Thursday, April 07, 2005

Q&A: Mixed weddings and Mixed Education Classes

The following is a translation of a Q&A by Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom. 


Question and Answer

These days the people have become accustomed to hiring out halls for their wedding feasts. These halls are of two types:

First: mixed halls where men and women are invited and they sit together. When the bride comes from the Saloon they make her sit with the bridegroom and there are women around them who are mahrams and non-mahram. The women in such situations usually are adorned and reveal their ‘awrah. They sing and dance in front of the bride and bridegroom. Men also participate in this. During the celebrations the bridegroom places adornments on bride’s hands, neck and ears as the people are accustomed to do.

Second: Halls hired by those who concerned for Islam. One hall for men and one hall for women. Ie without mixing. But when the bride comes she is made to sit with her bridegroom together in the woman’s hall. The women, mahrams and non-mahrams, sing and dance in front of the bride and bridegroom. Some of these women draw attention to their charms and reveal their ‘awrah. Then the bridegroom places adornments on her hands, neck and ears as the people are accustomed to do.


Question:

1-     Is all of this Haraam? Ie mixed halls with the bridegroom sitting in front of the women as mentioned above or has this affliction become widespread as some Shaykhs say so it is overlooked and forgiven?
2-     If this is Haram will the party punish someone administratively or is he saved from the punishment and is it enough just to advise him knowing that there are Shabab who sit with the bridegroom in the women’s hall. If this is all haram then will the Hizb punish him administratively is this case different from another?
3-     If the person was punished administratively does this mean his sin has been atoned for and so he will not be punished in the Akhira. Ie is it like the punishment of the Islamic state which removes the sin or is it different?

In answer to this we say the following:

1-     The mixing between men and women is Haraam. The evidences for this are extensive. The life of the Muslims during the Messenger of Allah (saw) and the Sahabah after him expresses this. They are discussed in a complete manner in social system. Mixing (ikhtilaat) is not allowed unless it is for a need recognised by the Sharee’ah for which there is a text in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) such as buying, selling, silat rahm etc.

There is no text regarding the mixing of men and women in halls for wedding celebrations. Rather what has been mentioned in the time of the Messenger of Allah and his Sahabah is that the women used to sit with the bride on their own and the men used to sit on their own. Thus, mixing in halls is Haraam and no exception is made for it. What has been reported with respect to the wedding feasts is the wedding procession when the woman is taken to her husband’s house. It is allowed for men and women to take her to her husband’s house and then the men should separate form the women since this has been the established during the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he approved of it.

Therefore, the presence of men and women in celebration halls without separation ie in one hall and not two halls is Haraam. And if the ‘Awrah is exposed as is the mostly the case in such situations then the prohibition is even greater. Also forbidden is for the bridegroom to sit with the bride surrounded by women who are mahram and non-mahram while their ‘awrah is exposed, which is the prevalent situation these days.

As for the view that the affliction has become widespread; this does not make the haraam into Halaal. This view is rejected due to the contradiction with the Sharee’ah. Rather, there are hadiths which praise those who hold onto their Deen like the one who holds red coal due to the affliction that may be caused because of holding onto Islam.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘A time will come for the people when the patent on his Deen will be like the one who holds red hot coal.’

2-     Ever since the Hizb started it encourages its Shabab to be pure and God –fearing people. This is a great Da’wah and its reward is great. This is not deserved by anyone except the one who is great in his Taqwa, qualified to carry it and seeking Allah’s good pleasure. The hizb is anxious that its shabab are like the Sahabah to bring back the second Khilafah Rashidah at the hands of men like the noble Sahabah, the companions of the Messenger of Allah (saw) who established the first Khilafah Rashidah after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saw).
3-     However, the Hizb recognises that the occurrence of lapses in people behaviour is something one cannot deny. The Hizb has studied this matter and taken the view that Sharee’ah violations which are not more than a lapse in behaviour and does not effect the shab’s carrying of the Da’wah and does not effect the people listening to his Da’wah, that it is enough to advise and remind such a person, and to incite his Taqwa and encourage him to do the Ta’aat (mandobaat) and he will not be punished administratively.

