Are Free Mixing Events Allowed in the Masjid With No Barriers?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I hope you are doing well, Insha Allah. I would like sincere advice. In my local community, the masjid engages in free-mixing. The lectures and classes are gatherings between sexes with no barrier or curtain, simply a small gap or walkway.

One of the Shaykhs attended an institute, and I’m shocked that he holds programs with all types of free-mixing (Islamic, non-Islamic, barbecues/dinners, youth, etc.). They have an Instagram page, and there are hundreds of photos posted with sisters covering and uncovering. On Instagram, their page is ISM Core.

Anyway, I don’t think it is appropriate. Is what they are doing acceptable?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

Scholars say that mixed gatherings in a masjid are not allowed. One should have a reasonable barrier in between, just like women are told to be in the back row for prayers in the masjid. Men and women must sit apart from each other. It will be permissible if they sit apart and there is no free mixing.

Allah Most High tells us, “When you ask them for anything, ask from behind a screen (hijab). This is a means for greater purity for your hearts and their hearts.”
[Quran, 33:53]

Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in his famous exegesis of the Quran, Al-Jami‘ li-Ahkam al-Qur’an:

“This verse indicates the permissibility to ask and converse with the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) from behind a screen or a curtain. The same guidance would bind all Muslim women.”

[Qurtubi, Al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Quran]

May Allah guide us to the straight path

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[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.