Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The Danger of Women Freely Mixing with Men, and Especially in Relation to their Participation in the Work Arena of Men 
A Fatwaa from Shaykh 'Abdul 'Azeez Bin Baaz (rahimahullaah)

The open call, or its intimation, for women to go out to work in the same arena as men, resulting in the mixing of sexes, citing the necessities of this age and the demands of civilisation as proof, is indeed a very dangerous matter.
The following Fatwa was taken from the book entitled, 'Mushaarikatul Marr'a Lirrajuli Fee Maydaan 'Amaliihee',
All Praise is due to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds, and may the Prayer and Peace be upon His trustworthy Messenger and upon all his family and Companions.
The open call, or its intimation, for women to go out to work in the same arena as men, resulting in the mixing of sexes, citing the necessities of this age and the demands of civilization as proof, is indeed a very dangerous matter. It has dangerous ramifications, bitter fruits and disastrous consequences. And this call is made despite it conflicting with stipulations in Islamic Law, which requires a woman to remain in her home to fulfill the duties which are particular to her.
Whoever would like to see from close proximity the immeasurable [damage] which has been caused by the mixing of the sexes, then let him consider with fairness and impartiality, seeking only the Truth, those societies who have succumbed, whether [by] choice or by force, to this affliction and he will find grievance and regret from both the individual and society because of the feeling of the woman [being away] from her home and the [resultant] breaking up of the family.
This we find mentioned, not only by many authors, but throughout the media, solely because it is the destruction of the society and its foundations.
There are many clear, authentic proofs which forbid the seclusion of a man with "Al Ajnabiyyah" (i.e. literally; a foreign woman - it includes all those women whom a man is permitted to marry by Islamic Law.), his looking at her and those steps which lead to the occurrence of what Allaah (Ta'aala) has forbidden. They are unequivocal in forbidding the mixing of men and women because it leads to what is not commendable.
The ousting of the woman from her home, which is her domain and base in this life, is her removal from her nature which Allaah (Ta'aala) created her upon.
So the call for women to step into the arena of men is a great matter of great danger for the Islamic society. The resultant mixing of men and women is one of the leading causes of fornication, which fragments the society, cheapens its value and undermines its morality.
It is clear that Allaah, The Blessed, The Exalted, created for women a particular physique, which differs completely from the physique of man. With it, He prepared her to carry out her duties in her home and among women. And due to this, the plunging of women into the arena designated for men must be considered her removal from her nature. That is a great injustice to a woman and is the extinguishing of her personality. The effect of this is passed on to both the males and the females of the next generation.
They are deprived of education, tenderness and affection, because the mother has been separated from her responsibility in these matters and completely removed from her domain, out of which it is not possible for her to find peace, stability and tranquility. The condition of those societies which are entangled in this is the strongest proof for what we say. Islam has designed for both the husband and the wife particular duties and it is for each one of them to fulfill those duties in order that the building of the society, both inside and outside the home, may be completed.
The man is responsible for expenditure and earning while the woman is responsible for bringing up the children, tenderness and affection, suckling the young, weaning them and all other duties appropriate to her, such as teaching the young and the management of their schooling, their medical care and so forth.
For a woman to abandon her household duties is tantamount to the ruin of the home and its occupants and there follows as a consequence the break up of the family, to such an extent that the society becomes but a form, an image with neither reality nor meaning.
Allaah The Sublime, The Exalted says: {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.} (The Noble Qur'an: Surah 4 Ayah 34)
This noble Ayah (1) points out that it is the custom of Allaah (Ta'aala) in His creation that man has guardianship over women and is a degree above them.
The meaning of Allaah's Ordering a woman to be settled in her home and forbidding her from At Tabbaraj (i.e. for a woman to display of her beauty that which evokes the desires of men, and which it is obligatory for her to veil) is the prohibition of Al Ikhtilaat, which is the mixing of men and women in the same place of work, buying and selling, picnics or travel and so forth. This is because the plunging of women into this arena leads to her falling into that which is forbidden, and that is a violation of Allaah's command and the neglect of His Law, which it is obligatory for a Muslim woman to abide by.
The Qur'an and Traditions of the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), both show that the mixing of the sexes and all that might lead to it, is not permissible.
Allaah, The Sublime, The Exalted says: {And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As Salat (Iqamat as Salat), and give Zakat and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah wishes only to remove Ar Rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification.} (The Noble Qur'an: Surah 33 Ayah 33)
And so Allaah (Ta'aala) Ordered the Mothers of the Believers (2) - and all Muslim women are included in that injunction to be settled in their homes because in that is their protection and their being distant from the causes of immorality. A woman leaving her home unnecessarily could lead to "At Tabarraj" and other harm. They are also ordered to do righteous deeds, such as the performance of Prayer, the paying of Zakat and obedience to Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), which all protect her from committing vile and reprehensible actions.
