Are Muslims Permitted to Participate in Mixed Summer Camps?

22 June, 2019
Q Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. My University holds annual mixed summer camps. I was there last summer but never committed anything violating the dictates of modesty. My contacts were limited to males only. Even my contacts with the female students were all within the framework of morality and politeness. I know that there were some improper relations, but I kept far remote from them. Now, I want to attend this year’s camp. Am I allowed to go there? Also, what does the Shari`ah say about those girls who attend such camps? Can they go without a mahram, especially as such camps are supervised by university professors? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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:

If such trips and camps involve young ones who have not yet reached the age of puberty, they are permissible and fruitful especially when they aim at increasing mutual respect between the two sexes.


The late Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bahyy, ex-dean of the Faculty of Theology at Al-Azhar University states:

Islam is the religion of chastity and modesty. It blocks all means leading to sin and evil. It commands a Muslim to keep himself away from what makes him subject to Allah’s wrath. and gets him closer to Satan’s traps.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) states: “Let not a man and a woman be together with no mahram (unmarriageable relative) lest Satan accompanies them i.e. leading them to sin.” (Ahmad)

Mixed Trips

Mixed trips that involve males and females grouped together are not totally rejected. However, we need to make it clear that if such trips and camps involve young ones who have not yet reached the age of puberty, they are permissible and fruitful especially when they aim at increasing mutual respect between the two sexes.

However, when such camps are attended by teenagers and of vigorous youth, the so-called “mutual understanding between both sexes” may lead to a form of sexual deviation and unlawful relations; a thing which will affect not only those young people but their families and the whole society as well.

The Quranic guidance directed to the wives of the Prophet (PBUH) and to all Muslim women, clearly calls for keeping away from illegal mixing between men and women in order to avoid the harmful consequences.

Allah Almighty says:

{O you wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech.} (Al-Ahzab 33:32)

Stressing the fact that preventing such unwanted mixing is better than curing its bad consequences for prevention is better than cure, Allah Almighty says;

{And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of ignorance.} (Al-Ahzab 33:33)

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The verse clearly shows that Muslim women are not to show their attractions that make them subject to persons in whose bosoms there is disease (who are morally corrupt).

It is also clear that it is permissible for a woman to go out of her house if there is a valid reason to do so; that is to fulfill a need while adhering to her modesty and abiding by chastity.

Moreover,  Dr. Abdul Azeem Ad-Deeb, the late Professor of Shari`ah at the University of Qatar, states:

A true and committed Muslim who fears Allah should never participate in any activity, i.e. camps, trips, or journeys involving nudity and unlawful mixing between men and women.

He must always remember the Day in which he will stand before his Lord Who will question him about such gathering. On that Day, those naked bodies will be exposed to burning in the Hellfire.

Amusement and entertainment can be achieved through many other lawful means. So, why do people tend to mimic the western way of life by going to such places of nudity and lewdness?

Almighty Allah knows best.

NOTE: In light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have to keep in mind that while doing any group activities we should take the safety precautions seriously to curb the disease.

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