Ruling On Taking Off Hijaab When Travelling Abroad: Uncovering For The Identity When Travelling
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
What is the ruling on taking off hijaab and
uncovering the face when traveling abroad in obedience
to my mother's demands, on the grounds that I attract
Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible for you or for any other woman
to take off your hijaab in the kaafir countries, just
as that is not permissible in any Muslim country. It
is obligatory to observe hijaab in front of non-mahram
males whether they are Muslims or kaafirs; indeed it
is more obligatory in the case of kaafirs, because
they have no faith to keep them from doing that which
Allaah has forbidden.
It is not permissible for you or any other woman to
obey parents or anyone else in doing that which Allaah
and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) have forbidden. Allaah says in Soorat al-Ahzaab
(interpretation of the meaning):
"And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want,
ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your
hearts and for their hearts"
In this aayah Allaah explains that for women to
observe hijaab and be screened from non-mahram men is
purer for the hearts of everyone. And Allaah says in
Soorat al-Noor (interpretation of the meaning):
"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze
(from looking at forbidden things), and protect their
private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to
show off their adornment except only that which is
apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way,
or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil,
gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all
over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and
bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to
their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband's
And the face is the greatest part of beauty or
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may
Allaah have mercy on him)from Al-Hisbah magazine,
issue no. 39, p. 14
Uncovering the face in order to
establish the identity of a woman when travelling
I am convinced about this that it is obligatory
to cover the face and hands though there is ikhtilaf
about this, but brother now i have a problem,
currently i am doing my Alevels in a non coeducation
college,but when i will be going for my exams in
British council inshaAllah i have to show my face in
order for them to recognise me.i didnt know before
that i will be sinful to show my face, but what do i
do now that i have done the registration, and what
even about when i go to saudi or any other country i
have to show my face in case they should be knowing
Praise be to Allaah.
A woman is obliged to cover her face in front of non-mahram
men according to the more correct of the two scholarly
opinions, because of evidence which has been explained
in the answer to question no. 11774.
It is permissible to uncover the face in some
situations where it is required by necessity or need
or interest, such as establishing identity, medical
treatment, testimony before a judge, and so on. Please
see the answer to question no. 2198.
But you should understand that necessity should be
properly estimated and not exaggerated and you should
limit it only to that which will meet the need. So if
you have to uncover your face in order to prove your
identity, then that should be limited to the face
only, and you should also avoid adornment and makeup.
If it is possible for a woman to establish your
identity, then it is not permissible to uncover it in
front of a man. You should ask for that at the British
Council and in the airport, before you uncover your
If a woman cannot do that, then it is permissible to
uncover your face in front of a man, and there is no
sin on you in sha Allaah.
We ask Allaah to help and guide you.
And Allaah knows best.