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My pictures are on the internet before I wore the hijab

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: I started wearing the hijab when I was 18, but there are pictures of me on the internet without the hijab, and people have pictures of me without the hijab, and I feel powerless. I don’t have social media anymore, but my photos are in a yearbook for 8th grade, right before I hit puberty, and many people have yearbooks. I was also in a short film in high school that will stay on the internet. I pleaded with the producer not to post the film, but I had signed a release form. I feel regret and sadness. Should I tell a future spouse about this? How to move on? Is asking for Allah’s forgiveness and regret enough? Should I move on with my life? HIjab has become part of my identity now.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wearing the hijab and making it a part of your identity; this is an immeasurable blessing.

If you have removed pictures of yourself from the internet; images when you were uncovered and pubescent, then you have done the right thing:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/should-i-remove-photos-online-of-me-without-hijab/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/hijab-and-covering/

As for pictures circulating in yearbooks and on the internet that you have no power over, your repentance and istighfar are enough. It would help if you moved on with your life and not thought of something that you can do nothing about now.

As for your future spouse, no, you should not tell him that your picture is on the internet. It is not permissible to mention one’s previous sins:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/are-there-valid-reasons-to-reveal-sins/

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-we-deny-having-committed-sins-after-weve-repented-from-them/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/audio/beyond-hijab/

[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.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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