Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Going into extremes under the pretext of “security measures” is not acceptable. Though it is the undeniable right of every country to secure its people, this should be done by means of reasonable and valid measures.
2- So, it is the established rights of the countries to have equipment that protect their people without infringing upon the legal rights of others.
3- Muslim countries should make use of all legal channels to defend their rights and dignity.
4- Respecting people’s privacy, which doesn’t endanger the safety and security of countries, should be considered.
Responding to your question, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, an eminent Muslim scholar and preacher, state:
We should take into consideration that these are non-Muslim countries, and they do not believe in the Quran or the Sunnah. Although this measure is illegal in the eyes of the Shari`ah and goes against the principles of human honor, we have to make use of international channels and ask these countries through human rights organizations to use other devices that do not reveal people’s awrah (parts of the body that must be covered) or violate their privacy.
There are multiple devices used in many countries to detect explosives and illegal materials. These devices have proved to be excellent in this regard, and they do not disclose body parts. These countries may use such devices and avoid the body scanners.
Finally, Muslims should discuss such matters at the international level and demand that such countries respect Muslims’ privacy.
Dr. Muhammad Fu’ad Al-Barazy, a renowned scholar and member of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), added:
These new scanners represent flagrant aggression against people’s privacy and personal freedom. Using such devices, which reveal people’s awrah (even if not very clearly) disagrees with the dignity with which Allah has honored humans. He, the Almighty, says, “We have honored the sons of Adam.” (Al-Israa’ 17:70)
Currently, there are efficient devices to examine passengers, and they are enough for this purpose.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.