The way the Prophet spoke directly to women
Fatwa No: 85903

  • Fatwa Date:9-6-2003 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 9, 1424
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Question

I have read a Hadith that the Messenger of Allah set a special day to teach the women the Deen of Islam. In what manner did he do this, i.e. behind a screen/wall or face-to-face but with Hijab?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Al-Bukhari reported from Abu Said Al-Khudri (Radiya Allahu Anhu) that a woman said to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam): "Men took all your time on our behalf, so give us a particular day from yourself. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) promised them a day when he met with them and admonished them …." . Al-Bukhari also reported from Ibn Abbas (Radiya Allahu Anhu) that he said: "The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) came out on a feast day. He prayed two Raka'a only. He didn't pray any Raka'a before them or after them. Then he (walked to the rows), the women accompanied by Bilal . He admonished them and ordered to give Sadaqa (alms) …" . In Muslim 's narration: "They (the women) threw in Bilal 's garment their necklaces and their rings" . Ahmad reported from Ibn Masoud that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Give alms, O women, even from your jewelry. Indeed you outnumber all others in Hell. A woman from the high class stood up and said: "Why?" The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Because you curse a lot and you are ungrateful to your partner" . These and similar Ahadith are evidence that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) used to talk to women directly. There was no screen between him and them. But at that time women adhered completely to Shariah Hijab. So, there was no fear of temptation. Nowadays, the situation is different. Temptations and trials are present everywhere. Most women do not adhere to the Shariah Hijab that cover them nor to the Islamic ethics. So, now the admonition of men to women without a screen can be a stimulus to falling into what Allah has prohibited. It is known in Shariah that anything that constitutes a prelude to committing Haram is Haram. In fact any gate that can lead to depravity should be sealed off -----. Similarly, we do not see any benefit in having the man admonish women directly, without any screen between him and them. Even if there is a benefit, we think it should not be considered because warding off an evil is given priority over gaining a benefit. Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) that she said: "If the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) had seen what women had done, he would have deprived them of the mosque as was done to the Jewish women" . Ibn Abd Al-Bar said: 'This is an evidence that the conditions of people changed after the death of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)' . Al-Suyuti said: 'If the conditions had already changed in the time of Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) until she said this, then what would be said of our time where corruption and depravity have prevailed and where sins have raged among the young as well as the old' . This is why the scholars state that the rules can change according to changes in the state of people. This is the reason scholars say that it is obligatory to put a screen between men and alien women to prevent temptation. Imam Al-Ghazali said in his book "Al-Ihya": 'And a screen must be put up between men and alien women as the sight can lead to perversion and the customs are evidence for this' . From the above, we conclude that it is unlawful that the man exhorts or admonishes alien women without a screen between him and them because to do so can lead to much depravity. Allah knows best.

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