View Full Version : What can you tell me about opposite Gender relations in Islam in these categories

05-12-2016, 08:55 PM
In the world today, co-workers, classmates, people you have to deal with on a daily basis such as waitresses or doctors...are opposite genders.

What does Islam say about

1. People who you deal with out in public like a cashier,cop,nurse...etc.

2. co-workers

3. friendships between opposite genders

4. when your clients are the opposite gender( for example, if you are a woman who sells houses and have to show a house to a man or the other way around)

5. family

6. school, especially group projects or studying together

(this is more to help someone else who wants advice)

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05-12-2016, 11:46 PM
Assalaamu alaikum,

I hope the following may be of some use:

Women & the Workplace: Is it Impermissible for Me to Work Even If I Observe Proper Limits?


Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: I would like to know if women are allowed to work in environments where they will have to interact with men if they dress and interact modestly and limits interaction with the opposite gender as much as possible? Assume that a woman in such a position is working by choice and not by necessity, and with the approval of her husband. Please advise, as there are many Muslims these days that insist that going to college or working around men is “free mixing” for women and therefore not permitted, even if one chooses to keep their intentions pure and behave according to Islamic guidelines in those mixed environments.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and their followers.

Dear Sister,
Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you and your husband in good health and iman.

I’m a little puzzled as to why people would take issue with your situation. Ultimately, this matter is between you and your husband. If your husband is comfortable with your working, then it should be of no concern to anyone else.

It is not unlawful for a woman to work, whether she needs to work or chooses to do so. You have already outlined the conditions under which it is permissible for a woman to work:

1. The work is halal.
2. The environment is safe.
3. She observes Islamic etiquette.

Those who say that it is unlawful for women to work outside the home may be taking that position in recognition of certain forces or anxieties specific to that culture. In some majority Muslim societies, economic conditions are so difficult that women’s working outside the home may be perceived as taking jobs away from men. As far as free mixing is concerned, its definition can vary depending on someone’s cultural context. In some societies, a woman’s simply walking down the street can be perceived as mixing with the men, whereas in other societies, the limits are far broader.

Given that you live in North America, you need to consult scholars who live here and understand this society. No scholar with a balanced understanding would issue a blanket prohibition on women’s seeking work and higher education. To argue this position, one is effectively saying that Muslim women have only one role: to stay within the four walls. Given the early history of the Muslim community and the very dynamic women that existed in that community, it seems such a position is untenable.

May Allah reward you,
Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
July 25, 2010/Sha’ban 13, 1431

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq is a wife and mother residing in the southeastern United States. She graduated from Abu Nour University’s precollege program in 2000 and has remained active in teaching and studying sacred knowledge through SunniPath and SeekersGuidance. She holds undergraduate degrees in history and Middle Eastern Studies and is a certified public speaker.

Source: http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2010/07/29/women-the-workplace-is-it-impermissible-for-me-to-work-even-if-i-observe-proper-limits/

05-12-2016, 11:49 PM
What Is the Meaning of Khalwa (Seclusion) with the opposite Gender?


Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: What is the real meaning of khalwa (seclusion) with the opposite gender? Does this concept apply to any kind of seclusion like email or SMS? Is it permissible for a woman to communicate to a teacher or co-worker through email or SMS for work related purpose?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Seclusion (khalwa) with the opposite gender has been prohibited in sound prophetic traditions. Ibn `Abbas stated, “I heard the Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace) give a sermon. He said, ‘A man should not seclude himself with a woman except that there be with her someone who is of unmarriageable kin (mahram).’” [Bukhari, Muslim]
The definition of seclusion (khalwa) that jurists provided was for a man being alone with one woman who is not of unmarriageable kin (mahram) within an enclosed area in such a way that a third party is unable to see or enter upon them.

Non-Physical Seclusion?

The legal cause for the prohibition of seclusion is the physical presence of specific individuals within a particular setting. The wisdom of the ruling is to prevent individuals from potentially engaging in unlawful actions.

It is important when determining whether the ruling of seclusion applies to virtual contexts to clearly differentiate between the legal cause of the ruling and the wisdom underlying it. The legal cause for the rulings on seclusion is essentially linked to being in a physical setting. When the legal definition of seclusion is realized (i.e. the legal cause), the prohibition would come into effect regardless of whether the potential to engage in unlawful actions is deemed high or low (i.e. the wisdom).

This is not the case when it comes to two individuals speaking over the internet through email or chat messages, since there is no actual common physical setting wherein which they are interacting. The prohibition established in the prophetic hadith does not apply to such non-physical modes of “seclusion”. The ruling of such non-physical modes of seclusion would not be unconditional prohibition as in the case of physical seclusion. Rather, it would vary from context to context.

For example, a setting that is reasonably conducive to inappropriate behavior would take the ruling of impermissibility. Chatting through a dating website is such a setting and would not be allowed as the primary purpose of such a setting is to engage in acts that the religion deems impermissible. Similarly, any sort of flirtatious interaction would also be impermissible.

Professional Communication

Privately communicating in professional and educational settings with colleagues and teachers is permissible. This is not considered seclusion, and as long as the interaction itself is proper there is nothing that would render it impermissible.

Our religion does not prohibit normalized gender interaction as long as it is done with proper etiquette and within the guidelines that the religion has prescribed. It is perfectly fine to be courteous and friendly when interacting with others.

