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In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

The Statement of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) On the Use of Full Body Scanners for Security at the Airports  and Other Places
(Issued on February 9, 2010)

The Full Body Security Scanners (also called Nude-body scanners) are being installed at various airports in United States and Europe. Several human rights and religious groups have expressed their concerns and disapproval of such scanners on the grounds of violation of privacy and human dignity. The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty.

It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women. Islam highly emphasizes ‘haya’ (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Qur’an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts. Human beings are urged to be modest in their dress. See Holy Quran, 7:26-27; 24:30-31; 33:59. Exception to
this rule can be made in case of extreme necessity, such as medical treatment, to investigate a crime or in a situation of imminent danger. There must be a compelling case for the necessity and the exemption to this rule must be proportional to the demonstrated need.

FCNA fully supports the necessary measures for the safety and protection of all passengers. It is, however, deeply concerned about the use of nude body scanners for this purpose. FCNA recommends that instead of producing and displaying a picture of the body,
software should be designed to produce only the picture of questionable materials on an outline of the body. Further, other technologies could be used that detect the presence of explosives without infringing on modesty as some European leaders have pointed out.

FCNA appreciates the alternate provision of pat-down search (when needed) and therefore recommend to Muslims to avail this option over the nude body scanners.

from ISNA.net

Swine Flu is spreading very fast and causing a lot of public concern in United States and other countries of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control in US (CDC) have already issued advisories to the general public. We urge Muslims to exercise necessary precautions in this matter.

It is an Islamic teaching that in the situation of wide spread infections, people living in infected areas should be careful not to move around in order to avoid spreading infections. Similarly those who are healthy should avoid traveling to infested areas in order to protect themselves, unless they are needed as doctors or health workers.  Allah says in the Qur’an, “Do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands…” (2:195) The Prophet –peace be upon him- said, “If you are in a land and plague breaks out there, then do not leave that place. If you are told that it is spreading in some land and you are not there, then do not go there.” (Muslim, Hadith no. 5731)

In the light of these instructions the Fiqh Council of North America emphasizes that Muslims should take CDC advisories seriously. Those who are affected by any symptoms of this flu should avoid shaking hands and coming into close contacts with others. They are allowed in this situation to pray at home and not go to the Masjid for congregational prayers, until they are healthy. The Prophet –peace be upon him- said, “A sick person (with contagious disease) must not be brought among the healthy.” (Abu Dau’ud, Hadith 3911)

In case there is a Swine Flu pandemic, public assemblies might be curtailed. In that situation it will be allowed for the Masajid to issue special instructions regarding Jama’ah (congregational) and Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers considering the general welfare of their communities and cooperating with local authorities to maintain public health and safety.

We must also make individual and collective du’a asking Allah to remove this affliction and bless us all.

Fiqh Council of North America

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More info:

Swine Flu: Information and How the Muslim Community Can Help

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