Saudi Gazette translates a piece from the Arabic Al-Jazirah newspaper reporting that Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has issued a fatwa blessing men and women working together in the marketplace. So long as they don’t get up to any hanky-panky, of course.
Comments to the article are a mixed bag. There are distressing ones that suggest that women today just aren’t as moral as those who lived at the time of the Prophet and so laws must be stricter. This is, as the article says, just using piety as a pretext. I’d say the education system has a ways to go yet…
The Grand Mufti on men and women mingling
Samar Al-Muqrin | Al-Jazirah newspaper
I was impressed by the reply the Kingdom’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh gave to a question he was asked during a lecture in Riyadh last week on the permissibility of selling and buying between men and women.
The Grand Mufti said there was nothing in the Shariah that forbids buying and selling between men and women provided they adhere to the rules of public conduct. He said this is permissible so long as they do not talk more than what is necessary and avoid “illicit seclusion”.
In this reply, the Grand Mufti has issued a final ruling on this matter. It is against all who claim righteousness and bar women from working in lingerie shops in the markets. Such people also carry out attacks against the Ministry of Labor under the pretext of piety. They protest against the employment of women and seek to prevent our girls from earning a living.