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Source: http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2015/05/23/what-is-the-meaning-of-khalwa-seclusion-with-the-opposite-gender/


05-12-2016, 11:57 PM
Guidelines for Interacting With the Opposite Sex


Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: Being put in situations with women leaves me confused with no idea about how to interact with them. I know the issues of khalwa and modesty are important, but I don’t really understand what they practically mean or how to put everything together. Could you provide some detailed guidelines on how brothers should interact with sisters in a way that is completely in line with the shariah?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Praise be to Allah. May His peace and blessings shower upon our beloved Messenger. May Allah reward you for seeking knowledge of His deen.

In Islam, interactions between the sexes are permitted within certain limits specified by the Quran and the Sunna. To some, these limits might appear to be very strict. However, there is a divine wisdom underpinning the limits set down by the Shariah. In adhering to the boundaries set by the Sharia, we can uphold the Quranic command to the believing men and women to be awliya of one another, or protecting friends, while at the same time maintaining the modesty and purity of heart that come from obeying Allah and His Messenger in this regard.

In brief, when interacting with a woman who is not a member of your unmarriageable kin or your wife, you must avoid khalwa, or seclusion; guard your gaze; and obviously, avoid any physical contact.

In more detail:


Khalwa takes place when one man or more than one man are alone with one woman in a place where no one can see them or enter. If there are two women and a man, for example, this is not khalwa. However, when there is only one woman, this situation is considered as seclusion, and becomes unlawful. Obviously, this is for the protection of the woman and the man (or men) so that a situation will not arise where the male becomes tempted and the woman possibly harmed.

If you are in a situation where you are in a room with two or more women, this is not khalwa and there is no need for you to be uncomfortable.

Guard Your Gaze

Guarding your gaze is a good practice that fosters modest interaction between the sexes. The Quran commands both believing men and women to guard their gaze. Unfortunately, many Muslims have lost this practice. What guarding the gaze means is that you should refrain from staring at a woman’s face (if she’s not a member of your unmarriageable kin or your wife). It does not mean keeping one’s eyes glued to the ground. In Western societies, guarding one’s gaze can sometimes be interpreted as a lack of assertiveness or respect for the other person.

However, with Muslims, guarding one’s gaze indicates respect for the other person’s space and modesty of intention. Our scholars have said that looking at a woman’s face is permitted in certain occasions. For example, if you are seeking a woman in marriage, it is permitted to look at her face. If you work in any type of job that requires you to look at people and interact with them, looking is permitted as long as you don’t look with desire. If you are a teacher, looking at your female students is permitted as long as you don’t look more than necessary or with desire. In short, be modest and respectful.

If You Can’t Look, You Can’t Touch

According to the Shariah, where looking is not permitted, then touching is also unlawful. This can be a sensitive topic for Muslims living in the West where handshaking is commonplace and is considered a polite thing to do. Shaking the hand of someone from the opposite sex is unlawful.

According to our scholars, the Prophet, peace be upon him, never shook the hand of a woman who was not a member of his unmarriageable kin or his wife. So you should do your utmost to avoid shaking hands. But try to do it in a way that does not offend the other person. For many non-Muslims, if you simply explain to them that your religion (or culture) does not permit shaking hands and that you mean no offense, then usually people are okay with that.

Covering the Awrah (Nakedness)

Covering the awrah or one’s nakedness. Another requirement of interaction between the sexes is that everyone should observe Islamic modesty or covering the awrah. For men, this means covering what’s between the navel and the knee. For women, this means covering the whole body except the face and hands. Obviously, this is possible in a Muslim gathering. But there are very few places in this world where you will encounter women who are always covered. Obviously, if you live and work in the West, everyday you will see women who are not properly covered. What you need to do here is to simply be modest, behave respectfully, and avoid looking at women without need.


In conclusion, when you find yourself in a situation with women, Muslim or otherwise, simply be modest and respectful. There is no problem with talking to a member of the opposite sex or working with that person when there is a need. As long as we adhere to these boundaries, inshallah everything should be fine.

There is no need to be uncomfortable when there are women around. I have seen some Muslim brothers who when they sight a woman or hear her voice, immediately start scowling or act very tense. This is unnecessary. I have also seen Muslim brothers who feel very comfortable chatting with non-Muslim women, but as soon as a Muslim woman comes around, they ignore her and won’t even give salaams. This too is unnecessary and looks very strange to the non-Muslim observers.

What’s important to remember here is the example of our Prophet, peace be upon him. He was modest, respectful, and kind to everyone. He also interacted with women when there was a need to do so. He is the best example for us.

I hope this is helpful to you.

And Allah alone gives success. And Allah knows best.

(Umm Salah) Zaynab Ansari



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Saleem Khan
05-13-2016, 02:03 PM
1. These people are avoidable. If there is an absolute necessity to talk then speak very little and keep your eyes on the ground.

2. Same as the first one.

3. Friendship with the opposite is absolutely prohibited.

4. The males members of the family family should be supporting the female members so they don't need to go out and work. The male members will be in sin for not supporting the women of the family. If a woman has no male guardian to support her and she really needs an income then she should find a job that also allows her to observe some form of hijaab from men. She shouldn't take jobs where she would be talking to men. It would be better for her to take zakaah.

5. If the person is not a mahram then whether they're "family" or not makes no difference. However explain to them in kindness.

6. Try your best to go to a segregated school or home schooling. If these are not possible then abstain to the best of your abilities. That means look down at all times and only talk when it is absolutely necessary.

Remember breaking the commandment of Allah brings a darkness on the heart that is very hard to take out. At all times continue making dhikr so that Allah may remove the darkness from our hearts that comes from staying in such an environment.

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