Men Teaching Women without there being a Screen between them – The Permanent Committee – Fatwa no. 17929

All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the final Prophet.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta‘ has read the letter which was sent to his Eminence, the Grand Mufty, from the questioners, Chairman and Members of Association of Islamic law at the Faculty of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies at the university of Kuwait. This letter was transferred to the Committee by the Secretariat-General of the Council of Senior Scholars under the number 1202 in 11/03/1416 A. H. The questioners asked the following question:

Is it permissible that a male teacher teaches female students without there being a screen between them so that they see each other? It may be important to mention that mostly the teacher does not see their faces as they wear the face veil.

Is it permissible that a female student attends the office of her male teacher and the latter talks with her without there being a screen between them but mostly without seeing her face? Is it permissible that such a student takes a seat inside the office of a male teacher speaking with him about the field of study and so on, while no Mahram (spouse or permanently unmarriageable relative) accompanies her or she is accompanied by one of her female schoolmates and the teacher explains the lesson to them or answers their questions which are related to lectures and so on? It may be worthy to mention that the foregoing can be done by phone and that some of the teachers are still in their youth or have just started their old age while the female students are mostly in the beginning of their youth.

After the Committee had studied the question it answered as follows:

First, intermixing of men and women in schools or any other places is considered a great Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Shari`ah and Muslims of sound intellect) and a great evil with regard to the affairs of both Din (religion) and the world. Thus, it is not permissible for women to study or work in a place which intermixes men and women. Similarly, their guardians should not allow them to do so.

Second, it is neither permissible for men to teach unveiled women nor to teach women wearing Shar`y (Islamically acceptable) veil in privacy. By the way, all of the body of a woman is `Awrah (parts of the body that must be covered) as far as a non-Mahram (not a spouse or an unmarriageable relative) is concerned. As for covering the head and showing the face, this is not full Hijab (veil).

Third, it is permissible for a man to teach women from behind a screen in female schools where there is no intermixing of male and female students or male and female teachers.

If female students need to ask their male teacher about something, this should be done through closed communication networks, which are renowned and available, or via phones, however, such students should be careful not to soften their speech.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Member – Member – Member – Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd – `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh – Salih Al-Fawzan – `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Fatwas of the Permanent Committee>Group 1>Volume 12: Jihad and Hisbah>Jihad and Hisbah>Knowledge>Men teaching women without a barrier

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