Body Screening of Passengers that shows ‘Awrah
In fact, 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. So, it is the established rights of the countries to have equipment that protect their people without infringing upon the legal rights of others.
all in all, Muslim countries should make use of all legal channels to defend their rights and dignity. Racism and discrimination against Muslim passengers should not be accepted. Respecting people’s privacy, which doesn’t endanger the safety and security of countries, should be considered.
Responding to this question, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, an eminent Muslim scholar and preacher, stated,
We should take into consideration that these are non-Muslim countries, and they do not believe in the Qur’an or the Sunnah. Although this measure is illegal in the eyes of 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.
As for what a Muslim should do, I have to blame those who are fascinated with the Western culture and countries and leave their homelands to invest their money in such countries. Of course, they will have to pass through such scanners, or they will have to go back.
Finally, Muslims should discuss such matters at the international level and demand that such countries respect Muslims’ privacy, though I am not optimistic about this because these countries have previously undressed Muslims in Iraq, in Abu Ghraib Prison, in Guantanamo, and in many other places.
Moreover, Dr. Taha Jabir Al-`Alawani, former president of the Fiqh Council of North America and dean of Cordoba University, adds,
In fact, a practical response is needed. There are multiple forms of changing evil, including peaceful protests and threats to cut diplomatic ties with these countries. We should make use of various pressing mechanisms to change this evil.
If Muslims are keen on avoiding the disclosure of their `awrah, they should use legitimate means to change this evil. Yet, the mere saying that this is haram (unlawful in Islam), or something like that, does not have a great effect in facing the challenges of the time.
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.
May Allah guide all of us to what pleases Him!