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Search Fatawaa

Subject : What Supervisors of Children`s Care Homes are Obliged to Observe

Fatwa Number : 3316

Date : 07-09-2017

Classified : Relations between the two sexes

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

The Ministry of Social Development receives children (1-18) who need protection and care. They are kept there until their social conditions are stabilized and they are set on the right track. Could you kindly clarify the ruling of Sharee`ah with regard to conditions of separating males and females in beds so as to act upon that?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all of his family and companions.

Through its wise legislations, Islamic Sharee`a has taken man`s nature into account. Therefore, he/she was granted what is beneficial, and denied what isn`t. Moreover, Islam has paid attention to the issue of gender, and among God`s signs in this universe is that a male has a special nature that differs from that of a female. About the story of Mary (May Allah be pleased with her), it was stated in the Quran: " And no wise is the male Like the female" {Al-Imran/36}.

It should be taken into consideration that this verse isn`t about favoring one gender over the other, rather, it establishes the difference between both based on the special nature of each as well as what is of benefit to them and society. Accordingly, Islamic Sharee`ah urges guardians and supervisors at children`s care homes to act as role models in applying the obligations and etiquettes that each child must have. This is in addition to making them get used to these before reaching puberty. For example, asking permission, lowering gaze, and preserving chastity. Allah, The Almighty said: " O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence)" {An-Nur/58}. The Prophet (PBUH) enjoined separating between genders in beds from early age. He (PBUH) said: Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and beat them for it (prayer) when they become ten years old; and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.{ Sunan Abi Dawud 495}. According to Muslim scholars, it is imperative to separate children in beds on which they sleep once they reach ten years of age, be they brothers, brothers and sisters or sisters. "Once boys reach the age of ten, they must be separated in beds, and the same rule applies to boys and women as well as boys and men since such a thing could drive them to dissoluteness, even after a while….The purpose, here, is to separate them in their beds on which they sleep, when they reach ten years of age, to prevent what is feared to lead to temptation as a way of preventing what leads to evil and what is forbidden from taking place." {Hashyat Ibn Abdeen}.

According to the author of {Mawahib Al-Jaleel}, "Separation" here means: "Each must sleep in a separate bed." However, once he/she reaches puberty, the Sharia rulings which apply to adults apply to them.

In conclusion, guardians, supervisors of children`s care homes, and organizations in charge of children`s affairs in general are obliged to observe the following: First: Giving a separate bed for each child that reaches ten years of age. Second: Separating males and females once they reach this age. Third: All must preserve chastity, be they children, supervisors, or workers at such homes. And Allah knows best.



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