22 نوفمبر, 2017 - 4 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

I am a veiled Muslim living in Germany and my ex-husband claims custody for my daughters. Some people advised me to take my veil off in the appeal. What should I do?

I am a veiled Muslim living in Germany and my ex-husband claims custody for my daughters. Some people advised me to take my veil off in the appeal. What should I do?

Question

I am Egyptian living in Germany for 7 years. My husband's mother is European. After some problems we had a divorce and now he went to court to claim custody for our 2 daughters. He follows civil laws more than Islam. He won the case and I should move out since the house is his own property and leave my girls here. I am veiled. People told me to take it off the next time I go to court for an appeal but I am reluctant but some people say that racism is the cause for the first judgment. What shall I do?

The judge said its better for the girls not to leave the house where they grew up and to keep on living with their half sister and grandmother ( who live in the same house).

Answer

Honorable sister,
You have mentioned in your question that the judge has already issued a decree which he based on the best interest of the children according to his own view.

You can object to the judge’s decision during your appeal and state the established shari'ah ruling for child custody. In shari'ah, the custody of a child is based on its interests while taking into consideration the non-existence of anything that may harm his welfare, pose any bodily or intellectual danger, or disturb his upbringing on the true essence of Islam and good manners.

The principle in this issue is that when spouses separate, the woman is entitled to custody. Child custody is a mother's inherent right provided she meets the conditions, has the ability to take care of her children and does not remarry after the divorce. This is based on the hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, “A woman said to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “My womb was a receptacle for this son of mine , my breast fed him, and my lap was a bed for him. Now his father has divorced me and wants to take him away from me.” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “You are entitled to take him unless you get remarried.” [recorded in the Musnad of Ahmad, the Sunan of Abî Dâwûd, and the Mustadrak of al-Hâkim].

As for hijab, it is obligatory upon the adult Muslim woman. It is impermissible to refrain from wearing hijab except when there is a necessity. Based on this, if there is a genuine necessity to remove hijab in certain circumstances, a woman will not be blameworthy if she partially removes it to the extent that meets this necessity.

May Allah guide to that which is best.