Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
Since my reaction on this issue has created a stir amongst the Ulamah and laymen, here is old response on Sunniforum which I wrote which explains the position clearly.
Issue and Disagreement Explained:
There are many on this forum who are perceived to be against women’s education and despite numerous clarification I am somehow lumbered with them, so I would like to clarify my position on the matter and elaborate on the objection.
Shaykh Al-Hafidh Ibn haj’r Asqalani (RA) who wrote the famous Sharh (of Saheeh Bukhari) in 17 volumes entitled “Al-Fathul-Bari” has two separate Muhadithaat in his Ijaza namely:
- Zaynab Bint Kamal (RA) *
- Aisha Bint Abdul-Hadi (RA) *
With the later being Hafidh of 400 books of Hadeeth and the ability to lecture (in Hadeeth) from the Damascus Mosque.
We also know that our Mother Sayyidina Aisha (RA) narrated the most Ahadeeth from our beloved and noble Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam).
So ONLY AN IDIOT would argue against women’s Islamic education and stand in their way of seeking the knowledge of their Deen and the pleasure of Allah (SWT).
The phenomenon of our times known as the “Girls Darul-ulooms” in UK consists of two sets of students:
- Local Muslimaat who come in the morning, attend the classes and go home and they are accompanied by their Maharim
- Muslimaat who live in a different town and their parents drop them off and they live on premises while they attend classes
The phenomenon of our times known as the “Girls Darul-ulooms” in UK consists of two sets of teachers
- Alimaat who interact with these students on a daily basis
- “Alims” who teach and interact on a daily basis (from behind a curtain)
Our objection is to “part 2” of both scenarios.
The supporters of Girls Darul-ulooms” in UK say that Parents/Family drive them in their cars to the institution and then they remain inside UNTIL they are picked up so there is no Shariah rule (of travel breached). We say that such institutes where Muslimaat were dropped off have NEVER EXISTED in the Muslim Ummah even UNTIL 100 years ago, let alone in the time of Sahaba (RA)! We ask that historical precedence and examples should be given in support of this “hostel/dormitory” like scenario.
The supporters of Girls Darul-ulooms” in UK say that “Alims” teach from behind the curtain etc and we say that normal and frequent teaching (interaction of genders) is against the Tareeqa of our Akabir and disagreed with.
Both matters have been clearly explained in Ahsanul-Fatawa by Shaykh (Mufti) Rasheed Ludhyanwi (RA).
The supporters of Girls Darul-ulooms” say that these are run by “Shaykh A” and he is known for his Taqwa and they are run in a well observed & Shariah compliant manner and we ask, “Show us the Islamic precedence for these institutes and if you can’t THEN CLEARLY tell people that you have started a matter which didn’t exist even in the recent past!”
The solution is to have:
- Adhere to every single guidance on the matter by Ulama & Mashaykh.
- Local institutes where Muslimaat are dropped off by Maharim and then picked up. So instead of having BIG MASSIVE institutes, have little ones dotted around the country.
- Taught by Alimaat & Hafidhaat exclusively who are connected to Mashaykh and involved in their Islaah.
- Use technology where possible and that has been offered to any Alimah on SF (or otherwise) and any assistance which can be provided
We neither doubt the knowledge or Taqwa nor the sincerity of the Ulama & Mashaykh behind these institutes but we believe that it’s the “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole” and slight adjustments need to be made to the system.
All of the above is regarding normal Muslimaat with families (and not Reverts, widows or Muslimaat who have special circumstance) and the later can be discussed if needed.
Instead of discussion on issues, we get personal abuse, taunting and mocking (about other matters in Ahsanul-Fatawa) etc and Allah (SWT) knows best.
So you now judge the matter to see if the objections are justified or is it “hostility or disdain?” Forgive us for not taking the word of “Shaykh A” on this matter which has pretty much been absent from Islamic history for over 1300 years ago!
* I am narrating the last names from memory so if someone believes that I have made an error, please correct me.
What is the basis of our objection:
This issue of boarding Muslimaat away from their families and being taught on a REGULAR & FREQUENT BASIS by men (even when girls attend local Darul-ulooms and go home) is not needed? Why do you need men to teach women Tajweed and basics of Madrasa Nisaab (curriculum)? Why haven’t we produced competent Alimahs who can teach Bahishti Zewar after years of study?
Shah Hakeem Akhtar Saheb (HA)’s will (advice) of Girls Darul-ulooms:
There is ALMOST UNANIMOUS DISAGREEMENT from Mashaykh & Akabir of Deoband on this issue which forces us to make a stand on the issue and hereunder is the advice/will of Shaykh (Maulana) Shah Hakeem Akhtar Saheb (HA) to his son on the issue and we will just translate the first two clauses:
- DO NOT EASTBLISH boarding house (for girls) as it will become extremely difficult to be cautious in this regard
- DO NOT PERMIT administrators and teachers to discuss or communicate directly with female teachers rather wives, Khala, daughters should be utilised for exchanging (necessary) instructions and salary payments (etc). It is feared that direct communication will turn MADARASA OF GIRLS into LOVE OF GIRLS!
- (Point 5) ONLY PERMIT contact of women with women in the entire Madrasa…
Problems in UK:
We believe that the name of our Akabir & Mashaykh is being tarnished in the name of Tassawuff on this issue as NONE have approved this system of boarding and continous contact between men and women and it has now escalated to the point where Deobandi men are teaching Deobandi women without a physical barrier in UK
So we don’t accept the authority of Hazrat A or Hazrat B on this issue at all!