They are then directed to what will benefit them in this world and the next, which is to be in continual touch with the Qur'an and the Prophetical Traditions, both of which remove impurities from the heart and purify it from iniquity, guide to the Truth and to that which is correct.
Allaah, The Exalted says: {O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the Believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen
themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.} (The Noble Qur'an: Surah 33 Ayah 59)
And so Allaah (Ta'aala) ordered His Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), the transmitter of the Message from his Lord, to tell his wives and daughters and all the women of the Believers to shroud themselves with their Jalabeeb (3) if they had to go out for a particular need, in order that they would not suffer harm from people with corrupt hearts. And so if this matter is of such importance then imagine her stepping into the arena of men, mixing with them, exposing her need to them through employment and by so doing, relinquishing much of her femininity and losing her modesty. All this, in order to achieve an equality of the two sexes which are different both in meaning and form.
Allaah, The Sublime, The Exalted says: {Tell the Believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts).
That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is All Aware of what they do. And tell the Believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron), and to draw their Khumaar (4) all over their Juyoob (5) (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)...} (The Noble Qur'an: Surah 24 Ayat 30-31)
Allaah (Ta'aala) ordered His Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), to inform the Believing men to lower their gaze and to guard themselves against committing adultery and fornication and then He, Exalted made it clear that it was more befitting them. It is clear that guarding the self against committing adultery and fornication is achieved by avoiding its causes and there can be no doubt that leaving the eyes free to gaze, and the mixing of men and women at work and elsewhere are some of its major causes.
These two matters, lowering the eyes and guarding against immorality which are demanded from the Believer, are impossible to achieve while he is working with "Al Marr'a Al Ajnabiyyah" (once again: literally a foreign woman. It includes all those women whom a man is permitted to marry by Islamic Law), as his colleague or partner.
And so Allaah (Ta'aala) ordered the Believing women to lower their gaze and to be chaste and not to display their ornaments, except those which are openly apparent, He also commanded them to let their head coverings fall down over their breasts, which would include her covering her head and face.
So how can the lowering of the eye's chastity and the concealing of a woman's adornment be achieved when she goes to work with men and mixes with them, all of which guarantees the occurrence of that which we should be wary of?
How is it possible for a Muslim woman to lower her gaze while she is side by side with "Al Ajnabee" (literally a foreign man. It includes all those men whom a woman is permitted to marry by Islamic Law), on the pretext that she is participating with him or is equal to him in all that he does?
Allaah (Ta'aala) has forbidden all the causes of that which is prohibited and so He has ordered women not to use enticing speech with men because that can awaken in men a desire for women.
Allaah, The Exalted says: {O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty to (Allaah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.} (The Noble Qur'an: Surah 33 Ayah 32)
What is meant is the sickness of lust, so how can that be avoided while the mixing of the sexes is occurring?
What is quite clear is that if she goes out to work with men she most certainly will speak with them and they will speak with her, and she will beautify her speech for them and they for her. In addition to that, Shaytaan makes immorality appealing and calls people to it, until they fall prey to him. And so Allaah (Ta'aala) in His wisdom has ordered women to be veiled.
That is only because amongst people there are those who are righteous and pure and others who are adulterers and fornicators. Thus, veiling/concealing prevents, Insha' Allaah, temptation, hinders its causes and by it purity of the heart of both men and women is achieved as well as the distancing of suspicion and accusation.
Allaah, The Sublime, The Exalted says: {And when you ask (the Prophet's wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.} (The Noble Qur'an: Surah 33 Aya 53)
And the best screen for a woman, after the covering of her face and body with clothes, is her house.
Islam has forbidden women to mix with "Al Ajaanib" (i.e. plural of Al Ajnabee), so that she does not expose herself to temptation, directly or indirectly. It requires her to be settled in
the house and not go out, except when obliged to, and to do so with the decency required by Islam.
Allaah (Ta'aala) has termed her remaining in her home "Qaraaran" (i.e. lit. being settled, stable, steady or still.), and in it is the subtlest of meanings, because it contains the settling of her self and the tranquillity and delight of her heart. The leaving of that stability leads to the disturbance of her breast and her exposure to that whose outcome is not commendable.
Islam has prohibited a man's seclusion with "Al Ajnabiyyah" under any circumstances, and it has forbidden her (the woman) to travel except with her "Mahram" (6) in order to curtail the description of Shaytaan.
For this reason Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said: "I have not left behind me a trial more harmful to men than women." He (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) [also]
said: "Be wary of the life of this world and be on your guard against women, because the first trial for the Israelites was through women."
