Ladies looking at Men, Q & A


    Question and Answer:

    Q. Respected Mufti Saheb, I intend delivering lectures to students on Islamic subjects. The students will be mixed, males and females. There will be a partition between the males and females and the entrances will be separate. However, my concern is that since I am the lecturer, the females students will be able to see me and I will see them although most of the students are in full Hijab. Kindly advise what should I do?

    A. It is necessary to adopt all the laws of Hijab when lecturing female students or a mixed gathering. Even if the students wear the Niqab or are in full Hijab, they will be viewing you which is also not permissible. In the Hadith it is recorded that once a blind Sahabi by the name of Abdullah bin Umm Maktoom (Radiyallahu Anhu) came in the presence of Umm Salmah and Maymoonah (Radiyallahu Anhuma). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised them to conceal themselves from him. So they said: “He is blind, he cannot see us and he does not know us”. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) reprimanded them and said: “So are you also blind? Is it that you also cannot see him?!”(Abu Dawood, Hadith #: 4112, Narrated by Umm Salmah)

    It is understood from the Hadith that it is not permissible for females to look at non-Mahram males just as how it is not permissible for males to look at non-Mahram females. Being in Hijab or in Niqab does not make it permissible for a female to look at a non-Mahram male.

    If you have to lecture female students, a screen should be placed between you and the females so that they cannot see you and you cannot see them.

    Females should also be conscious of the above and refrain from lectures and other events/courses where the laws of Hijab are neglected even though the event may be dubbed as Islamic.

    And Allah Knows Best



    1. The answer based on hadith it may be, but requires more clarification. Many only hear from sheikhs that the prophet had gatherings with women just as he had with men, and that Umar (RA) stoned the women who attended the Friday prayers because they were not properly dressed and they would go to Aisha(RA) and complain that during the Prophet's (saw) time they were allowed. And Aisha (RA) would respond: but you never dressed like that, and you never wore makeup on your faces like that etc., in other words there wasn't such a wall in the mosque, or i stand to be corrected. Could it be that the hijab of AlMakhtum is that of dressing properly and lowering one's gaze than it is about not being able to be in the sight of/within visibility of the women one is lecturing? I mean, can't one lecture the women while lowering their gazes than by simply not being in their presence/sight? I mean, can't a woman attend a gathering by lowering their gazes than totaly staying away because of the absence of a separating wall?

      When we hear of gatherings of the Prophet(SAW) and his succeeding Swahabas(RA), it's like people could actually gather freely but maintaining morrows of Sharia i.e proper dressing and conduct, even though they may have sat on separate sides i.e men on the left and women on the right or women behind and men in front etc. I hear that while the Prophet(SAW) was chatting with the mothers of the believers they dressed like any woman would before her husband and he told them to do the hijab thing i.e to dress properly and cover themselves and lower their gazes for they could see him even though he couldn't. We also understand that the Swahabas used to ask questions to the mothers of the believers and then Allah (SW) revealed that when you ask them ask behind a curtain and thus the curtain thing was for the mothers of believers and not for all. Do not misunderstand my comment. I am not being disobedient, for if i concieve that such is the fact, then it's what exactly I would follow.

      But just as you have stated above, so do we hear different hadiths from different sheikhs and to avoid saying that there are contradictions in our religion so do we come up with such judgement to say that even during the times of the Prophet they gathered like in Jumah and Eid festivals and no walls were put between them nor in the mosque; afterall the mosque in Medina up to now has no separation like our mosques here about.

      Those seeking similar clarifications must visit sheikhs and ask thoroughly. What they will be told is what they should hold on to. I myself will do so when i can insha-Allah. Wassalam alaikum

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