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Is It Permissible to Take Off Hijab in Front of My Non-Muslim Uncle?

25 August, 2022
Q Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Am I allowed to take off hijab in front of my non-Muslim uncle?


Wa `alaykum as-salamu 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:

If this uncle is your mother’s or father’s brother, he is mahram to you and you may take off hijab in his presence.

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Shedding more light on your question, we would like to cite the following,

The Islamic rules of observing hijab for women aim at safeguarding and preserving their honor and dignity.

Such rules vary according to the degree of temptation. Whenever the risk of temptation is greater, rules become stricter, and whenever the risk is minimal, rules become less strict.

Therefore, such rules are stricter in the presence of non-mahram males (who are not related to the woman by blood, marriage or fosterage).

A non-Muslim relative may be a mahram (non-marriageable) or a non-mahram.

As for males who are mahrams, a Muslim woman can display her adornment before them even if they are disbelievers.

This is based on the generality of Almighty Allah’s saying: {… and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women …} (An-Nur 24:31)

However, if those mahrams are immoral, it is not permissible for her to take off hijab or display her adornment before them. This is because the licentious do not differentiate between their mahrams and non-mahrams.

Also, it is not permissible for her to display her adornment or take off hijab before her non-mahram relatives.

Allah Almighty knows best.

This fatwa is based on Dr. Khalid Muhammad Abd al-Qadir’s Min Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat al-Muslimah.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.