Attending Lectures of Mixed Gatherings

Fatwa ID: 03418

Answered by: Alimah Sabrina Saidova​

Question

Assalamualikum

Recently, in our town, there was an event kept "Parenting Course". Which was for sisters only. My concern is the speaker was a male. Is it permissible for women to attend such events and also is it permissible for the speaker to attend a gathering of women only? The organizer was a sister who is studying to become an Alimah, hence many women trusted her opinion that it is totally Halal.

Also, it is interesting to note that it was a "parenting course" but only women were invited?! The last I looked a parent consisted of a father AND a mother, which is also very ironic.

By the way, the speaker was not an Alim/Shaykh/Mufti.

 


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

 

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer:

Islam has prohibited a woman or a man to be alone with the opposite gender without a third party present as the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “No man should be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram present”. [1] However, in the aforementioned case in which there’s a gathering with multiple females present, and the speaker is a male, it will be permissible to conduct such a gathering provided the rules of Shariah are upheld such as Hijab etc. We understand this from the hadith in which Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) wanted to watch the Abyssinians sword-fight and the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not prohibit her from looking at the men, rather he stood in front of her and let her watch their play. [2]

Had the speaker been a female, depending on the scenario, it would have been impermissible as women are prohibited from speaking or appearing before men with no urgent need. This can be understood from the hadith that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas narrated regarding his brother Fadhl bin ‘Abbas that, on one occasion when he looked towards a beautiful women’s face, “…the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of al-Fadhl and turned his face (to the other side in order that he should not gaze at her)…” [3] Moreover, it would be best if separate room arrangements are made, or a divider is used.

 

The conclusion we can come to is that if there were separate arrangements for sisters to be in one hall then it would be permissible. It would not be permissible if it was done without any separate arrangements for sisters.

 

[1] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2/787, Qadeemi Kutub Khana

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1/65, Qadeemi Kutub Khana

[3] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1/250, Qadeemi Kutub Khana

 

Only Allah knows best

Written by Alimah Sabrina Saidova

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham 

 

 

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