It is possible that some of those who call for the mixing of the sexes depend upon the superficial meaning of some of the texts of Law, the real meaning and purpose of which are not perceived except by he whose heart has been illuminated by Allaah (Subhannah wa Ta'aala) and who has been given understanding of Allaah's Religion and has gathered all the evidence together, until it has been unified in his mind, so that no part of it is separated from any [other] part.
A misunderstanding has occurred, for instance, because some women accompanied the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), on some military expeditions. The correct explanation for this, however, is that they did so with their "Mahaarim" (i.e. plural of Mahrim), in order to achieve many benefits and it did not lead to what is feared for them nor [did it lead to] immorality because of their Faith and Piety, [and] their supervision by their "Mahaarim" and their care about remaining concealed following the Revelation concerning it, in contrast to many of the women of this time.
It is clear that a woman's leaving her home in order to work, is a completely different situation from when the women went out with Allaah's Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) on a military expedition. So to compare the one with the other must be considered an incorrect analogy.
We must also ask what it was that the Rightly Guided predecessors understood concerning this matter. There can be no doubt that they understood the meanings of the texts better than other people and were closer to the implementation of the injunctions of the Qur'an and the Traditions of the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam).
So what has been constantly related by them throughout history?
Have they extended the range of a woman's activity, as those who call for the mixing of men and women claim, and thus reported that what has been mentioned in the texts is that a woman can work in every field of life with men, so that she competes with them and they compete with her? Or did they understand that these matters were limited and did not go beyond them?
If we examine the Islamic conquests and military expeditions throughout history, we do not find this mixing of men and women. However, the call today for the recruitment of a woman as a soldier, who carries weapons and kills like a man, is nothing more than a reason to ruin and breakdown the morals of the army, in the name of 'relaxation' for the army.
This is because there occurs quite naturally between a man and a woman, affection, intimacy and relaxation through conversation when they are alone together; and as one thing can lead to another, it is wiser and more prudent and further from future regret to close the door of temptation.
And so the prime objective of Islam is the promoting of that which is beneficial and the averting of [all that is] evil, and closing the doors of its causes. It has been mentioned previously that the mixing of men and women at work is a major cause for the decline of a people and the corruption of its society.
It is also an historical fact that one of the main reasons for the decline and decay that happened to the old Roman and Greek civilisations [and others] like them, was the emergence of the woman from her particular domain into that of the man's
[domain] and their competing together. This led to the corruption of the morals of the men and their abandoning that which would push the community to a material and spiritual development.
Also, if the woman is busy outside the home, this leads to the man becoming idle, causing a decline and collapse of their (the men's) role, and the corruption of the family, causing the collapse of its structure and the corruption of the morals of the children. As well as this, it also leads to the violation of the principles which Allaah (Ta'aala) has declared in the Qur'an, which is that man has been placed as the guardian.
It is also the objective of Islam to distance a woman from everything which contradicts her nature, and so [it is for this reason that] she is prohibited from being entrusted with public governorship, such as the leadership of the country, the administration of the Law and all those duties which carry public responsibilities.
This is because the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said: "Never would a community succeed which entrusted the direction of their affairs to a woman." (Related by Al Bukharee in his collection of authentic Hadeeth.)
And so the opening of the door for her to step into the arena of men must be considered contradictory to what Islam wants for her of happiness and stability. And so Islam prohibits the enlisting of a woman in that which is outside her proper arena and field of activity.
Besides what has been mentioned in the Qur'an, and the Traditions of the Prophet concerning the difference between their two natures and duties, experience has also proven - especially in those societies where men mix freely with women - that men and women are both by nature [not] equal. And those who call for the equality of the fair sex with men are either ignorant, or pretending to be ignorant of the basic differences between them.
Ayah - The Qur'an is divided into 114 Suwar, or Chapters. Each Surah is divided into a variable number of Ayat (plural). The total number of Ayat in the Qur'an is 6236.
Mothers of the Believers: A title given to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam).
Jalabeeb: plural of Jalbaab. A loose outer garment that covers all a woman's body. Some of the commentators have said that a woman should cover her head and face with it, except for one eye; in order that it be known that she is a free woman, and so not to be exposed to any harm.
Khumaar: The plural of Khimaar. It is what is used by a woman to cover her head. The commentators have stated that during the times of ignorance (Jahileeyah), before Islam, the women would leave their 'Khumaar' to drop down from behind, and due to the widened opening of their gowns at their front, their necks and necklaces would be exposed.
Juyoob: The plural of Jayb. The original meaning of the word is the opening in a garment through which the head passes. Some of the commentators have stated that it refers to the position of the opening and so the meaning in the Ayah would be 'their breasts'.
Mahram: A person whom it is not permissible for a woman to marry by Islamic Law, such as her father or brother.

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