upon qiyas from the rules pertaining to a mosk? And what is the qarina which shows that it is haram and not merely makrooh?

JazakAllahu khair.

Anonymous said...

Salams,

The daleel is all of the multiple evidences that establish that men and women should not mix as the default state. You need daleel to establish exceptions to this rule. There is no daleel to establish socialisation, physical fitness or worldly education as a permission to mix.

Anonymous said...

Salams

As far as mixed weddings are concerned would the sin fall on both the family guests and non-family guests attending the wedding? In other words is it permissible to attend the mixed Wedding of a family member since you are essentially attending a family gathering and the concept of silat al rahm would apply? Conversely it would not be permissible to attend the mixed wedding of a non-family member?

Jzk

Shah Nawaz said...

Assalam o alikum!
My question is related to visiting a place or bathing at a dam/swimming pool. Since we all know that visiting places, parks, swimming pools or dam are all public places. Men and women all visit these public places.

Exact reality is that last week I have visited a cliff diving spot with my friends. When I reached the spot, I saw that women also enjoying cliff diving. What will be shariah rule for this specific reality, if these girls are coming with mahram and vice versa. Can men and women enjoy cliff diving at same spot?

Khadijah said...

As-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Alhamdulillah! Very informative article and comments.

Mizan -ul-Hoque said...

Assalamualikum ! I am from Bangladesh.. my question is ...Can I work as a University/college teacher in co-education system...what u suggest??

Islamic Revival said...

Salams, regarding the question about mixed weddings please read the recent Q&A that explains this in detail:

http://islamicsystem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/q-bridegroom-entering-womens-wedding.html

Anonymous said...

Salaam, i just have a question! Okay so if I'm an 18 year old girl, and my brothers friend is over at our house, 20 something year old, can I sit in the same room with him, my brother my parents and talk to him and my brother? Is that bad?

Anonymous said...

^ dear 18 year old sister refer to this fatwa
https://islamqa.info/en/146441
Hope that clears things up

Islamic Revival said...

Salams sister, as explained in the article sitting with a non relative and socialising is not permitted.

Anonymous said...

Salam. I have a dispute going on with my husband. My husband got a phone call the other day from his male friend asking for help because a mutual female work colleagues car has broken down, and he agreed to take a equipment down to him to help them get out of this situation.

Whilst this was happening and his male friend was waiting for the equipment, my husband's female work colleague (that's two female work colleagues and my husbands male friend in this situation) decided to call my husband and ask him how far away is he. My husband spoke to her telling her that he is coming in half an hour. I was there when this phone call was taking place. The situation felt awkward and not right as he was speaking to her on the phone. And he has never done this before.

He believes he has done nothing wrong by wanting to help his male friend which had initially called him for help. But I had told him that the boundary had been surpassed when the female work colleague called him after that. He has refused to see it from My perspective. And I am trying to find out from him if he thinks these types of situations are ok. He has told me that he only wants to hear from a third person and not from me anymore.

I have tried to explain to him that due to previous experiences from our past of him free mixing with his friends females before we got married.. That I don't want him to put himself in a situation where shaytaan can lead this situation to free mixing as it is his female work colleagues and he will be familiarising himself with them outside of work.

He is a very practising man. And I trust him and do not believe that he is how he was before marriage. However I don't agree with his mentality that it is acceptable to put himself in a situation like this where it isn't life and death scenario to help his male friend that is helping two other female women from their work place that is also non mahram to both of them. And there was no need for this lady to give him a call in the first place.

I would really appreciate it if you could help us solve our dispute with Islamic evidence. JazakAllah. Salam

Islamic Revival said...

@Mizan-ul-Hoque - wa alaikum as salam, we suggest that you work in a boys school rather than in a co-education school.

Anonymous said...

Sister, from the situation you described it does not seem clear cut. It depends on how your husband discussed with the female colleague on the phone, was it a clear discussion where they were socialising? In any case it is advisable for both of you to read this which has some great advice for married couples.

http://islamicsystem.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/q-advice-to-husbands-wives-especially.html

It is also advisable in these types of differences to discuss with a faqih (jurist) who can listen to both sides and then arbitrate.

Sabriyah said...

salam.i hv a ques.if its 6 storied building & thr is 1 flat in each floor, collapsible gate is closed always in d ground floor & except one floor ,all d floors r occupied by relatives, then is d stairs a public place?
& what about the roof?u said if private place is open like transparent glass house thn it wd b considered as public..the roof is d same?
no one is allowed to enter these places without d house dwellers. what i want to know m i bound to wear jilbab there?due to be public place?
& 1more related q. now thr r lots of appartment houses whr thr r so many flats together,no connections between neighbours,bt security man's permission is needed to enter.in that case ,wl b d stairs public or private place?

nazim khan said...

assalamoalekum!

"You commit nothing wrong by eating together or as individuals." how you concluded that "together or as individuals" mean male and female?

Islamic Revival said...

Wa alaikum as salam @Nizam, the evidence is the verse quoted before that paragraph...

“The blind is not to be blamed, the crippled is not to be blamed, nor is the handicapped to be blamed, just as you are not to be blamed for eating at your homes, or the homes of your fathers, or the homes of your mothers, or the homes of your brothers, or the homes of your sisters, or the homes of your fathers' brothers, or the homes of your fathers' sisters, or the homes of your mothers' brothers, or the homes of your mothers' sisters, or the homes that belong to you and you possess their keys, or the homes of your friends. You commit nothing wrong by eating together or as individuals. When you enter any home, you shall greet each other a greeting from Allah that is blessed and good. Allah thus explains the revelations for you, that you may understand.” [TMQ 24:61]

Anonymous said...

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
In my old jahiliya days i had many non mahram sisters as my friends but by the will of Allah swt i realised that it's wrong it is as if your talking to someone's future wife which is terrible as i realised this I started ignoring them and started to move away as I started doing this they started telling me things you have changed your not the brother you used to be i want my old brother back and so on the thing is that they used to share all the problems they had and i also shared my problems with them as brother and sister and find solutions to our duniya problems as they are my classmates its hard to ignore them and im tired of the taunts
Please give me some guidelines to this problems how can i leave my non mahram friends without hurting them as i have to go to class everyday . Sometimes they used to ask me have I prayed my salah or not sometimes i help them what should i do??
Another is that my school has arranged a reunion in which all the boys and girls will be under the same roof should i attend it