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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?

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Not usre what you mean with free-mixing of the sexes... as long as all islamic rules are followed (like clothing, like non-deceiving behaviour etc.) there is no problem in mixing from an islamic POV... problems can occur if one or more do not behave islamically in such a gathering - since that is hard to control it is often considered better to not mix. – Yahia Dec 31 '12 at 14:30

3 Answers 3

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 تغنج (I still don't agree with that, but thought I would just through it out).

I think this occurred mostly because people confuse Kholwa (privacy) خلوه with Ikhtalat (mixing) اختلاط.

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:

  • Mohamed Bin Ibhraim Al Alshikeh
  • Abdul Latif Bin Ibrahim Al Alshikeh
  • Omar Bin Hassan Al Alshikeh - President of the department of ordering of good and removal of Munkir
  • Many more

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.

From Quran

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Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. [24:30]

This Ayah was sent down to ask people to lower their gaze, there were three opinions about this:

  • Lowering the gaze of what is haram.
  • Lowering the gaze altogether.
  • Lowering the gaze from private parts.

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?

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And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.[33:33]

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!

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O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of [dismissing] you. But Allah is not shy of the truth. And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.[33:53]

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..

From Sunnah

Altirmidi reported that:

خير صفوف الرجال أولها، وشرها آخرها، وخير صفوف النساء آخرها، وشرها أولها

The best rows for men during salah are at front and the worst of it at the back and vice verse for woman.

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:

أنه سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول وهو خارج من المسجد فاختلط الرجال مع النساء في الطريق، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم للنساء: "استأخرن؛ فإنه ليس لكن أن تتحققن الطريق، عليكن بحافَّات الطريق" فكانت المرأة تلتصق بالجدار، حتى إن ثوبها ليتعلق بالجدار من لصوقها به

Abu sayd heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say when he was coming out of the mosque, and men and women were mingled in the road: Draw back, for you must not walk in the middle of the road; keep to the sides of the road. Then women were keeping so close to the wall that their garments were rubbing against it.

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:

عن أسماء بنت يزيد أنها كانت عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والرجال والنساء قعود فقال : ( لعل رجلا يقول ما يفعل بأهله ولعل امرأة تخبر بما فعلت مع زوجها ؟ فأرم القوم فقلت : إي والله يا رسول الله إنهن ليفعلن وإنهم ليفعلون . قال : ( فلا تفعلوا فإنما ذلك مثل الشيطان لقي شيطانة في طريق فغشيها والناس ينظرون

It was reported by Asama bent Yazid that she was with the Prophet PBUH and the men and women were sitting down, he said that Maybe a man says what he does with his family (private) and a woman as well. Everyone kept silent. Then she said, yes indeed they do and we do. He said do not do this as this is like a male devil meeting a female devil in the street and he has sex with her and the people are watching.

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.

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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:

خير صفوف الرجال أولها، وشرها آخرها، وخير صفوف النساء آخرها، وشرها أولها

The best of the men's rows (in Salat) is the first row and the worst is the last; but the best of the woman's row is the last and the worst of their rows is the first.

Saheeh Muslim/Riyaddussaliheen

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:

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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.

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