Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ruling on Co-education

 Ruling on Co-education (fatwas of Ibn Baz ,
Q: All praise be to Allah. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, and his Companions.
I have read the article published in Al-Siyasah magazine in 24/7/1404 A.H. In its issue no. 5644 written by the Chairman of San`a' University, Mr. `Abdul `Aziz. In the article, he claimed that separating male and female students is against Shari`ah (Islamic law). He supported his claim by saying that Muslims - men and women - used to pray in the same Masjid (mosque), during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). As a result, he said, "Thus, education should be offered in one place". I was shocked to find this opinion coming from an Islamic university chairman in a Muslim country who is supposed to guide his nation - males and females - to success and happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. There is neither might nor power except with Allah!
Certainly, this is a false accusation against Shari`ah. It does not promote intermixing between sexes, so that avoiding it becomes an opposition to it. Rather, Shari`ah prohibits intermixing and stresses on that. Allah says: And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance Allah also 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) Allah (Glorified be He) says: 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, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyûbihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband's fathers, or their sons, or their husband's sons, or their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess...

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And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successAllah (Exalted be He) says: And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. All of these Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) stress the necessity of women staying at their homes, to avoid any Fitnah (temptation), unless there is a need to go out. Allah (Glorified be He) warns women from displaying their adornment and beauty in front of men like during the Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance). It is confirmed that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "I am not leaving behind me any trial more harmful to men than women." (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhary and Muslim in a Hadith related on the authority of Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him). It is also related by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) book of Hadith on the authority of Usamah and Sa`id ibn Zayd ibn `Amr ibn Nufayl (may Allah be pleased with them all)) Further, it is related in Sahih by Muslim on the authority of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Indeed, this world is sweet and green (alluring). Allah makes you succeed one another in it so that He may see how you act. So beware of this world and beware of women, for the first trial for the People of Israel was through women." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is most truthful, for the Fitnah caused by women is great, especially in this age when many women have abandoned observing the Hijab (veil) and have displayed their adornment like the days of Jahiliyyah. As a result, different types of evil have spread and many male and female youth in various countries have neglected marriage ordained by Allah. Yet, Allah shows that observing the Hijab is purer for everyone and this means that removing it leads to impurity of people's hearts and their deviation from the Right Path. It is clear that male and female students sitting side by side

 It may lead the female to abandon the Hijab which Allah has ordained for believing women and cause her to show her beauty to people other than those specified by Allah in the previous Ayah in Surah Al-Nur.
Anyone who claims that the command of observing Hijab in the Ayah is addressed only to the Mothers of the Believers is mistaken, has negated many general evidence and has opposed the Words of Allah: ...that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. None can claim that Hijab is purer only for the hearts of the Mothers of the Believers and the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet). No doubt, the following generations are in greater need of the Hijab compared to the Mothers of the Believers and the Sahabah due to the huge difference in their Faith and steadfastness to the Truth. The Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all), men and women including the Mothers of the Believers, are the best people after prophets and the best generation, as stated by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in a Hadith agreed upon by Al-Bukhary and Muslim. Even if the Ayah was addressed to the best generation and if the Hijab is purer for their hearts, the following generations are more in need of purity of heart. In addition, all the texts in the Qur'an and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) are not limited to someone in particular without authentic evidence to that effect. Thus, they are generally applied to all people during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and after him until the Day of Resurrection. In fact, Allah has sent down His Messenger to humans and jinn at that age and later ages until the Day of Resurrection. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allâh He also says: And We have not sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind Similarly, the Qur'an is not revealed only to the people who lived during the Prophet's lifetime, but to them and anyone after them who receives it. Allah (Exalted be He) says: This (Qur’an) is a Message for mankind (and a clear proof against them), in order that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is the only One Ilâh (God - Allâh) - (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh) - and that men of understanding may take heed. He (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: ...this Qur’ân has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach. Furthermore, women during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not intermix with men,
(Part No. 4Page No. 251)
neither in Masjids nor at the markets the way reformers reject nowadays and the Qur'an, Sunnah and scholars warn people against. Rather, women used to pray behind men in Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah). The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say, "The best of men's rows (in prayers) is the first row and the worst is the last; and the best of woman's rows is the last and the worst is the first." He (peace be upon him) said that to avoid men in the last rows being tempted by women in their first rows. Add to this that men were ordered to wait until women leave the Masjid so that they do not crowd at the door of the Masjid, despite their strong Faith and piety. On the other hand, women were ordered to walk by the side of the road to avoid any physical contact with men that may lead to Fitnah. Moreover, Allah orders the believing women to veil themselves and cover up in order not to tempt anyone and forbids them from displaying their beauty to other than those mentioned in the Qur'an to block any means leading to Fitnah, evil and mixing and to promote the ways to chastity. After all that, how can the Chairman of Sana`a' University (may Allah guide him) call to mixed education, claim that Islam calls for it and compare the University to a Masjid, saying study hours are like hours spent in prayer! There is a huge difference felt by anyone who surrenders to Allah's Orders and Prohibitions, knows the Wisdom behind His Legislations and understands the rulings related to men and women mentioned in the Qur'an. How can a believer claim that a female student sitting beside a male student is similar to her sitting beside any of her female sisters in the rows of prayer behind men? These claims can never be made by someone with the least understanding of Islam or wisdom. This claim assumes the female student is observing the Hijab, but what if she is sitting next to a male student adorning herself and displaying her beauty? They will start to exchange looks
(Part No. 4Page No. 252)
and speech that may lead to Fitnah. It is Allah Alone Whose help can be sought. There is neither might nor power except with Allah! Allah says: Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.
Moreover, he claims that, "Muslims - men and women - used to pray in the same Masjid, during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Thus, education should be offered in one place".
My answer to this claim is that it is true, but women used to stay at the end of the Masjid while observing Hijab and avoiding all means leading to Fitnah. At the other hand, men were in the front. Thus, women used to listen to sermons and religious talks, join the prayer and learn the rulings of Islam from hearing and watching others. Moreover, on the Day of `Eid (Feast), the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to give a sermon to men and after that go to the women to preach them. They could not listen to him due to the distance. All of these are settled matters and are not debatable. The problem lies in the Sana`a' University Chairman claim (may Allah guide him, amend his heart and grant him understanding of religion) that "education should be offered in one place". How can he compare education in the modern age to women praying behind men in the same Masjid! The difference is vast between the reality of education in our age and the reality of women praying behind men during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him). That is why reformers call for the separation of males and females in the education process, so that females can receive knowledge from female teachers easily without any obstacles. The time consumed in the education process is longer than that needed to pray. Receiving knowledge from a female teacher is better for females and prevents any Fitnah. Further, when male students are separated from females, this blocks every way leading to Fitnah and allows them to pay greater attention to their studies, focus with their teachers and receive knowledge without being distracted with watching girls and exchanging immoral looks or words.
(Part No. 4Page No. 253)
As for saying that calling for the separation of male and female students in educational facilities is strict and is against Shari`ah, this is a groundless claim. On the contrary, this is the sincerest Islamic advice guiding Muslims to act upon the previously-mentioned Ayahs and Hadiths. I advise the Chairman of Sana`a' University to fear Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), make Tawbah (repentance to Allah) and return to the Truth. Doing so shows a knowledge seeker's virtuousness and desire to follow the Truth. May Allah guide us all to the Right Path and we seek His Refuge from attributing anything to Him without knowledge, from trials and from insinuations of Satan! I ask Allah to grant Muslims rulers success to guide their countries and nations to what is good. May Allah guide us all to the Right Path, He is the Most Generous! Peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions and those who follow him righteously until the Day of Resurrection.

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