#1 Women who wear niqab can remove it for salat. #2 There is no chance of socialising between men and women. In countries where the mixed Masjids still exist the culture does okay the mixing of men and women more, ect... For example, behaviour I have witnessed in Morocco. Yes the sahaba did pray with men in front and women in the back, but the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam cursed their behaviour when they stood together in the streets intermixed and chatting for no purpose, so much so did his words have an impact on the women of the Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them) that after that they used to walk so close to the walls that their clothes rubbed against those walls, to avoid going amongst the men in the center of the street. Which is, they went over and above what he told them to do. #3 If a new woman comes to the Masjid to learn about Islam and how to pray ect. it is not as essential that we focus on the state of her hijab first and foremost, we can focuss on things more important, ect. . #4 if one needs to loosen their clothes because of heat or a slipping hijab it can be done. #5 I have yet to see a woman who supports joining our Masjid side to the men's side (saying it is sunnah) wear anything close to what was worn by the women of the Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them). She is, at best (and I think that sufficient for salat) wearing what is pictured below: If she isn't wearing jilbab she was forbidden by the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam from going out to the Eid place and participating in social life. If she refuses to wear jilbab to the masjid, or wear proper khimar, she simply cannot argue she is doing it because the women of the Sahaba did it because she is unwilling to do it the waaaaaaaaay they did. Aisha R.A wore something very similiar below when she went out to salat at the Masjid (only of a burnt-orangish yellow colour):
...which is not what most sisters who want to rid themselves of partitions and screens want to legislate is part of their daily dress. Sure, if you dressed as above, and acted in the manner of the sahaba in all public things, I would fully support having the mixed masjid back, with men praying at the front and women in the back. But you can't support one sunnah and reject the other.
Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala says: "And when you ask the ladies for anything, ask them from before a screen. That makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs." [Surah al-Ahzab: 53] For women to go about uncovered in the company of men is inarguably a gross violation of the command given in this verse.
I see the screen as a convenience/kindness for me, so long as I can clearly hear the khutbah. I am not supposed to be looking at the men anyways so those sisters that argue they need to see the imam to feel more involved argue something not of the sunnah anyways. Women prayed at the back of the men. They could not see the imam through the crowd anyways. What is important at the Masjid for women, is examining our intentions for going. We go to learn and to teach, since, our precence at the Masjid beyond Eid is not a precribed part of our deen, but learning and teaching and guiding public life in this sense is the correct sunnah. Also, if I did not have the screen, I would not be able to go to th Masjid on my own, as I now do, as I would have to be concious of being alone with men. I am often the first to arrive for certain prayers, and then a brother, and the two of us will be the only ones in the Masjid for as much as twenty minutes. If there were not a wall between us, I would have to leave, as a man and a woman are not permitted in Islam to be alone together, if that man is not her maharam. It is prohibited for men to join women in one place in the absence of at least one of the women's close male relatives. The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade men and women from being alone together. He said: "Never is a man alone with a woman except that Satan is the third party with them." The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: "Do not enter into the company of women." I.e if the brother had proper adab, he would wait outside the masjid until a crowd of person entered in, but this is an inconvenience. The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam said "No man should enter into the presence of a woman after this day unless he is accompanied by one or two other men." [Sahih Muslim].
Ibn 'Abbas relates that he prayed one of the Eid prayers with the Prophet (peace be upon him). He informs us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed and offered a sermon, then he went to the women and offered to them a separate sermon, admonishing them and encouraging them to give charity. [Sahih al-Bukhari]. Ibn Hajr offers the following observations about this hadith: "The fact that he went to the women separately shows that the women were assembled separately from the men and were not mixed in with them." [Fath al-Bari (2/466)]
Also, it is the sunnah for men and women to have seperate entrances at the Masjid, and for the women to leave first and not stay around at the Masjid to socialise. Do we do this sisters?
Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw men and women mixing together on the road upon their departure from the mosque. He said to the women: "Hold back a bit. You do not have to walk in the middle of the road. You may keep to the sides." The narrator of the hadith commented that after that time, women would come so close to the buildings that their dresses would sometime cling to the walls." [Sunan Abi Dawood with a sound chain of transmission]
Ibn 'Umar related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about 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. [Sunan Abu Dawood with a sound chain of transmission. Al-Albani says: "This hadith is authentic according to the conditions set down by Bukhari and Muslim."]
Umm Salamah said: "When the Prophet (peace be upon him) completed the prayer, the women would get up to leave. He would then wait awhile before standing." Ibn Shahab said: "I believe that he waited for a while to give the women an opportunity to depart before the men." [Sahih al-Bukhari]Ibn Hajr comments: "In the hadith, we see that it is disliked for men and women to mix on the road. How much more, then, should such mixing be avoided inside of houses." [Fath al-Bari (2/336)]
It was related in al-Bukhari that women at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not circumambulate the Ka'bah along with the men. 'a'ishah used to go around the Ka'bah at a good distance from the men and avoided mixing with them. Once another woman bade to her to go forward with her so they could touch the corner of the Ka'bah. 'a'ishah refused to do so. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
One of 'aishah's handmaidens came to her and said: "O Mother of believers, I went around the Ka'bah seven times and touched the corner twice or trice".'aishah replied: "May Allah not reward you for pushing your way through men. It would have been sufficient for you to you to say "Allah Akbar" as you passed by". [Musnad al-Shafi'i]
There are two things that this shows us. First, 'a'ishah did not hesitate to circumambulate the Ka'bah when there were men around, nor did she forbid other women from doing so. She only refrained from crowding into men and mixing with them and this is what she prohibited others from doing. This shows us in the clearest of terms that the mere presence of men and women in the same place is not prohibited.Second, the mixing and contact between men and women circumambulating the Ka'bah that unavoidably occurs during Hajj under today's crowded conditions cannot be used as proof that such mixing is generally allowed.
Firstly, the practice of the people does not constitute any sort of evidence in Islamic Law. Secondly, what is happening today during Hajj is unavoidable. It is permitted out of necessity and cannot be made into a general rule for all times and circumstances. It would be fruitless for us to try and demand that women avoid contact with men while circumambulating the Ka'bah during Hajj. It would be equally impossible to ask them to delay their circumambulations until the crowds depart, especially since the women on Hajj are always accompanied by the others who came with them who cannot be forced to wait around.
It is pure sophistry for anyone to use these exceptional circumstances to argue that men and women are allowed to mingle under circumstances where no necessity exists. It is just as baseless as taking the other extreme and declaring the mere presence or men and women in the same place to be unlawful mixing.
If we are not willing, at all times, to behave in the manner of the women of Sahaba, we simply aren't ready for a mixed masjid. That is my opinion. Some of the sisters in my own community aren't. I would love to see us reach that state of imaan, inshaAllah, and understanding, but it just isn't there, only the argument that we should have no screen, even if that screen protects them from themselves.
Of course, I do not support any Masjid, that uses as a partition as a means of pushing women out of their role of studying and teaching at the Masjids. If they take away her wudu facilities but the men have a fine one, of they don't have enough room for the women but have lots for the men on their side, or one cannot clearly hear the khutbah, then they are going against the manner of the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam and the Sahaba in regards to the Masjid.