Short Answer: There no real problem if the Muslim community can hold receptions, where women and men can share a space of social life, those might be on one side and these on the other. Seeing each other is not a problem as long as women are properly dressed and minding the “body language” appropriate to the situation.
Salam Dear Raffaic,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Salam to all the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
We are happy to get a message from this beautiful part of the world.
First, who said that a Muslim society should be a segregated society where men and women do not “mix”?
It is the ethical and moral codes of behavior that makes a difference here, not the fact that women and men meet and deal with one another.
I see no real problem if the Muslim community can hold receptions, where women and men can share a space of social life, those might be on one side and these on the other.
Seeing each other is not a problem as long as women are properly dressed and minding the “body language” appropriate to the situation.
This might even be a good opportunity for matchmaking within the societies of Muslim minorities.
It is a chance for parents to allow young men to see young ladies, who have reached the age of marriage, within a decent atmosphere of family and community.
Islam vs. Culture
I would like to remind you that the mosque at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a social space, along with being a place for worshiping.
The Prophet never ordered any segregation.
He only asked people to lower their gaze and mind their manners.
He simply encouraged piety and decency, without separating the two genders.
If traditions of different cultures dominated in certain historical moments, this should not to be seen as part of Islamic requirements.
If we do not like the atmosphere of “mixed” non-Muslim gatherings, the reaction should never be innovating new rules for social interaction that were not set up by the Prophet himself.
Such rules might even go against the social ethics of Islam.
I know this has been a debatable issue in some circles and I wish that people would read about the early Muslim society to see how “civilized” the early Muslims were.
I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archive)
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