Is it permissible for women to attend Islamic talks at the local Masjid at night with their Mahram where there are separate entrances & segregation, but at the time of departure, due to the large numbers there would be an inevitable intermingling of the sexes in the Masjid car park?
2. What would the ruling be in the same situation, but where the lady comes to the Masjid at night without her Mahram & not in niqab?
3. If the speaker, who is an Alim, knows or should have reasonable cause to believe that women will be travelling to the Masjid on their own at night, without niqab, should he still give a talk or refuse to do so?
4. Would the scholar be complicit in sin if he were to give a talk in such a situation knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that ladies were attending a night talk without their Mahrams & not observing the rules of Hijab?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Allah Ta’ala has created men and women differently and given each of them such roles and responsibilities, which help in maintaining an ideal Islamic society that exhibits morality of the highest level. Accordingly, Shari’ah has put in place such guidelines and rulings which ensure that this objective is accomplished, without any of the genders having to compromise on their Deeni responsibilities. In fact, at times Shari’ah promises more reward for an activity carried out according to its regulations whereas the opposite seems to be apparently more rewarding.
As such, Shari’ah has prevented women from leaving their homes without a legitimate Shar’ī excuse due to the high possibility of leading to Fitnah. Shari’ah has deemed it Makrooh Tahreemi (severely disliked) for women to attend the congregational Salaah in the Masjid, let alone other Deeni activities. Shari’ah does not prevent women from taking part in Deeni activities such as learning, praying Salaah and benefiting from lectures. However, the method and means adopted in doing so, should not contravene the laws of Shari’ah.
Attending a lecture at the Masjid is not a valid Shar’i excuse for a woman to leave her home when there is great fear of fitnah in doing so. When Shariah has encouraged women to perform Salah at home, the attitude of Shariah for women to listen to talks etc. at the Masjid which is of a lesser degree than Salah can be understood from the analogy of Salah. The matter is aggravated by the fact that a woman leaves her home with her face uncovered and without being accompanied by a Mahram.
However, this does not mean women cannot benefit from the discourses held at the Masjid. In this era of technological advancement, one can listen to the program without personally being present in the Masjid. The ideal and preferred method to adopt would be to listen to the program at home via Masjid receiver (if available) or listen to a recording. Alternatively, arrangements can be made for occasional ‘women only’ lectures where the program is in a secluded place and there is no fear of fitnah. Women should be educated on the fundamentals of Deen in such lectures.
Lectures delivered at the Masjid are generally for men. An ‘Alim delivering the lecture will not be held accountable for the women who attend his lectures unless he promotes or encourages the women to do so. If he is aware of the women attending the program, he should discourage the women from doing so.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.