MSA — its not about intermingling, its about the banner in which you are doing it under.

Concern: Salaamu Alaykum wa rahmatullah, 

Inshallah I hope you are doing well.
Imam I had a few questions/concerns which I hope inshallah you could answer.
With the upcoming conference a sister suggested that we put up a curtain to separate the men from women.
But then that would be conflicting with families who wish to sit with each other.
Past years in the middle we would have families and children who would sit with each other and that worked as distinct separation from the single men and single women.
Also someone brought up having the curtain run half-way for the sisters who do not wish to be behind a curtain, another sister commented saying “that would make certain sisters uncomfortable and look bad if they are the ones who do not want to be behind the curtain. They will look like sisters who want attention…so why not make it equal and have it run all the way?”
With all the argument I finally suggested if we are aiming to prevent intermingling then why don’t just use the two day conference as one day for the Men and the following day for the women, or even just have it at the Masjid”

Please Imam let us know the correct way to prevent ourselves from falling into sin, and gaining the greatest amount of pleasure from Allah (SWT) as we aim to do good for ourselves and our community.

Our next meeting is upcoming Friday at 3:30pm it would be great if you could join us and address this issue.

Jazakallahu khair.

Answer: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
(name of person committed)  Allah has blessed you with a great (family) that i have come to respect due to his sound mind and actions. You are just as astute, lets not lose this blessed element. (persons name), I and you would agree, intermingling is not allowed under the guise of religion, more so under the banner of religion.
  • Allah commands: Do not (even) get close to zina. If john and merry wish to intermingle, i have little no problem with it. When Mohammad and Fatima chose to intermingle under the banner of Islam (MSA), in such an instance i chose to have a frown.
  • Putting a curtain would not be a bad idea, it is part of contributing towards modesty. After all, does the MSA not claim to be an organization that stands for the sunnah? Sunnah does not refer to Christen Beaver (or whatever his name is.)
  • Since when families ‘must’ sit together? Sister (xxxxx), when you go to an event, are you the coat tail of (your husband)? Not in mind, but physically are you a coattail? Claiming that people must sit together because they are families is not established anywhere as part of religious protocol. This is a western concept — show the world that you are one happy family yet disrupted behind closed doors. In Islam, we show affection in a respectable manner — in private, not make a public spectacles of ourselves.
  • If one lacks trust or are so much in love that they cannot separate, they should stay at home. In-fact i find this line of reasoning an insult to the institution of trust, family marriage and woman.
  • I have no problem with families sitting together. On a playful note,why not have an area for cuddly families too, another area that is divided for those that chose a higher level of modesty, etc. Under the guise of religion, I cannot promote an area of kisses and hugs — except for the type that comes in the form of Hershey chocolates. I am sorry. As you are aware, some cultures find it an embarrassment for a woman to sit with her husband in public. Should we not take them into account as well?
  • A sister that flaunts herself is not viewed as wanting attention, yet a sister that sits behind a curtain is viewed as a possible attention seeker. Mind you, i am also assuming that the sister behind the curtain would not be able to be seen by men or glamor girls that wish to be seen! So attention from whom are the curtained girls seeking their fame (or flame) from? From catty sisters that peek at her and then laugh at her? Does she really want to be acknowledged by such Muslimahs anyway? Is it not sin enough to be liked by the one that sins in public and demands its acceptance. How about some self-esteem folks. It all comes down to priorities! I can tell, we are dealing with a group of ‘geniuses.’ MSA think-tank has stooped to a new low! Some may prematurely claim, next generation is not to have many philosophers or lawyers either! Congratulations! Or congratulations?

Observe the following at any (youth) conference:

*Observe where the boys stand and the girls walk. Observe who followers whom etc. Men and woman come to MSA in part to scout members of the opposite gender. I have no problem with Muslim boys and girls seeking partners in the proper manner. But folks, do not make yourself similar to an open orange that has flies sitting on it. Better ways to meet a partner than running behind girls/boys that are attempting to use the restroom (or stare at your future mate while they are eating a sandwich with mustard stain on their lips.)
*I have little problem joining such meetings. However, i have discussed this matter repeatedly with MSAers. Be it the last MSA group as well as this one. Folks of both years seem to be confused on simple yet clear matters. No clue if the confusion is from leadership or a roll over from the previous year’s leadership.

*Kindly hand this matter to Shiek Ali and Br Yassir for an added Muslim response. I am confidant the answer would be as follows: in the conditions of fitna, separation would be best between younger men and woman possessing desire. You are welcome to read this informal memo out at your meeting.


2 responses to “MSA — its not about intermingling, its about the banner in which you are doing it under.

  1. This is a response to
    “…Kindly hand this matter to Shiek Ali and Br Yassir for an added Muslim response…”

    I not interested in this matter, hence please any one should avoid dropping it at my door step.

    • An original version of this answer was typed up and sent around march 18th 2011-04-12, your name should have been removed since that period. No crying over spilled. Your comment is still appreciated as it makes matters a tad bit more clear with how relationships go. (As the saying goes: no information like that of seeing it in ink.)