Interaction between men and women in a society is obvious and cannot be wished away. As much as we can try to artificially prohibit interaction between the genders, it happens on a daily basis in society where men and women have to interact. Trying to forbid this is in actual fact only creating more difficulties on Muslims to practice the Deen whereas the Quran promises that Allah did not make the Deen for us difficult.
Don't the Saudis know by now that nowhere does the Quran stop the interaction between the genders. In actual fact, what the Quran stops is acting immodest in society. The Quran gives us certain guidelines to follow whenever genders interact. The true Muslims always remember the commands of Allah when mingling with the opposite sex.
3:135 Such men and women quickly correct any wrong or indecency that has occurred from them, by remembering the Commands of Allah, and thus, protect themselves from trailing behind in humanity. And who can absolve such imperfections but Allah? And they know well enough to refrain from persisting in whatever (wrong or indecency) had occurred from them.
The verse is quite clear, and explains who these men and women are. The Quran says that they are the candidates of paradise (3:134)
The Quran goes further and elaborates that these men and women effectively guard their chastity. Can we see how the Quran guides us to prevent lewdness? Unlike the mullahs that want to ban this interaction, the Quran gently guides us when we intermingle.
4:15 Protection of honor and chastity for men and women, both, is the cornerstone of a virtuous society (17:32, 4:24). If any woman or a group of women spread sexual immorality or lewdness in the society, it is required that the appropriate court takes four honorable and reliable witnesses. If their testimony corroborates with other evidence (12:26), confine them to their houses, since immorality is as contagious as good conduct. This confinement would be for an indefinite period, unless such women seek the Way of Allah, such as repentance and amendment, or the singles among them get honorably married.
In the above verse the Quran spells out the appropriate action that must be taken reagrding those trangressing the boundaries that the Quran has set. Furthermore, the appropriate action and remedy is spelled out in clear terms. The Quran leaves nothing to doubt. The Quran does not leave it for the imams to devise the law through their schools of thought. Therefore, we do not need to conjure up all kinds of obscure laws inconsistent with the clear Quranic guidelines.
4:16 If a couple spreads such immorality or lewdness in the society, both of them shall be punished by the appropriate court of law. If they repent and amend, leave them alone. Allah is the Acceptor of repentance, Merciful.
4:17 Allah graciously accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance, and then return quickly to the right conduct. Allah turns to them in Mercy. He is the Knower, the Wise.
4:18 The forgiveness is not for those who commit transgressions until death comes to one of them and he says, “ Behold, I repent now.” (They have no time to make mends). Nor is the forgiveness for those who die as deniers of the Truth. We have prepared an awful suffering for them.
The question then needs to be examined by the saudis and other mullahs should be:
How should the sexes conduct themselves in everyday life?
Again the Quran gives the appropriate guidelines. The verses of the Quran is relevant for all times and all situations. Allah knew that we will be living in different societies and that the majority of muslims will be living outside the traditional arab societies. Thus Allah set these guidelines to make life easy for us and not difficult as the exponents of hadith have been doing. If we blindly follow these hadithist fatwas, we will find that existing in society will be extremely difficult. And the reason for these difficulties is, because we made the Qur’an "MAHJOOR"
The Quran does not demand that the genders be rigidly seperated and and neither does the Quran forbid intermingling in general society. Allah has given humanity the ability of free will and choice. At the same time Allah also provides for us guidelines so that we can grow our humanity. After all we are not animals. (although some of humanity do act animalistic at times). Therefore, we are advised by the Quran, live amicably and respect each other. In the last part of verse 4:25 the advice is for us humans not to act like animals.
4:25....Men and women must be patient and exercise self-control while waiting to get married. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
To those that want to spread mischief in society by indulging in indecency, the Quran warns:
9:67 The hypocrites, both men and women, are all of a kind. They enjoin the doing of what is wrong and forbid the doing of what is right, and withhold their hands from doing good. They are oblivious of Allah, and so He is oblivious of them. (Whoever forgets Allah, forgets himself and his honored stature of being a human 59:19). Verily, the hypocrites drift away from humanity.
But those women and men that honour the laws of Allah as expounded in the Quran, do not indulge in indencies.
9:71 And the believers, both men and women, are colleagues one of another. They enjoin the doing of Right and forbid the doing of Wrong (The distinction between right and wrong will never be arbitrary. The Qur’an is the eternal Criterion of what is right and what is wrong 2:185). Together, they help establish the Divine System, and set up the Just Economic Order of Zakat
So, in the event that one has erred the remedy is prescribed in Allah's Book:
9:112 Triumphant are those who: - Return to the Right Path and take corrective action as soon as they feel that they have erred. - Obey the Commands of Allah. - Praise Allah in word and action by serving His creation. - Pick up lessons from travel and from history. - Are always humble before the Divine System. - Adore Allah alone. - Promote the Qur’anic Values, and resist the non-Qur’anic customs. - Guard against trespassing the Limits ordained by Allah.
