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Fatwas Regarding Women

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Questions Related to Knowledge

Women and the Seeking of Knowledge

Question: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to set a special day for teaching the matters of the religion to the women. He also used to permit them to be behind the men in the mosque in order to seek knowledge. Why do the scholars not follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? Although they do fulfill some of those needs, it is not sufficient and we need more. May Allah reward you.

Response: There is no doubt that such was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), as well as the scholars. Indeed, I myself have done that here on a number of occasions as well as in Makkah, Taif and Jeddah.

I have no problem with setting apart a specific time for women in any locale if they want that from me. That is also the position of my scholar colleagues.

Furthermore, by the radio program Noor ala al-Darb,1 Allah has opened the way to much good. A woman can send her question to the program and during the program it will be answered. This program is aired two nights a week on the stations Nida al-islam and al-Quran al-Kareem.

Similarly, women may write to Dar al-Ifta. In this case, a committee of scholars may respond to their questions. It has been designed for that purpose. In any case, knowledge is equally obligatory for both men and women. There is nothing to prevent a woman from attending lectures, with the condition that she is properly dressed and is not exposing any of her beauty.

Shaikh Ibn Baz


1. This is a radio program in Saudi Arabia that the scholars participate in. It is basically a forum for questions to be put and answered.-- JZ

Ruling Concerning Students Standing for their Teacher

Question: What is the ruling concerning female students [in a girls' school] standing for their female teacher as sign of respect for her?

Response: The standing of the female students for their female teachers or the male students for their male teachers is a act that should not be done. At the very least, it is strongly disliked. This is based on Anas' statement, "No one was more beloved to them-- the Companions-- than the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). And they would not stand for him when he came to them, as they knew that he disliked such an act." The Prophet (peace be upon him) has also said,

"Whoever loves to have men stand for him shall take his abode in the Fire."1

On this matter, the ruling concerning men is the same as that concerning women. May Allah guide us all to what is pleasing to Him and keep us from everything that angers Him and is prohibited. May Allah bestow on all of us beneficial knowledge as well as acting accordingly. He is the Generous, the Noble.

Shaikh Ibn Baz


1. Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi. Al-Albani states that it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami al-Sagheer, vol. 2, p. 1033.-JZ

The Dangers of Having Female Teachers for Boys in Elementary Schools

I have come across what the newspaper al-Madinai printed in Issue #3898, dated 2-30-1397 A.H., written by on calling herself Nura bint Abdullah, under the title, "Face to Face. In sum, Nura is saying that she had a meeting with a number o women, including the female Dean of the College of Education ii Jeddah, whose name is Faiza. Nura mentions Faiza's surprise that there are no female teachers teaching boys in the elementary level, even to the fifth grade. Nura supported Faiza's views in that article for a number of reasons. Personally, with thanks to Faiza, Nura and their colleagues for the concern about the teaching of our young boys and for their welfare, I find it an obligation upon myself to point out that their suggestion is filled with evil and harmful consequences. Having women teach boys at the elementary level means that they will have to mix with boys who are at puberty or adolescent stages, this is because some of the boys do not complete the elementary stage until they are already in adolescence, and some have already completed puberty. This is because, when a boy reaches ten years old, he is considered an adolescent. He naturally becomes inclined toward women. Someone like him can even get married and do what men do. And there is another matter, having women teach the boys will lead to mixing between the two sexes. That will then continue until the next level. This will open the door, without question, to mixing between the sexes at all levels. The evil results of such mixing in the schools are well-known. The devastating results that come from that type of teaching can be seen in other countries. Whoever has the smallest amount of knowledge of the shariah evidences and what is occurring to this Ummah during this age knows what definitely occurs to the boys and girls due to such practices. I believe that this suggestion has been inspired by Satan or some of his deputies upon the tongues of the above mentioned Faiza and Nura . It is, without doubt, something that is pleasing to our enemies and the enemies of Islam, and is from what those enemies are calling for, openly and privately.

Therefore, I see that the door to this kind of practice must be completely closed. Our boys must be left to be taught by men at all levels of instruction. Similarly, the girls must be left to be taught by female teachers at all levels of instruction. This will preserve our religion, our boys and our girls. It will be sufficient for us for our respected female teachers to fulfill their responsibilities to the best of their abilities with purity, sincerity and patience in teaching our girls. And the men must also fulfill their responsibilities with purity, sincerity and patience in teaching our boys at every level. It is also well-known that a man has more patience and is stronger in teaching boys and he can give him more teachings in every level of schooling. It is well-known that the boys, in the primary and higher levels of education, respect and esteem their male teacher. They will be more willing to submit and accept what he says. If the women were teaching them at those different levels, they would not have the characteristics, patience and strength with them that men have. It has been authentically narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said,

"Order your children to pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten. And separate them in their bedding."1

This hadith points out what we have been saying about the dangers of mixing boys and girls at all levels of instruction. The evidence for that from the Quran, sunnah and the experience of the ummah today are many but I do not wish to mention them all here in order to be brief. The knowledge of our government, may Allah give them understanding, as well as the Minister of Education and the President of the Directory for Girls Education is sufficient for us to go into this matter here. I ask Allah to grant us all what is good for this Ummah. And to make us and our male and female youth good. And to give them happiness in both this life and the Hereafter. He is the Hearer, Responder. And peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companion.

Shaikh Ibn Baz


1. Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has given notation signifying that it is authentic.

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