Is it Permissible for a Male Teacher to Teach a Woman the Qur’an?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Is it permissible for a male teacher to teach a woman the Qur’an?

This is permissible if the male teacher teaches from behind a veil and as long as the two are not alone together. It has been narrated that: “A man must never be alone with a woman even if he is teaching her the Qur’an and even if she is Maryam bint `Imran.” The Companions would take knowledge from the wives of the Prophet, the Mothers of the Believers from behind a veil.

On Women Balancing Between Work and Home

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How can women perform their duties at home if they also have to go out to work?

They can do this by only going out when it is necessary to do and by wearing modest attire when they do so. They should follow the example of the daughters of the Prophet Shu`ayb, whom Allah mentions in the Qur’an: He (Musa) found at a distance from them two women keeping back (their flocks).[1] They refused to mix with the men but rather waited until they had finished watering their flocks. When their father sent one of them to Musa, Allah describes her as ‘walking shyly.’ When there is no longer a necessity for them to be out, they should return to attend to their duties in the house.

[1] Al-Qasas, 28:23

On Removing Attachment to a Woman Unlawful for Marriage

Answered by Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

The heart of a man has become attached to a woman who is unlawful for him to marry. How can he remove this attachment?

He must strive to fill his heart with longing to meet Allah and to be in the company of His Messenger ﷺ while pleading with Allah that He removes this attachment from his heart. At the same time he should block off any things which remind him of this woman, such as meetings, conversations or photos. If he does these things Allah will help him and not leave him to fall prey to his lower self or to the devil.

On Facebook and Free Mixing

Answered by Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Young men and women mix freely with each other at schools and things like Facebook make it easy for them to get to know each other. What can we do to guide them?

We can guide them by trying to strengthen the attachment of their hearts to their Lord and helping them to taste the sweetness of being close to Allah and being connected to His Messenger. We should also teach them about those who attained truthfulness and certainty. We should give them a portion of time in which they remember Allah and reflect upon His speech. We should teach them to reflect on the punishments that forbidden gazes or speech entail, and upon the harmful effects of such conduct on the heart and the mind and its consequences in this life and the next.

On Environments where Men and Women Freely Mix

Answered by Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What can people do to protect themselves in places where men and women mix freely?

You must lower your gaze as Allah has commanded us to do. It has been narrated in the hadith that to gaze at that which is unlawful is to allow the devil the opportunity to fire a poisoned arrow into your heart. However, the one who lowers his gaze will taste the sweetness of faith in his heart. You should read this Prophetic supplication nineteen times before entering the place where you work or study:

اللَّهُمَّ يا حَيُّ يَا قَيَّومُ برحمتِكَ أسْتَغِيْثُ ومِن عَذابِكَ أسْتَجِيرُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأنِي كُلَّهُ ولاَ تَكِلْنِي إلى نَفْسِي وَلا إِلى أحَدٍ مِن خَلقِكَ طَرفَةَ عَينٍ

Allāhumma Ya Ḥayyu ya Qayyum biraḥmatika astaghīthu wa min `adhābika astajīr. Aṣliḥ lī sh’anī kullahu wa lā takilnī ilā nafsī wa ilā aḥadin min khalqika ṭarfata `ayn

O Allāh, O Living! O Sustainer! I call upon Your Mercy for assistance, and from Your chastisement I seek refuge! Make good all my affairs and do not entrust me to myself or any of Your creation for the blink of an eye.

On Lowering the Gaze

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What helps us to lower our gaze?

The beginning of lowering the gaze is sincere resolve. If someone maintains that resolve then Allah will allow him to taste the sweetness of faith and thus assist him in continuing to lower his gaze. The stronger the believer’s faith is, the more able they are to lower their gaze.

Furthermore, we should strive to be more present with Allah and we should have a true longing to see Allah’s Messenger.  When your gaze falls upon the opposite sex you should envisage the Ka`bah and al-Hujrah al-Sharifah (in which the Prophet is buried) and think about being in the company of the Prophet ﷺ in Paradise. Allah says: Say to the believing men that they must lower their gaze. [1] Reflect upon this verse and upon Who is issuing the command. Persevere in this and realise that you are in a type of jihad. You will then acquire a hatred for disobedience.

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[1] Al-Nur, 24:30