I am familiar with references such as:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conducive to their purity – (and,) verily, Allah is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms beyond what may be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their veils over their bosoms and do not show their adornments except to their husbands or their fathers or their husbands' fathers or their sons or their husbands' sons or their brothers or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons or their women or what their right hands possess or male servants free of sexual desires or those children who never knows the private things of women; and do not stamp their feet so that it may show their hidden adornments; and repent towards God collectively O believers so that you may succeed.

— [Qur'an: Sura 24 (An-Nur): ayat 30-31]

However there is no direct reference to gender segregation. In fact the passage suggests that men and women do meet from time to time and should lower their gaze and be modest.


2 Answers 2



These are the sources i could find regarding gender segregation, and are usually given by fatwa_sites when asked about gender segregation.

The first source is Allah recommending the guest of Prophet (pbuh) to ask the wives of Prophet (pbuh) behind a Hijab(screen/barrier/partition) regarding any detail/information.

And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. [Al-Ahzab:53]

The second source is this hadith reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (pbuh) said (regarding rows of mosques) :

The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first (Muslim).

Meaning the further the men and women the better it is, even in a masjid/mosque.

Thirdly The Prophet pbuh gender separating the entrance/exit of mosque as Ibn ‘Umar said "Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said:

We should leave this door (of the mosque) for women.

So there is not any intermixing of the two genders while exiting/entering.

Lastly :

Abu Usayd, was once coming from the mosque when he heard the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam addressing women due to him seeing that the men and women were walking very close to each other after having exited from the mosque:

“Stay back! You should not walk in the middle of the street, rather, walk to one of its sides.” Abu Usayd, may Allah be pleased with him, added: “Thereafter, the women would walk so close to the walls on the side of that street that their garments would scrape against it.” [Abu Daawood]

This means a distance should be kept between men and women.

Although the last three sources do not directly impose gender segregation.

Views on this segregation:

People have mixed views on this segregation:


You can see different fatwas supporting gender segregation: 1, 2, 3 and many more.

Islamqa shows some statistical analysis of people regarding freemixing:

What is the Islamic ruling on mixing as far as you know? The results were as follows:

76% of respondents said “It is not permitted.”

12% said, “It is permitted” – but moral, religious, etc. restrictions apply…

12% said, “I don’t know.”

If you had the choice between working in a mixed workplace and working in another where there was no mixing, which would you choose?

76% would choose the workplace where there was no mixing.

9% preferred the mixed workplace.

15% would accept any workplace which suited their specialties, regardless of whether it was mixed or not.


British-born Muslim author Ed Husain argues that rather than keeping sexual desires under check, gender segregation creates "pent-up sexual frustration which expressed itself in the unhealthiest ways," and leads young people to "see the opposite gender only as sex objects."[53] While working in Saudi Arabia for seven months as an English teacher, the Arabic-speaking Husain was surprised to find that despite compulsory gender segregation and full hijab, Saudi men were much less modest and more predatory towards women than men in other countries he had lived. Despite the modest dress of his wife – who "out of respect for local custom, ... wore the long black abaya and covered her hair in a black scarf" – she was on two occasions "accosted by passing Saudi youths from their cars. ... In supermarkets I only had to be away from [my wife] for five minutes and Saudi men would hiss or whisper obscenities as they walked past." Discussions with local women at the British Council indicated that her experience was far from unique.[53] There is also a strong viewpoint growing among Muslims arguing against gender segregation. In Saudi Arabia which is known to be among the most gender segregated countries in the world there are occasional signs that gender segregation laws are becoming less strict.[54] Some Muslims argue that women served food for the prophet Muhammad and his companions arguing that this is evidence that gender segregation did not exist during the earlier times of Islam.[55]

(From Wikipedia)

Also 15 Strong Proofs Why Men and Women Mixing Is Halal from CJ Ahmad (this person has some questionable views conflicting recognized osols)

