Slaves of Allaah! Fear Allaah and be pious, because piety awakens the heart, brings spiritual joy, elevates the soul, illuminates ones grave and will give salvation on the Day of Resurrection.
O Muslims! Due to being deceived by the glitter and beauty of this life; and due to being fully indulged in its pleasures and desperately seeking to gain more of them, some people develop false hopes to live longer, which is commonly accompanied by being forgetful or neglectful of the great blessings and favours that Allaah has bestowed upon them. The greatest and most important of all these favours and blessings is Islaam and the honourable Islamic law, which is derived from the Book of Allaah and the Prophetic Sunnah. This Law has outlined all that which is beneficial for mankind in this life and the Hereafter.
One of the virtues of this Law is that its rules and regulations have clearly laid out preventions of all evil and immorality, and all the roads that lead to it which is a protection of the truth and morality. There are many issues for which this Law has laid out preventative measures so that people will not fall into evil, for example on some of the issues of faith, acts of worship and transactions.
However, the most obvious of all of these preventative measures are those related to women and the limits that Allaah has defined for them not to exceed. Islaam has clearly laid the guidelines for the Muslim woman to adhere to so that her personality remains distinct and her safety, purity, and good conduct are assured.
The correct dress and covering for women and the prohibition of them intermixing with men are the two most important interconnected preventative measures that Islaam has laid out. Muslims must submit to the rulings which oblige women to properly cover in order to protect their chastity and purity, maintain shyness and protect them from being harassed or bothered, as Allaah says that which translates as: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known [as chaste believing women] and not be abused. And ever is Allaah Forgiving and Merciful” (Al-Ahzaab: 59).
Moreover, in this verse, Allaah addressed the wives of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who were the furthest from immorality and evil actions; they were purest and most pious women ever and were honoured by the virtue of being married to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Allaah addressed them as such when he said that which translates as: “… And when you ask [The wives of the Prophet] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts…” (Al-Ahzaab: 53).
Just as Muslims must adhere to this commandment of covering properly, they must also adhere and submit to the rulings which prohibit intermixing mixing between men and women. There are many Islamic texts in this regard, such as the Hadeeth which is narrated by ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whenever a man is alone with a woman, then Satan is the third in their company.” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi). This is clear evidence that mixing between the two sexes is prohibited. Another unambiguous proof is what ‘Uqbah Ibn ‘Aamir, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated; that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Do not enter into the presence of women.” A man from the Ansaar then retorted: ‘What about our in-laws’ – referring to the relatives of a woman’s husband such as his brothers, cousins, and their children, so the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “The in-laws are death” (Bukhaari & Muslim) which means that they are more harmful to women than death is to the soul.
Slaves of Allaah! Both of the previous evidences came from the mouth of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who never spoke from his own desires, and everything he ever said was nothing but revelation. So how could anybody ever accept anyone else’s opinion over this? How could they do so when the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had the utmost care and concern for his nation, as Allaah described him saying that which translates as: “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you [i.e., your guidance] and to the believers is kind and merciful.” (At-Tawbah: 128).
Is it possible that we can reject his words and act contrary to what he commanded after Allaah clearly cautioned us against that with a severe warning when he said that which translates as: “…So let those who dissent from his [i.e., the Prophet’s] order, lest trials and afflictions strike them or a painful punishment” (An-Noor: 63).
We must ask ourselves: Why is it that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam lined up the rows of men for prayers in the mosque separate from the women, and described the rows, as narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, by saying: “The best rows (in the mosque) are the first rows, and the worst are the last, and the best rows (in the mosque) for women are last the rows, and the worst are the first.” (Muslim). This Hadeeth affirms the obligation of separating men from women, and keeping them far apart. If this is the way believing men and women should be during an act of worship inside the mosque which Allaah describes as in the verse which translates as: “… In houses [i.e., mosques] which Allaah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned [i.e., praised] therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings. [Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allaah and performance of prayer and giving the Zakaah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about.” (An-Noor: 36-37) then how much more so is it necessary in places outside the mosques, where gatherings might include evil and sinful people along with the good people?
The Muslim nation must not slight these texts because the evil consequences which these texts are aiming to prevent society from still very much exist, and there is nothing that would prevent such evils from occurring in our time which did not exist at the time of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam
Moreover, the people whom the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam addressed in these narrations were the best generation of the Muslim nation according to his own testimony, as was mentioned in Ahadeeth in the book of Imaam Bukhaari and Muslim, may Allaah have mercy on them both. So, has the need for such texts and their warnings vanished in our time? Is it not a clear fact that in fact we need these texts and warnings even more than that generation did? This is especially so because of the dangers of evil in our time becoming more widespread and its means being more diverse.
It is usually the case that people honour any set of laws which they perceive as being beneficial to them, especially when these laws prevent evil or harm from befalling them when applied; moreover, people do not mind if these laws include certain restrictions on their freedom and impose penalties for those who disobey or transgress the defined limits. Therefore, why is it the case that some of those who believe in Allaah as their Lord, and Muhammad sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as His Messenger and have accepted Islaam as their religion, deal with Islamic Law with suspicion and uncertainty. Some of these people even go as far as to demand that it should be abolished, despite the fact that this Law includes all that which is beneficial to mankind and prevents, or at least reduces, all that which brings harm?
Slaves of Allaah! It is not permitted for anyone to discuss and pass judgment regarding this issue without having the proper Islamic knowledge to be able to do so. Nor should they base their discussion and opinion on unfounded claims with no evidence, or simply argue on the basis of their base desires. Rather, one should be sincere and free themselves from their base desires which will divert them far away from the truth. In addition, one must have a broad knowledge of Islaam and possess the ability to differentiate between authentic and weak evidences, possess a clear understanding of the relevant evidences as well as the ability to properly extract Islamic rulings from these evidences; only then can a person become eligible to discuss this issue.
The outcome of what we say or write is the matter which we must fear the most, and are extremely wary of its consequence, as the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, clarified toMu’aadh Ibn Jabal, may Allaah be pleased with him, after he had asked with astonishment: “Will we be held responsible for all that we say?” The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,replied: “What do you think makes people land on their faces or noses into the Hellfire more than the product of their tongues?” (Ahmad, Abu Daawood & Tirmidhi).We seek refuge in Allaah from this, and we ask him to protect us from the evils of ourselves. Allaah says that which translates as: “And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – [about] all those [one] will be questioned.” (Al-Israa’: 36).
Slaves of Allaah! What Allaah has legislated in His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam regarding the dress and covering of women, and the issue of intermixing between men and women is something that was not legislated only for a particular period of time, nor is it restricted to a certain place, nor is it limited to a specific group of people, because this was legislated by The Creator of all mankind, all places and all times, Who has complete and perfect knowledge of His creation. He is the All-Wise and his legislation is free from defect. Nobody’s belief can be correct unless they fully submit to the commands of Allaah and His legislations, and then apply all His rulings without having any resistance or doubt in themselves regarding these.
Slaves of Allaah! Be of those who adhere and act according to the two sources of legislation (The Qur’aan and the Sunnah), and beware of following other paths for they will separate you from the path of Allaah.