Wa`alykum As-Salamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
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- So long as you’re swimming with women and wearing clothes that cover your `awrah properly, you are allowed to do so.
2- Islam does not allow men and women swimming together, hence the issue of public swimming pool for both men and women is totally rejected in Islam.
Answering the question you posed, Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, the late Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:
Giving the fact that such swimming pool involves opposite sexes, and with the fact no one can conceive that there exists swimming suits for women that do not stick to their bodies when they get wet and cover all their bodies save the face and hands, then the original rule that women are not permitted to swim in public swimming pools is still in effect.
Muslim women in Western countries should demand separate swimming pools for women. They have succeeded in this in some German cities where separate swimming pools have been designed for women at specific times.
Therefore, in all Western countries, Muslim women should ask for this. If this demand was not achieved, a Muslim woman is not allowed to swim in public and mixed swimming pools.
Now, it becomes crystal clear that a Muslim woman isn’t allowed to swim in public and mixed swimming pools, while she can swim in a women-only swimming pool where men are not allowed.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, adds:
It’s the duty of the committed Muslim woman to set a good example in morality and good ethics for all people. Being a Muslim living in the West doesn’t make difference in this regard. So, it’s your duty to preserve your dignity and honor by compliance with the teachings of Islam.
So long as you’re swimming with women and wearing clothes that cover your `awrah properly, you are allowed to do so.
It goes without saying that Islam does not allow men and women swimming together, hence the issue of public swimming pool for both men and women is totally rejected in Islam.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.