These are the men and women who deserve a pleasant life in both worlds (33:35, 66:5). Give them the glad tiding (O Messenger). Those that want to live a decent life without lewdness and without the irrational restrictions that the manmade books expound on the masses will certainly be able to do so because if we want to be guided, Allah will do so:
10:25 Allah calls to the Lasting Abode of Peace, and leads men and women to the Straight Path. This Guidance can only be achieved according to His Laws (4:88).
On the contrary, those that refuse to submit to the divine Laws will conjure up all kinds of contradictory laws. To them the Quran says:
24:26 Evil women keep company with evil men, and evil men keep company with evil women...
In Surah Al-Ahzab when Allah addresses the wives of the prophet on how to conduct themselves, this is in essence a guideline to humanity in general for that is part of the reason why it is related in the Quran.
33:31 And whoever of you is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and helps augment the society, We shall give her reward twice-over, for, We have readied for her a most excellent sustenance.
33:35 Verily, for: Muslim men and Muslim women. - Believing men and believing women. - Committed men and committed women (committed to Allah’s Cause). - Truthful men and truthful women. - Steadfast men and steadfast women. - Humble men and humble women. - Charitable men and charitable women. - Abstaining men and abstaining women (abstaining from all vices). - Chaste men and chaste women. - Men who remember Allah much and women who remember (Him much). (For them) Allah has readied the protection of forgiveness and an Immense Reward. (3:194, 4:124).
Now comes the explicit warning to be wary of practicing laws other then the laws expounded by Allah and the Prophet through the Quran:
33:36 It is not fitting for a believing man or a believing woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to claim freedom of choice concerning themselves. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed, gone astray in error manifest.
The Guideline on how to dress and conduct ourselves modestly without any of the extremes is given in clear terms:
33:59 O Prophet! Tell your wives, your daughters, and women of the believers that they should draw loose fitting garments over their person (when in public). This is easy and proper, so that they may be recognized and not bothered. Allah is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful. (24:31)
The best way is to follow the general rules of the Quran and ignore manwritten books which ultimately only complicates the way of life which Allah promises to make easy for us.(16:69)
57:18 Behold, the men and women who stand true to their proclamations of belief and lend a goodly loan to Allah, they will be repaid manifold. And theirs will be a generous reward.
These men and women are of the Muslalleen. And who are the Musalleen?
70:22-35 ... - Those men and women who preserve their chastity.
The believers will not subject themselves to hide their faces, to subjugate their daughters into covering their hair. The believers will also not refuse to shake the hands of the opposite sex if offered in their work places and businesses. They will not forcibly segregate men and women socially. The believers obey when Allah commands them in the Quran against lewdness.
6:151 ----Do not go near immodesty or lewdness whether openly or in secret.
It is easy for the believers to be morally upright by just adhering to the simple but wise Quranic commands:
24:30 Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and guard their modesty. This helps them grow in character. Verily, Allah is Aware of what they do.
24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their modesty.
Now how do we know what modesty means? Do we need to run to books written centuries after the revelation of Al_Furqaan? No, definitely not as the Quran gives us that definition as well if we just care to read Allah's Book:
4:24 ... However, seek them in honest wedlock by giving them a generous marital gift as Muhsineen ...(let marriage be a fortress of chastity). You shall not waste your energies on lust (and go not near adultery 17:32)...
'Muhsineen' = Those who have guarded their chastity = Modest men and women = Chaste people = Those who honor their marital bond.
On the otherhand what is immodesty?
'Musaafihin' = Those who spill = Those who waste their energies on lust.
Thus the Muhsineen are aware of the Quranic boundaries and always on their guard because they know:
58:7 Do you not realize that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. There is no secret meeting of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wherever they may be. And ultimately, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they truly accomplished. Verily, Allah is Knower of all things.
The Muhsineen do not follow their own desires but abide by the divine laws at all times. Thus they need not be to be seperated into pens like animals and if let loose that they will go haywire and copulate. Like the Quran describes in the next verse:
25:43 Have you seen him who has taken as god his own desire? Can you be an advocate responsible for him?
May Allah guide us in our quest to honour the Book of Allah as it should be done and to help erradicate the manmade laws and injunctions which are designed to treat the people as unthinking rualistic masses. And to treat us as animalistic people that act on desire everytime we are in the company of the opposite sex.
If Allah wanted the sexes to be segregated, then surely it would have been clearly spelled out in the Book of Allah. We as the Muhsineen say, "Our Lord, we lsiten and we obey to only Your Commands"