Praise be to Allaah.
The scholars differed concerning the ruling on whether Muslim women can take off their hijaab in front of non-Muslim women, because they differed in their interpretation of the aayah in Soorat al-Noor (interpretation of the meaning):
“… and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands… or their women…” [al-Noor 24:31].
There are three views concerning the Tafseer of this phrase:
That it means Muslim women;
That it means all women, Muslim and non-Muslim;
That it means Muslim women preferably but this is not binding.
The more correct view – and Allaah knows best – is that it is permissible for a Muslim woman to appear (without hijaab) in front of a kaafir woman, unless she fears that the woman may describe her to her husband or to any other stranger (non-mahram man). In that case she has to keep her hijaab on in front of that woman. There is no difference between a kaafir woman and a corrupt Muslim woman in this case.
Among the evidence (daleel) that it is permissible to take off hijaab in front of a kaafir woman is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) in which she mentions that a Jewish woman came in to see her and said, “May Allaah protect you from the torment of the grave…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1007; Muslim, 584).
What the Muslim woman can uncover in front of a kaafir woman is the same as what she can uncover in front of her mahrams, i.e., the places of adornment or the places of wudoo’.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“It is not obligatory to wear hijaab in front of them – non-Muslim women – because they are like all other women according to the more correct of the two scholarly views.”
(Fataawaa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 2/582).
Shaykh Muhammad Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: “In front of her mahrams she can uncover her face, head, neck, hands, forearms, feet and calves, and she should cover everything else.”
(Fataawaa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/417).
And Allaah knows best.