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If someone is looking for someone who can give speeches, is female speakers a bad idea, given the general opinion among Muslims that there shalt be no free-mixing? Is there a Hadith that says that free-mixing of the sexes is verboten? 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

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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: islamweb.net.

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