Praise be to Allaah.
The owner of this café has done well by refusing to sell
forbidden substances in his café, such as refusing to sell cigarettes and
refusing to allow people to do things that go against Islamic etiquette. May
Allaah reward him with good.
But it remains for him to forbid mixing, because of the evil
and temptation that it involves. The Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate that mixing
is haraam. For example:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask
them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting
on this verse: i.e., just as it is forbidden for you to enter upon them, it
is also forbidden for you to look at them at all; even if one of you has a
need to ask them for anything, he should not look at them or ask of them
except from behind a screen.
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This verse
indicates that Allaah has given permission to ask of them from behind a
screen in the case of necessity, or when consulting them about some matter.
This meaning includes all women, because the basic principle of sharee’ah is
that the whole of a woman is ‘awrah.
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women.
If you keep your duty (to Allaah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in
whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should
be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner”
If there is this warning against being soft of speech lest
the one in whose heart is a disease be moved with desire, then what about
men sitting with women who are clothed yet naked, who go astray and lead
others astray, chatting and laughing together, and looking at one another?
What fitnah can be greater than that? What heart can remain free of sickness
when this is the case?
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
took care to prevent men mixing with women even in the dearest spots on
earth to Allaah, namely the mosques, when he separated the rows of men and
women, and he stayed for a while after saying the salaam so that the women
could depart, and he designated a door of the mosque specifically for women.
The evidence for that is as flows:
1 – It was narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased
with her) said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) had said the salaam, the women would get up and leave
when they had said the salaam, and he would stay for a while before getting
up to leave. Ibn Shihaab said: I think – and Allaah knows best – that he
stayed a while so that the women could disperse before the men got up to
leave. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 793.
2 – It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased
with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: “Why don’t we leave this door for the women?” Naafi’
said: Ibn ‘Umar never entered through that door until he died. Narrated by
Abu Dawood, 462; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
3 – It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased
with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “The best rows for men are the first ones and the worst are the last,
and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst are the first.”
Narrated by Muslim, 664.
This is among the greatest evidence that Islam forbids
mixing. The further away the men are from the women’s rows the better, and
the further away the women are from the men’s rows the better.
If these precautions are to be taken in the mosque which is a
pure place of worship, then taking them in other places is undoubtedly more
4 – It was narrated from Abu Usayd al-Ansaari that he heard
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
say, when he was outside the mosque and the men were mixing with the women
in the road. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said to the women: “Move aside, for you have no right to walk in
the middle of the road; you should walk at the sides of the road.” Then a
woman would walk so close to the walls that her garment would catch on the
wall because she walked so close to it.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 5272;
classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
For more details on the dangers of mixing, please see the
answer to question no. 1200.
Since mixing is haraam, the owner of this café is committing
sin by allowing it and refraining from denouncing it, and by helping these
people to commit sin by providing a place for them where they can disobey
What he has to do is to fear Allaah and not help to spread
evil and corruption among the believers. He should be keen to make his food
good (i.e., from halaal sources), for “every body that is nourished on
haraam, the Fire is more befitting for it,” as the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. Narrated by al-Tabaraani and Abu
Na’eem from Abu Bakr; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’,
Another version was narrated from Ka’b ibn ‘Ajrah: “No flesh
grows that is nourished by haraam but the Fire is more befitting for it.”
If he can prevent mixing, then this is what he must do, or
else he can restrict the café to men only. Otherwise he should look for
other, permissible work. Whoever gives up a thing for the sake of Allaah,
Allaah will compensate him with something better than it.
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He
will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could
And Allaah knows best.