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Offline Hamzeh

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mixed praying men and women?
« on: October 14, 2013, 10:16:51 PM »
Asalamun Alikum

Dear brother Joseph

I happened to read some of your articles and some discussions you made with certain people regarding "Women praying with men" website below

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=101.0

I was thinking about this. As I believe the Quran is complete for religious guidance and gives many examples that we can benefit from. The example the Quran gives regarding Mary bowing down with those that bow down still can be argued by others that its not clear whether its male or female. But it does not really say that it should not happen either.

I thought a little more and I wanted to share these two verses that I remembered about what a person should do when approaching prayer and when ablution(wudu) should be done.

Yusuf Ali (4:43)
O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (Except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. If ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For Allah doth blot out sins and forgive again and again.

Yusuf Ali (5:6)
O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favour to you, that ye may be grateful.

As we know that when we have congressional prayer many times we are in contact with each other. sometimes the feet, sometimes shoulders, or elbows, and sometimes as i seen people grabbing one another just to get closer etc 

from the 2 verses above if the word lamastumu means just touching women and not necessarily having any relations(sexual) with them because I see the 'ceremonial impurities' would include the sexual relationship. If lamastumu means just touching or contacting of non marriageable women in general. Then

Its difficult to see how man and women can pray together as they might touch each other but the Quran asks to make ablution(wudu) before approaching prayer if you become in contact with each other.  so pretty much one has to keep making ablution during the prayer and actually he or she can't even pray because soon as contact happens its time for ablution(wudu) again. Seems like the verses are suggesting a separation between men and women during prayer.

And also you mentioned " However, gender separation can still be maintained despite prayer being performed in the same prayer hall. I know of many women that would feel uncomfortable praying along with unknown men and vice versa. I don't think that one has to prove a point by intermingling both sexes as I'm sure you will agree."

I agree with that statement, and also it can be distracting for both genders if the right intentions are not there.

And taking the hajj for example that they have mixed intermingling men and women does not indicate that is correct though it might be, which im not saying that thats what you stated but just to point out another thought.


God knows best

and thank you my dear brother for all the hard and dedicated work that you continue to share with us. May Allah(swt) bless you and your family.

Jazak Allah Khair

Salam



Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: mixed praying men and women?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 11:34:26 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam

Thank you dear brother for sharing your thoughts and kind words.

There was a premise made in your point which I have highlighted in blue italics below:

from the 2 verses above if the word lamastumu means just touching women and not necessarily having any relations(sexual) with them because I see the 'ceremonial impurities' would include the sexual relationship. If lamastumu means just touching or contacting of non marriageable women in general. Then

Its difficult to see how man and women can pray together as they might touch each other but the Quran asks to make ablution(wudu) before approaching prayer if you become in contact with each other.  so pretty much one has to keep making ablution during the prayer and actually he or she can't even pray because soon as contact happens its time for ablution(wudu) again. Seems like the verses are suggesting a separation between men and women during prayer.


Would it be possible that you could consider the term 'lamasa' in this context in light of the link below where I have discussed the term?

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=862.msg3330#msg3330

If you accept this explanation, am I correct to assume then the basis of your very good question then would not arise?

Please let me know what you think. Would be glad to hear from you.

Your brother in faith,
Joseph.  :)
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: mixed praying men and women?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 12:31:31 PM »
Salam Joseph

I agree with the link you provided as how the word 'lamasa' means any sort of touch and including a sexual touch as well but when touching starts to be sexual a person switches to a state of Junub. But I think the word 'Junuban' is what is referring to the sexual state of touching which the lexicon says this

Jiim-Nun-Ba = To break or hit or hurt one's side, to lead one by his side, place or put a thing aside, to remove or send a thing far away or far off, estrange or alienate someone, descend and abode/settle as a stranger among people, to be remote/distant/far off/aloof from someone, shun or avoid someone, alienate or estrange oneself from someone, to be under the obligation of performing a total bath or ablution (by reason of sexual intercourse and semenal discharge), to be lateral or adjacent to someone or to a thing, walk by the side of another, to be gentle/compliant/easy to deal with, to be much of.[1]

There seems to be a need for a full bath either purify or wash (taharu or taghtasilu) when touching in the sexual way in a state of Junuban. Maybe even if one is in the state of Junuban it seems like tayammamoo(earth to rub over the face and hands) is not valid. Better just to stay away only if passing through(Aabiree sabeelin). because even a person travelling through(a traveller Safarin) can possibly rub his face and hands with earth after a call of nature or lamastum nisaa. But its insisting that the person go to a source of water. and not approach the prayer 4:43. when in a state of sexual impurities.
If lamastumu nisaa means touching sexually then I wouldn't see a need for the part talking about junuban and a person passing through because the meaning can remain the same, but of course Allah(swt) knows best and why.

The form of ablution is needed if a person only touches a women without any sexuality involved but if there is no water present then rubbing earth would be suitable.

surah 5:6 is saying that before prayer perform ablution(wudu) but ablution is not enough if someone is in a state of ceremonial impurity. So how can tayammamoo be enough when contacting women sexually when even when water is present the verse is telling someone to take a full bath or to be purified and ablution is not enough.

It also seems like both of the verses are in connection with each other somehow.

If this is correct I think I would also try to figure out maybe which nisaa(women) are these referring to? Maybe anyone that is permissible to be married?

Allah(swt) knows best

Love to hear from you back to see what you think

Eid Mubarak to you and your family and all that see this message. What a wonderful site to discuss and learn. Inshallah May Allah(swt) guide us always to even a nearer path to truth.

Salam


Reference

http://www.studyquran.co.uk/PRLonline.htm

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: mixed praying men and women?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 01:22:31 PM »
Edited version of the last message  :)

Salam Joseph

I agree with the link you provided as how the word 'lamasa' means any sort of touch and including a sexual touch as well but when touching starts to be sexual a person switches to a state of Junub. But I think the word 'Junuban' is what is referring to the sexual state of touching which the lexicon says this

Jiim-Nun-Ba = To break or hit or hurt one's side, to lead one by his side, place or put a thing aside, to remove or send a thing far away or far off, estrange or alienate someone, descend and abode/settle as a stranger among people, to be remote/distant/far off/aloof from someone, shun or avoid someone, alienate or estrange oneself from someone, to be under the obligation of performing a total bath or ablution (by reason of sexual intercourse and semenal discharge), to be lateral or adjacent to someone or to a thing, walk by the side of another, to be gentle/compliant/easy to deal with, to be much of.[1]

There seems to be a need for a full bath either purify or wash (taharu or taghtasilu) when touching in the sexual(Junuban)

Maybe even if one is in the state of Junuban it seems like tayammamoo(earth to rub over the face and hands) is not valid. Its better just to stay away and pass through(Aabiree sabeelin) It seems like there is no blame on him till he gets to water and bathes.

Also I ask myself why can't he the person who is in a state of junuban just do tayammamoo if lamastum means sexual relations.

Maybe because even a person travelling through(a traveller Safarin) can possibly rub his face and hands with earth after a call of nature or lamastum nisaa (assuming its only touching). However if touching turns to sexual relations that traveller becomes in a state of junuban and now requires to bath and if he walks by a place of worship he should not pray but to pass by it.

Its insisting that the person go to a source of water. and not approach the prayer 4:43. when in a state of sexual impurities.
If lamastumu nisaa means touching sexually then I wouldn't see a need for the part talking about a person passing through(Aabiree Sabeeli) because the meaning can remain the same, but of course Allah(swt) knows best and why.

Also seems like the form of ablution is needed if a person only touches a women without any sexuality involved but if there is no water present then rubbing earth would be suitable.

surah 5:6 is saying that before prayer perform ablution(wudu) but ablution is not enough if someone is in a state of ceremonial impurity. So how can tayammamoo be enough when contacting women sexually when even when water is present the verse is telling someone to take a full bath or to be purified and ablution is not enough.

It also seems like both of the verses are in connection with each other somehow.

If this is correct I think I would also try to figure out maybe which nisaa(women) are these referring to? Maybe anyone that is permissible to be married?

Allah(swt) knows best

Love to hear from you back to see what you think.

Eid Mubarak to you and your family and all that see this message. What a wonderful site to discuss and learn. Inshallah May Allah(swt) guide us always to even a nearer path to truth.

Salam


Reference

http://www.studyquran.co.uk/PRLonline.htm

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: mixed praying men and women?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 09:54:24 AM »
Dear brother Hamzeh,

Wa alaikum assalam

Please see my responses to your comment in blue italics.

The ‘lamasa’ has been used in the context of sexual impurity and covers the state of impurity when water cannot be found.

There seems to be a need for a full bath either purify or wash (taharu or taghtasilu) when touching in the sexual way in a state of Junuban.

Yes, if water is present. When water is not present, then the option for tayammum is given.

Maybe even if one is in the state of Junuban it seems like tayammamoo (earth to rub over the face and hands) is not valid.

The Quran does not say this. The phrase 'lamastumu l-nisa' covers this. It is a well-known expression in Arabic in the context to imply some sort of sexual contact. I have given examples of similar expressions in the link provided in my previous post.

If lamastumu nisaa means touching sexually then I wouldn't see a need for the part talking about junuban and a person passing through because the meaning can remain the same, but of course Allah(swt) knows best and why

One part of the verse is talking about a situation where water is ubiquitous / in ample supply; the second is talking about a situation when this is not the case (water is scarce / unavailable).  The exception to allowing prayer in a state of impurity is only given when one is in a state of travel or journeying. For example, whilst journeying and with some fear present, prayer can also be shortened (4:101) and general form abandoned (2:238-239). This is a general exception and remains remarkable in the context. It may not be appropriate to congregate for prayer or to seek water to bathe whilst on such journeys.

The form of ablution is needed if a person only touches a women without any sexuality involved but if there is no water present then rubbing earth would be suitable.

