Is Islamic Gender Separation a Sign of Backwardness?

It’s called common sense.

And it’s disappearing fast.

The Islamic guidelines on appropriate gender interaction are based on universal wisdom and a profound understanding of human beings and human life.

Look at what this non-Muslim man observes:

“When a man and a woman are left alone, outside parties can insinuate about what’s really going on,” said Christopher Mauldin, a construction worker in Rialto, Calif.

“Sometimes false accusations create irreversible damages to reputations.” He said he avoids any solo interactions with women, including dining or driving, as does his girlfriend with other men. When he needs to meet with women at work or his church, he makes sure doors are left open and another person is present. Others described similar tactics, including using conference rooms with glass walls and avoiding alcohol with colleagues.

“Temptation is always a factor,” said Mr. Mauldin, 29.

The practical importance of avoiding khalwa, seclusion with the opposite sex is so obvious. The social and personal dangers of having one on one meals with the opposite sex are so clear.

Any rational person regardless of religious belief can recognize these truths immediately. Ironically, it is those who claim to be “Muslim rationalists” and “progressives” who strive to abolish these provisions of Islamic law and Islamic modesty, characterizing them as irrational dogmatism and backwardness.

The feminist argument that avoiding seclusion with the opposite sex is contrary to women’s career advancement is also bogus. Consider these survey results published by the NYT.

In every measure, men were more likely to think solo interaction with women was appropriate. Women were consistently more likely to view such interactions as inappropriate compared to men. And unless you are delusional, it is perfectly obvious why. Or maybe you think women are ignorant of their own best interests.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. But the sahaba had mixed gender congregations in the mosques. Where were the barricades, curtains, and separate marriage halls for the men and women in the times of sahaba?

  2. Unfortunately many Muslims are confused today, afraid of others’ opinions. It’s very shameful. May Allah guide us. All the world is waiting for Islam, and we’re scared to have the truth. We make every excuse in the book, in complete denial, about the best things.

  3. Daniel,

    Can you recommend so good books about Gender Interaction? I have one by Hatem Al Haj but it’s not enough. I want to read more.

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