Teaching women face to face (without a barrier)

بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️Teaching women face to face (without a barrier)▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:

📩 Question:

The questioner says: There are some males who teach women how to recite the Qur’an; they dictate it to her and she reads it back to them (face to face), when advised against this, they argue that free-mixing is present even in Mecca during Hajj and Umrah?

📝 Answer:

This is a false argument. When a man sits with a woman, it is a great Fitnah (trial); none can deny this except one who is stubborn. He sits with a woman, listening and dictating to her face to face; this is indeed a great Fitnah.

The Prophet ﷺ said:
((ما تركت بعدي فتنة هي أضر على الرجال من النساء))
“I have not left behind a more harmful Fitnah (trial) for men than women”.
[Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from the Hadeeth of Usama ibn Zayd]

Even if she was fully covered, if she sits infront of him he can still see her figure and hear her voice; this in itself is a great Fitnah and a (cause for) sickness in the heart.

If Allah the Almighty [instructed the most dutiful believers], saying:
{وَإِذَا سَأَلۡتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَـٰعࣰا فَسۡـَٔلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَاۤءِ حِجَابࣲۚ}
“And when you ˹believers˺ ask his wives for anything, ask them from behind a barrier.”
[Surat Al-Ahzab 53]

And He said:
{فَلَا تَخۡضَعۡنَ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ فَیَطۡمَعَ ٱلَّذِی فِی قَلۡبِهِ}
“Be not soft in speech, or those with sickness in their hearts may be tempted”
[Surat Al-Ahzab 32]

Then what about this kind of setting? It is undoubtedly a cause for Fitnah. No one can deny this except an arrogantly stubborn person.

As for the mixing of men and women during Hajj and Umrah, then this is a matter of necessity; every male pilgrim wants to remain close to his wife so that she doesn’t get lost, or even worse, trampled to death. This is why he has to keep hold of his wife, his mother, his sister, etc. He can’t just leave them wandering alone during Tawaaf, at ‘Arafah and in Muzdalifah. What’s the point of having a Mahram (a male relative) if he’s not going to safeguard his womenfolk? In fact, the Sharee’ah prohibits women from performing Hajj and Umrah unless they are accompanied by a Mahram. So if a woman doesn’t find a suitable Mahram, it’s not Waajib for her to perform Hajj.

In any case, we have to lower our gaze (at all times), as Allah the Almighty instructed:
{قُل لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِینَ یَغُضُّوا۟ مِنۡ أَبۡصَـٰرِهِمۡ وَیَحۡفَظُوا۟ فُرُوجَهُمۡۚ ذَ ٰ⁠لِكَ أَزۡكَىٰ لَهُمۡۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ خَبِیرُۢ بِمَا یَصۡنَعُونَ}
“˹O Prophet!˺ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do.”
[Surat An-Nur 30]

We have to do so as much as possible, as Allah said:
{فَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ}
“Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can”
[Surat At-Taghabun 16]

Therefore, this is a false argument and a baseless doubt; because the mixing of men and women during Hajj and Umrah is a necessity, whereas this mixing is not a necessity.

Translated by:
Abu Ishaq Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ba Alawi

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