Friday, December 9, 2022 - 15 Jumada al-Ula 1444

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Mixed gatherings in community centers

Is it permissible to have a community center next to a mosque with a shared parking lot? In our community center, Muslims meet for social gatherings, dinner, education, children activities, sports, swimming, and musical events. However, some Muslims may not fully comply with the Islamic dress code or may not perform the daily prayers.

Answer

This is permissible provided it does not lead to anything prohibited by Islamic law.

According to the practice of generations of Muslims from among the predecessors and successors, the mere presence of males and females in the same place is not prohibited in itself. Rather, the prohibition applies to the manner of their gathering and if it contradicts the rulings of Islamic law. This includes, for example, women uncovering the parts of their bodies they have been commanded by Islamic law to cover, gathering to commit abominable acts, or unlawful private meetings with a member of the opposite sex. Prohibited gender mixing involves physical contact and not merely being present in the same place.

It is permissible to attend such gatherings and no one is blameworthy except those who exceed the limits of Islamic law. However, it is impermissible to attend if one fears temptation.

And God Almighty knows best.