However, if the Hizb views the violation to be more than a lapse in behaviour and it comes to effect his carrying of the Da’wah and people listening and accepting his Da’wah then the hizb will punish the one who committed this violation with the appropriate administrative punishment. This is so that the body of the Hizb remains pure and so only the people of Taqwah and goodness are in its ranks.

For example, mixed studies in Universities where the women’s rows are not separate from the men’s row are Haraam. However, if a shab studies in a mixed university but does not walk with female students, does not deliberately sit with them, he is only interested in his studies and his relationship with others is restricted to the minimum due to being a student in a mixed university. Then the Hizb does not see this as crossing the line which will effect his carrying of the Da’wah or people accepting his Da’wah, rather when his fellow students see his disciplined behaviour in the university which does not draw their attention to the fact that he studies in a mixed university and that it is not allowed, rather they praise his disciplined behaviour despite the study being mixed and there are women around him. Therefore, the hizb will not punish this shab administratively for this violation of studying in a mixed university because after study it found that, if as above, his action does not effect his carrying of the Da’wah or people listening to it and they do not view that he has committed a violation which dissuade them from listening to him, rather they praise his disciplined behaviour while among women.

However, shab studies in a mixed university and he finds this an opportunity to walk with female students and chat with them. This will be punished by the hizb administratively because he is harming the Da’wah by his behaviour and turning the people away who know his stance due to hearing his Da’wah.

4-     Thus, the hizb studies the reality of every violation in the above manner. Does it effect the shab’s carrying of the Da’wah and people listening to it or not? Is it a lapse in the behaviour or has it gone beyond that? So the same applies to celebration halls. Any shab who goes to it and the hall is mixed and he does not return but sits there and knows that the Hizb knows about it. He will be punished because this is Haraam and effects the carrying of the Da’wah. And the bridegroom which sits with the bride in a mixed hall where there are men and women. It is haram and the hizb will punish that person administratively. As for the bridegroom which sits with the bride in the woman’s hall while the women are around them whether mahrram or not, this is Haraam. However this Haraam action will be looked into on the above basis. If the shab does not prolong his presence, he lowers his gaze and hastens to leave. Then the Hizb will overlook this and will not punishment him administratively and it will be enough to advise him and to encourage him to maintain his obedience to Allah. However, if he prolongs his stay and does not restrict his eyes to one direction but looks everywhere and does not leave except after a while then the hizb will punish him administratively.

For example, anyone who is a party to an insurance company or he by his own choice insures something. He has committed a haram which effects his carrying of the Da’wah so he will be punished administratively. As for if he insured his car (by compulsion) only to get a licence without benefiting from the insurance when accident happens. This will not be punished by the hizb administratively because the hizb does not view the action as harming the carrying of the Da’wah.

In this manner the hizb studies the reality of violations and decides the administrative punishment.

5-     The punishments of the hizb are administrative only and they do not expiate for the sin in the Akhirah such as the punishment of the state in Islam. It is there only to protect the purity and discipline of the Kutlah and to insure that it proceeds administratively in a sound manner. Not punishing administratively a violation which the hizb views as a lapse in conduct and does not effect the Da’wah does not mean this violation becomes halal. No, it remains a Sharee’ah violation. In origin the shab should do the halal and keep away from the haram due to his Taqwah and not because of an administrative punishment. But in all cases the shabab must understand in their minds that the hizb will not accept among its ranks those who will do haram and effect the carrying of the Da’wah or people’s acceptance of his Da’wah. The fact that it is overlooked does not change that fact that it is a violation. Also the administrative punishment does not expiate for the violation in the Akhirah and it is not the punishment of the Islamic state which removes the sin on the Day of Judgement. This is because the hadith reported regarding the  removal of the punishment has been mentioned in respect to the punishment of the Islamic state. So the Messenger (saw) says in the hadith reported by al-Bukhari on the authority of ‘Ubadah b. Samit: ‘…..the one who commits a violation and is punished for him then it is a expiation (kaffaarah) for him…’

