The RIS convention invites female speakers to address the audience on a wide range of topics. These women usually speak on the stage in front of a mixed crowd consisting of men, women, and children. This practice has become normal for them and in the eyes of many Muslims. However, is this something Islamic? Is it allowed for women to stand and lecture in front of men?

If we look to the female Companions of the Prophet (may Allah be leased with them), then they used to teach from behind a veil.

Our Mother ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) use to teach from behind a veil as she taught Masruq from behind a veil [al-Bukhari no. 5566 and Muslim no. 5566]

And has been mentioned

from Abdullah Abu Ashabaa al-Baahili said: “I saw the veil of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) in the Jami’ masjid. She spoke to the people from behind the veil and she was asked questions from behind it” [al-Bukhari in his Tareekh al-Kabeer (5/121)]

Our mother Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was a Scholar and role model for all the women.

Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadi al-Wadi’ee (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:

“If she (a female caller to Allah) is requested to give a lecture in front of men, then she should not do it. For verily a woman is Awrah as comes

in the Hadith in Jami at-Tirmidhi from Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (ﷺ):

‎‏ الْمَرْأَةُ عَوْرَةٌ فَإِذَا خَرَجَتِ اسْتَشْرَفَهَا الشَّيْطَانُ

“The woman is Awrah, so when she goes out, the Shaitan seeks to adorn her.” [Graded Saheeh by Imam al-Albani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi (no. 1173)]

And Allah, the Exalted said:

‎وإذا سألتموهن متاعا فاسألوهن من وراء حجاب ، ذلكم أطهر لقلوبكم وقلوبهن

And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen [33:53]

And He said:

‎ولا تخضعن بالقول فيطمع الذي في قلبه مرض

then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.)  [33:32]

And He said:

‎ولا يضربن بأرجلهن ليعلم ما يخفين من زينتهن

And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment [24:31]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

‎مَا تَرَكْتُ بَعْدِي فِتْنَةً أَضَرَّ عَلَى الرِّجَالِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ

“After me I have not left any trial more severe to men than women” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

‎مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ نَاقِصَاتِ عَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ أَذْهَبَ لِلُبِّ الرَّجُلِ الْحَازِمِ مِنْ إِحْدَاكُنَّ

I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you [al-Bukhari]”

[Qama’ al-Mu’aanid (2/508)]. End translation

So this practice of female speakers speaking in front of men is not Islamic, which is yet another reason why not to attend this convention.

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan