Can women enter from the door for men in a mosque due to a temporary malfunction in the door for women? Is this permissible?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
It was authentically reported from Naafi‘ from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said (regarding one of the mosque’s doors): “We should leave this door exclusively for women to use." Ibn ‘Umar until he died, never again entered through that door.” [Abu Daawood and others]
The reason behind making an exclusive door for women is to prevent having them mix with men to avoid temptations. The author of ‘Awn Al-Ma‘bood, in explaining the previous Hadeeth, stated: “In the chapter of keeping women away from mixing with men in mosques, as for the Prophet’s, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying 'We should leave this door exclusively', it means the door of the mosque to which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pointed out 'for women to use'. This will be better so that women may not mix with men in going in or out of the mosque. The Hadeeth indicates that women should not mix with men in the mosque. Rather, they have to take a designated area in the mosque and pray there, following the Imaam. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar who used to adhere firmly to the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, until he died, never again entered through that door.”
Accordingly, the intermixing of men and women is not permissible in the mosque while they are going in or out of it. If this can be avoided, then they can enter from the door for men as long as the women enter when there are no men at the door and the men should wait until the women exit before entering.
If women do not attend the mosque due to the malfunction of their door, this will be more appropriate for them and a way of avoiding temptation. This is especially true if it is known that it is better for a woman to pray in her home, although it is permissible for her to do so in the mosque according to the opinion of the majority of the scholars.Allaah Knows best.
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