Ruling On College/University (Bin Baaz & Uthaymeen)

Ruling On College/University

The Prophet (Sallallaahu aayhi wa sallam) said “The deen is naseehah (Sincere advice).“[Muslim, Abu Dawud & Nisa’e]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen:

Question: Muslim women and their daughters in western countries where there are Muslim minorities face very difficult circumstances in that education and work are mixed environments. We are caught between two possibilities. Either we cut-off our provision, stay at home and beg and as a result sink to a very desperate material condition, or, alternatively, wear our Islaamic hijaab and study and work in those societies which do not differentiate between mixing and separation. What is your esteemed opinion concerning this matter?

Response: Concerning this very crucial issue, I believe that it is obligatory for a Muslim to patiently adhere to and persevere with Allaah’s religion and not to be of those whom Allaah describes, saying: {And of mankind are those that say, “We believe in Allaah.” But if they are made to suffer for the Sake of Allaah, they consider the persecution of mankind as Allaah’s punishment…}, [Soorah al-‘Ankaboot, Aayah 10].

A Muslim must be patient and if it is not possible to gain a livelihood except by what Allaah has forbidden, namely through the mixing of men and women, then this livelihood must be abandoned and another sought from another direction or from another country. Was Allaah’s land not vast enough for you to emigrate therein? This is also true with respect to seeking knowledge. How good it would be if the Muslim minorities could establish their own schools based on the religion of Islaam, where boys and girls are taught separately. If that could be achieved it would be a great blessing. It is not possible, however, for us to permit the mixing of the sexes because of the seriousness of the issue and the level of temptation contained therein.

[Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen al-Aqalliyaat al-Muslimah – Page 74, Fatwa No.14]

The scholars of the Standing Committee said:

It is haraam for male and female students and teachers to mix in educational institutions, because of the fitnah and provocation of desires and immoral conduct that results from that. The gravity of the sin is compounded if the female teachers and students uncover any part of their ‘awrahs or wear see-through or tight clothing, or if the students or teachers flirt or joke together, which may lead to transgression of limits and violation of honour.

[Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/102, 103]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it permissible for a man to study in a mixed university where men and women mix in one classroom, knowing that the student has a role to play in calling people to Allaah?

He replied: What I think is that it is not permissible for anyone, man or woman, to study in a mixed school, because of the grave danger that it poses to his chastity, integrity and morals. No matter how great a person’s integrity, morals and innocence, if a woman is sitting beside him on the seat – especially if she is beautiful and unveiled – he can hardly avoid fitnah and evil. Everything that leads to fitnah and evil is also haraam and is not permitted. We ask Allaah to keep our Muslim brothers safe from such things which will only bring evil, fitnah and corruption to their youth. If there is no other university apart from this one, he should go and study in another city or country where this mixing does not happen. I do not think that this is permissible but others may have a different opinion.

[Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/103]

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Undoubtedly allowing women to mix freely with men is the basis of all evils. This is one of the greatest causes of punishment coming down upon everyone and of public and private affairs becoming corrupt. Free mixing of men and women is the cause of much immorality and adultery, and it is the cause of general doom and diseases.

One of the greatest causes of general doom is the prevalence of adultery because of allowing women to mix freely with men and to walk amongst them making a wanton display of their beauty. If the powers that be knew how much corruption it causes to worldly interests and to people, they would prevent it most vigorously.

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz:

Question: I am a male university student and ometimes, I give salutations of peace (i.e. saying: ‘As-Salamu ‘Alaykum’) to the girls. Is the salutation of a (male) student to his female colleagues in college permissible or forbidden?

Answer: First of all, it is not permissible to study with girls within the same class, within the same school and at the same desks. Indeed, this is one of the major causes of temptation (Fitnah). This mixing is not permissible for the male or the female student, because of the temptations involved in it.

As for giving salutations of peace, there is no objection to greeting her with the lawful Islamic salutation of peace which does not lead to the causes of temptation. Likewise, there is no sin in her giving salutations to him, without shaking hands, because shaking hands with an unrelated woman is not permissible. Rather, the salutation should be offered from a distance, wearing Hijab and abstaining from the causes of temptation (Fitnah) and without them being alone together. So there is no objection to the lawful Islamic greeting in which there is no temptation (Fitnah). However, if his giving salutations to her or her giving salutations to him is likely to lead to temptation, that is, his being aroused and feeling desire, which Allaah has forbidden, then that is forbidden by the Islamic Law. And Allaah is the Granter of success.

[Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz Fatawa Islamiyah, Darussalam, volume 5, page 105]

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