With respect, I do not agree with this. Also what is the theological implication of an alternative position? Are we suggesting that a woman is impure to touch? On what theological grounds from the Quran can such a position be warranted? Why is a man not impure to touch? The verses of ablution apply to both genders as a precursor to prayer.

surah 5:6 is saying that before prayer perform ablution(wudu) but ablution is not enough if someone is in a state of ceremonial impurity. So how can tayammamoo be enough when contacting women sexually when even when water is present the verse is telling someone to take a full bath or to be purified and ablution is not enough. 

As you know dear brother, the Quran was revealed to an audience of desert dwellers who may not always have had access to water given the dry conditions of Arabia. Even today despite dry climates, there are other places on earth where water can become scarce or situations where water may not be accessible. Tayammum is only an option when water is not present.

I hope that helps, God willing.

Belated Eid Mubarak to you too. May God bless you and your family iA.  :)

Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: mixed praying men and women?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 05:16:37 PM »
Salam brother Joseph.

You know, now that I keep in mind the presence of water separate from the absence of water I start thinking a little different. Thanks for waking me up on that.

To be honest, when I read your discussions regarding women and men praying together, and realized that there might not be any verses that permits or prohibits men and women praying together, I was a little shocked. Knowing the Quran is fully detailed and nothing omitted from the book concerning religion, I thought to myself that here has to be something regarding this matter. I thought that it was a religious matter and could be disturbing to some. I was actually thinking about it for many many hours and went to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night then suddenly I remembered those verses 4:43 and 5:6. And thought I would write to you before I forget that night. I guess from the culture I am from it seemed wrong to me, to be praying by another women or it would maybe bug me for my wife to be praying my another man or between.

After my last response, I had a couple days to think about the situation, and did realize concerning verses 4:43 and 5:6 that I should be taking into account that at times there is water present and at times there is none.

And I had a somewhat feeling of what you were going to respond with and was excited to find out. And after reading it I agree with you.

But what was really amazing is that I also realized why such a topic would be silent in the Quran. Even matters that are silent from a Qurans perspective has much meaning as to why there silent at times. ( I learned that from you )

As the day went by, and I thought of both the verses. I went to a get a cup of coffee and while the lady at the cashier handed me the change we accidentally touched each others fingers. It could of been possible I accidentally lightly touched a lady walking by in a very crowded environment. I stopped off at home and gave my kids and wife a hug. possibly tomorrow I will give my mother and my sister one too. It did not seem like there was anything unpure about any of that.

oh your wrote: "Are we suggesting that a woman is impure to touch? On what theological grounds from the Quran can such a position be warranted? Why is a man not impure to touch? The verses of ablution apply to both genders as a precursor to prayer. "

I did not mean that, I just thought its obvious that if a man touches a women the women automatically touches the man also, so that they are both in need of ablution. :) So I was implying both genders. But anyways thats not the case anymore.

Praying with my female family side by side would not disturb my prayer in anyway. But maybe praying side by side with a high school crush for example might just disturb it. It shouldn't but might.

Maybe at times father, mother, daughters and sons all pray together.

So it seems like its left up to either a single person or relatives/family or a group or community to choose on what they prefer. Making sure there co-operating with the decency of the Quran. Seems like the Quran is allowing people to make a choice to pray with close relatives and/or friends and/or believers in the manner that there intentions is praying to God alone.

Mary for example from the verse 3:43 "bow with those that bow down"

she could of prayed even alone behind or apart from those who were also praying, or side by side with her family or her father and brothers, and sisters if she had any. And could of chose to line up anywhere she wanted to. As you stated in another discussion that it "indicates participation".

Maybe a status of a man or women whether they are married or single could effect the decisions they make.

Sorry for making this a big deal, and spending more time than it should of on the topic. Its just before I heard of a mosque that used to do that and I looked at it like it was doing something wrong.

I guess if the intentions are right and the people are willing. Thats there choice and God knows best the intentions. And at the end of the day, there is options for everyone out there regarding the kinds of mosque to go. And regarding mixing at the hajj, seems to be in decency with the Quran.

Thank you brother Joseph. And always a pleasure to read your articles and always looking forward to reading new and old Facebook posts. Inshallah soon when I get facebook I can comment on your posts there as well.

Salamu Alikum


Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: mixed praying men and women?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2013, 07:13:55 PM »
Thank you for your response dear brother Hamzeh.

As you know, God is a God of all people. Different religions have different cultural practices when they congregate in front of God.

I have always wondered whether that is the reason for Quranic silence, to show that the need to congregate in worship of the Lord is fundamental, how one does it allowing for cultural sensitivities is quite another, secondary matter. That is the beauty of the Quran, its inclusiveness.

Even in synagogues a variety of seating arrangements exist. Some have mixed pews, balconies and others, separate rooms. In churches, gatherings can often be mixed. Most mosques have gender separation of some kind, but the holiest of mosques on earth does not.

So it appears from a Quranic perspective that there is no right or wrong way, as long as decency is exercised and I find the Quran’s position is very inclusive of different cultural and religious sensibilities. The purpose in the end is to worship God with minimal distraction.

"...To each among you have We prescribed a law (Arabic: Shir-atan) and an open way (Arabic: waminhajan). If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute”

As-salam alaykum  :)
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell