Question: Is it halal for a woman to have a picture of herself as her profile picture? Also, what should a sister do if she wants to wear the hijab, but her parents don’t allow her until she starts showing them kindness, respect, and tolerance (and she indeed isn’t fulfilling those things)? Should she wait with the hijab until she has satisfied those criteria?
Thank you for your question.
Posting pictures online
The advent of social media makes more and more people believe that it is fine to display oneself to the opposite gender without regard to the Qur’anic injunction of lowering one’s gaze. There is more harm than benefit in posting pictures of oneself online though permissible, but unlawful if she is uncovered or wearing makeup.
The likes of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram stoop most communication to the base level of speaking through pictures when more emphasis should be put on words, meanings, and encouraging each other to do good and forbidding evil. Please see this video about social media: https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/etiquette-of-social-media-ustadh-amjad-tarsin/
Although your parents are correct about getting respect and kindness from you, I am afraid that this is not conditional upon wearing the hijab. They are two separate obligations, and you must fulfill both independently of each other. You will probably respect them more and give them more kindness once you do wear hijab. Pray the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to facilitate both acts of worship for you and guide you to do the right thing. May Allah reward you for making such a big transformation.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.