I was watching this talk on TED, the guy says many things, including that in masjid al-haram, men and women are mixed and pray together and there is no separation between men and women, but outside in the city even in a fast food they are separated.

How would we answer this paradox in Islamic rules? In Allah's house we are together and outside we are separated...

  • Very good question. Why indeed. Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


In a Hadith from Imam Sadiq --peace be upon him-- it is stated that where Kaaba is placed (including Masjid-ul-Haram or the very Masjid-ul-Haram or maybe inside the Masjid-ul-Haram around the Kaaba?) is called Bakka (بکّه), see [3:96]:

The first House appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings

and Bakka comes from Bokaa' (بکاء = crying), while the city itself is still called Mecca. The Hadith continues with a comment that this is the reason for why it is not discouraged for women there to worship Allah in front of men or on their left or right, while it is discouraged (again not forbidden) anywhere else. See [1].

[1] علل الشرایع شیخ صدوق، ج. ۲، ص ۲۸۷

  • I don't understand how you are relating Bakka to the question, can you explain please?
    – user559
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 8:17
  • My personal understanding of this Hadith is something like mentioning the distinction between, say, a place for crying and a place for fun. You may then ask why there is a similar distinction even between Masjid-ul-Haram and other mosques or holy places (definitely not a place for fun), then you may mention that Bakka is an attribute only given to Masjid-ul-Haram. If this is the main reason then maybe Karbala be another exception, though I really don't know.
    – owari
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 13:08

This is not true. Guards in almasjid alharam tries their best to separate between men and women specially at pray time.

Imagine you have multi-million people at one place, organizing them is pretty hard.

At time of prophet mohamed the women were not praying intermixed with men, even for tawaf.

As narrated by om-salama (the wife of the prophet): i complained to the prophet. So he told me: revolve ( around the kabaa) after people (outside their circle) while riding (her donkey). Om-salama cpntinus: so, i revolved while the prophet is praying beside the kabaa.

Reference (arabic): http://islamqa.info/ar/ref/98313

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