6-     Despite the existence of lapses in conduct from some of the shabab but generally they are in the first ranks of the Muslims in their adherence to the rules of the Sharee’ah. And Allah knows the secrets of His Servants. There are those who do not accept have such lapses for which the hizb will not punish administrative. I have seen and heard of situations where one can raise ones head high in thanks to Allah for having such shabab in the hizb. There are those who undergo the hardships, he goes to and fro, looking for a Halaal means to get a licence for his car. So he may buy it from its owner whilst it has a licence and then sell it when the licence ends. And there are those who refuse to sit with his bride in a meeting in front of non-mahram women especially while they are revealing their ‘awrah and the women raise a hue and cry as a result, his mother, her mother, female relatives and distant relatives but he does not care about them. There are those who refuse to study in a mixed university where the male student lines are not separated from the female students, they may miss a year and search for a university which is not mixed. Such examples are numerous.


In short:

1-     The administrative punishments of the Hizb are imposed for violations which effect the carrying of the Da’wah and effect the purity of the Hizb body and the people’s acceptance of the shab’s Da’wah.
2-     If the hizb takes the view that the violation does not effect the carrying of the Da’wah, that it is not more than a lapse in behaviour then the shabab is advised and encouraged to do the mandubaat without punishing him administratively.
3-     In origin the shab should adhere to the Sharee’ah rules motivated by his Taqwa and not the administrative punishment.
4-     The punishments of the Hizb differ from the punishments of the state in Islam. So the punishments of the state are do not remove the sin as mentioned in the hadith of the Messenger (saw). As for the punishment of the hizb they are administrative and they do not remove the sin.

5-     Sitting in mixed celebration halls is an action for which the shab will be punished administratively. If the shab is invited to a wedding feast and he goes there and find that it is mixed, he should return immediately and not care what the people will say even if that caused difficulty.

6-     The bride groom sitting with the bride in a mixed hall full of men and women is Haraam and the hizb will impose an administrative punishment for this. However, if the bridegroom sat with the bride before mahram and non-mahram women in the women’s hall, did not prolong his presence, he lowered his gaze and put only some of the customary adornments on the bride and left after a short while; he will not be punished administratively. This is if he had committed a haram which is not more than a lapse in behaviour and does not effect the carrying of the Da’wah according to the reality mentioned above.  But if he did not sit in this meeting and he limited it to a small selection of mahrams and relatives without revealing their ‘awrah then this is better then the previous example. And if he restricted himself to the Mahrams then he is competing for the good and stopping at the Hukm of the Sharee’ah and he will be from those whom Allah described:  they are never afraid of the blame of the blamers.’ [5:54]

But if he lengthened his presence while sitting with his bride in front of women who are mahram and non-maharam especially if their ‘awrah is exposed and he did not lower his gaze and his eyes fell on that which Allah forbade then he will be punished administratively.

7-     We will not go and inquire from the bridegroom. And if the matter was known we will take his statement and his judgement of the reality in the aforementioned way. We will not spy on him or check his report. Rather we will take his statement in trust and honesty without inconvenience or difficulty but with compassion and careful to protect the purity of the hizb.
8-     We do not wish to spoil the joy of the bride and bridegroom. Rather we want a pure celebration free of any blemish which angers Allah and His Messenger. May Allah grant them both the ability to build a good and wholesome family.

I know violations that take place in wedding feats is something the people have become accustomed to and they are surprised by those who do not adherence to the customs which violate the Sharee’ah. But the Da’wah carrier must not see tradition as the judge but it is the Sharee’ah which is the judge. So let him adhere to the Sharee’ah not care about the blame that will fall upon him.

I want the shabab to know this so that the hizb retains the Taqwa and is pure, they are to be found in the places of goodness and not the places of evil. They are motivated to adhere to the rules of Allah by the fear of Allah and desiring His Good Pleasure and Jannah and not fear of any administrative punishment.

I like to hear good of you and from you and so perhaps by us drawing closer to Him (swt) that Allah will hasten his Help and honour us with His victory. He is the One from whom we seek help and on Him we trust.

Your brother
8/8/2003