Fatwa number: 228

Category:  Fatwas about family – woman

A woman removing her headscarf to have her photo taken for an identity card

The question:

A woman wants to get an identity card and she was asked to remove her headscarf completely or to wear it in a way that some of her forelock appears and her ears can be visible. Is she allowed to do that?

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Women are obliged to cover their hair, neck, ears, the upper part of the chest, bosom and every part that is considered ‘Awrah’ (a private part) according to the verse of veiling and covering mentioned in the Quran.

Based upon that, woman is not allowed, according to the Islamic law, to remove her headscarf in order to get an identity card or a passport, unless a sure nuisance or an inevitable and constraining harm will happen if she does not do it, and there was not any alternative means to present a photo wherein she wears the veil. In such a case, for me: “Anything narrowed shall be broadened” for the compelled person, according to the verse:

﴿فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ[التغابن: 16].

The meaning of the verse:

So fear Allah as much as you are able﴿ [At-Taghâbun:16].

And the verse:

﴿وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُمْ مَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ[الأنعام: 119].

The meaning of the verse:

He has explained in detail to you what He has forbidden you, excepting that to which you are compelled﴿ [Al-An'ām:119].

  And “if it is broadened -for him- it (the judgment) will be narrowed”. Therefore, it is left to his faith to estimate the necessity that fulfills the conditions(1).

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers on the 14th of Shawwâl, 1420H

Corresponding to the 22nd of January, 2000G

(1) See the fatwa 643: The norm concerning the rule: “Necessity makes forbidden things permissible”.

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