In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Does co-education promote spiritual sickness?

by Maryam Hedayat

Filed under: Featured,Opinion |


By: Maryam Hedayat


“I fail to understand why some Muslim scholars have problem with co-education. What’s wrong with the system?If Allah does not prohibit men and women from praying together in mosque, then who on earth are they to object about co-education”, remarked one of my friends during an evening chat.

She was angry over the news of co-education being banned in Libya. The government has recently passed a resolution to separate boys and girls in all educational institutions.

She is not the only one to dislike the idea of co-education being banned or discouraged in Libya. Surprisingly, there are many who have objection over this.

Co-education means where boys and girls together share a class in school or college to achieve knowledge.

This system of gaining knowledge is a cause of concern for practicing Muslims as it seems to encourage the intermingling of the opposite sexes.

Similarly, there are still many Muslims who support the idea of co-education, arguing in favor of it by comparing a very naive example of mosques with schools and colleges. Thus, they try to manipulate a religious directive in defense of their incompetent thought.

I wonder! At the same time I also question: ‘How can someone think of comparing the house of Allah with college or school? Isn’t there any difference between the two?

Unarguably, there is a huge difference between the environment of a mosque and that of a school or a college.

In moques when we enter we carry an overwhelming feeling of the presence of the Almighty. Our attention is oriented toward spiritual goal. Muslims, both men and women, are required to observe some etiquette while entering the house of Allah with submission and utmost reverence.

That is not the criteria set to be followed in a school or a college. Boys and girls have freedom under certain restrictions to interact, entertain and flirt with the time.

Further, in mosques men and women are not allowed to mix freely. While ladies are asked to dress properly before they enter, men are instructed to lower their gaze.

Narrated by Abu Huraira, the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) said: “Belief (Faith) consists of more than sixty branches, and Modesty (haya) is a part of belief.” (Bukhari)

The importance of modesty (haya) can also be found in this hadith of Prophet (pbuh):

Prophet (pbuh) said: “Haya does not bring anything except good.” (Bukhari)

Isn’t the modern co-education system in schools and other educational institutions going against the spirit of the hadith? Isn’t the mix education system in Muslim society likely to promote immodesty?

In mosques we stand in front of the Creator and we are fully concentrated towards Him. We worship, keep ourselves away from all unnecessary and worldly desires.

In contrast while visiting schools or colleges, both boys and girls have their own mood, way of style, manner of dressing, and so on. The premises of school are like a friendly and pleasant environment. Apart from gaining education, boys and girls have several co-curricular activities.

While studying together in a school, male and female learners suffer from some unavoidable distractions and magnetism of each other which are most likely to generate immorality.

Co-education is,in real, a copy of the west. The system was founded by Christians and other religions on the basis of bringing male and female together in every walk of life.

Muslim countries in enthusiasm of following and copying the west adopt the system of co-education without realizing its effects on the society.

Apparently if men and women are equal we have to first define what gender equality is.

Gender equality refers to equal treatment of individuals based on their gender.  Being equal does not mean that women and men are the same. It means that they have equal values and rights, and should be allowed equal treatment.

The negative aspect of co-education is engaging in some non-required activities, like mostly girls and boys are found hanging around those teashops and cafes, bunking the classes and going out for picnic together.

Perhaps in the co-education surroundings students have more opportunity and temptations to go astray. They cannot maintain the right etiquette as prescribed by the Islamic law at all times during school and college hours.

Seeking knowledge is a collective duty upon every believer. Getting education is considered as the fundamental right of every Muslim whether male or female.

Co-education is not an issue that has specifically been addressed by the Islamic law. It has also not been firmly prescribed by the Almighty.

Hence the co-education system in Islamic society can lead to moral degradation leading the spiritual health of Umma to sickness. It may corrupt the soul and may spoil the mind as to shake the ethical foundation of Islam for which it is being considered a religion of distinction.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of

IftikharAhmad 5pts

Every week there is a story about teachers getting involved with a pupil or more... What the heck is wrong with people these days???? Why do some teachers, male and female, overstep their boundaries? This isn't a new phenomenon it's been rife since I was at school. Shame on the teachers who get inappropriately involved with pupils it's unprofessional and inexcusable and makes life harder for those who actually just want to be good attentive teachers.This kind of relationship is far more common that the public at large might suspect. I taught for 30 years and during that time was aware of at least three unprofessionally close relationships between young, and not so young, female teachers and older students. In at least one of them, the teacher was in a senior position. I can only conclude that there is something missing in the emotional development of these women who find it difficult to make relationships with men of their own age and find the adoration and control they have over young students something very appealing. Whether it causes any harm is another issue.

What is it with teachers and pupils these days? When I was a teaching student years ago we were reminded often that were "in loco parentis" - acting in the place of parents. That made the idea of any attractions between staff and students just creepy when we were young teachers. We were also taught that professionals keep a distance between themselves and clients/students. . Are teachers not taught that anymore? Probably not, now they are "friends" not stand-in parents, or professionals. We can thank the slippery slide of liberalism for that.   This is one of the many reason why Muslim parents would like to send their children to state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models. Single sex schools are required for Muslim children. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This means the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islamic teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. IA London School of Islamics Trust


Truth hurts
Truth hurts 5pts

In the UK, single sex schools have higher female results & increased confidence, as they are allowed to be themselves & flourish without testosterone-fueled boisterous distractions.

