Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to study medicine in a university with men and women?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
The sad reality nowadays is we live in an era of lewdness and corruption. Shaytan, our enemy and from who we should constantly guard ourselves is making an all-out effort to deviate us from the straight path.
Generally, the usual in universities is there are many evils and unlawful actions prevalent. It would not be permissible for a female to leave their homes to attend such institutes. Intermingling of genders has been explicitly prohibited in many verses of The Quraan and Ahadith. Moreover many incidents of female abuse, rape, pregnancy and drugs in universities are well known ills, common in today’s world.
Allah enjoys on both males and females to restrain their eyes from looking at each other. “Enjoin the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty… Likewise enjoin the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty… (Surah An Nur: 30-31)
Further in Surah Al-Ahzab Allah says “…When you ask them (the wives of the Prophet) for anything then ask from behind a screen. This is a means for greater purity for your hearts and their hearts…” (Al-Ahzab: 33)
Imam Qurtubi states: “This verse indicates the permissibility to ask and communicate with the wives of the Prophet from behind a screen. All Muslim women would be obligated by the same regulation. (Qurtubi: Vol14, P201)
Ahadith on the prohibition of men and women intermingling are many. Jarir ibn Abdullah narrates that I asked the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) about the sudden glance on the face (of a non-Mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes. (Muslim, 1015)
Uqba bin Amir narrates that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Beware of entering upon the ladies.” A man from the Ansar said, “Allah’s Apostle! What about the in-laws of the wife?” The Prophet replied, “The in-laws of the wife are death itself.” (Bukhari)
The above verses of the Quran and the Ahadith of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) indicate the importance of observing segregation. While we acknowledge ones intentions may be noble and the need for studying in a university, the practical realities and dangers to ones Imaan cannot be ignored. Due to the many unavoidable impermissible elements, a female should not attend such a university.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)