If someone is looking for someone who can give speeches, some consider female speakers as a bad idea, given the general opinion among Muslims that there shouldn't be gender-mixing? Is there a Hadith that says that it is forbidden to mix genders in an auditorium or so? If so where is it and is it authentic?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing of the sexes in Islam (it was never forbidden by Allah or his Prophet). All of the opinions occurred later on down the road hundreds of years after the beginning of Islam. It went to the extreme Bidah that women and men don't even pray in the same place anymore.
Many scholars, including Alabani (I personally heard that from him) that it is OK as long as a Muharam is present, dressed Islamically and no laughing
I think this occurred mostly because people confuse Kholwa (privacy)
To prove my point, Take Riyad for example (in Saudia Arabia). Souks would contain woman buying since the time of the prophet. Even back in the 1390's, where scholars like:
Who lived during that time never disputed or said anything about mixing of the sexes.
Now let me take you through each so called "proof" that some scholars take and use for forbidding the mixes of sex.
This Ayah was sent down to ask people to lower their gaze, there were three opinions about this:
Personally I go with #1 as you lower the gaze to something that isn't haram. If something is Halal, why would Allah order you to lower the gaze. Additionally, the prophet PBUH/Companions would look at women when they talk to them (as reported many times) where they wrong?
This I think some scholars just got it wrong. During the Jahilila women would dress in a Hijab showing their breasts, and many other adornments forbidden down the road in different Ayah's, why would someone use this as a proof I am just astonished!
Here some scholars use the "ask them behind a separator" as an proof, forgetting that this Ayah applies to the Prophet's wives who have different rulings in Islam. Like no one can marry them after the prophet, they get double the deeds, etc..
Altirmidi reported that:
Nothing in this hadith claims that mixing of the sexes is forbidden, just that the rewards is more. Was the prophet PBUH able to separate woman and men by some sort of wall? He definitely would have used some sort of hijab between the men and woman, but he didn't which proves that men and woman can indeed be in the same place. However, in the masjid there is more strict regulations thus the TINY separation (usually a line or two for the kids) between the men and woman.
It was also reported by Abu Daood and Bukhari that:
This hadith was an Ahad and only made Sahih by Albani, which by a crazy chance he also made sahih the following hadith narrated by Ahmed and a witness from Abu Hurirah:
The first hadith was related to the Masjid IMO to make it easier for men and women to keep their hearts towards Allah when leaving the masjid and make it easier for them to leave (the same way we have separation within the masjid). The second hadith clearly shows us that it wasn't applicable in other settings. This is similar to the prophet PBUH ordering the creation of a different door for the masjid for woman, it was the setting. Did he decide to do the same elsewhere and he could've, no he didn't. Even during the times where Muslims had so much money they couldn't give it away they could easily setup separate but equal settings for anything, but still didn't.
I will do more research and add more relevant things (proofs from either side) once I have them, but the above is what I know from heart and I can comment on.
The evils that can come from free mixing is actually quite clear, as is the evidence for it being haram. Among them is the prohibition of looking at each other (except if family members). And the Prophet ordered to wait to leave the Masjid until the women left so that there is no mixing, as well as he (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
Because those in the first row are farther away from the women, while those in the back row are closer, and those of the women in the first row are close to the men than those in the back row. So lastly I say that free mixing is un-Islamic, and if a man and women (not of the family) have to meet then keep it professional (No touching, kissing, flirting etc.).
Primary Source: islamweb.net.
Speaking with a woman to whom one is not related (i.e., not mahram) should only be for a specific need, such as asking a question, buying or selling, asking about the head of the household, and so on. Such conversations should be brief, with nothing doubtful in either what is said or how it is said.
The reason for this is fitna which can lead to more sins.