Why does Islam not permit free mixing and socializing between men and women?
The Islamic injunction of segregation between men and women is a means to prevent the free mixing of the sexes, such as to prevent moral degradation of society.
Thus, undesirable situations which cannot be controlled afterwards, are not allowed to develop in the first place. Both men and women are to conduct themselves with modesty and propriety at all times, and especially when in each other’s presence.
This teaching is based on the fact that Islam recognizes that “prevention is the better part of a cure.” In this way, erosion of moral values can be prevented, and society is safeguarded from problems such as adultery, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Islamic philosophy behind the teaching of segregation is to establish the sanctity of the home; to create greater trust between man and wife and to bring temperance to basic human urges and to harness and discipline them. This creates an atmosphere where men and women, instead of resenting and degrading each other, treat each other with respect and understanding.