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It's plausible, at some point, that I might be asked to do a TV interview. My recent research is on a topic that might be picked up by the press. I'm unsure if this is appropriate as a Muslim woman.

It clashes with the modesty expected of a Muslim woman. Yet, at the same time, it's not hard to find Muslim women on TV, so it's presumably sometimes acceptable.

Question: Under what circumstances is it okay for a Muslim woman to be on TV?

  • I think you need to elaborate more about your research work or how you could conclude the importance for this interview on tv as per your job criteria or other significance so that it would be easy to figure out the necessity of this task. – Faqirah Dec 3 '16 at 6:07
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    With a proper hijab there is no problem. You will be a good role model for Islam when you present your scientific work in public. The world needs to see what Muslims are capable of and that the religion does not hinder high achievements for Muslim women. Go ahead sister! – Noor Dec 3 '16 at 13:03
  • I don't wish to be too specific about my circumstance as it may never arise, or it could arise in other instances. At this point I'm seeking general guidelines. (Actually, I was already interviewed once for TV in China [with hijab], talking about a chess tournament I played it.) It's a possibility I want to be prepared for because I might not have much time to decide later. – Rebecca J. Stones Dec 3 '16 at 19:23
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    I think as long as you don't seek this interview there's no harm in doing it. I mean as long as it is not your intention and initiation to force it. – Medi1Saif Dec 4 '16 at 20:24
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In practice, in almost all Muslim majority countries of the world, Muslim women do appear on television in various roles ranging from characters in dramas and commercials, as news anchors and even as religious scholars.

I guess the question ultimately boils down to whether or not women can be seen in public and participate in public life. There is a hardliner opinion shared by some as shown in the answer above; its derived by interpreting some sources in a certain way.

My point of view however is that Hadith and Sirah of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and narratives of the early Muslim community imply that there is nothing wrong with it as long as proper dress code is observed:

Women acted as medics and water-bearers during the wars fought in the Prophet's time and were encouraged to participate in religious gatherings:

"We used to treat the wounded, look after the patients and once I asked the Prophet, 'Is there any harm for any of us to stay at home if she doesn't have a veil?' He(Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) said, 'She should cover herself with the veil of her companion and should participate in the good deeds and in the religious gathering of the Muslims.'" Sahih Bukhari

Women attended sermons given by the Prophet, even had their special day. Hazrat Aisha was often consulted by the Sahabah on matters of religion and led a military campaign (Battle of Jamal). Caliph Umair ibn Khattab appointed a learnt woman named Al-Shifa bint Abdullah as a market supervisor to ensure that merchants didn't cheat the people.

If women did all this during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) and his closest companions then what is wrong with appearing on television ... especially if its for a good cause.

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