The Rasulullah shalallahu ‘alaihi wassallam actually has specified time where he would teach women. Where he would do that. Especially the women of Madinah.
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And actually the women of Madinah is different from the women of Makkah, they were actually a lot more bold. And the shahabah even notice, the would be like… Umar radhiyallahu anhu was like they’re not like the one in the Makkah. So there was a different between them.
And they’re outspoken, and we even know that from many athar (sayings, actions and consent of the Sahabah) and many hadits text. Like Umar was giving khutbah -radhiyallahu anhu-, and a woman gets up.
And says, “He can’t say that, Allah said this.”
Like… “Lady why are you not in the sister’s section behind the glass?”
“Why are you??”
And you’re talking to Umar. Umar. You don’t wanna like point a finger at Umar like that, but she did.
This is like, “God, she’s lady.”
You know? She did that.
And sometimes there are assumptions that men and women should not interact with each other at all under any circumstance, and that’s what Islam wants. That isn’t true!
As a matter of fact, man and woman, non mahram, talking to each other in public, outside is mentioned in the Quran. Musa ‘alaihissallam went up to two girls that were not his mahram. (Al Qashash verse 23)
When He went to them and talked to them, “Hey, what’s wrong with you ladies?”
“Maa khotbukumaa.” (Al Qashash verse 23)
What’s wrong with you? And they said, “Well we can’t feed our animal until the whole folks is done.”
They had a conversation. He didn’t go up to them like, “Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.”
“Ya ukhtiya…. my to sisters, fil islam.”
He doesn’t even know if they’re muslim. They don’t know. They don’t know him, and he doesn’t know them. They don’t know he is Musa ‘alaihissallam, they don’t know that. They don’t know any of that, but they had a conversation with each other. A non mahram talking to another non mahram, about what a problem. They were wrestling with sheeps, so he had to go talk to them.
“What are you doing? What’s going on? Can I help you with something?”
But he didn’t prolonged his conversation, he kept it to the point. What are we learning in Quran? If we keep our conversation to the point, it’s fine.
You may have… I have a female co worker. You may have a class. I have students, I have to answer their questions. They have a right to me as much as the brothers have right to me. Cause I am teaching a class, it’s a matter of justice.
I can’t put them in the back and not give them the same attention, it’s not fair! And I brought this up, in education is it fair or not? This is not. It’s acceptable.
There are Ulama that are more conservative on this and there are Ulama that allowed it too. But there are plenty of mainstream, ahlussunnah, across the school of thought scholars that are allowed this. That are allowed for example this kind of setting. If it is made with certain of restrictions.
You know? There shouldn’t be a small talk, even if I crack a joke, it’s for the entire audience, not the sisters by themselves, cause that isn’t appropriate. That’s not right. And you’re supposed to have a certain line.
There supposed to be a certain line of discomfort between you and myself. Or between you and any other non-mahram, there are supposed to be a line of discomfort. There’s supposed to be a level of seriousness.
They’re not supposed to be giggly. When you came to talk individually and talk to non mahram man. You’re not supposed to be like, “I have a question.” (soft tone)
“I have a question brother.” (sharp tone)
“You said this, why?”
Learn to be like that. Learn to be not giggly around non mahram man. And not smiley, “Jazakallahu khayran katsiran for so many things.”
Say that on your own, don’t come up and say to me. Don’t come up and say to me. Say that to your dad, “Jazakallahu khayran, baba.”
“You’re so awesome, great!”
When you’re interact to non mahram, if it’s your teacher, the imam of your masjid, the employer. Keep a serious tone. Keep a serious tone.
You know what? When women use a serious tone, the men become serious automatically.
A girl comes up to you, you think she’s some kind of pretty.
She comes up to yourself, “Assalamualaikum.” (serious tone)
You’re not gonna get to play around now, it is done. It’s over. But she goes and says, “Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.” (soft tone)
No good, no good for you.
Then he will like, “Oh, Waalaikumussalam.”
You know, that’s bad for you. So, you have to keep a stern voice. And this rules, I’m kinda alluding to, suratul Nur already covered them, these rules are already there. You have to keep a stern voice, you have to keep your eyes low.
It doesn’t mean, you look away, like, “Brother, I have a question.”
You don’t do that either. When you do, you don’t stare at the person, you don’t like, “Yes sister, do ask.”
No, not like that.
“Yaghudhdhuu min abshoorihim.” (QS An Nur verse 30)
“Yaghdhudhna min abshoorihinn.” (QS An Nur verse 31)
That’s normal… The idea is to keep yourself low, don’t stare.. Make just enough eye contact to reach point across and that’s it. That’s all. You don’t need more than that.
So this certain things they are the guidelines by which public setting make it okay.