Q: Males are seated on one side of a hall and females are seated on another. The tables are arranged such that the backs of the males are facing the backs of the females. There is a distance of four meters between the two. There is no curtain or anything separating the two sides. At any time one can look behind and see ghair mahrams. Both sides can also hear the voices of the other. Prominent Moulana’s attend gatherings set-up like this with their wives. The organisers say that since they are separated and no one is forced to look at the other and also that talking to the other side is not possible, it is alright. Is this set up permissible? Please comment.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)