  • I'm not a Muslim, but I read this SE out of interest. Could the cause and effect in Saudi Arabia, as attested by Ed Husain, be reversed? Perhaps the custom in Saudi Arabia is to segregate, because the local culture has men preying so heavily on women. Therefore, in places where culture does not have men preying on women so fiercely, segregation is less necessary. This is a naive question by someone who has never been to Saudi Arabia and does not mean to imply that he knows the culture, rather, I'm drawing upon information which is stated in the answer only.
    – dotancohen
    Nov 13, 2022 at 14:00
  • @dotancohen Ed Husain speculation is not cited with supporting statical information, rather his own perception. Just as they have given negative remarks upon gender segregation policy of Saudi Arabia, another person could say that "free-mixing" has adversely affect. Secondly the scholars haven't given any concession in the prohibition upon the mentioned cultural difference. Ed isn't an infamous critic or praiser in the Muslim World.
    – AbduRahman
    Nov 13, 2022 at 14:40
  • 1
    Yes, that makes sense. Thank you. I had no idea who Ed is.
    – dotancohen
    Nov 14, 2022 at 7:54

Following is among the evidence for the prohibition of mixing between non-mahram men and women:

  • فاسألوهن من وراء حجاب

    Ask them from behind a partition.

    Quran 33:53

    This verse clearly states that if a man needs to interact with a woman then there should be a partition between them. And this is what gender segregation entails.

  • ولما ورد ماء مدين وجد عليه أمة من الناس يسقون ووجد من دونهم امرأتين تذودان قال ما خطبكما قالتا لا نسقي حتى يصدر الرعاء وأبونا شيخ كبير

    And when he came to the well of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering [their flocks], and he found aside from them two women driving back [their flocks]. He said, "What is your circumstance?" They said, "We do not water until the shepherds dispatch [their flocks]; and our father is an old man."

    Quran 28:23

    The daughters of Shuaib عليه السلام used to wait for the men to go away and did not instead mix with them to collect their water. This is evidence that they considered mixing with the opposite gender to be forbidden. And their law is our law unless there is evidence to the contrary.

  • ولا تبرجن تبرج الجاهلية الأولى

    Do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.

    Quran 33:33

    قال مجاهد : كانت المرأة تخرج تمشي بين يدي الرجال ، فذلك تبرج الجاهلية

    Mujahid ibn Jabr said: Women used to go out walking in front of men, and this was the Tabarruj of Jahiliyyah

    Tafsir Ibn Kathir

    Mingling with the opposite gender is a form of displaying themselves.

  • قل للمؤمنين يغضوا من أبصارهم ويحفظوا فروجهم ذلك أزكى لهم إن الله خبير بما يصنعون ... وقل للمؤمنات يغضضن من أبصارهن

    Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision ... and tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision

    Quran 24:30

    This is used with the reasoning that it becomes impossible to avoid seeing a person from the opposite gender when they are in a mixed gathering. Since no matter where you look you are sure to see them. Hence acting on this verse requires that mixed gatherings be avoided.

From Ahadith:

  • أنه سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول وهو خارج من المسجد فاختلط الرجال مع النساء في الطريق فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم للنساء ‏ "‏ استأخرن فإنه ليس لكن أن تحققن الطريق عليكن بحافات الطريق ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فكانت المرأة تلتصق بالجدار حتى إن ثوبها ليتعلق بالجدار من لصوقها به

    Abu Usayd 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 teaches that mean and women should not mix when walking on the roads. And when this applies to the roads it also applies to any other gathering by analogy.

  • ‏ إياكم والدخول على النساء

    Beware of entering upon the ladies.


    This hadith is a categorical disapproval against entering upon unrelated women. Hence men mingling in a gathering of women is a form of it.

  • The ahadith about differences in men and women in mosques:

    أخبرتها أن النساء في عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كن إذا سلمن من المكتوبة قمن، وثبت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ومن صلى من الرجال ما شاء الله، فإذا قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قام الرجال

    In the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) the women used to get up when they finished their compulsory prayers with Taslim. The Prophet (ﷺ) and the men would stay on at their places as long as Allah will. When the Prophet (ﷺ) got up, the men would then get up.


    فصلى ثم خطب، ثم أتى النساء فوعظهن وذكرهن، وأمرهن بالصدقة

    The Prophet (ﷺ) prayed and then delivered the Khutba and then went towards the women, preached and advised them and ordered them to give alms.


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

    The best rows for men are the front rows and the worst are the last, and the best rows for women are the back rows and the worst are those in the front.


    These ahadith teach that men and women should be separate and far from each other in the mosques and that they should leave at different times or through different entrances. When this separation exists in mosques it also applies to other gatherings by analogy.

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