Attending Co-ed College
Fatwa No: 82431


I study in a college which is co-educational and is full of girls. I know looking at the girls is Zina of the eye, but there are so many girls that sometimes unintentionally I look at them. What shall I do to avoid this? Is it okay to answer when a girl speaks to me? Is it okay to take educational help from them?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

One should stay away from places where there is a mixture of males and females as best as he can. If one gets the possibility to study in an all-male/all-female environment, he/she should not study in a mixed one. This is safer for both sexes as made evident by the Sharee’ah. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones are the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst ones for them are the first ones.” This is because the first row of women is closer to the men's ranks and the last rank is farther from them.

If it is undesirable for men and women to be close to each other during the prayer, when the servant feels that he is before Allah, far from this life's temptations, how much more so it is in a place such as a university or a school? No doubt, this separation is even more desirable in such places than in mosques.

Al-Bukhari narrated from Umm Salamah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that she said: “After finishing the prayer with Tasleem, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to stay at his place for a while.” Imam az-Zuri said: “I think (and Allah knows best), that he used to wait (and the men also waited with him) for the departure of the women who had prayed in order not to mix with women.

Ibn Shihaab, a Hadeeth narrator, said: “I think that his staying for a while is to give women some time to leave before any of the men could catch up with them.

If you are in dire necessity to study in such mixed universities, you should then lower your gaze. Allah Says (what means): {Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.} [Quran 24:30]

So, if your gaze unintentionally falls upon a girl, you should immediately turn your gaze away from her. Jareer, may Allaah pleased with him, narrated: “I asked that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) about the unintentional look being forbidden. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “You should turn away your eyes.” [Muslim]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said to ‘Ali; “O Ali! Do not follow an unintentional look (at forbidden things) with another look. The first glance is for you (pardonable) whereas the second glance is not for you (i.e. that it is a sin).
You should keep praying the five daily prayers, and adhere to supplicating Allah, The One, every time, especially by the following Du'aa’ at the time before daybreak. [Ya Muqallib al-Quloob Thabbit Qalbi 'Ala Deenika wa ya Musarrifal Quloob Sarrif Qalbi Ela Ta'atika]. {O, Controller of Hearts, make firm my heart in your faith in your worship. O, Holder of Hearts, turn my heart to Your obedience.]. Allah Says (what means): {And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants.} [Quran 12: 24]

You should continuously offer your prayer, fasting and doing all kinds of good acts as much as possible, since the prayer restrains from shameful acts and evil, and fasting diminishes sexual desires.

You should leave your school as soon as possible after the end of class time. There is no problem in responding to a girl, if she addresses you, while lowering your gaze and not prolonging your talk lest she gets interested in you.

If you need educational support, you should seek help from your closest male friends and do not seek any help from girls unless you cannot find that support with male friends. Then you should strictly follow the above rules. You should not talk to them more than necessary. Allah Says (what means): {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.} [Quran33: 53]

For more benefit on the ruling of studying in mixed universities, please refer to Fataawa 363820, 82730, 87310, 128402.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa