Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baaz of Saudi Arabia on the dangers of mixed gender education

Fatwa, posted 4.22.2010, from Saudi Arabia, in:
Religious Authority: 
Abdul-Aziz ibn Baaz
Websites and Institutions: 
Fatwa-Online, Internet Catalogue

Question: Many Islamic societies suffer from the problem of mixed education between boys and girls, which they have inherited from the time of colonialization or from the practice of copying western civilization. What are the dangers of mixed education and how can we rid ourselves of it?There can be no doubt that there is great harm in mixed education and that it is a threat to the modesty, chastity and character of both men and women. Islamic countries must, therefore, abandon it and provide separate education for men and women. This subject has been dealt with at great length. We have written about the subject whatever Allaah willed and other eminent scholars have also written about it.

Answer: It is part of our religion and it is incumbent upon the Islamic countries to segregate education so that both men and women are taught separately. This is obligatory both in universities and other institutions. The way to achieve this is for the Muslims to stand together and to cooperate in demanding this segregation. If they are sincere they will succeed, inshaa.-Allaah. We said previously, that it is necessary for those responsible in Islamic Countries to work together and cooperate with the people responsible for Muslim minorities in order to ensure that education is not mixed and that both boys and girls are taught separately. This is necessary to protect everyone from iniquity, immorality and temptation.

If this does not succeed and a country does not respond, then Muslims should pursue the matter themselves and spend whatever they can from their own wealth to establish a university where segregation of men and women can be implemented. In the same way, if there is no response from the state to their demands with regards to other schools, the Muslim minorities must do what they can by collecting money that has been generously donated for the sake of Allah. They must give generously and spend until there are Islamic schools, institutions and colleges that are not mixed.

This is their duty, and Allaah will ask them concerning it on the Day of Resurrection if they have been negligent. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says: "So, by your Lord, We shall certainly question them all concerning what they used to do" (Soorah al-Hijr, Aayah 92-93). The duty of the scholars is to encourage the wealthy to contribute in this matter. They must encourage them to establish segregated schools, institutions and colleges in order that there might be a far and wide reaching effect in benefiting the Muslims, both male and female, and in protecting them from mixing, which their enemies are keen to encourage. And there is no power, no strength except with Allah!
/ * Please note that there are different opinions available on this topic of co-education*