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Can You Take off Hijab for Immigration Procedures?

20 April, 2024
Q Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. I wear hijab. I would like to know whether or not I am permitted to remove it in the following situation. I would like to apply for immigration to Canada together with my family because we want to educate our children properly. We have been told that if we apply while I’m wearing hijab, the chances of being able to migrate are almost 0%. So, is it permissible for me to submit my photo without hijab and attend one interview without wearing it? Also, when I arrive at the Canadian airport, I will not be wearing it. Is this allowed, taking my good intention into consideration? In Albania, both education and life generally is terrible. Therefore, I feel I must do something for myself and my children. Please, let me know. May Allah reward you.


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:

You are not allowed to take off your hijab for the purpose of applying for immigration to Canada, for in Canada there is no ban on hijab.

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In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Wearing hijab (Islamic attire including a head covering) is an important religious requirement ordered by Allah in the Quran. As a Muslim woman, your first priority is to please your Creator. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no obedience to anyone in disobedience to Allah.” (At-Tirmidhi) Therefore, you should never compromise your principles.

You are not allowed to take off your hijab for the purpose of applying for immigration to Canada, for in Canada there is no ban on hijab.

Muslim women have been wearing hijab before and after entering Canada without any problem whatsoever.

The Canadian Charter of Rights guarantees equal rights to all citizens, so in this case, you do not face any such pressure that would force you to take off your hijab. If you are discriminated against because of wearing hijab, you have access to courts.

So I do not think that your situation is a legitimate excuse to take off the hijab. Often people merely act according to rumor, rather than making judgments based on facts.

In conclusion, you should wear hijab and make sure you complete all other requirements and trust in Allah; after all, it is Allah who is in charge of the hearts and the situations and opportunities we face!

So trust in Him, and you will succeed with His help! May Allah grant you strength in your religious conviction and make you sufficient through obeying Him, ameen.

Almighty Allah knows best.

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