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