IftikharAhmad 5pts

A Muslim is a Muslim. He/she is neither moderate nor fundamentalist. A state funded Muslim school is for Muslim children with Muslim teachers as role models. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. So if it has been rated outstanding repeatedly, surely things are going well. It's an all girls Islamic school. Why on earth would you suggest a male teacher/governor, just to disrupt and cause an unbalance in the way things are being conducted. Keep your noses out of it. Your children are not being forced to go there, this is just taking free will away from those who opted to study in such an environment. and now all the sheeple are either going to red arrow, or moan, without even thinking about what is being done. brainwash the masses, check-box can be ticked! A state all girls school with female teachers, a lot more comfortable than having men around. British schooling is the home of institutional racism. This is the main reason why Muslim parents would like their children to state funded Muslim schools.  Islam is often criticised for being anti women, and now for being pro- women. There's no pleasing some people. The Olympics employ segregation of the sexes when competing in most events, so does Wimbledon, FIFA etc. The whole point of going to an all girls school is just that..... All girls!!! Otherwise they'd go to a mixed school, they're not harming anyone just getting on with it but you gotta stir it up.Why does it matter? They will feel more comfortable as the staff are the same gender and it is  the schools choice, continue spreading Islamophobia.

A Muslim girls’ state school which recruits only female staff has been criticised by Ofsted inspectors for a lack of male influence on pupils. Faversham College in Bradford has been told to introduce male role models to its ‘all-female environment’. The 664-pupil school was visited by inspectors last month as Ofsted’s ‘Trojan Horse’ probe into attempts to impose a strict religious agenda on schools was extended beyond Birmingham. The watchdog found that music was not taught as a separate subject to 11 to 14-year-olds and some teachers were given performance targets to develop the school’s ‘Islamic ethos’. Inspectors also reported that the school operated an ‘all-female learning environment’ which extended to male governors ‘not interact[ing] with students’. This Muslim bashing has to stop and the Tories should stop this attack which they are using as a convenient strategy to win middle England votes from UKIP. At least there won't be any teacher/ student relationship! These schools have existed for a long time. Why the sudden uproar? Why should there be male teachers in an ALL MUSLIM GIRL school same reason as to why there's only all females in a nuns convention school! And why should it be open to all when they are teaching you about Islam and the Quran? Common sense really! Girls do better academically in single-sex schools and are more likely to pursue maths and science. Would it be printed in the same way if it was an all women staff at a catholic girls school. Or all male staff at a boys catholic school. Doubt it. What are the results like at the school? Is there any evidence of extremism as most people think that every Muslim school is extremist ( I personally don't, but seems like most people are full of stupid thoughts). I would estimate there must be thousands of schools in the UK where there are only female staff. I know of six, out of about thirty schools where this is the situation and several more where there is a token male teacher. All are state funded rural primary schools of which four are faith schools (Church).

Muslim schools should be inspected by Muslim members of the Ofsted. They understand the needs and demands of the Muslim children as well as their parents. Twenty leading educationalists and Muslim leaders have questioned Ofsted's impartiality in the Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' affair, education consultant Robin Richardson reflects on the factors behind its controversial recent inspections. What gives OFSTED the right, or indeed any Brits, to preach to minority groups about how they should live their lives. This is a cosmopolitan country, the Muslim community have the right to educate their children how they choose. What has being British got to do with your religious belief? In Britain there are Hindus Sikhs pagans Jewish Buddhists atheist Zoroastrians Rasta's and many more should they all change there religious beliefs because they are British? Studying the Qur'an will certainly help towards these children becoming fully integrated citizens of the UK. Like many Ofsted stories this is no news.There are lots of schools up and down the land without male teachers.Teaching is so female dominated you wonder why pupils are so poorly behaved.After all feminism blames men for everything and here are the results of female dominance...   Faversham – motto ‘In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful’ – aims to educate girls aged 11 to 18 ‘in the context of the Islamic Sunni faith as a way of life’. The designated faith school was judged ‘outstanding’ at its last full Ofsted inspection and is regularly among the highest-performing state comprehensives in the country.Ofsted placed five schools in Birmingham special measures earlier this month after investigating allegations of a concerted attempt to introduce a strict Islamic agenda in state schools. As soon as they see any words related to Islam, the masses are always going to be against it. Common sense isn't around as much as it used to be before. Have these inspectors not been to another single sex school before? Plenty of them keep a single sex staff as well.   ‘Faversham College was established in 1984 for 11 to 18-year-old Muslim girls, in response to parental demand for single-sex education based on religious beliefs’ she said. ‘When applying for voluntary-aided status in 2001, it was made very clear to the DfE (DfEE as was) and the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (LEA) that the school’s intention was to continue to operate with female-only staff, based upon two legal opinions obtained at the time by the school. At its last full Ofsted inspection and is regularly among the highest-performing state comprehensives in the country. Why the venom against a high achieving school? If these young ladies turn out to be high achievers with good employment prospects they will integrate enough. Have you actually read any Ofsted reports on this school? It's one of the highest achieving comprehensives in the country and the girls are well educated with many going into higher education and professional jobs.

‘This position was accepted by the DfEE and LEA at the time. The school has recently taken further legal advice from a leading QC, who has confirmed that the school’s policy of a female-only teaching environment is not unlawful and complies with the terms of the Equality Act 2010.’  All female staff? Not so good, but then we don't have to worry about pupil-teacher relationships. Hopefully OFSTED are taking similar action about the lack of male role models in primary schools. I'm not really surprised that the teaching staff are all women. Better to be safe than sorry. 'British standards' includes legislation which allows for single-sex environments and this school has been advised that it does comply with the law. The report asks for some male 'role-models' and I'm sure the school will seek guidance on how best to meet this requirement. It doesn't necessarily mean they have to employ male teachers.


London School of Islamics Trust

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