Mixed Gender Interplay: Prophet’s Time vs. Now

Mixed-Gender Interaction: Prophet’s Time vs. Today


Segregation of the sexes is a sizzling matter, particularly within the context of worshiping on the masjid (mosque). Ought to there be a barrier or not? Is it sufficient for a curtain to separate women and men, or ought to they be saved in totally separate rooms in order to forestall some sort of wild hormone-fueled orgy? Or… or is it potential, simply perhaps, that Muslim women and men can share the identical area and work together in an inherently civilized method?

Many make the argument that hijab and segregation work in the direction of a standard finish: to forestall weak, lustful males from preying after stunning girls. But a quick take a look at each hijab and the idea of segregation on the time of the prophet (PBUH) paints a really completely different image.

Ibn Abbas narrated:

An exquisite girl, from among the many most stunning of girls, used to wish behind the Prophet. A number of the individuals used to go to wish within the first row to make sure they’d not be capable of see her.

Others would pray within the LAST row of the boys, and they might look from beneath their armpits [in rukoo’ and sujood] to see her. Due to this act, in regard to her, Allah revealed, “Verily We all know the keen amongst you to be first, and verily We all know the keen amongst you to be behind.” (Qur’an 15: 24)

(Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, Tayalisi, Baihaqi, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Nasai)

Why is that this narration so fascinating? As a result of it reveals how even within the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Sahabah (companions) had differing ranges of Imaan (religion) and even in prayer – a time when all worldly wishes are supposed to be put apart – they nonetheless acted upon their wishes.

Allah Didn’t Blame The Girl

One of the crucial fascinating features of this narration is that when Allah dispatched down a revelation regarding this case, He didn’t rebuke the girl – He rebuked the boys who forgot their khushoo’, the boys who forgot that Allah is Ever-Watching, the boys who forgot that Allah can simply expose those that declare piety but act in the opposite method. Allah is the One Who reminded these males that their intentions are totally identified to Him. Word the way in which that Ibn ‘Abbas shared this story.

This girl was publicly identified, and although her identify shouldn’t be talked about within the narration, her id was clearly widespread information amongst the individuals of Madinah. It was additionally identified that the pious males had been those that made a degree of preventing temptation by eradicating themselves from a state of affairs the place they’d really feel weak, whereas these whose religion was weaker had been those that purposely lingered behind to indulge their wishes.


Many make the argument that hijab and segregation work in the direction of a standard finish: to forestall weak, lustful males from preying after stunning girls.

Now, are you able to think about the embarrassment and disgrace of these males who had been publicly rebuked by Allah? Are you able to think about having all of Medinah and those that had been visiting Madinah on the time, realizing that your weak and sinful conduct was the reason for Allah sending down Divine Revelation to warn you of His Information?

This verse was and stays a public reminder and rebuke to all Muslim males who try to decorate up their inappropriate conduct with a guise of ‘religiousness.’ It’s a reminder that Muslim males are chargeable for decreasing their gazes, for controlling their conduct, for eradicating themselves from a state of affairs the place they really feel weak.

It’s a reminder that they can’t blame their very own weak spot of religion, character, or actions on girls! This anecdote, mixed with different narrations that debate the connection of women and men within the public sphere (the masjid), shows how the prophet (PBUH) skilled his Companions within the acceptable manner of interacting with the opposite gender.

For instance, the prophet (PBUH) made it a behavior to stay sitting ahead (in the direction of the qiblah) even after ending prayer, giving the ladies an opportunity to depart the masjid earlier than the boys (keep in mind, there was no bodily barrier between the women and men on the time). He displayed respect in the direction of these girls and thus skilled his male Companions do act equally.

What Occurs At this time?

In actuality, Muslim women and men alike have forgotten the gorgeous manners that ought to mark our actions, particularly in mixed-gender interactions.

In lots of mosques worldwide, particularly those that are segregated – extraordinarily inappropriate conduct takes place between women and men who attend.

There are quite a few horror tales of males who prowl across the girls’ entrances, attempting to ascertain verbal and even bodily contact beneath the guise of innocuous ‘dialog’; girls who present as much as the masjid in full regalia, desirous to seek out a person; and a lot extra.

Muslim girls in addition to Muslim males have forgotten their obligation to conduct themselves with the glory and dignity that behooves true believers.

Simply as Muslim males have the duty to decrease their gazes and deal with all girls with respect, honor, and dignity – so too are Muslim girls enjoined to decrease their gazes and deal with males with respect, honor, and dignity.

Trying again on the interactions between women and men companions, we see that – whether or not they had been discussing spiritual issues or arguing a distinction of opinion, each occasion of contact was marked by a striving for chastity, for nonsecular energy and purity.

They understood that each particular person is held accountable earlier than Allah, questioned as to whether or not they performed a job in enhancing society… or making it worse. Was the aim of their communication an optimistic one, a useful one, one that will add to their e-book of fine deeds? Or was it merely to indulge their baser human wishes, the need to be admired by the opposite gender, to be flattered, to draw consideration, to coax curiosity, not in a topic of import, however of an extra private kind?

Whether or not within the masjid or the shopping malls, faculty or on the sidewalk, women and men alike are enjoined to be keenly conscious of themselves and their roles in creating, encouraging, and sustaining a society that values non-secular purity and chastity.

Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (Quran 24: 30-31)

A balanced interplay, potential?

Sadly, the idea of non-secular chastity (particularly as regards to mixed-gender interplay) has been mocked, criticized, and rejected by many who think about themselves ‘progressive’ and but fail to acknowledge that the lack of non-secular chastity has resulted within the detriment of society as a complete.

Respect and dignity can solely exist when these values are inspired, and the present atmosphere of hyper-sexualization does nothing to foster pure, honorable relationships between women and men which can be unbiased of sexual intentions.

On account of our gross misunderstanding of the Sunnah, we now have gone to 2 extremes: trying to segregate the genders to an unhealthy stage, to the purpose the place an easy, harmless dialog is taken into account sin; or throwing out any notion of hijab, decreasing the gaze, and contemplating any and all conduct between the genders – even Zina – to be acceptable. In each circumstance, diseased hearts are created and fostered, as a result of there isn’t a holistic understanding of the Quran and Sunnah. Islam got here to rework the Ummah from considered one of ignorance to considered one of magnificence, honor, dignity, and respect.

To achieve that state, we should return to the understanding of the prophet and his Companions. Solely then can we presumably begin seeing the women and men of this Ummah coming collectively, as they had been meant to be, to cooperate upon birr and taqwa: goodness and righteousness.