Mixing Between Muslim Men and Women: Permissible?
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Mountain Hiking: Is Mixing Between Men and Women Permissible?

Questioner

Joram

Reply Date

Feb 05, 2019

Question

I want to ask if I'm a member of an outdoor community that goes on mountain hiking and off roading in the desert and camps there. They're guys and girls aging between 25 and 45. Some of them are good, some are a bit on the flirting side even if not to a great extent, just like to mix with girls and get their phone numbers, and some are serious people who like to connect with nature. Is it haram to go on such trips among such diversified group of people? Jazakum Allah Khairan.

Mufti

Answer


Mixing Between Muslim Men and Women

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- If it is merely men and women gathering in an open space to perform shared work, whether religious or non-religious, that in itself is not prohibited, as long as the Islamic code of behavior is followed, in terms of hijab, lowering the gaze, and the like.

2- It will be good for you to keep away from these communities, if you can, to avoid fitnah. But if you can’t, you should at least avoid those persons who may drag you to sinful deeds.


Responding to your question, Dr. Hatem Al-Hajj, Dean of the College of Islamic Studies at Mishkah University and a member of the Permanent Fatwa Committee for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), states:

Mixing or intermingling is a general term, which includes that which is permissible and that which is prohibited.

If it is merely men and women gathering in an open space to perform shared work, whether religious or non-religious, that in itself is not prohibited, as long as the Islamic code of behavior is followed, in terms of hijab, lowering the gaze, and the like.

Women must keep away from men and vice versa as much as possible.

If mingling is about men and women socializing and mixing together closely and freely, this follows the basic principle of prohibition, as long as there is no exigent need according to the criteria of the Shari`ah.

The prohibition of free mixing, particularly between people of young age is based on many proofs. Allah says:

{And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform Prayer, and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification.)} (Al-Ahzab 33:33)

If settling at homes to prevent fitnah is obligatory on the Mothers of the Believers, since the address is firstly directed to them, the generality of `illah “effective cause of ruling” in Allah’s saying, “to remove Ar-Rijs from you” indicates that others are included, for Allah is not pleased with sins for any believing woman.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), he said, “Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: ‘The best of the men’s rows are the first and the worst are the last, while the best of the women’s rows are the last and the worst are the first.’” (Muslim)

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Indeed, the last rows of the women attending [the prayer] with the Messenger were preferred due to their distance from intermingling with men, and the criticism of the first rows is the opposite.”

The Messenger said: “I have not left after me any fitnah (trial) more harmful to men than women.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In the hadith, there is enough deterrence which would make anyone concerned about his faith avoid places of ruin and seek refuge in the fortress of pious caution.

Given the above, it is not totally forbidden for men and women to mix or intermingle together as long as they apply the general rules of Islam if they are Muslims, and the rules of decency if not Muslims.

As for you, as a Muslim, you are ordained by Allah Almighty and your Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to observe the rulings of your religion and to follow these rules and teaching.

Therefore, it will be good for you to keep away from these communities, if you can, to avoid fitnah. But if you can’t, you should at least avoid those persons who may drag you to sinful deeds.

May Allah keep you and all Muslims away from what displease Him.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




About Dr. Hatem Al-Haj

Dean of the Shari`ah Academy of America

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