My family and I have French passports. Some of these passports recently expired. I was reluctant to renew the passports of my wife and daughters.
The reason is that the French authorities do not accept photos in which someone has a head covering.
As we are living in the UK since a few years and I know that the British authorities allow Religious headwear for passport photos, I explored the option of applying for British citizenship in order to get British passports so that we can overcome the issue of head covering in French passports.
However I have learnt that, as part of the British citizenship application, a person has to take a ‘pledge of loyalty’ in the following words:

“I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British Citizen.”
Additionally, the person has also to swear an ‘oath of allegiance’ in the following words:
“I (YOUR NAME) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British Citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors according to law.”

The above 'oath of allegiance' is not absolutely necessary and if a person prefers, an 'affirmation of allegiance' can be said as a substitute in the following words:

“I (YOUR NAME) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British Citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.”

Some fatwas I came across seem to offer some leeway if people seek to qualify for and secure a citizenship even if it entails acknowledging outwardly the kind of statements described above.  Please shed some light on this issue ? Is there really any scope for a Muslim to say these words (viz. the pledge in addition to the oath or affirmation mentioned above) in order to get British citizenship ? What are the implications for a Muslim saying those words ?

All people who become citizens of a country give the oath of allegiance to the kuffaar government. When this oath is given, then it is incumbent to abide by the oath. If the oath includes submission to flagrant haraam and kufr, then obviously it will not be permissible to become a citizen of that country.
It is not permissible to become a citizen of the U.K. or of any other country because the oath of allegiance in this case makes incumbent acceptance of blatant kufr laws such as acceptance of homosexuality, lesbianism, etc. Hence, regardless of the wording of the ‘pledge of allegiance’, it is haraam to become a citizen of the U.K. even if there is no explicit kufr stated in the phraseology of the pledge.
Furthermore, both forms of the ‘pledge of allegiance’ mentioned by you are not permissible. The pledge of loyalty requires one to submit to the avalanche of haraam, kufr, fisq and fujoor which constitute integral constituents of the law. A Muslim should never think of migrating to a kaafir country for worldly reasons, e.g. business, employment, etc.
Regarding the requisite of photos without head-covering, it is an argument devoid of significance in the light of the fact that photos are haraam even with headgear. It is devoid of Shar’i substance. It is haraam for even males to take photos. When there is no compulsion, then it remains haraam and sinful for even men to have their photos taken. One is not compelled to become a citizen of U.K. or France or of any other Daarul Kufr/Harb nor is one compelled to submit to this kabeerah (major) sin for travelling to Saudi Arabia which is currently also Daarul Kufr, for the sake of Umrah or Hajj. Thus, female photos with or without head-covering are the same. All such photos are haraam.

Therefore, giving the pledge of allegiance to any government of any country, whether a kaafir land or a Muslim land, is not permissible. All such pledges require obedience to kufr, fisq and fujoor. It is not merely the issue of the wording.


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