One issue which has caused much misunderstanding among Muslims is the issue of freemixing. In western Societies freemixing occurs in all walks of life. As Muslims living in this country, we need to understand the Islamic verdict with respect to this issue. Inshaallah, this article will set out to discuss this matter fully and give us the Islamic Verdict from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The Divine Rule on any matter requires one to understand the evidence which relates to the reality or situation for which the rule is required hence, firstly, we need to distinguish between the reality of freemixing, the evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah and the rule.
a) Al Ikhtilaat: This is freemixing in a situation where men and women who are non mahrum(who are allowed to marry with each other) are in one place together where they can close the door and they can recognize or see each other. Note: the maharem are listed in Surah Al Nisa and Surah Al Nur, and relate to blood relatives (e.g. sister, brother, father, mother etc.) and relations through Nikah (e.g. wife, husband, fatherinlaw)
b) Al Ijtimaa’ This is freemixing in a situation where men and women who are non mahrum are in one place together where they can close the door and they can recognize or see each other but men on one side and women on the other(i.e. Segregated).
C) Al Khalwah – one man and one women alone together who are non mahrum and no one can see them.
Note: the majority of scholars today only call a) to c) freemixing if the men and women are sitting but the classical scholars rejected the issue of sitting since it is irrelevant (some modern Scholars therefore allow Khalwa in lifts, but this should be rejected since there is no Shari’ah permit to allow it).
In Surah Al Nur -24:27] Allah (SWT) specifies that permission is required to enter houses different from your own. The permission (Al Izen) is what delineates or defines a place as public or private, the management of a place being irrelevant.
However, this is only fiqh alwaqi and does not affect a)to c). i.e, it does not mean that just because a place is either public or private, mixing is permitted or prohibited, the publicness of a place is merely the understanding of reality. Understanding the Divine Evidence (i.e. Fiqh ALDaleel). From the Qur’an: The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, “O women stay at the back of the mosque, Allah has sent you the Qur’an,”. He (saw) then recited from Surah Al Ahzab [ 33:35], “For Muslim men and Muslim women, for believing men and believing women, for devoted men and devoted women…”.
The Sahabiyat (Muslim women) understood the command and after this Muslims practiced complete segregation between men and women in all spheres of their lives. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, “Allah has revealed an ayah which makes you two different entities”. The people realized that something major had happened. The circumstances of revelation of this ayah (i.e. its Asbab ALNuzul) are Mutawatir (have multiple identical narration’s) And He (swt) says, [ 33:36]:” it is not allowed for a believer man or women to have any choice when Allah and His Messenger decide a matter.”
From the Ahadith: In Bukhari, Volume 1, Chapter 2, in the Book of Al Hajj, Hadith No. 1618, at Section 64 about “Tawaff”: It is narrated upon the authority of Amr Ibn Ali that Ibn Hisham prevented women from mixing in tawaff from the area of the men. A man asked him “how did he do that, was it before or after the aiyah of khimar and jilbab?” It is narrated that women never freemixed with men.
In Sahih Muslim it is narrated that, Aisha (ra) used to do tawaff where no one could see her i.e. in complete seclusion (hijab). She would go out at night covered and the men and women would make tawaff elsewhere i.e. separate from each other. In Abu Daoud Kitab Al Salat, V.1, in the Chapter on Segregation, it is narrated that Omar bin Al Khattab (ra) said: “Make a special door for women in the mosques.” In Abu Daoud, 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 Daoud 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 Daoud 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.”
In Abu Daoud, V.4, Hadith No. 5274, it is narrated upon the authority of Abu Usay Ansari that he heard the Messenger Muhammad (saw) say when he saw people mixing together in the street, “O men and women separate yourselves, it is not allowed for you to be in the same place.” Note: It is said that after this women used to walk so close to the side that their Khimar would stick to the walls. In Sahih Muslim, it is narrated that Omar Bin Al Khittab was concerned in relation to the prophet (saw)’s house and an ayah was revealed that segregation from the prophets wives is obligatory [ 33v53].
Note that there could not have been freemixing among the Muslims within society otherwise why would Omar (ra) be concerned. In Muslim and Abu Daoud, it is narrated that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said: “Whenever a man and a women are alone shaytan is with them.” (Linguistically Khalwa means alone e.g. Musa went to have Khalwa with his Lord i.e. to be alone)
In Abu Daoud, Trimizi and in Muslim, it is narrated that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, “Be careful from the place of Al Mujoun” i.e. the forbidden place.
Ibn Abbass (ra) said, ‘This is the place where people disobey Allah’, e.g. by mixing in cinemas,or mixing in festivals that men and women are free mixing.
We must understand that we are Muslims so we follow the Islamic culture not the Desi or Arabic culture !!!
“Those who oppose Allah’s orders have been warned that a calamity may strike them or a painful doom may fall upon them.”( 24:63)
About the Author: Halimah bint David authored, illustrated, published and marketed several children books for Muslim Kindle for kids in Islam and Sharia Ruqyah for exorcisms in adults. Halimah founded a few popular blogs at SurvivorsAreUs.WordPress.Com, HighwayToHeaven.WordPress.Com, ChristinaMacQuarrie.Wordpress.Com and is currently researching and implementing new copy writing skills.