السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
I hope you and your family are in the best of health and Imaan. What is the ruling on sisters giving dawah online on and off camera, via InstaLive, Youtube, Facebook especially during times where the sisters can’t come together to meet and benefit from one another on a large scale? There are many sisters who do these things and are supported by well known speakers, is there any basis for this? بارك الله فيكم
وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
I hope as well that you and your family are in the best of health and Imaan.
The scholars of Islam have mentioned the guidelines for women doing Da’wah and these guidelines have been preserved from them in their books and tapes.
In terms of sisters doing Da’wah on social media off camera on platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc. then it is permissible according to the scholars provided that the sister who is doing Da’wah is capable and avoids anything haram, such as chatting with the opposite gender, speaking without knowledge etc.
Shaikh Muhammad bin Hizaam (may Allah preserve him) was asked about women using Facebook to spread knowledge and good to which the Shaikh replied, “In relation to women, then it is the same affair. If she wants to spread good and she is an intelligent woman, then there is no harm in accordance with the [guidelines] mentioned earlier. Otherwise, then the advice is to avoid it…”. End. [Reference]
The guidelines the Shaikh mentioned were to be free of falling into the disobedience of Allah and not spending a lot of time on it.
As for sisters going on camera whether on Youtube or other social media platforms is something the scholars do not allow. First, it involves taking videos. While the scholars differed on the use of videos for Da’wah, the strongest view among them is that it is not allowed. Or it may involve live-feed video which the scholars have also differed over. So this is the first issue with this matter.
Second, sisters going on camera leads to much fitnah especially in this day and age with what has made women to appear on the screen as a temptation for the men. For this reason, even the scholars who permit videos for certain reasons do not support the idea of women going on camera for the purpose of dawah.
Sisters must do Da’wah in the manner highlighted in the Qur’an, Sunnah, and the practice of the Salaf. The Sahabiyyaat and the female Scholars of the Salaf used to teach the women privately. If they taught both men and women, they would do so from behind a screen. For example, our Mother ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) used to teach from behind a veil as she taught Masruq from behind a veil [see al-Bukhari no. 5566 and Muslim no. 5566]. Also,
‘Abdullah bin Abi 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 asked from behind it” [al-Bukhari in his Tareekh (5/121)]
This is based on the statement of Allah when He says:
وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَـعاً فَاسْـَلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَآءِ حِجَابٍ ذَلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ
“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 hearts” [33:53]
Women teaching on camera exposes her to much fitnah, which is a reality when these videos are posted on Youtube or social media platforms. Even if sisters intend only sisters to view them, there is no guarantee that such videos will not fall in the hands of the wrong person.
It comes in the Hadith
of Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The woman is ‘awrah, so when she goes out, the Shaitan seeks to tempt her” [Saheeh at-Tirmidhi no. 1173]
In explaining the Hadith, Imam al-Munaawi (d. 1138 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “That is: it is detested that she emerge and appear in front of a man”. End. [Fayd ul-Qadeer (6/266)]. For those reasons, Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadi al-Wadii’ee (d.1421 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, in [Qam’ al-Mu’aanid (2/580)] and Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbad (may Allah preserve him) in [Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood (no. 101)] have mentioned it is not permissible.
Returning to a sister giving Da’wah over videos or television and the likes, then the scholars do not permit it for a number of reasons.
Shaikh al-Albani (d. 1420 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked the following question:
“Questioner: In Shaa Allah, I have a question. The television station has requested the sisters do a lesson teaching the Arabic language and the Noble Qur’an. My wife is one of the women who teaches the Arabic language and Qur’an well.
Shaikh: Where are you calling from?
Questioner: I am speaking from Germany
Shaikh: Who is requesting?
Shaikh: Who is requesting your wife to give a lesson on television?
Questioner: No it is not a lesson. However, the television anchor requested this. My wife stipulated that her face not be shown; however, just her voice be heard. The other two German Muslims have no issue with this; however, my wife and the other Arab sister said that their face will not be shown on the screen. How is this issue?
Shaikh: If their faces will not be shown on the screen and they are wearing the Legislated hijab, the jilbaab, and only their voice will be heard from them, then that is sufficient that their speech should be recorded in a tape and it is not a necessity to be on television.
Questioner: However, the German sisters do not object to this and they said, ‘Okay. perhaps our faces will be clear’. So the television company said that the faces of the German women will be clear and my wife and the wife of the other brother will have their backs visible [to the camera].
Shaikh: The German women are Muslim?
Questioner: Yes, they are Muslims for about 1 and half years, six months, four months.
Shaikh: We advise every Muslim woman, whether she is old in Islam or new to Islam, to not appear on television. Rather we advise the men to avoid appearing on it and to suffice with broadcasting the voice only. And to broadcast knowledge and advise by way of tapes only which are recorded by cassettes as they say.
Questioner: May Allah bless you our Shaikh”
End. [Fataawa ‘Abar al-Haatif was-Sayyaarah (no. 78)]
Likewise, Shaikh Abdurrahman al-Barrak (may Allah preserve him) was asked about a female Da’iyah going on satellite channels to give da’wah or pass verdicts while fully covered in Hijab. The Shaikh answered that it is not allowed [Reference]
Some people may argue that Shaikh Bin Baz (d. 1420 H.), may Allah have mercy upon him, said it is allowed for a sister to give a lecture to a mixed audience provided that she is fully covered with the legislated hijab. Therefore, it is allowed for her to go in front of a mixed audience for Da’wah. The response to this is the following:
First, the Shaikh in that very verdict was asked about recording the sister when she is giving the lecture in front of the mixed audience. The Shaikh said it is not allowed. He said, “However, the act of picture-taking, it is necessary not to do in these affairs. Rather it is necessary to record the voice without the picture because the origin of pictures is that they are haram as the Prophet (ﷺ) said,
‘The most severe punishment on the Day of Judgement is for the picture-takers’
So there is no need for pictures and there is no need to take her picture. However, her speech is recorded. The sermon and reminder is recorded and Allah will benefit by it whoever He wants without the need for pictures. Yes”
Second, while the Shaikh said this in one verdict, the Shaikh added many conditions to it [See here]. In fact, it comes in another verdict that the Shaikh’s actual action/application was that he would not allow the women to deliver public speeches in front of men [See here]. This along with the evidence cited above supports the stance of the majority of the scholars that it is not allowed nor was it the practice of the female Scholars from the Salaf.
So this verdict of the Shaikh (may Allah have mercy upon him) cannot be used as evidence and the Shaikh is against video recording a woman too like our other contemporary scholars.
In sum, a sister should avoid giving Da’wah through videos whether that be on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and the likes. Instead, she should do Da’wah in the manner highlighted in the Qur’an and Sunnah and practiced by the Salaf. A sister can use social media to spread benefit to others provided she steer clear from the haram. As well, she can set up private classes for her fellow sisters to teach them beneficial knowledge.
May Allah grant us all good
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan