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Taking Off the Hijab

652329395_be18fd7f87_oQuestion:

I understand that hijab is required, and I’ve been wearing it for some time now but I feel like putting it on might have been a mistake.  I don’t feel like it’s made me become a better Muslim, and I feel almost like I’m deceiving people because they look at me as an example even though I’m still struggling with a lot of things. Also, if I take it off, is it really something Allah will punish me for? It seems like such a petty thing. Isn’t the most important thing having a clean heart?

Answer:

Assalaamu `alaykum dear questioner,

Thank you for asking this question which opens up a number of important issues, and for entrusting us enough to share with us some of what you’re struggling with. I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala – exalted is He) that He makes the words that I write beneficial to you and others who are reading, and that He leads you to the best decisions.

I’d like to start by addressing what I believe is the least important factor in this equation, and that is ‘what other people might think.’ It should never be the case that we alter our practice of Islam or our worship for the sake of other people, or what they might think or assume. People may be quick to judge or jump to conclusions, but whatever thoughts or opinions they have are strictly their responsibility, and not something we should be overly concerned with.

You said that you’re worried that wearing hijab may be deceiving, because people see you as better than you really are. But in truth all of us are sinners, and it is only from Allah’s mercy upon us that He is as-Siteer – the One who veils our faults and our flaws, and makes us seem better than we really are in others’ eyes. One famous scholar said, “If sins had a smell no one would come near me because of the stench!” Every single one of us has deficiencies and weaknesses, has made mistakes, has taken missteps or is presently taking them. We only do the best that we can, and any good deed that Allah grants us the opportunity to perform should be considered a blessing that we take advantage of. Instead of worrying about not being good enough, we can instead consider this as an opportunity to be thankful to Allah for concealing our negatives, and pray, “O Allah, forgive me for what they do not know about me, and make me even better than what they think.”

You will be hard-pressed to find anyone on this earth who can be considered ‘worthy’ of being a representative of Islam, because everyone has one dimension or another in their faith or practice in which they are lacking. However that doesn’t mean we should stop encouraging each other by whatever means are available to us.  There is a very beautiful hadith related to this issue:

Anas relates that, “We asked the Prophet ﷺ, ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, shouldn’t we refrain from calling others to goodness if we don’t practice all good things ourselves, and shouldn’t we refrain from forbidding wrong things until we ourselves have abstained from all the bad?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘You should call others to goodness even if you don’t do all good, and you should forbid bad things even if you don’t abstain from all of them yourselves.'” (Al-Tabarani)

Remember that by wearing hijab you are not saying to others ‘I am Islam’, but simply that ‘I am a Muslim’, meaning – I am someone who is trying to follow this religion, who accepts it as truth, sees beauty in it and hopes to beautify myself with it.  I remember a quote attributed to Yusuf Islam: “Islam is not a state of being but it is a process of becoming,” – becoming more, become better, striving to reach that state of perfect submission and connection with Allah Most High, and May He help all of us achieve that, ameen.

You also said that you feel hijab has not really made you a better Muslim. A lot of times when a person first starts performing a good deed they feel an iman ‘rush’, a feeling of happiness at doing something good for the sake of Allah and energy to do more, improve themselves, etc. However, after some time, when that action starts to become just another part of a daily routine, it loses that power, and that increase in iman and excitement dissipates.

What a person needs, instead of focusing on those ‘rushes’, is a steady and constant diet of good deeds and spiritual nourishment. We cannot rely on one particular deed to ‘make’ us better Muslims. Instead, we have to take the reigns and make sure we are doing things regularly that increase us in iman, like recitation of the Qur’an, performing salah with consciousness and focus, dhikr, and so on. Wearing hijab can definitely be one of those things, but it is only one part of a whole that needs to be constructed. Just like exercise is important for good health, yet it has to be combined with eating right and many other things in order for the person to see the desired results in the end.

Also know that there is a direct relationship between a person’s actions and their inner state. We know that when someone is in a high state of iman it’s natural for him or her to start performing more good deeds. However, we may overlook the fact that the opposite is true as well – that just performing good deeds, even if one may not be ‘feeling it’, can affect us and change us. The limbs are inroads, and performing good deeds with them can soften a hardened heart, bring enlightenment to a closed mind, and give a person a feeling of rejuvenation and desire to come closer to Allah and do more positive things. I heard a scholar say that if one is feeling troubled, confused or in a low state of iman, “go quickly to action”; because good deeds can bring about that inner reawakening one may need. If we don’t see a change happening in us when we do a good deed, that doesn’t mean we should stop it but that perhaps we need to supplement it with others in order to gather the momentum needed to see results.

Thirdly, you are absolutely correct when you say that the most important thing is for us to have purified hearts. Allah (swt) emphasizes this in the Qur’an when He states that on the Day of Judgment nothing will be of benefit to the servant except “one who brings to Allah a clean, sound heart” (26:89). The question is, how does one achieve that? What purifies us and cleanses our hearts?

In our times we find that some people feel that we’ve reached a more ‘enlightened era’ in which spirituality can be derived solely from philosophy and ideas, and need not be bound by rituals and details of religion. However those who propound this notion forget that Allah did not create us as minds and souls alone – but coupled them with our physical bodies. We cannot deny the fact that we are body and soul, content and form, together, and each has its own needs and specifications for refinement. This is a sunnah of Allah in the way that we were created, and why prayer, fasting, and all our spiritual endeavors have very specific physical components. These forms house within them dimensions of meaning, but it is only from enacting them precisely that a profound spirituality can be achieved.

Purifying our hearts is the goal, but the means to reaching that goal is through the very real and specific physical prescriptions and commandments that Allah (swt) has given us. It is through His obedience and through following the teachings of our deen that we clean and polish our hearts. It is for this reason that I have to say that hijab is not something trivial. Anything that leads us to spiritual awareness, elevation, and purification – that helps us come closer to Allah – cannot be considered trivial or petty. Perhaps it is more likely that there are hidden depths within it that we do not perceive, or that we are not putting it in the proper context of its deeper purpose and meaning.

About punishment from Allah: a better way of looking at this issue is not considering the smallness or pettiness of the sin, but the greatness of the One whom we are sinning against. From His infinite wisdom, all-encompassing knowledge and vast mercy, in accordance to His Law – which is at its core about attaining benefit and warding off harm – He has instructed us to perform this action. In the Qur’an Allah says, ‘It may be that you dislike something and in it is goodness for you’ (2:216); ‘It may be that you dislike a thing but Allah brings about from it a great deal of good.’ (4:19) If someone chooses to step away from a prescribed action knowingly, we cannot deny that this is a sin, and that Allah holds us to account for our sins. However we always have hope in and pray for Allah’s mercy and kindness, as we know He can forgive all sins if He chooses.

In closing, I want to leave you with a beautiful quote from a Hadith Qudsi. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said:

“My servant draws not near to Me with anything more beloved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him.” (Bukhari)

Know, dear questioner, that if you feel far from Allah, the solution is not to stop what you are doing and find a different way, but to persevere and continue on the path you are on, even though it is hard. This will make you beloved to Allah, and one who feels the happiness of being close to Him and being shaded by His Loving Mercy and care.

May Allah enliven and enlighten our hearts and grant us closeness to Him. May He make us people who love to worship Him, and through our worship become close to Him and gain His love. May He make our hearts firm and steadfast on our deen, and grant us strength and bravery in our spiritual struggles. May He guide us to the best decisions and make easy for us the path of khayr [goodness]. Ameen ya Rabb.

WAllahu a`lam – and He alone knows best.

Wasalaamu alaykum.

About the author

Shazia Ahmad

Shazia Ahmad was born and raised in upstate New York. She graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany with a Bachelors in Psychology and History. During her time in university, Shazia was involved in the Muslim Students’ Association, community and interfaith work, and a local radio show entitled ‘Window on Islam.’ She has studied with Dr. Mokhtar Maghraoui and is a long time contributor to jannah.org and themadina.com. After graduating, Shazia spent two years in Syria, studying briefly at the University of Damascus and then at Abu Nour University where she completed an Arabic Studies program for foreigners (Ad-Dawraat) and a program in Islamic Studies (Ma’had at-Taheeli). She also studied in a number of private classes and attained her ijazah in Qur’anic recitation from the late Sh. Muhiyudin al-Kurdi (rahimahullah). While in Syria, Shazia composed a blog of her experiences entitled Damascus Dreams. She currently resides in Cairo, Egypt with her husband and one-year old son, and is seeking to further her education through private lessons and study. She currently blogs at Cairo Caprices.

396 Comments

  • Masha’Allah sister, I thank you for your beautiful words which made me think how wearing Hijab is also carrying on in the footsteps of great women such as Sayeda Maryam, Sayeda Khadija, Sayeda Fatima, Sayeda A’isha, and many more who came before us. I pray for the dear sister who sent the question that Allah grant her steadfastness, and fortitude to hold on to her Hijab, and that she be surrounded by those who encourage her, and value her Hijab.

  • I’ve also been feeling hypocritical with my hijaab on lately, having worn it now for a full decade. That rush of spirit I had when first donning this cloth ten years ago is not nearly as strong; I’m struggling with my own lot of sins/weaknesses while appearing more pure/saintly before others. But I remind myself that I am only human, and wearing my hijaab is an act of obedience to my Lord — so I hold myself accountable to Him alone.

  • I have often felt the same about having a beard. I simply like having a beard and I also love that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) had a beard. It has been my normal desire to have a beard even before Islam.

    However, where I live (believe it or not-Saudi Arabia) the beard is seen as a symbol of being a very pious person. Average people don’t normally have beards. I am not very pious but I try to maintain the major obligations of Islam and avoid the major prohibitions-not much more. However, I have often seen many people (who don’t have beards) exhibiting an excellent practice of Islam and feeling ashamed and wondering how they may view me.

  • I’m sorry for the comment earlier. A colleague thought it was funny when clearly offensive. I agree with you, thank you for your wisdom.

  • Ma’sha’allah, this was sooo very beautiful. As the other comments have said, explained with lovely language and tone. This is something we all can remember as we face the daily battles with Shaytaan and our inner weaknesses. Again, just really very well done and addressed the issues that are relevant concerning our overall journey in Islam. Jazak’Allahu Khairan.

  • Subhan’Allah. Sr Shazia you’ve answered the sister’s question beautifully and with eloquence. I’ve come across a number of sisters that have been and are struggling with this issue of hijab. I think this article addresses that issue of hijab beautifully. Looking forward to reading more articles from you. May Allah [swt] continue to bless you. May Allah [swt] ease the sister in distress, and reward her for her struggle.

  • JazakAllah Khayrun Kathiran! MashaAllah wonderful advice sister Shazia. May Allah subhanuwata’ala cause many to benefit from your naseeha.

  • I’m sorry to say that although I found the answer beautifully written and sound, I still feel cold when reading it. I am a person who converted and wore hijab early on and for many years, but the discrimination I faced over the years from the Muslims — particularly the sexist men, but also racist Muslim women — along with the fact that my family relationship was changed by Islam/the hijab and the general public perception made me feel very, very alone and vulnerable to the world in my struggle to wear hijab.

    Not all Muslim men are sexist, but enough were to me that the experience served to make me feel unseen and not respected in our community. Not all Muslim women are racist, but enough of them judged me differently once they saw me without hijab in my home to make me feel that what my hair looked like versus what my features seemed to be was significant to them. Indeed, the racism I’d dealt with all my life as a person of mixed racial heritage in my country was intensified with both the resident and immigrant Muslims in my country.

    I ended up taking off hijab because I felt empowered by the act. Perhaps that’s a really backward way to view the experience, but there you have it. I felt my faith and strength had fallen to nothing in my last days of covering. In the years since, I’ve reasoned that removing the hijab has kept me able to continue to be a Muslima at all, and one who prays regularly, fasts, learns my deen, teaches my children, and stays away from the vices of our world as much as I can.

    I think that this very outward symbol/part of faith –the hijab — can be an extreme burden for some individuals, more so than for some others. I truly respect my sisters in faith who wear it day after day and year after year no matter the opposition they encounter. I just hope that one day people can understand that for those of us who remove it, it’s not a “wildness” or desire to be sinful that dictates the action for every one of us. Sometimes, it is a desire to simplify the struggle enough to be able to continue doing the major acts that are truly the definers of who is and who is not a Muslim.

    • Hijab is a part of Islam for women. The good and bad that comes with it, comes with it, it’s still a command. I’m so sorry that people made you feel terrible and that you had to experience that!! Always remember that God does not give us a burden that we can not carry!

      <3 Elle

      • Perhaps this was a burden that sister UmmMohammed could not carry? Her burdens (like those of the rest of us) are between the sister and her creator. Many brothers and sisters keep quoting texts ad nauseum to others. It becomes predictable and tiresome. It tends to highlight the “apparent” knowledge of the one quoting rather than seeking real solutions.

    • I respect and understand your decesion not to wear hijab because I too came to that same realization after wearing hijab for the most of five years. I believe most people put too much emphasis on hijab as if it is the visible litmus test for piety. Some other poster here said it’s an open sin for a woman to remove her hijab and I have to say that I do not agree with that blanket statement. We have to go back to intention in Islam and that is something no one but Allah can see in a person. For example, my reasons for not wearing hijab were to simply maintain my peace of mind and to protect myself from the life damaging consequences of frequent discrimination and persecution. Yes, Allah does not ask of us more than we can bear and this was indeed more than I could endure. I support a womans right to choose to wear the hijab or not to wear it. I realize that I can not judge her iman on hijab or no hijab.

      • That is very true sister. I have been a muslimah for 14 years and during all these years I have dedicated all my effort and strugle to wear hijab that I have left behind so many other important aspects of Islam. There is an Ayat in the Qu’ran that should make us reflect: “Allah said that He has created us (humans) in different tribes so we know each other”, for me this means that we don’t have to look like each other. The wisdom here is to appreciate and accept other people’s lifestyles. For instance, I am from hispanic origin converted to Islam. In my culture I have beautiful values that go with Islam such as hospitality, family, etc. While wearing the hijab my people percieved me as “strange” or that I have abandonned my culture to be “Arab”. I am a muslim and Hispanic. Imam Webb suggest we should not care about people but the reality is that we live with “the people”, we don’t live alone or kind of isolated like the Catholic nuns who live in convents. By the way, many people ask why Catholic nuns’ veil is accepted while muslim women’s not? The very true is that Catholic Nuns don’t work in Walmart, Catholic Nuns don’t work in a bank, Catholic Nuns don’t work in regular public schools, and finally Catholic Nuns are backed by a Religious Order from Vatican so they don’t have to worry at all about economical issues as common people do. How would you feel if you go to a bank and a Catholic Nun would be your clerk? Won’t you inmediately think this lady shouldn’t be here? Let’s be honest. Every society has its own rules and for us living in this hemisphere of the planet, hijab is a big obstacle (specially if one is converted like me) when dealing with one’s families, getting jobs, and being socially active. We have to accept it. Hijab more than a piece of clothe is a “way of living” that sometimes doesn’t work in all cultures. As Sheik Hamza Yusuf once mentioned and I am sure Imam Webb has seen in his studies at Al-Azhar University that at the time of the Prophet, P.B.U. not all women used hijab, for instance the slaves were forbidden to wear it because only Master ladies were allowed to wear it. Islam never asked people to do things that go against all reasons and put someone in a situation that can be a target of bad treatment. Not wearing hijab doesn’t mean wearing tight jeans and mini-skirts, there are many respectable women who inspire a lot more respect than the “so-called-hijabis” with bright colorful hijabs and pins hanging everywhere in a very flirty way. There are women who dresses in a very respectable way that nobody could disrespect her. When people say that hijab helps men not to do bad things, that means as if women are “the evil ones”, the same thing as in Christianity with Eve. The Qu’ran is very clear in saying to all believing men to lower their gaze. Nobody takes responsability of nobody in doing sins. Just recently a 15 years old French-Algerian girl was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Mecca while her father was busy doing Umrah, now I ask you to tell me what wrong did this little girl to inspire such animal and brutal instinct in those men? Wasn’t she wearing a hijab? or perhaps the hijab was not adequate? When people start asuming their own faults and understand that women are meant to be respected regardless of what they wear, then we will become better human beings. Finally, the Qu’ran tells us that Allah has created beautiful garments for mankind to wear but “THE BEST GARMENT IS THE GARMENT OF RIGHTOUSNESS”.

        • @ Maryam:

          I think you’ve missed the spirit in which the hijab is meant to be worn.

          The point is not how men will treat you when you wear it. Those who wear the hijab and sin while they’re doing it, we have no right to judge them or refrain from doing an obligatory part of the religion because of them.

          They’ll be judged on their deeds, we-each and everyone of us-will be held accountable for our own.

          If I see someone who prays five times a day, do something like drink alcohol, I can’t say the prayer is at fault. I can’t just stop praying because the people who pray also sin!

          Also the Eve reference. If you’ve gone through Surah Noor where one of the commands for hijab was given, the first ruling IS for men to lower their gaze. But the next command is for women. Again, everyone is being judged by Allah (SWT) on their own deeds.

          I can’t imagine the struggle wearing a hijab in the West is, but the harder the struggle, the greater the reward. If I live in a muslim country where wearing hijab is the norm, I’m definitely getting less reward than you girls. Good luck, and may Allah help us all

          <3

        • Hello INCHALLAH hope everyone here is well, i am a canadianne women who converted to Islam 4 years ago when i started to wear the hijab i was called lots of names that you could not believe people wanted to run me down with there cars people will still not hire me for jobs, i did have a good work but you know what happens sometimnes with excuses anyways i still wear my hijab i still do not let people win over me and i will not take my hijab off i say they will not win and i keep my faith in ALLAH and ask everyday to keep me stronger i still havew to learn alot in Islam but i do my best INCHALLAH ALLAH will forgive me for the sins because i am not perfect in all the Islam ways but trying just to say DO NOT LET PEOPLE INTIMIDATE YOU ALLAH IS THERE AND WILL ALWAYS BE INCHALLAH and if you do make the mistakes ask ALLAH he is there for us INCHALLAH as long as you believe he will protect you INCHALLAH.I will not take my hijab off ALLAH knows best…..

        • Assalam Alaikum,
          Allah azza wa jal created us all and knows us better than anybody else (refer to surat al-mulk).Therefore, he revealed the verses in Surat Nur for both believing men and women to lower their gaze as you rightly pointed out on your comment. However, in the same Qur’an did Allah azza wa jal commanded Muslim women (mu’minaat)to adhere to modesty in their clothing. It is very true that the best of garments is is rightousness as mentioned in the Qur’an, but that in no way abrogate the command. We should strive to please Allah azza wa jal in all fulfilling his commands. Most definitely, we humans are bound to fall into errors and sins. But justifiyng our lack of compliance to Allah’s command by ostensibly attributing/confusing religious instruction to cultural practises invokes dire consequences least of which is uttering about religion without prior knowledge.

          May Allah guide us all.

    • I can so totally related with you. Hijab is a never ending battlefield for muslim and nonmuslim. Muslim in general deeply believed that it is mandatory, it will be a waste of time to reason. I think it is also a blockage for the purpose of unity and sisterhood as long as it is a mandatory subject.

  • Just a short pointer to the last point. Covering the awrah(including hair for women and thighs for men) is a fardh and disobeying a fardh is a major sin. So it should not be thought that taking off the hijab is a small sin or that wearing it is a small deed.

    • loveProphet,

      I’m sorry to have given you the impression that I believe that wearing hijab is a small deed. What I meant to convey is that I found it bearable to focus on the major parts of our deen, such as prayer, fasting, avoiding gossip, keeping chaste, avoiding interest, continuing to learn our religion, and being a better human being in general, because of the fact that I was able to stop struggling with the burden of hijab.

      For me, that struggle was the one thing that seemed to “tip the cart,” if you will, of my ability to move forward with my Islam. I was overwhelmed. I do not know if you are a convert/revert to our faith, but consider the position of a person who has left everything familiar to them to forge a new way of life. It is the greatest treasure a soul could attain in this world, to be given faith, but it is a fitna. I thought at the time that leaving the thing that caused me so much grief and trouble until I was stronger as a Muslim was something that would keep me from losing my way entirely. I wished to work my way back to hijab, rather than to work my way back to Islam. Taking off hijab does not mean that a person will never take it up again, or that they think of it as a trifling thing. It is something that I ask Allah for strength in and forgiveness for.
      We human beings are fragile, and Islam itself was revealed in stages for the purpose of bringing the believers to a strong foundation of tawhid. Would that fact in itself not cause one to think that our Creator did not see fit to burden us with more than the blossoming souls’ faith could stand?

      Allah has created us as a people prone to weakness and forgetfulness; people who have a need to turn to Allah frequently in repentance. He (SWT) loves us for that. Indeed, He said that if we did not sin and turn to him in repentance, he would destroy us and replace us with a people who would.

      I am speaking up because the women who do not cover are often dismissed as being careless about Islam or Allah, or not heeding the weight of sins, etc. People see us as frivolous, I suppose. But I query you this: Would you rather to see me in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt with no scarf, or to see me covered properly and not saying salah? There are plenty of ways to fall short in this life, so we should be careful about being too focused on one way of sinning, perhaps giving a judgment about something better left to Allah. We do not know what is in the soul of any person we encounter. We may see someone as being base and of no value, while Allah sees them differently, and vice-versa.

      I suppose that if I were to leave you with one thought it would be this: There is no perfect human being in this world. Every single one of us sins. Just because you see one person’s sin, it does not make you more careful about your Islam than they.

      • Assalamu alaykum,

        UmmMohammed and other converts, Imam Suhaib recently (2 nights ago) gave an amazing talk in the bay area (California) especially for the converts. I think you would love it. I’m going to put it up on the site soon inshaAllah.

      • Umm Muhammad,

        Assalamu Alaikum,

        I just wanted to say that your comments gave an excellent insight on understanding on the sincere struggles that all of us face in being Muslim in difficult environments.

        The last line of your last comment was especially was insightful and reminded of something I had heard from a scholar in Chicago: A visible sin of another person, is no worse than an invisible sin committed by ourselves.

        JazakAllahu khair for helping us understand when many of us might be total jerks, instead of acting more like the Prophet (saw). It was definitely a reminder to me.

        We can throw Shari’ terms like Haram and Fard around left and right when dealing with individuals, but it must be coupled with understanding that person’s situation so that instead of pushing them from Islam, we call them beautifully to what Allah asked us to do, and stay away from what he forbade.

        wa alaikum assalam
        Abdul Sattar

        • As’salaam Alaikum,

          I really appreciated your sharing of the message, “A visible sin of another person, is no worse than an invisible sin committed by ourselves.” I was thinking something along the same lines. All of the items Allah (swt) requests us to do or not to do are important. I believe it is essential to remember that, we are all individuals and thus we each struggle uniquely with the different aspects of that which is asked of us by our Creator. No two people bear Islamic privileges and responsibilities in the exact same way. Therefore, it is really important that we do not harshly judge or reproach each other when reminding each other of our rights and obligations as muslims. We all struggle and thus we should all be gentle with our sisters (and brothers) in Islam when we give our opinions and our advice, as we would hope that they will be in return when our weaknesses are made apparent. Furthermore, we should look on each other’s weaker points with mercy as we would hope they would look on our’s.

          Advice should be a reminder, not a punishment in and of itself. Allah is the only judge, so we should be careful not to sound like one.

          Allahu ‘alum.

          Wa Salaam,

          Sabrina

  • This is beautifully worded nasiha that not only answers the person who is questioning hijab, but also encourages every reader/Muslim to become more serious with their path to Allah (swt).
    May Allah increase you and strengthen you always! May Allah ease the path and strengthen the hearts for the sisters who face this obstacle, such that they succeed in dunya and akhirah. May we all be blessed with the strength and courage to rise above our own respective challenges.

  • as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    Jazakum Allahu khayran for the kind responses from everyone. I ask that Allah (swt) accept our efforts, and make our writing and participation on SuhaibWebb.com as work done fisabilihi, and sincerely for His sake alone, Ameen.

    Dear Sr. UmmMohammed: I’m sorry to hear that you had such negative experiences with other Muslim sisters, especially when we should be working to support, strengthen and accept one another. Indeed wearing hijab has its challenges and can even seem overwhelming. However I always take strength from Allah’s words, which He repeats in a number of places in the Quran, “On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear.” May Allah grant us all the strength to fulfill His commandments and stay away from His prohibitions, Ameen.

    loveProphet: Thank you for your comments and you are right that wearing hijab is no small deed. With regard to the definition you gave for a major sin – failing to do something which is fard -I would say that this is actually the definition for sins in general, and not necessarily specific to a sin being classified as ‘major’. What is a sin, if it is not failing to do something which Allah has asked us to do?

    I do not know if I could say that failing to wear hijab is from the major sins. I have not seen it designated as such in the articles/books that list the Kaba’ir in detail. I will have to ask ‘those who know’ and do some research on the matter, inshaAllah. I do agree with your underlying point though, that we often underestimate the weight and significance of actions with Allah ta’ala. Allah (swt) says, “You counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great.” (Qur’an 24:15)

    wAllahu a’lam,
    wasalaamu alaykum,
    shazia

  • thank you so much for such a beautiful respond! i am Exactly at the same stage that the questioner in. i want to TAKE OFF MY HIJAB

    i have been wearing a hijab for one year and four months now. Putting it on, was not so difficult for the first year but keeping it on is a daily struggle.
    i am always tempted to take it off because do not you know that i am 24 years old, college student and have my life ahead of me?? I always have the thoughts of what to do once i get married, what to wear when my sister gets married, how to look in my graduation and whatever occasions that will come across.
    as of in today, all i can say is that i am literally living my live one day out of time. i do not think about tomorrow, or about next week or about the future. i just worry about wearing my hijab for only one day and that is all.

    i really hope ALLAh will strengthen my Iman and not let the western world i live in affect my thinking. to be honest, it is disapointing that i am feeling this way where i should be proud of my HIjab.
    as the previous comment, it is a reminder that our mothers of Islam like Sayda Khadija, Aisha and Fatima all wore it, we should follow their footsteps and continue doing what they have done.
    anyhow, THANK YOU for the great response, this is exactly what i am looking for….

    • Salam=)

      I’ve been wearing hijab for a few months now, thank God. Beforehand, I’ve done lots of research, and thinking. I’ve been going back and forth for months.

      Eventually, I realized that I needed to look at the bigger picture. Then, I thought ‘hijab over looks’.

      Let me tell you, it’s hard! I’m a 23-y-o girl living in the West, and wearing it is tough, especially when it comes to fashion, etc. Sometimes, I think about ‘if I didn’t have to wear it, I’d do this and that’, but eventually, I think about Allah, the reason why I wear hijab and it helps overcoming these thoughts.

      And you can still be a hijabi and look great! You can find tons of websites with good advice for hijabis.

      I hope Allah will give you the strenght and courage to wear it proudly=)

    • Salam Maha!

      I actually went through the exact same struggle, what am I going to wear to this and that and how weird is it going to look and blah blah blah. But alhamdulillah I made my decision by figuring out what was more important to me: the happiness of Allah, my Creator and the one that i’m going to be begging for His mercy on the Day of Judgement…orr just..people, that are in no way going to benefit me in my ultimate goal of Jannah.
      May Allah help all the Muslimas struggling with hijab!

  • Jazaki Allahu kul khayr, barak Allahu fiki wa taqabal Allahu minki wa yutham ajraki inshaAllah!

  • ASAK,
    Alhamdulillah! indeed an excellent nasiha. I think sister needs to persevere and iA in the near future takin off the hijab would become a repulsive idea.
    SHS

  • Salaam,

    Just want to say that I appreciate the honest sharing, and the compassion in discussing an issue which is so sensitive and personal, at the same time as pertaining to an aspect of Islamic law.

    My respect to the team and especially Sr Shazia for addressing this timely issue.

  • Why is it a choice between wearing jeans and t-shirt and praying or wearing hijab and not praying? Why can’t you do both? I’m a convert/revert myself, so I am aware of the struggles, but isn’t that what we expect on the right path? We do not follow it for our families, for Muslims, for anyone but God and ourselves. To put aside hijab is a gamble – as is to openly choose to commit any sin. And even if you are the most spiritual person otherwise, there is no getting around the fact that you sin openly. That does not mean you are less pious than someone else who covers – hijab is not and cannot be held as the standard by which piety is judged – that’s just stupidity – but it is laying bare a sin. Go back to why did you become Muslim – was it for the people and how they would treat you, or in spite of all that? Why did you wear hijab to begin with? Just for people, or for God or yourself? I think too often people get distracted by Muslims instead of staying focused on Islam.

    • So all the women in the world without headscarf are “sinning”? And what about those slave women not wearing scarf/hijab in the prophet’s time? Are men without beard also sinning? And do we extrapolate this further to the Sunnah of shaving the private parts? Are people who don’t shave their private parts also sinning? I wear scarf and modest clothes. Just wondering how far some of these “judgements” should go. There are people out there who will even consult fatwas just to trim their own nails!! Have we thrown out the baby to focus on the bathwater?

      • The sin of not obeying Allah is something that we all commit at times. We are definitely not perfect. There are several Surats and hadiths that say we bear our own sins and some of those that we have led astray. Surat 16:25 is one of them. It is not judgment (I hope) to warn a sister if she is showing someone else the wrong way. When I first became a Muslim, one of the sisters told me not to worry about the hijab, that she had been a Muslim for two years and only wore it for the masjid. I was relieved when she said that, because I live in a hot climate and was looking for an excuse not to wear it. But we should never listen to our brothers and sisters without checking the Qur’an and sunnah for verification and I found out she was wrong. If I had not ignored her, she would have born some of the responsibility of my sin. We just need to be careful to listen to Allah (SWT) and the sunnah and not our own nafs or anyone elses. Assalamu alaikom sister.

  • Assalamualaikum wbt.

    I just want to say that I have recently embraced the hijab. I was never really a good muslim, although I was born one. But after recent events, Alhamdulillah, it was brought me closer to Allah swt.

    Everyday I thank him for all that he has put me through, the good and the bad, to finally make me come clean to Him. Fully, spiritually. But like you said, everyday is a struggle for me. There are days when I can perform the sunnah, there are days when I don’t. But InsyaAllah, I try not to leave the wajib 5 times a day prayers.

    But in accordance to that, with my everyday struggle. I feel that wearing my hijab is like a promise to God. A contract for myself, this new person. It reminds me, and keeps me faithful to Allah swt. It acts as a reminder for me.

    May we all be in good health and iman.
    Salam wbt.

  • @ Otowi, SubhanAllah, beautiful reply that encompasses the reasons not just for hijab, but all other struggles in life. This is the bottom line, if every action is thought of that it is for Allah Ta’ala’s sake, a muslim’s life has much more peace & tranquility, even struggles would become easy. That is what you see in Sahabas’ lives.

    • Funny how this reminds me of the MYNA raps song from years ago:

      If it’s for the cause of Allah
      Allah will always be with you
      If it’s for the cause of Allah
      Allah will always be with you

  • i also want to take it off:( have tried but cant because i am so used to it am 28 have been wearing it since i was in school, took it off for a few months after my marriage but again started wearing it because i felt incomplete, none of my friends wear it and many say that its not a fardh, as its not clearly said in quran and the ahadith are weak .i feel like i look more beautiful without hijab,and have better self esteem withou it :( , i see my friends ,colleagues,relatives having fun and not even caring about hijab ,not even thinking about it , bu they r good muslims othermise ,i am confused

    • Assalam alaikum,

      My humble advise to you is to fear Allah azza wa jal & strive to follow his commands inspite of the social pressures applied to ”observing”muslims. Honestly, i was shocked to read your ”friends” opinions on the modest hijab as prescribed by the shareeah (Qur’an & Sunnah). Kindly show them the translated verse below:

      ”And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)”Al-Israa 17:36.

      The command has been clearly elaborated in the Qur’an and sahheh Sunnah (yes, the authentic sunnah)Please try to read the translations of the below surah and hadiths:

      An-noor – (24:31, 24:60), Al- Ahzab – (33:53, 33:59)

      Al Bukhari – (4481, 146), Muslim – (2170), Abu Dawood – (4102)

      Finally, dont be saddened or tempted of what others are saying or doing or thinking others are having fun. After reading the above surahs and hadiths, you will develop (yaqeen)in your heart, then read the translation of the ayat below:

      ”So put thy trust in Allah: for thou art on (the path of) manifest Truth”. Surat Al-Naml 27:79

  • Salaam aleikoem wr wb,

    Life is Jihad in every way. For the women its a Jihad to put on her Hidjaab or Niqaab. For a Man its a Jihad to grow his beard aldo his friends have girlfriends on college. Its always a Jihad with the Shaitan of the inner self. The Shaytan is easy, but the one in yourself isnt easy. Jannat is not easy, we have to work for it. We have to wear Islam intern and extern. In these field we have to keep on struggling and having faith in Allah, that he will help us through.
    Allah says in the Quran;
    Those who strive hard in Our way – surely We shall guide them onto Our paths” (al-Ankabut 29:68).
    “We have created man into (a life of) trial and pain” (al-Balad 90:4). “And that nought shall be accounted unto man but what he has striven for” (al-Najm 53:39

    Do you think you should enter Paradise unless God establishes who among you have struggled hard and who are patient? (Al-Imran 3:142)

    Do you think you should enter Paradise while there has not yet come upon you the like of those who passed away before you? Misery and hardship befell them (Al-Baqarah 2: 214)

    Do the men think that on their [mere] saying ‘We believe’, they will be left to themselves, and will not be put to the test? We certainly put to the test those that were before them (Al-Ankabut 29:2-3)
    We must prove, within our human limitations, that we are prepared not only to profess our faith, by praying at home being a Muslim inside the house and not otside the house. We also prepare to struggle and sacrifice what we really love for that which we declare to be dearest to us. That is why, in the Qur’an, Iman is almost invariably bracketed with righteous deeds (al-‘amal al-salih) and with Hijrah and Jihad. Indeed only those believers are declared to be truthful in their claims to faith who are certain and unwavering, who struggle in Allah’s way with their lives and possessions (al-Hujurat 49:15).
    Be a Muslim, its your inner and outer garment. Don’t let your self be fooled, by satan or your bad nafs. There are only strong ahadith in about the Hidjaab. Let your friends having fun, till the fun of death will enter. And what will they be saying.
    Advise them to enter in Islam Fully and not partial Islam. Partial Islam is not for Muslims. Allah has commanded us to take Islam as a Whole amd don’t leave out bits and pieces, otherwise we will end up as the Jews and Christians or outer Nations before them.

    Abu Adam, Ibrahim
    Amsterdam, Hollan

  • thank you for this question and this answer. i felt every word, because it was as if i could have been writing the question. my road to being a Muslima is common among all of the reversts i have shared stories with. we have all been at this exact spot, where the questioner is right now. with answers as good as this one i hope someday i can be where this sister is too! May God Bless you both. i celebrated a 21 yr. anniversary as a happy mahajabi!!!

  • thanku for ur reply,can u tell me where i can find these ahadith about hijab? so i can tell others ,is there a hadith saying one has to cover her hair completely because for people with long and heavy hair,its very difficult.
    jazakaAllah

  • Subhan Allah very well answered actually i am pretty much struggling with the same issue but now Alhamdulilah i have this feeling i am at least among those who are trying to correct their self.
    JazahAllahKhair.

  • MashAllah – your words spoke directly to my heart. I went through this stage and understand the feeling of “taking it off” however, you made great points.

    Salamalikum.

  • Assalamu’alaikum Wr Wb

    Masya ALlah, Allahu Akhbar……… excellent writing. It addresses the issues beautifully. Every word inspires me… and I really needed that.

    Bro Shuhaib, indeed ALlah SWT grants you the greatest gift, the knowledge and ability to address issues in a special way. Jazakallahu Khairon, and may ALlah SWT bless you, your family and everyone here. Ameen Ya Robbal ‘Alamin

  • Assalamu Alaykum,
    These are heart moving words to help many ladies out there who are confused.
    I am a student of Al-Huda International Welfare Organisation, Islamabad, Pakistan. I request you to allow us to print this answer and share it with our students and others, in order to help people implement the commands of Allah. I would be waiting for your reply.
    Jazakumullahu khairan katheeran
    Mariam

    • Wa `alaykum assalam,

      Everything on this website can be shared, as long as you cite the source: SuhaibWebb.com. Also, please include the author’s name.

  • I’m sorry
    I am offended and feel sad about muslim priorities. Where are the Muslim Manners?

    i find it strange that Muslims are FIGHTING against another Muslim about the hijab on a personal struggle and hijab becomes a priority. As if Allah would suddenly make us all pious if we all wear the hijab. And muslim men tell muslim women about jihad when they do not understand the struggle.

    Splitting the community in to sectors and sects. No one can be sure of anything, not scholars, not anyone, but out of the knowledge that they have it is still their most sincere opinion. Unless someone has had a direct dialect with the prophet or Allah on this EXACT case, I believe anyone who is judging and harsh, has no real knowledge of Islam.

    Islam is about ONE UNITED BODY. Loving ur muslim brothers and sisters as you love yourself.

    Islam is about Allah. Worshipping Allah and following his guidance to the best of your ability.

    Islam is about Liberation. Accepting the difference in cultures and humanity with one mission. To Worship Allah. With Allah’s support, People will be free, empowered. Allah has given muslims a lot of leeway to express themselves. In it’s time, it was considered, democratic and with liberal ideas. The Khandaq, choosing a khalifa, women’s rights, human rights, slave rights, child rights, orphan’s rights, guest’s rights.

    Islam is about Humility. Humility of yourself to Allah. But Strong against injustice, Strong against wrong doings in the family life, community life, international life. And the patience to endure hardships because you are doing the right thing for Allah, and that encompasses everything from feeding every poor man you are capable of feeding, to loving your muslim family, to acting for every injustice you see and the ideas are ENDLESS!

    Islam is about the example of the Prophet. If the prophet saw us copying his clothes, I think he would give us an A for effort. But if the prophet saw us copying his “Akhlaq”, his practice of virtue (manners, patience, love, compassion, humility, honesty, honesty, honesty, etc…) I believe in my HUMBLE opinion, with the limited knowledge I have in Islam, I Believe he would be Proud of us. A man of GREAT EXAMPLE should be followed, not copied. If the Prophet spoke to Arabs as negatively and harsh as some of the replies, no one would have been muslim. The prophet is a walking , talking example of Islam and it’s benefits, attracting people with his Akhlaq so people listen to his words.

    I believe it’s a very brave person that knows something’s wrong and admits to it and says that it’s difficult. I believe people evolve, grow, matures with time. I believe both sides are sincere.

    So instead of Alienating a fellow muslim, and finding faults. Understand the problem, and accept that this feeling is genuine. You dont have to believe in it. But as a muslim, you have to believe this is your SISTER’s genuine struggle.
    She is a Muslim First.
    Everything is is judged by Allah.
    and no one has knowledge on this Earth to condemn her or celebrate it.
    Each is on his own..
    this is something you have to be judged for it on the day of judgment and no one else will be judged for it.

    I swear if we fought for orphans the way we fight for hijab , there will not be one orphan on earth.
    If we had the same heart to take care of all the poor, it would solve poverty.

    I feel sad for my muslim family.
    If you understand this and apply it. I believe you’ll equal 1’000 muslims who dont apply true Islam, but wear their clothes.

    I dont believe i’ll be popular for this opinion, but if anyone has suggestions on why we should condemn or blame another muslim and make her feel like she is not part of our Community, please advise me.

  • Its truly amazing what’s said in the response.
    but honestly wearing a hijab at first wasnt easy for me as well.I first started wearing it when i was in grade 7 and it was actually forced upon me. i mean my mom wore and so my elder sister and then it was time for me.i didn’t actually mind it but i wasnt quite comfortable enough.
    keeping it all tied up in the school was just a bother for me and also it was a sudden change.i could no more take part in those fancy dance functions in my school,i mean common wearing a hijab and dancing,duh its sounds stupid and would certainly look ridiculous So that part was actually pretty hard.To top it off i was kind of given orders by my sis that “you shouldn’t take it off anywhere or everywhere”
    gosh seriously 1 moment i truly hated it.As days passed i got used to and it was no more a duty,though it still wasn’t my wish but its just that i no more took it as a burden.i just wore it every morning to school without hesitation and than wore it else where and loved it.

    To bring 1 more twist in my life,few years later i was told to wear abaya.well this time its wasnt a surprise for me.i knew i had to some day.so finally i wore the complete hijab + abaya stuff and i was ok with it.
    well, in my family its the case of “take it or leave it”- i mean once u have worn the stuff u have to wear it forever,no compromise for a wedding or a party,u have to attend any function wearing abaya and if in case its a mix gathering of male and female than forget about taking off your abaya.This particular part was the worse.
    i mean i am a pakistani,and marriages in pakistan are full of color and every1’s enthusiastic about showing off their pretty outfits.so this thing really used to get out of my nerves.
    my elder sis is quite strict about all this so eventually i had to end up listening her but deep down i always thought that it was so embarassing going to a marriage wearing abaya,i mean otherwise i loved it no matter what but i always hesitated wearing at marriages.i use to think what others are going to think and what if they find it weird because many usually take off their hijab during such celebrations.
    Anyways my whole point here is that after reading the entire response i have really understood What islam is about.my thoughts of taking off abaya/hijab in marriage are completely clear now.i mean anyways i wasnt already going to take off my abaya at marriages but its just that what is explained in the article makes me feel that it is also what i want to do,not what i have to follow.

    thanks to you 😀

  • Assalam-o-alaikum (WRWB)!!

    I, very strongly, agree with you, brother, on the context that you’ve attached on “Hijaab”. One has to understand that “Hijaab” comes from within, not from influence of others. I have been wearing hijaab for, almost twenty -years, now, but I didn’t used to. One day, at a “Ladies Dirs”, hearing the scripture on “Importance of Hijaab”, and the lady, whom was giving, said, “Not wearing Hijaab is like one being seen as if having no clothes on.”……This li’l note gave me the chill to an extent that I, immediately, acquired “Hijaab” and have been wearing it since, PROUDLY!!…Masha-Allah!

    Walaikum Assalam (WRWB)!!!

    • “Not wearing Hijaab is like one being seen as if having no clothes on.”

      this kind of unnecessary drama just perpetuates the thinking that any woman who doesn’t cover is a whore.

      we ALL deserve to be treated with respect. the hijab is not a prerequisite for that…

  • Assalaamu Alaikum!

    Mashaallah! Such a wonderful reply given by Br. Suhaib Webb to the sister. May Allah SWT make us from among those who perform our religious duties with full sincerity and devotion, and thus become beloved to Him. Ameen.

    Ma-assalaam.

  • Well said, Imam Suhaib. I particularly liked that part about why the physical outwards acts of worship, sometimes triviliazed by the word – rituals, are important. That throws so much light on the issue, mashAllah. The rituals are not trivial – they follow the spiritual in a content whole. MashAllah!

  • Hmm this is interesting to me. I think in a land where Muslims are well represented, wearing a hijab is “just” a piece of cloth, and considered a part of the local dress code. But in a nonMuslim country, wearing a hijab really does turn one into a representative of Islam and it is confusing when hijabi girls are going to prom dancing, mingling with guys, wearing a ton of makeup, etc. when their hijab is saying something different. Yes, it’s just as bad Islamically if you’re doing these things as a Muslim male, but a hijab is something more exclusively related with Islam. I think if people are going to pick and choose certain aspects of their religion to excel at (which is true for nearly everyone), it is better to work on the internal things rather than starting with something external and having everything else in your look and personality completely clashing, and furthermore, giving almost negative dawah about Islam.

  • Sister Sumera, I think it is unfair that you have been pressured into abaya. It is clear from your post that your elder sister and family’s expectations played a big role in both your decisions to start hijab and abaya. You might rationalize all this thinking it is better, but Islamically, we are not supposed to forbid what Allah SWT has permitted for us. And in our religion, there is no stipulation for one to wear only Abaya. We can wear a dress of ANY culture as long as it conforms to the guidelines of covering everything but the face and hands. This can easily be met with the majority of Pakistani shalwar kameez, as they consist of a long shirt with loose trousers. So it is wrong for anyone to forbid outfits which are permissible, especially in the name of Islam.

  • Imam Shuaib,

    The article you wrote was beautiful. However, you are not touching on the social and psychological effects of wearing a scarf on one’s head. Please differentiate between ‘hijab’=modest covering of a woman’s body, and ‘hijab’= scarf-wearer. Do you believe muslim women should wear hats all the time? they would still be covering their hair…but nobody would know they are muslim…but they would still be ‘modest’. Please address this. I feel like this is a serious matter that men cannot fully grasp.

    Thank you

  • salamu alaykum everyone,
    Today I googled the phrase”take off hijab” and came across this post. I have no one to understand from my close friends and relative, so i’m seeking the strangers of the world wide web to give me their opinions. I have been a ten year wearer of hijab, head of mso, active in my community, tajweed teacher, arabic teacher, attended all the cnfrences, you name it. I truly love my religion.. and want to remain close to it, but being now 28 yo, i find myself in a very strange situation that I never thought i would ever be in. I am a career girl, a doctor to be specific, training in residency, arab and came to this country 5 yrs ago.. My whole family came here so I had no choice but to join them.. now because of my training being in a place where its hard for my family to join me, I am left alone. To face a hostile islamophobic community on my own. Its hard to lead a normal social life because most of the girls in my age are married with kids. I think of this everyday, and feel the only solution to my situation is to get married. However, most of the religous guys who want a hijabi dont want a doctor, and most of the guys who would marry a doctor dont want a hijabi. I love the hijab, love the identity it gives me, dont care about blending in the western world, but its hindering my finding a suitable spouse. I’ve almost decided to take it off. the funny thing is i’m a very good looking girl and I know once i do, most porpbably my single status will be removed. Allahu a3lam :(

    • wa `alaykum assalam,

      Pray to Allah swt for guidance. May He strengthen you and guide you in this and all matters, and surround you with those that He loves. Ameen.

    • Assalamu Alaikum Sister:

      Actually, in the medical field is one of the few workplaces where I see many many women wearing hijab. No doubt there will be at least one other physician where you do your residency who wears it. You’ll also find that many hospitals host Jummah prayers. Now, as a resident, your time is not your own, but I know many Muslim residents who do work with their colleagues to try and take lunch (if they have time) at Jummah time.

      1000x easier to wear hijab in a hospital in the States than any other place–trust me. :)

      However, it’s up to you. The one thing I ‘d ask is that do you want to attract a husband who values your modesty or not? As much as I hate hijab some days, I love the fact that my husband finds me the most beautiful with hijab and without a bunch of make-up. I know way too many women whose life is the reverse–and the always feel like they have to put on a ton of make-up for their husbands.

      Whatever you decide, good luck in your training.

      Peace.

  • Salam all and salam to Nora. First of all I want to say I’m so happy to find this place online where I can connect with others that have the same struggles as I do. It empowers me and so thank you for creating this site. I’d love to connect with sisters and perhaps develop friendships here. I see a part of me in every comment posted – It seems like everyone is struggling with the issues , struggling with themselves…and it just makes me feel like I am not alone in this.
    I just want to share my story so that I join your voices. perhaps I will benefit someone.
    I came to the U.S from Egypt in 98 . I was 16 years old – upper middle class family , didn’t wear hijab and just a moderate muslim girl. I got to learn about true islam in america, not in egypt. Even though my mom has always been pretty religious, I discovered it on my own on a college campus and through MSA. I decided to wear hijab at the age of 20, I was a sophomore in college – things were perfect for a year or so , and I experienced this “rush” that you refer to – then from then on I struggled with it, and you could say I am still struggling with it – But deep down I know I will never take it off , no matter how bad things get in my mind or how much i want to and the reason I know this is because of how much I travelled the world, experienced the different cultures, and saw how much society around you can create such an amazing pressure against you that you simply have to give in to whatever is mainstream. Being different is not easy, and it’s not meant to be easy. The question to ask is “why am I being different and for what purpose and for who ?: I feel that everything I struggled with in regards to “keeping my hijab on” had nothing to do with hijab itself, it had to do with how I was perceived by others! or let’s say personal image. Of course personal image can have a huge impact on your life and should not be underestimated. My concerns were: will I find the type of guy I wanted to marry? the religious ones were too extreme and the moderate ones were out in the clubs and confused ..so where are the guys and how is my hijab getting in the way of my social life, how people perceive me and whether I am going to meet the guy who will understand me for who I am, not just judge me based on hijab(or lack of it ) ? the other concern was: will I get a job after i graduate ? I was a valedictorian in architecture school in college , but I was still concerned: will my hard work amount to nothing because of my hijab? Even after I was proved wrong and after I got hired in chicago at a top tier organization and I was the ONLY muslim and the only hijabi – I was living alone in Chicago as a single muslim professional – the rest of my family were in the middle east. being hijabi then was very difficult and different from being a college undergrad with so much support from MSA ) my concern now was : will they not promote me because I don’t go drinking with them and I am clearly so different ? the struggle continued – all in my head.

    I remember back when I was a teenager in egypt, America or americans or how i was viewed by a ‘non muslim’ was not even relevant in my life. Being muslim was simply the norm , not the minority. I grew up being ‘very’ mainstream in egyptian society and my image was a very positive one… So how did my life turn around so much !? now instead of being a simple member of society with a normal image ( mind you in egyptian society if ur upper middle class then ur superior than the rest ) to being somewhat inferior , weird minority with insecurities, fears and worries? It becomes really clear where the problem really is if you have something to compare it to !!! The problem was not with hijab itself – It is not the act of worship of wearing the hijab , thats the easy part !! the problem is that of image – what others think.

    in 2007 I decided to move to dubai to join the rest of my family members there
    the interesting thing I did notice was this: within my almost 10-year hijab struggle/rollercoster is that during the two years that I left america to work in dubai, I did not struggle with hijab , not sometimes, not often , not once, not at all ! – In fact it was never ever an issue. I was working for a big american architecture company and the people I worked with were professionals from all over the world: muslim, christian, athiest , american , australian , british , paki arab… you name it ! all the combinations in the world were present in the two floors of our office. And even though most events centered around alcohol and other things like that in dubai , I not ONCE felt attacked , disrespected , looked down upon because of my hijab. In fact , people gave me MORE respect because of it , including americans , athiests, christians and even non practising muslims. My bosses tried to “SELL” my image to clients because our clients were all local muslims and they would probably be proud to see a hijabie woman on the management team talking to them about the design concepts for their next sky scraper. Managers thought I would be a valuable addition in management because of MY IMAGE !! !!!
    It was very clear that a woman wearing hijab in dubai is someone “not to mess with” , someone that should get the best seat on a bus or in the hospital or wherever else. People just respect you. apart from that there were beach clubs that were designed for women only, so you can simply go to a private woman club after work, slip into your swim suit, and chill on the beach, go for a swim , sun tan , have an outdoor sunny lunch with your friends, in a swim suit !! I think all of these “perks” were the direct reason why I did NOT struggle with hijab during those two years !! it was a combination of PERKS and a positive image in the minds of those around me, being respected…. I found all of this funny because within my lifetime I am just ME.. i am the same person all along yet I get treated completely different depending on whether im in egypt, kansas, chicago, or dubai. Because of this, I learned not to equate myself to my image – because it was very clear that image did not define me, and I also had very little control over it !! I can hope all I want, but what is written for me will be written whether those around me like it or not !
    Since dubai, I have moved back to America and now my hijab struggle is back !! However I found an amazing husband ( an american convert ) and have been married for almost a year and whenever I struggle with it, he reminds me of what I already know. Also to me , my image infront of him matters more … My hijab struggle is not over and I don’t think it ever will be, but deep down in me I know that the job, the husband and the peace of mind come from Allah, they don’t come from our own actions and our own attempts
    I because as soon as i reason it out in my head, there simply isnt any justification for taking it off, so I go about continuing to keep on keeping on!.. I am 29 years old now . I am married alHAMDULILLAH now for almost a year now… and alot of my struggles when i was 20 have completely gone. alot of the worries about finding the right guy or landing the right job or whether i will face discrimination because of my hijab when i apply for work, are completely gone. Simply because what is meant to happen in your life WILL happen,and nothing happens without the will of Allah. taking off the hijab will definetly not change my destiny against what allah wills for me – be it a job or a husband or find that ‘peace of mind’ – it will come if Allah wills it and when he does, and in the specific time and place that he does. I was laid off in dubai against my will and against my control , and it is beyond my control. However , if I hadnt lost my job I wouldnt have met my husband… so I learned to just do my part and Allah has in store a plan for me. People have very little control over me.

    • Salam Eman,
      Mash’Allah, I just absolutely loved what you had to say. You shed light on what really matters and reading about your story and struggle with hijab is quite motivating. I also started wearing hijab at the age of 20, my mother and sisters do not wear it though. But Alhamdulilah, I have supportive Muslimah friends in my life that have provided me with knowledge and confidence to start wearing hijab. May Allah (swt) strengthen our iman and our ummah. Ameen.

  • Salaam brothers, and sisters.

    I have worn my hijab since Year 4, at the age of 9. It wasn’t something that was forced upon me, however, at the young age, i felt that I was ready. I have worn it everyday since then, throughout all the racism and bullying especially in the first years of high school, in fact it was so bad, that I stopped getting the bus, and got a separate bus, and then had to walk 30 minutes everyday. I have now seemed to reach a stage in my life, where I want to experience just one day in my life, with it off. I want to have just one experience with it off, and want to do so without being judged. I think I know exactly how I will feel, however is it so very bad of me to feel like this? It is not for the attention that I would get from boys/etc, but I think I need to know truly whether I feel like I am wearing it for the right reasons.

  • Wasalaam Uzma
    I think that asking here (a islamic oriented site) you will have most people tell you that it is wrong to think like that and to ask Allah (SWT) for more strength in wearing the hijab. My personal feeling is that we should not go through life with big “what ifs” in our mind, and if something is compelling you and not very harmful, it is okay to do. But if you do take off the hijab for a day, the social stigma from your near Muslim friends for taking it off will probably be more than what you experienced from your non-Muslim friends for having it on! I would maybe try it on vacation, or in a new city, where you can have the non-hijab experience in a way not colored by people’s previous expectations of you as a hijabi.

  • Assalamu Alaikum wa ramatullahi wa baraktu.
    I read something like this or maybe the same as this one on another website and I really liked the response. It always stuck with me as the best reply I had ever read. The person who wrote the reply has amazing skills. I am humbled.
    Jazak Allah Khair.
    Admin
    Habibi Matrimonials

  • Salam to all readers,
    This question and answer truly encapsulates the dilemma that young Muslim women face today in wearing a hijab. I’d like to share my story as I know that there are many Muslims wearing hijab out there who may be going through the same things as I do.

    I am 26 now and I have been wearing the hijab since I was 18 years old. The turning point that made me wear hijab was my father’s death. I was 17 when he passed away due to pneumonia. I disliked the thought of covering my beautiful hair and my parents never forced me to wear it. It doesn’t even help when my closest friends in school are non-Muslim and they always commented to me about how pretty I looked without my hijab. As my mother started wearing hijab in her 40’s, I assumed that I would start wearing it when I get older.

    My father’s death made me realise that life is short and I could die before I make the decision to wear hijab. The thought of what if I fail to repent my sin for not wearing a hijab before I die lingered in my mind for several days. My sisters wear hijab and they advised me that I should start to wear it too so that I can be closer to Allah and pray for my father. How can I expect Allah to forgive my
    father’s sins if I continue to sin by not wearing a hijab. This logical reasoning was the reason I started to change.

    Initially, it was extremely difficult especially when you live in a country like Malaysia where the average temperature is 30 degrees Celsius and wearing hijab makes you sweat like nobody’s business. There is definitely the temptation to remove the hijab especially when you see your non-Muslim friends looking so free with their hair
    blown by the wind, wearing nothing but a sleeveless shirt and a pair of shorts as the weather is so warm.

    However, as mentioned in the article, there is a sense of iman rush in me at that point of time when I put on my hijab. But after a while, as it becomes a routine, it loses that power, and that increase in iman and excitement dissipates.The same thing happened to me too.

    It’s especially difficult for young women who are just starting to experience life out there, start working and looking for potential life partner. We feel like we would look prettier and more attractive to the opposite sex without the hijab.It makes it even more difficult when we see other Muslim women who do not wear a hijab and yet, they are successful in their career and they have
    life partner. We would have a feeling of “why Allah does not give me all that when I obey what He says and make the sacrifice of wearing a hijab?”.

    I struggled with myself on this issue and I often asked myself if my life would be better if I decide to take off my hijab. Would I be more attractive to the opposite sex if I do not wear a hijab. I am surrounded by non-Muslim friends and seeing the way they dress and their attractive hairstyles made me feel like I want to have what they have. The ability to flaunt what I have without the feeling of guilt.

    I think one thing that wasn’t mentioned by everyone is the feeling of guilt. I want to be able to go back to the days when I was not wearing hijab and felt so carefree. I felt that as long as I do my prayers, fast in the month of Ramadhan and be kind to people, Allah will love me whether or not I wear a hijab. However, once I started to wear hijab and it became a part of me, I started to feel guilty
    towards Allah at the thought of removing my hijab. Allah has given me so many blessings in life and I can’t even do something as simple as putting a cloth over my head for Him??. My conscience is the one thing that stops me from removing my hijab completely.

    Having said that, I am not a saint. I am a weak human being who is never free from sins. So there were times when I slipped.I wore hijab to work and when I was out with my friends during weekends, I would take off my hijab as I thought that I looked more attractive and I felt a sense of freedom not having anything over my head.During company events I would remove my hijab as well to flaunt
    my beauty. All my colleagues who are non-Muslim would comment on how attractive I looked and I should consider taking off my hijab permanently.

    My colleagues who are Muslims wouldn’t say anything to get me back in track for fear of offending me. I thought that wearing hijab on and off worked well for me. My logic was it’s better to wear hijab on and off rather than not wear hijab at all.

    Boy, was I wrong to think that way…I was listening to the radio and one motivational speaker was talking about wearing a hijab. She said something that hit right to the core of my heart. She said that;

    “We feel good when we flaunt our beauty, style our hair to others and then what??? What do we get out of it? People will think that we’re attractive but just for a while. But after that it will become normal to them and what do we, Muslims who took the chance of making sin and disobeying Allah get out of it? Sure, we may get the man of
    our dreams, or the promotion that we want but at what expense? Sacrificing what is important to us which is our religion and belief? What about Allah? Isn’t Allah the One who gave us everything? Will the things that we get last if we sacrifice our religion and belief in getting them? Do we still have a peace of heart?”

    Sure enough, I didn’t feel any peace in my heart. I felt more and more guilty. Attractiveness is only one part of who we are. I have so much more to offer. People like me for my personality. In fact one of my closest non-Muslim friend even told me that she prefers to see me in hijab because she feels that is truly who I am. She feels it
    is more like me to be wearing a hijab than to be flaunting my hair. She said what matters most is that I am still me whether or not I wear my hijab. I am still the fun, outgoing friend she knew and enjoys spending time with. Eventhough she is of different faith and she smokes, drinks, and lives with her boyfriend, we could both get
    along because we constantly support each other and we do not judge each other’s beliefs and lifestyle.

    I never thought I’d be best friends with her but that’s the beauty of friendship. Friendship does not know any boundaries like religions and gender. We love our friends not for their beliefs, what they do but for who they truly are and that transcends everything.We accept each other for who we truly are.

    Only by being a better Muslim will I be able to influence my friend to my beautiful religion, Islam and perhaps may lead her to change for the better. This really made me change.I started to be more istiqamah in wearing my hijab only for the sole purpose of getting Allah’s blessing. Sure, other Muslim who choose not to wear hijab may get everything they want in life but will Allah be pleased and satisfied with them? I want Allah to be satisfied with me. I only want to attract people who are genuine and able to accept me for who I truly am. I have friends who truly accept me and see me beyond my hijab and that is what matters most. If a guy prefers to be with me without my hijab, then this guy is not who I want for my life
    partner.

    Have faith in Allah and He will give me what’s best for me. Of course for me to reach this stage I had to go through a long process of self discovery which may be something that other Muslimah may have to go through to as well to feel what I feel now. Or another way is you can skip the experience and learn from others experiences.

    So, to all my Muslim sisters, remember that a hijab is just a piece of cloth over your head. It does not define you as a person. What you bring to it is more important. With hijab, comes along a greater responsibility which is being the best possible Muslim you can be . Isn’t it amazing how others who do not understand Islam can feel so
    intimidated, disturbed by our hijab? The only reason people discriminate Muslims wearing hijab is because they are afraid of how great a Muslim women with hijab can be. They want to make us feel insecure so that they can be secure with themselves. But trust me, nothing builds up your sense of security like wearing a hijab. You know for sure that people who are attracted to you or like you not
    because of your looks/attractiveness BUT because of what you have to offer.

    Assalamualaikum to all and let’s all strive to gain Allah’s blessings. InsyaAllah.

    • I appreciate your insight on this topic. I am in process or understanding the interpretation of the Quran and man’s opinion on what it means. Modesty and the heart are what God sees and holds us to.

    • I don’t wear hijab for the simple fact I would lose my job. I have child/children I am responsible for and no man would support me if I can’t support myself. I don’t qualify for free healthcare and handouts. If man had to wear his religion on his head, and he may lose his job, I wonder if he would be so willing to endorse it. This is why muslim men have an easier time living their religion in the west (I mean the ones gambling, bar hopping, dating, etc., and I know quite a few) They are not held accountable to the same standards in islamic society and put on this big show about how women should dress, and these are the same brothers who will talk to a woman dressed so immodestly for hours, but let a muslim woman around and oh my, can’t even say hello to her, let’s hoard her into another room with walls and barriers, she is HARAM. Anyway, just have a man wear a thobe and kufi hat to his job, or classes, and all around town for two weeks, he will notice that more people notice him than when he is not wearing it. (There were two muslim let off an airplane for the way they dressed recently)This is what I have a problem with. So for now, I dress modestly, and when other doors of opportunity arise and I have choices, I will make them. No other man or woman has the right to judge me.

      • Sister, you say that you don’t wear hijab simply because you will lose your job and you fear that you will not be able to support your children. Allah says in the Quran:

        {“…And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him out of every difficulty, and He will provide for him from where he could never imagine.”}

        [at-Talaq; 2-3]

        Allah promises us, in this ayah that if we fear Him, and keep our duty to Him, He will make a way out for us and provide for us from sources we never expected. We have to believe in this ayah with certainty, and know that Allah never breaks His promise. Sister, put your trust in Allah. He loves you and He will take care of you. Nothing can happen unless He allows it to happen. They cannot fire you unless He wills. If He wills that you get fired then there’s a greater good because everything Allah has predestined for believers is good for them.

        Muhammad(saws) said:“How amazing is the affair of the believer. There is good for him in everything and that is for no one but the believer. If good times come his way, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him, and if hardship comes his way, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” [Muslim]

        To compare your situation with men wearing thobes and hats incorrect. Allah has commanded that the woman cover herself and wear hijab, so how can you compare this to a man wearing something that is not mandotory upon him? Even if hijab draws attention, does that mean you shouldn’t wear it? You say you dress modestly, but you cannot make up your own intepretaion of what modety is. Allah has ordered the Muslim woman to wear Hijab and there is no excuse for disobeying Him.

        • I think the sister was trying to make the point that maintaining or gaining employment in hijab can be quite difficult. I know in my previous job it was a constant barrier to my progression and interactions with my co-workers. Many Muslim brothers, if not most, go through this life unrecognizable as Muslim in the public eye. They can have jobs where no one may know their faith. So when these brothers lecture endlessly about hijab (as in covering the head – not modesty) – it gets annoying. I took off my scarf – and apparently I am going to hell in a handbasket. My sister, the non-Muslim jokes putting anything on her head and saying “good girl” and then off “slut-whore”. Terrible I know but apt. I dress as modestly if not more so than before but no cloth in my head. Yet you stand me up with women in clothes painted on and some fancy egyptian styled hijab with 5 pounds of make-up – I will be the wanton one. We shouldn’t judge women who are forced to make it alone in this society or any other. We do not know what is in people’s hearts or what they indure. I like being anonymous and being out in the public where no one bothers looking at me because I don’t stand out. period.

        • Where do you draw the line with what Allah wills? My husband says that if Allah does not will that he win when he gambles, then he won’t win. He uses the same type of justification for his misbehavior. But if he was wearing a hijab, he wouldn’t have the guts to even step one foot in the casino with his friends. His sin would be obvious to even the non-muslims is my point. So for now, while my husband is not/can not pay the bills, I have to pay them. When my gas and electricity are turned off with 3 kids in the house, who will pay my bills for me? Allah? Should I just wait on the money to roll from the sky for me? My daughter has scoliosis, I have kidney issues, I need healthcare. Should I just take no precaution and say it will not be unless Allah wills it? If Allah wills my daughters back to get worse it will, therefore there is no need for healthcare for her? The first thing a convert woman learns is although she took a shahada, she does not and will never have in most cases a muslim life. No father/brother/uncle to take her in when or if the marriage fails, no inheritance rights, very little familial support or even friend support unless she is very lucky. I would also like to ask as I really don’t know, but how long did it take for Prophet Mohammed to have this revelation on hijab? After how long was this implemented? The first day he heard the message from Allah, second, one month, one year? Does anyone know or can enlighten me? The convert experience is not all the same. In the last four years I have been divorced, remarried, changed religion, moved `1500 miles from my home, and gained custody from the state of two children who had been placed with the state for the prior three years and whose Muslim father is still working out his issues obviously, and gambling addiction is at the forefront. I have basically sacrficed myself and my life and my daughters life for these kids, one of whom is autistic, and the other has reactive detachment disorder. My daughters father, whom I only divorced due to depression and suicide threats, was murdered in 2009, while he was waiting on a hospice for emphysema complications. I had to bury him.
          So please forgive me if at this point in my life my hijab is not my most pressing issue. Many women who have never been in any type of hardship and come from Muslim background like to give such simple advice, when in reality peoples situations are sometimes more complicated.

        • Karen – perhaps your husband should wear a kufi. This might remind him of the importance of his obligation to follow the
          life of Islam.

        • Assalamu alaikum

          Please forgive me beforehand if I seem offensive or brash, that is not my intention. I am speaking generally and not to a specific person.

          To put it bluntly — I get sick and tired of hearing Muslims complain about how hard life is. Then they proceed to use hardship as an excuse for disobeying Allah. Life is hard for EVERYONE. We lose our families, limbs, jobs, minds, possessions— and sometimes more than once. How ungrateful!! To have no trust in Allah that He will provide for us no matter how desperate we are!

          What, exactly, is one going to tell Allah when one is standing in front of Him on al qiyama, and He asks us why we willfully chose to disobey Him? “I was too busy feeling sorry for myself”, “Sorry, it was my job”, “It was out of fashion, I wanted to be cool”, “I wanted to be accepted by the non-Muslim society”, “I didn’t think that particular rule was important”, ect…

          I know that nobody is perfect and we all sin, but there is a very thick and obvious line that seperates necessity and preference. And I agree with sister Amatullah, may Allah reward you!

          If We give man a taste of Our mercy and then take it away from him, he becomes highly desperate, utterly ungrateful. [Quran 11:19]

          And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.[Quran 22:11]

          As for man, whenever his Lord tests him by honoring him and is gracious unto him, he says, “My Lord has honored me!” But when He tries him by restricting his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me!” [Quran 89:15-16]

        • As another convert sister, who has gone back and forth on the hijab issue myself, I have to stand in support of our sister Karen. I have been where she is with the problems with her marriages and have had my entire family turn their backs on me and have zero semblance of a “normal” Muslim life. I have an autistic child, and another with special needs and am one of about 4 Muslim sisters in the community here, and only one of the others wears hijab and is employed, and she is self employed, alhamdulilah.

          My husband has been out of work and I have been looking for employment for a year, and I was recently turned down for a position because of Islam (unofficially obviously) I know it because one of my co-workers (I had volunteered in the position for several months prior to the position becoming available) who heard the whole interaction told me about it. and that was the SECOND time I didnt get a job because of Islam, and granted, its not somewhere I want to work if people are that way, but I have lost so much because of Islam, and I know that the Prophet (pbuh) said that if we love him and ALlah we must be prepared to face extreme hardship, and I am okay with that…but not at the expense of my children’s well being.

          We live in substandard housing for lack of ability to pay for better, half of our electric outlets are broken and we have black mold in our ceiling that is causing my asthma and my childrens to be significantly worse, yet we cant afford to move…so is keeping my hijab on worth my death? no. We are given permission to say we are not Muslim in life or death circumstances, so how is not being able to take care of my family’s health because of hijab any different?

          Sister Karen, as far as time from the verses about hijab from being revealed to implementation, that is a very good question. I dont know the answer for that specifically, but I do know that from the time the first Ayah was revealed in the Quran, it took decades for the Sahabah to be the people they were in the end in Medina, so Islam is a process of becoming the Muslims Allah wants us to be, it was even so for the Sahabah.

          I think that its much easier to judge another person when your only reason for not wearing hijab is because you are pretty and want to flaunt that, if that is your motivation for not wearing hijab, then you have no reasons beyond vanity and should feel guilty and feel like you are not doing what Allah wants from you. I think that is a valid spiritual consequence from Allah for it.

          I dont think its the same in the case of feeding your family or making sure they have healthcare. In the case of men, or women in Muslim countries, they have NO idea what its like to be a Muslim woman in America in hijab, they dont, and cant, so we cant use their advice as the only source of knowledge, because they have no experience with it.

          When I take off hijab, I am just like every other white woman on the street, except a bit more covered (I dont use no hijab as an excuse to parade around in a miniskirt) but I dont get stared at, or ostracized, or get ignored in stores by the salesepeople and passed by at the register for other customers, I dont get harrassed by strangers who think its appropriate to tell me to “go back to where Im from”, its a whole different life in hijab and not…and like I said, I fully can accept that hardship and have done so for almost a decade, but when it comes to not being able to care for my family and looking for employment IN HIJAB, for one year, and having two instances of being turned down for my scarf, its obviously having a negative impact on my finding a job, and I cant let my kids starve and then tell them on their deathbed, “well sorry guys, Im supposed to wear hijab, and its a sin not to”…there is no hierarchy of sin in Islam and not wearing hijab is no worse than lying or stealing, and if my intentions are pure, then Allah will know that and thats all I need to be concerned with, not whether or not I could do better or worse.

        • This is in response to “Appalled”– your post was moderated and I did not see it when I posted mine, but I think I agree with you on one point. That by using our hardships as an excuse to not do what is asked of us by Allah is to show a lack of trust in him, I agree with that wholeheartedly.

          However, for some people, and many women, and I know this is the case for me, trust is an extremely difficult thing. Especially in the case of a convert to Islam, because chances are, to go from one faith to another, something negative happened in that first faith relationship to sour it or you would have never gone searching for another to begin with and hence never accepted Islam in the first place. That negativity could be present in your entire life, with your family, friends, co-workers etc. and when you turn away from what you “are supposed to believe” (according to the people who are in your life) it is extremely difficult, and many times, the people you have trusted your entire life, turn their back on you…and in the case of Sister Karen, she married a man who seems to have his own spiritual struggles and she cannot trust him fully in taking care of her needs, so its another instance of broken trust….so to just say “Trust Allah” is not that easy for us all.

          We may believe the tenets of Islam, we may love the ideals of Islam, we may know the truth of Islam, but that doesnt erase our humanity or our past experiences in life, and doesnt make trusting any easier, even if it is Allah.

          So you are right, at its core, it probably is just a lack of trust in Allah, and I personally see that theme played out repeatedly in my own life with lack of trusting just about everyone….but that isnt something that someone can just say “okay Im going to start trusting Allah today” its a process, just like everything else. For me, for sister Karen, for every other person, trust is a process…and in some cases, people may not even trust their own judgements and perceptions accurately, so then how can they trust anyone or anything?

          Sure in a wonderful life where there is no loss, no grief, no hardship, this would all be nonsense, but until you have been there, you cannot understand, period. Unless you can say you have been where anyone else is that is doing something you disagree with, you cant understand their motivations, and that is one thing that I personally do trust, is that I trust that Allah understands me and my intentions and my motivations and that He will know that on the Day of Judgement when I go before him and am asked about my hijab, and I say “I didnt trust you enough to expect you to provide for me, so I took it off to get a job” He will know the truth in that, and He will know the struggle that it was, and he will understand, and I hope He has mercy on me, but that is not my decision, and ultimately, whether I wear it or not, its all up to Allah in the end anyways, so I suppose I do trust Allah, I trust in His Mercy.

          But thats how it works for me, and Insha’Allah one day, I will trust–Allah, myself, my husband, my family, people. But for now, thats not the case….but it doesnt mean its okay permanently, but it is okay now, at least for me.

        • Amatullah,
          I really think you should not isolate parts of the Quran yourself when giving advice to others. The Quran instructs us in Surah al Ahzab 33:59 “O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their outer garments; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” The illah for this ayat is so that the women be known and not given trouble by the men. One of the greatest faqih’s in the world, Abdullah bin Bayyah, stated that such a ruling can be reversed if the illah is different. If the woman is FEELING harassed or endangered because of her wearing these garments, then it may be possible for her to remove these garments so as not to be harassed or endangered. He suggested that she consider wearing a hat if she feels that endangered. This religion was made for the people, not the people for the religion. All rulings can be reversed IF there is a proper illah such as the preservation of life or security. For instance, a person can eat pork if they have nothing else to eat and they will starve otherwise. There are higher directives in our deen. Wasalam.

      • Karen. Assalamu Alaikum. I created an article on how Muslims can open up a cart in their local mall. It’s very detailed information that has been published on EZine.com You can google it, “How to open up a cart in your local mall.”
        The income you can generate from such will make you self employed and you will be seeking employees not be a slave to some employer.

      • as salaamu alaykum,

        I can definitely understand some of the frustrations mentioned and the difficulties people are going through, and I completely agree that our community does have a lot that it needs to work on in terms of its attitudes towards women.

        One point I want to mention is that wearing hijab, just like any other religious action, should not really have anything to do with other people (particularly men) and their attitude or judgment about it. However, if a scholar, male or female, tells us the obligation of something, as established by sacred texts, we should strive to fulfill that obligation, without getting caught up in the individual. They are simply a means or a vehicle for me to learn. The real focus should be on my relationship with God Most High and how this would be a means of getting closer to Him. I do it for that sacred relationship, and not for its value in the eyes of other people.

        I would also like to point out that *anyone* who is a practicing Muslim, male or female, will come across challenges in the workplace. A few I can think of off hand are: finding a place for Dhuhur (or other) prayers and taking the time to do so; not drinking alcohol or sitting in the company of other who drink it; limiting physical contact between men and women; avoiding being alone with the opposite sex; taking time off to attend the Jumu’ah prayer; keeping a beard (which some consider obligatory) or wearing hijab; working in a job where one is asked to do something questionable, unethical, immoral, etc. In short, I would say that I definitely agree hijab makes things challenging for some people, depending on their circumstances – but every Muslim is faced with challenges, some that are more personalized and vary from individual to individual.

        I think we should go into it with the attitude that we pray to God for help and to strengthen us, and to help us find work that is conducive to practicing our faith in every way possible. Everyone is struggling with different things and we should be merciful and lenient with each other; at the same time, we should be cautious of turning blame or accountability away from ourselves in a way that exempts us from the process of spiritual growth and upliftment that comes with working to better ourselves, making difficult choices at times, and sacrificing for His sake.

        Allah knows best,

        salaam
        shazia

        • Sister Karen, i’m sorry to hear your situation and may Allah make it easy for you. You can’t assume that because I was born in a Muslim family, i’ve had everything easy because I havent. My family aren’t practising and I struggled a lot to wear Hijab. But my main point is, there is no justification for not wearing hijab.This life is a test and tests aren’t meant to be easy. You have to struggle and strive and at least hope and aspire to wear hijab. Seek help in patience and salah, and remember Allah is the helper and protector of those who believe. May Allah help you and strengthen you. Ameen.

        • Salam I haerd Allah those not judge for doing thing that we have been forced to do like in Karen’s case. Is there a verse to support this?

        • On the campus where I work, I welcome the sight of women,especially those who are young, clad in hijab (hujub?). They are excellently comported, and stand in absolute contrast to the many more ‘Western’ women who show up on campus
          generously displaying their flesh and tattoos. These devoutly attired Muslim women display an uncompromised sense of self esteem and self worth, or in contemporary political terms, they display unabashed empowerment.
          We Jewish men are commanded, in the Book of Numbers, to wear ‘fringes’ on the four corners of our garments, termed ‘tsitsit’, in order to be reminded to observe all of G-d’s commandments. The appearance of ‘hijabed’ women, I feel, serves the same purpose, not only for the women in such attire, but for all who see them. ‘Lower your gaze and guard your modesty’ is the message conveyed to all by these religiously devout and assertive women, and in the region of America where I live and work, given the hostility accorded to Islam, one can add the rubric ‘courageous’.

        • I am a revert to Islaam. I wear hijaab, I wear abaya, I wear niqaab. I do not have a husband. I have lost positions because of how I dress, the last being 19 months ago, and I haven’t had reliable and permanent work since then.
          But I have had work.
          The rizq, the provision is from Allaah. At some point, you have to step out with faith, not trusting yourself, but trusting Allaah, and knowing that it WILL be difficult, but it WILL get better. You believe what is in Qur’aan and Ahadeeth or you rely on yourself and you will be left to yourself.
          As far as the gambling husband is concerned, I have been married to a man who self medicated, I have been married to a man who left scars on my arms and back that are far from faint. Go to your wakeel, talk to him, because apparently he did not know or investigate the man whom he gave you in marriage to. To put it bluntly, you pray, and you tell him to fix it. If you want to stay with the man, and can be patient, then be patient and don’t complain to anyone except Allaah. If you don’t want to stay with him, or cannot be patient, get a khula or ask for talaq, and then trust Allaah.
          Ultimately, who do you trust? And if you (generic, not specifically Karen) are not willing to obey Allaah to the best of your ability, knowing that Allaah does not burden any soul more than it can bear, then when you turn away from Him, why be bitter or have surprise that His Hand is not outstretched to you?

      • Assalaamu alaykum waRahmatullaahi waBarakatuh my dear sister in islaam.

        I just read through your comments. May Allaah cure you & your family from any illnesses.

        I saw that you asked how long after the revelation of hijaab was it taken for it to be implemented, my dear sister

        Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: “May Allaah have mercy on the women of the early emigrants. When Allah revealed the Ayah:

        ﴿وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ﴾

        (and to draw their veils all over their Juyub), they tore their aprons and Akhtamar themselves with them.” He also narrated from Safiyyah bint Shaybah that `A’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to say: “When this Ayah:

        ﴿وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ﴾

        (and to draw their veils all over their Juyub) was revealed, they took their Izars (waistsheets) and tore them at the edges, and Akhtamar themselves with them.”

        So from these narrations we know that as soon as they ayah was revealed the women covered themselves straight away.

        The hijaab is a command from Allaah and we cannot comprimise it for anyone, all you have to do sister is explain to your employer and maybe they will understand.

        I cannot say whether it will happen or not because i am not in your situation.

        As one sister above said Allaah makes a way for those who keep their duty to Him.

        You are right bills do not pay themselves but Allaah gives us a means, and if someone unemploys you because of your religion then does that make them a good person?

        It is better for us to please Allaah than a person, all will make a way for you to provide for your family.

        May He grant you ease in your situation & give you strength.

      • Salam sis,

        In another response you summed it up perfectly:
        ” So please forgive me if at this point in my life my hijab is not my most pressing issue. ”

        That shouldn’t be rocket science for anyone. Making sure you and your children have a roof on your head, food to eat, and clothes on your back should be your main priority.
        Common sense is sunnah too you know!

        • Salaam,

          Bit late to be thinking of hijab now after 3 kids, two husbands and all this stress.

          Maybe it would have been easier to do it before all these calamities came onto you sister. The more you wait, the harder it gets.

          Everything happens for a reason!!

      • i know a lot of people will judge me badly for saying this, but i think that so far you have made the right decision. taking leaps of faith and “putting your trust in Allah” is no9 easy task. a mother who has 3 hungry mouths to feed will do anything ensure that her children survive. sister the so called righteous Muslims here are uncompromising, choosing simplistic “black and white” arguments to further their case. i think that anyone in your position would most likely do the same thing. if you do not find another job then your test is not over. subsequently if you cannot pay your medical bills then the test is not over. if your children have to go through compromises in their childhood and your daughter’s condition worsens then the test is still not over. forget their holier-than-thou attitude and keep your job. you are as a believer stranded on a forsaken island with naught but haram to eat. i truly believe Allah will forgive you this on the Day of Judgement. however, this is not to say that you should not adopt hijab once the opportunity arises and that hijab is not mandatory for Muslimahs. keep doing what you’re doing and make dua for Allah to put you in a situation where you can practise your religion freely. and ditch your husband quickly, he’ll drag you down with him.

      • As Salaamu Alaikum, sister Karen

        In your posts I read anger, frustration and pain. If you were in front of me, I would hold you and listen carefully to your cries. I pray that Allah give you light, peace, ease and comfort.

        Your sister, Denise

      • Sister Karen – It’s been a few months since your post but I wanted to add a quick point.

        I really admire what you say about ‘..I dress modestly, and when other doors of opportunity arise … I will make them’. Masha Allah. The point I want to add relates to this, and is this: Please do add/continue praying to Allah for yourself and others in similar situations. In my life, I have seen prayers work miracles and I pray you see Allah’s promise about responding to praying likewise.

        Meanwhile I think you are absolutely right when you say that to judge is something for Allah alone. It still tends to be a tendency in many people :) Luckily, in most cases it’s even based more on ‘consideration’ for a fellow believer rather than just plain ‘judging’, so I urge you to not let this reflect negatively on the community, which I pray will actually be a source of support for you as you go forward. I also pray that by now, things overall are beginning to turn up for you insha Allah.

      • in response to Karen

        I agree with a few people here that have explained how using such excuses are best avoidable when comparing with a deed for Allah swt. Now I am no scholar, but I know that Allah swt tests us – afterall life is one big test – and we can only suceed for the hereafter if we suceed in these tests.

        Also, I feel as though sister Karen’s point is more of a feminist approach rather than anything else. The Hijab is compulsory for women – NOT for Men.

        If you say men have it easier and women have to face harder tests in these modern, western cultures; then why not use this as your advantage to get through the struggle and earn more aaj’r (reward from Allah swt)?

        I advise that Please avoid using Allah swt’s guidelines as a limitation on our lives… REMEMBER: The Dunya lifetime is very little and is Heaven for non-believers but Hell for US Believers… PLEASE avoid the Sheytaans’ traps.

        JZK

      • Karen,
        i absolutely agree with you. I think people really over hype the hijab thing. Its like.. calm down. Its hair. not eveeryone is dying to look at your hair, or get attracted to you and u may not be that attractive. and yes, i have seen men who ogle at women in hijab irrespective. they stare at their butts if not the hair. if not the hair then the bust. they will stare. I cant fight it. If i walk they stare at me. So who are we tryign to fool? and how much can u hide? Are u telling me wearing modest clothes and not covering ur hair is haram? thats bull shit.. people need to relax and understand we dont live in a world where its as simple as that. no non muslim is going to understand our explanations. and a women who fends for herself cannot starve for something that really honestly nobody out there wants to know of. thank you.

        And please, for men who say that they are suupposed to follow hijab as well. Puh-leez. that never happens! We’re women we’re not animals or something dirty that u cant look at us and talk to us. this is just… its so … doesnt make any sense.

      • Dear Karen – well said. How true. I am tired of people quoting scriptures out of context out of culture out of history and completely ignoring the glaring realities of modern life. Scripture must be applied in the context of the WHOLE not broken apart to berate people with. What you just described should be known to most of us in Western societies and I wonder if this is the situation our Prophet wanted for us? Probably not? Perhaps he might have something to say about the men’s behaviours and the judgements imposed inappropriately on today’s Muslimahs if he could see the situation?

    • Assalamu Alaikum sister,
      your story really touched me! Thank you! I wear hijab, but as a professional sometimes I feel that I do not get promotions because people are afraid of what other people may think of me. So I am the most educated clerical worker at my job. Anytime a job opens that I qualify for I do not even get considered, but my rewards with Allah swt are better I tell myself this so I will not feel badly.

    • Masha Allah!! what you wrote is what almost all of us wearing hijab must have felt at one point of time at least!! When i started my first job,ppl at work would literally force me to remove my hijab and sadly, i caved in.. so, the day i left my job i resolved not to take any job where they are more concerned about my hijab than my work!
      And i Just hope Almighty Allah bestows his blessings on us and give us strength and courage to stick to the correct path..Ameen

    • Subhannallah sister! That was wonderful to read! May Allah reward you for sharing! I got much benefit from it and insha’Allah, other sisters will as well! May Allah make it easy on not only the sisters, but also the brothers b/c none of us is exempt from the constant trials in the dunya.

    • thank you sister for insight. please any sisters reading this make duaa for me to insha allah feel the strength of allah swt blessings to wear hijab soon.

  • I was very moved by this article and am so thankful to Allah for this message- I do feel that covering and modesty is to be determined by each individual person, male or female, meaning that the Quran, to me, doesn’t list many specifics on how to cover as to test us on our choice to do so.

    That being said, I choose to cover my hair and dress modestly because I want to adhere to Allah’s command to be modest and hijab reminds me everyday of my goal of being the best Muslim I can be. I face opposition for my choice- I live in America and in a military town for one. I, mashallah, have never faced direct insults from anyone just stares but I am unemployed and job-hunting in hijab can be difficult (with every rejection I wonder if it was my hijab to blame) Also my husband, though Muslim, does not feel I ‘need’ to wear hijab and while supportive, makes comments about not wearing it some days. My Christian family is against it and pressures me at times to ‘think of my family and remove it’ to get a job. So this article helps me to reaffirm my choice to cover and to turn to Allah when I struggle.

    Lastly I appreciate the information from the article and commenters about hijab not being a litmus test of how pious one is but a commitment to better oneself.

    Thank you and mashallah

    • Assalamu Alaikum Sister. Not sure where you are located by we are a Muslim owned company in a Mall and seeking a Muslim women to help manage our business. We are in the Bay Area, CA but plan to venture into other areas in Northern CA.
      Please feel free to e-mail me at admin@habibimatrimonials.com
      And anyone who is in Northern CA and seeking a job, please feel free to e-mail me.
      Jazak Allah Khair.

    • To the questioner and all colleagues: We are all in the same state. I used to repeat this duaa when someone thinks about me better than I am actually:
      “Lord make me better than they think, forgive me what they do not do, and do not count on me what they are saying”
      May God accept from all of us!

    • Thank u for your view. I too believe all Muslims male and female should examine our hearts to determine what our intention is where modesty is concerned. God has given us a guide in the Quran!! Culture and society have different views on modesty depending on what country u r in and the norms of it.

  • Asalamu-alikum!
    Alllll the replies in here is my its and bits of thoughts spoken amongst many of the muslims here!!

    We are definitely no one to say we are good muslim because we do is head cover, we should just strengthen our inner eman, get connected with Allah and let Allah Swt be the judge to decide where we stand!!

    Taking it off afterin wearing it for a while, or wearing it and not planing to take off by no means tell one sister is better islam follower then other!!!

    If we all were the true followers of Our Prophet (pbuh) , we would not be here questioninv and answerings ones concerns or even would have division in islam as being Sunni, Shia, Mahajis and etc!!!
    Also, why has hijab become such a topic for ALL of us muslims in this century than ever before?? Growing up in saudi arabia and by law having a scarf on head was understandable but as days are passing, why has hijab talk more sounding like burden on one soul??

    Why have I not seen brothers talking about keepin beard long when schooling , being in uni, or applying for jobs been on this form or even anywhere around me amongst my own muslim gathering??

    Why are girls more pressurized these days to cover up though they are and guys have the priviledge to wear shorts and keep french beard??
    Why when i wear a veil left loose on face not considered a hijab following ettiquete then a muslim brother having his beard all styled up from goatee to french to being trimmed be still considered okay as long as there is facial hair showing on there face meaning they are followers??
    Really are we all so not JUDGEMENTAL?

    May Allah swt forgive me if I said something wrong here but these are genuine feelings of mine after reading this whole forum for good hour!

    Let us all focus on ourselvs and leave other people to do what they think they want to do!!!

    We all tend to read its and bits and post here and there things that we like or things that touched our hearts, none of us know the true picture except for our creators and the followers as he The Al-Mighty mentioned!!

      • Actually, Hijab was never mentioned in the Quran but rather the Hadiths and it was just mentioned in the quron a 3 vague points when it came to dress and none included covering the head or hijab. Many people believe that since God knows all perhaps it was left vague for a reason and that this allows for the practice of modesty to really be translated amongst the different generations of Muslims, cultures, and centuries that pass to be modest in the way that is realistic for that day and time. Also the middle road is the best way and to say that it is black and white and must be one way or the other is not the middle road.

        • Melissa~ I couldn’t agree with u more. We humans are prone to our opinions and must be careful when interpreting the things of our faith that we are obeying the Quran and not man. Time is always changing and thus cultures also evolve. God is our judge and He alone we will stand and give an account.

        • There are verses in the Quran commanding women to wear Hijab and they have been explained by hadith. If Allah willed, He could have just sent down the Quran and no prophet. However, He sent Muhammad(saws) to explain the Quran and to practically demonstrate how to implement it. There are authentic hadiths that make it clear that the covering of the hair is compulsory and there is no dispute about it amongst the ullama.

          We can’t leave it up to ourselves to intepret the Quran in terms of our own opinions and our own desires. This is what leads to deviation and this is what leads to people branching away from the main body of Islam. Muhammad(saws) warned us:

          “For, verily, whoever amongst you lives long amonst you, he will see many differences. So stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khaleefahs.”

    • Great points- modesty is required of all muslims, male or female and hijab is too much the focus for so many instances. Its an important demonstration of faith but not the only one

  • salam
    the whole mayhem conducted against muslima´s mind stems from considering hijab as compulsory by quran; the problem is that every religious authority in the islamic world knows that there is no mention of ” hijab” in quran as it has been interpreted traditionally , >>>> the term “hijab” has nothing to do with covering the head>>>>>> hijab indicates more or less…. a kind of practicing the right of separating private life from the public sphere>>>>>>>>>

  • Well said!! We can be covered in “hijab” but if our heart and intent is to attract to our beauty then our “hijab” will be tight and form fitted and not modest at all. God looks at our heart and knows no matter what it looks like on the outside to man. We are commanded to be modest but also to be pious of heart.

    • As salaamu Alaykum,

      I hope you all are doing well. I discussed the point some of you are raising in some detail in Pt. 4 of my Mistakes in Usul series, specifically the misconception that “All rulings change according to circumstances and context.” I urge you to read it, and the following part, Part 5, which may give some insight into the role context and culture plays in religious rulings, and the cases in which they do not.

      Here is the direct link: http://www.virtualmosque.com/islam-studies/islamic-law/the-top-six-mistakes-in-usul-part-4/

      May Allah (swt) guide us to the best understanding of His religion, and help us to follow it to the best of our ability! Ameen.

      salaam,
      Shazia

  • The covering of the hair is compulsory and there is no dispute about this. There are many evidences for this and remember, Muhammad(saws) came to EXPLAIN the Quran, and he explained the ayat in the Quran pertaining to hijab. He made it clear that a woman should cover her hair so who are you to say that its not compulsory?

    And Laurie, Allah looks at our hearts AND our deeds. Whats in our heart should be manifested in our actions. Remember iman is belief in the heart, proclaimation on the tongue and action with the body.

    • Amatullah – Based on your comments I would feel uncomfortable and unwelcome as a Muslimah around you if I were not following every rule you have said is mandated – according to your readings. It grieves me that while the prophets gave their time and attention to all people without judgement, the followers often take a “holier than thou” approach many centuries later that can only push people away from the faith.

  • @Karen

    Assalamu alaikum sister. I just wanted to reach out and thank you for sharing your experience – it’s a very hard struggle you are dealing with at home: Allah knows that the convert experience is often not an easy one! Especially that many of the Muslims closest to us are not doing right by Allah nor treating us as they should.

    I am also a convert, also with a bit of a “rocky start” 😮 … and I took many years to come to wearing hijab. For those of us that weren’t born into the faith it can often be a very slow process to integrate our new beliefs, understandings, habits, community, learn the rights & wrongs & why’s and why nots, all at the same time dealing with pressure (sometimes huge) from the Muslim community about what we are or aren’t doing, hostility (sometimes huge) from family and society about being Muslim, and then nevermind just the general craziness our life may bring. It can be a very very hard test. For me it took many years that I began slowly to dress more modestly by degrees, finally experimenting with wearing a “kerchief,” then a scarf tied in a bun, then loosely around my neck, then finally regular hijab. But it was part of a general process of learning and integrating my Islam into my life, as a whole.

    I was terrified and self-conscious about being “visibly Muslim,” and did indeed experience a lot of blow-back around it, mainly from my family.

    But subhan’Allah it’s also been an opportunity – through many of our talks that came up around hijab my mom even took shahadah masha’Allah.

    Mainly I just feel at peace knowing I am doing what Allah asked of me, simply.

    For you, I would say, it’s so wonderful that you have embraced Islam! And especially in the midst of all this storm in your life…. Be easy and patient with yourself. Try to integrate these practices slowly and steadily, little by little as you as are able.

    If we keep as our goal and vision not just to be a Muslim, but a Mu’amin – one who truly believes – and one who will have Allah’s shade on the Day of Judgement, and who Allah will enter into Paradise! then we can’t go wrong insha’Allah…. We ask Allah to help us with each small step along His path and be merciful with us and increase the light in our hearts…..

  • Assalamu alaikum,

    In response to sister Karen, I just want to say that women who convert to Islam usually do not have the protection of Muslim family, namely fathers, to support them, that they can fall back on in case they lose their employment. And especially if they have children, it becomes even more difficult issue.

    Muslim women who never work and go from their father’s home to their husband’s home can wear niqab – there is nothing to prevent them. But let’s appreciate the new Muslimas’ situation where they have no one else to take care of them and their children, save for zakaa fund at the masjed…

    • As a female revert I am so glad to see someone finally address this. Where is the relief and protection for reverts to Islam? If we are not married we have no one. If we are divorced we have no one. We cannot inherit from our non Muslim family, our brothers, uncles, fathers and grandfathers are under no religious obligation to help us. Theorhetically it is the duty of the ummah and how often do we see that happening outside of Muslim countries?

  • Allah Loves you more than your mother loves you.
    What is decreed from the Lord Most High is for ones own good.

    You cover certain parts of your body… why?

    It has beauty, it can attract, it is inappropriate to show others.

    Allah created us. Allah knows us better than we do.

    Hair like other parts of the body has Beauty, hence we cover.

    Long ago when the First of Men existed, Allah told All to bow down to Adam alaisalam.

    Not everyone Obeyed.

    Moral values are fixed and laid down by God. Man either follows them or he does not

    And Allah knows best

  • Masha Allah, may Allah give us all greater understanding of His religion, may He ease the difficulties that his Ummah is going through, and may Allah remove the sickness in our heart and we seek refuge with Allah from shaytan’s whispers.

    Brother and sisters, let us all remember that although intention is important, SISTERS, THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

    Let’s not underestimate shaytan and his whispers.

    Let’s seek refuge with Allah from shaytan’s deception

    • salaam to all.. just wanted to mention a couple of things, i apologize if they have been mentioned already.. first off.. as far as people looking at you up all side your head when in classes or work/searching for work.. women with hijab may have it just the same if not better than men with beards.. i dont shave my beard at all.. because i believe it is wajib to grow the beard… as were told trim the mustache and leave the beard to flow.. soo in the eyes of kuffar and nonmuslims im pretty sure having a big beard is worse than a woman covering her hair for religious reasons.. and for anyone who believes themselves to be muslim.. dont attack your muslim brothers and sisters.. why would you do something like that.. thats just flat out like what people who arent on the haqq do your only digging a whole deeper for yourself… May Allah protect us from that amin.. and as far as men being able to pass under the “muslim radar” by being able to fit in or not appear to stick waay out.. this shouldnt be the case because even if a muslim isnt observing jilbab/hijab or the lihya/beard(which theses are the only two practices needing to be mention)..then it shouldnt be hard to stand out as a muslim.. because we should always implements the qualities of the pious brothers and sisters that came before us… and one more thing maybe when you didnt notice any good coming from hijab is.. maybe, because you werent observing hijab properly in its entirety.. but maybe a sister who knows how to or a scholar can explain it.. soo its not “some man tellin you what to do” and the sister also said that because she didnt even notice a change as just stated that thats a partial reason to stop wearing it.. thats like saying i dont see salat saving me from commiting sins soo imma stop praying.. it doesnt work like that we are the creation and we follow this deen which the Creator has blessed us with..

      • Dear Sunniswagger – Nice comment. I just want to add that one of my brothers has full beard like you describe and is youngish but because he works in IT (as does his also practicing elder brother) it does get accepted more so than hijabis. In fact, while the brothers are welcomed in IT there are NO hijabis at all in their companies. Also – keep in mind that many geeks, professors, environmentalists and others sport full beards that are accepted in their workplaces while hijabis are NOT.

  • I would wish to hear the voices of female Muslim scholarship on this issue; despite the good intentions of our Imam, he is a “he” and cannot answer for a “she.” Thus the dire need for Muslimah ulema throughout the world at present. I feel that the most important concept behind wearing hijaab is one’s niyyah (intention). If it is indeed done for God, then there should be no hesitation in bearing patiently the ignorance of those who may think other-wise (i.e. that you are wearing it b.c. of your father, husband, culture, etc.) Sometimes hijab might make a woman seem more attractive than without wearing one. What would the scholars say in this respect?

    Wallahu ‘alam

  • Wow thank you poster ‘z’! Your posted article is really insightful. I’m a born-muslimah…I count my blessings when I read the hardships of Muslimah who are new converts. It is so sad to know your life seems so difficult while my life? So easy and no one ever objecting me on my hijab…It makes me think and to expressing gratefulness to Allah that He had given me this kind of Muslim life. I pray to Him that He will open His way to you so and guide you if your will to get His blessings is strong..Keep praying and seek Him out in everything that you do.Allah always listen^^

  • Alhandullilah.

    HH Tks for the dua. May Allah swt guide us all and keep us strong in our deeds. Ameen.

    Yes the link is really good. I like the order in which the author explains the whole concept. I mean the most important thing is for us to trust Allah swt.

    I truly believe that if someone turns you down and does not offer you a job because of your Hijab. Then I really don’t think you would want to work for that person even without a Hijab.

  • While people are starving, we argue about sleeve lengths, beards and proper hijab. What shocks me is people shaming Sr. Karen for not wearing hijab and telling her to wait for the miracle to happen while her family starves. I am Muslim and this conversations is getting old. No wonder our community is in the poop hole.

    • ^Bismillah
      I would like you to know that All things come from ALLAH because HE is the Creator and this universe is merely the Creation. So everything thing happening in this life (starvation, debt, wars) is with His knowledge, we as humans made of clay cannot possibly perceive the reasons- maybe there is a bigger lesson behind it.
      But in the face of these hardships, our Test in this Dunya is remain Steadfast in our belief that Allah will follow through. This life is SHORT. What is this speck of time compared to the Eternity of Afterlife? Allah may have a better plan for those suffering in this life, and that plan may just be a space in Paradise.
      “Sometimes we think why Allah is keeping quiet? We think He is not helping us cross the bridge. But He might be holding the broken bridge for you! Just Trust Allah In All Situations.”

      • wow and with that comment you just took the evangelical cake. it’s so typical of overtly religious Muslims to ignore macro issues and provide lame arguments like “it is just a test, prepare for hereafter”. children starving to death is as much, if not more, a religious issue as proper hijab or music. when Marx said religion is the opium of the masses, i’m pretty sure he was talking about you.

  • Mashallah, a beautiful and wisely worded answer to a heartfelt question. May Allah SWT richly reward the questioner, the answerer, and all the readers.

  • Salam everyone,

    I started wearing the hijab a few months ago and I’m really struggling…. it has actually come to a point where I don’t want to be in public. I never thought it would be this difficult and I’m really struggling because I know I would feel really guilty if I took it off. I just don’t see another option. This is making me miserable; its taking a lot out of me as a person. I’m desperately trying to make the right choices, but I can’t help how I feel on the inside. In all honesty, I simply don’t know what to do or who to turn to at this point.

    • Dear Danya,

      Mashallah I am glad to hear you have made this choice :)

      remember that Allah knows your are struggling, He understands what you are going though, and He will help you through it. With patience, and with du’a keep faith in Him. I am sure He is very pleased with your decision, and although you may not feel comfortable in the public, remember you are beautiful in His eyes.

      and your struggle alone shows how much love you have towards Him, and I am sure He very much appreciates your hardships with this decision. Inshallah give it time, it will be better. :)

      salam alaykum!

  • Salaam Alaiykum ya ayyuhal muslimeen,

    Alhumdolillah-e-Rabb-il-A’lameen, As Salaat o As Salaam ala Rasoolullah wa aalehi wa sahbihi wa baarik wa sallim,
    amma b’ad.

    It is very fascinating to see the mix of reactions and emotions. My du’as and sympathies for Sister Karen and all the other muslimah sisters across Al-Ard(the earth) who are facing any hardship, two verses to remind you and give you the confidence to fight harder and not give up:

    Surah Inshirah 94:5-6
    “So verily, with the hardship, there is relief,
    Verily, with the hardship, there is relief”

    and Surah Baqarah 2:286
    “Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Suppor-ter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

    We need to stop with the e sistersbombardment and take routes of hikmah(wisdom). I hope the sisters realize that hijaab is necessary and it is a little upsetting to see some defending their non-muhajiba(muhajiba = one observing hijaab) condition, however this is merely a waswasah of shaitwan(whispering of satan) and we should not present justifications or defend our not wearing hijaab and the like to any human. The correct way to execute this is to accept our mistake and continuously pray to Allah. We arent perfect and we arent angels. However we should realize our fault and the least we can do is make the intention.
    Same is the case for the brothers. I have noticed a very common trap that most men fall to. It is quite common that we see men praying regularly MashaAllah and if they are asked why dont you intend to let the beard grow? the most common reply is, I fear that if I let the beard grow I will be doing injustice to it/the sunnah because I am not a good person etc and the answers swim on the same lines. This is, sorry to say a very immature statement, it is clearly a waswasah and the one giving the reply does realize it but he is not honest enough to just say, “I know it is my mistake, do make dua’ that I let it grow.” The beard is very important for clean shaven men ought to go to their sisters, mothers or wives and compare their face with his and I can tell you with 100% surety that the female would have more slightly visible facial hair then the man (if she hasnt removed it recently) but i am sure the point has been understood?

    Anyhow, We need to realize that we all have somewhat like a check list, we need to try to get all the checks on our list that we can, regardless of others! Dawah is important but we should focus on ourselves just a little bit more than the effort we spend on others, or do we have a first-class ticket to Al-Firdaus? Maybe a muhajiba (one observing hijaab) is not praying, while a non-muhajiba is praying. Would it be just to judge someone and not judge ourselves?

    Lastly, We should be moderate, extremism is dangerous on either sides. Also, Sister Karen could look into alternate ways of income like cooking, stitching, writing, and there is a whole list. But please brothers and sisters if we are doing something wrong, we should NOT JUSTIFY it to the creation, do you really owe them a justification???

    May Allah ease our situations and may Allah grant us the opportunity to pray and beg Him like a naked, hungry illiterate beggar who just has hope and confidence to offer, praying to Allah (alone) with desperation and remembering that He is The ALL-CAPABLE.

    Any benefit or good from this reply is only from Allah’s Grace and any harm or mistake is only from myself
    *(Considering that satan for another few days is locked-up and it is Ramadan) SubhaanAllah!

    Subhaanak Allahumma wabihamdika Ashadu Allah ilaha illa Anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilaiyka.

    • Mashallah, you laid it out perfectly. May Allah reward you and guide all of us here to not be blinded by the desires of this life.

    • I cannot even entertain for a moment an excuse for a man who will not wear a beard since any male who hits puberty can grow some facial hair and the wearing of facial hair is not exclusive to Muslim men, men around the world grown beards. Hijab is a conscious choice to follow a commandment of Allah, one that DOES cause a woman to stand out from those around you in non Muslim majority countries(unless you can find a Catholic nun who still wears the habit). It is a commandment we are too focused on when our communities have deficiencies in the areas that define one as a Muslim. We should be spending more time on reminding people of the pillars of Islam since not wearing hijab does NOT take one out of the fold of Islam but not praying DOES.

  • Dear Sr. Shazia,

    Jazaki Allahu Khayran for such a beautiful, well written response on such a difficult topic, full of compassion, and understanding.

    Dear Sr. Karen,

    Your story is truly moving; you are going through tremendously difficult times. Is there anyway we can help? Please feel free to contact me at revanshe(at)yahoo.com.

  • Dear brothers and sisters,

    Salam alaykum :)

    I just want you to know, that mashallah I am happy to see that in the world we are living in today there are still good people out there struggling for the sake of Allah. It pleases me because I love Allah with all my heart, for everything he has brought me through good and bad, and I know that Allah deserves such recognition and he is worth the struggle.

    I am no scholar, Imam, or Sheikh but what I do know is that Everybody has their own struggles. We are here to Remind one another about the teachings of Allah, for Allah’s sake only. It is not our duty to scout out ‘sinners’ and ‘those who will go to hell’ because that is only Allah’s decision, and nobody is of any ranking amongst Him to decide such a thing.

    Sisters, if you are struggling to wear the hijab. Mashallah, here you are in a world where beauty seems like it is everything, yet you know in your heart that modesty is the right thing to have, and in Allah’s eyes That is the true beauty. You fight with yourselves everyday feeling that you may not be good enough because you are not the ‘perfect’ Muslimah. But you do not have to be perfect to be a believer. If Allah sees you struggling for the sake of Him, He will help you. :)

    Allah loves those who struggle for the sake of him, I do not expect many men to understand the bravery and courage it takes for a muslim girl growing up in the west to make the choice of wearing hijab. Us girls feel so pressured, and from such a young age, to be beautiful.
    But sisters remember, nobody is worth seeing your beauty except those you love you most. Always remember Allah is there to help you along the way, even if you feel the Slightest bit of faith left, if you want it to grow in your heart He will help you :)

    Take care my brothers and sisters, salam alaykum :)

    • Rehana-

      Thank you so so much for your kind words, encourangement and understanding. I completely agree with you on the fact that we do not have the right to judge anyone for their actions. I personally believe that religion is a very independent and intimate relationship one has with God. He understands us better than we know outselves. He has more mercy on us than our mothers do, 70 times over. Surely God does not harm for us. He has no intention of hurting us, but we are obligated to struggle for the sake of him.
      Currently, I am still wearing my hijab. I have become on and off at the moment.. but I cannot build up the courage to take it off completely because I want to be strong enough to do this for Allah.
      Allah will not change whats inside you or help you if you do not try to change and help yourself first.
      Again,
      Thank you.
      I appreciate your words and I hope that we all only get stronger in our faith.

      All the Best.

      • You are very welcome, I am happy to know I can be of any help :) and I definitely agree with you too, God really does know us better than we know ourselves, that’s why me must always put our trust in him :) and of course yes He is most merciful :)

        I am so happy to hear that you are trying the best you can with your hijab, inshallah as the days go by you will become stronger and your faith will continue to increase :) Allah knows best! Like you said, and I completely agree with this, our personal relationship with God is really what religion is, no matter what title we call it. And in the end, only Allah can judge :)

        I will pray for you sister! Inshallah everything will be ok

        take care! Salam alaykum

  • salaam Amatullah, wud you pls quote the verse/verses in the quran that commands women to wear hijab?………..by hijab i mean the hijab that means head covering and not the hijab that means dressing modestly.

    jazak allah khiran

  • I am new to Islam, and it is something i am struggling with. I know my basic Surahs and I don’t wear a Hijab. However I want to start wearing Hijab but I feel like I need more knowledge of being a Muslim. Also my family is non-muslim how do i tell them this is what i want.

  • Salam Sister Farah,

    Praise be to Allah who has guided you to the truth, Alhamdullilah.

    Islam is a complete way of life so it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed with the sheer vastness of knowledge that encompasses our religion. Remember you’re taking baby steps just now, take it easy. Stick to the basics and keep it simple. Guard your prayers.

    I know it must be tough to deal with the family situation. It’s difficult to comment on that because the approach you take really just depends on what type of personalities and characters make up your family. Their background is also important. Generally speaking though, choose the person you feel will understand you the most (father, mother, brother, sister, even if it is a cousin). Once you have that person on board, make sure they are in attendance when you break the news to the rest of the family. Their support could be crucial in convincing the others that this is what you want and that they should respect it. It might be that they reject your decision at the beginning, but that they might warm to it in the coming weeks and months. Remember to be firm and pray to Allah swt to keep you grounded. Don’t let anyone shake your faith.

    All the best,

    Your brother in Islam, Mohamed.

  • I am sorry to hear the hardships people are going through. We are very proud that many people are joining Islam. Follow your heart and make good intentions and Allah (swt) will guide you with any future hardships. I came across with a couple of hadiths about hijab.

    Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

    The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) brought Fatimah a slave which he donated to her. Fatimah wore a garment which, when she covered her head, did not reach her feet, and when she covered her feet by it, that garment did not reach her head. When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) saw her struggle, he said: There is no harm to you: Here is only your father and slave.

    It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam. When they came near us we would lower our jilbaabs from our heads over our faces, and when they had passed by we would uncover our faces. (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1562.)

    It was narrated that Umm Salamah said: When the words ‘draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies’ were revealed, the women of the Ansaar went out as if there were crows on their heads because of the way they covered themselves.

    (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4101; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abu Dawood.)

    Inshallah I will make duaa for those people with hardships along with my own. We very proud with all the converts in our eyes and especially with Allah. May Allah guide us and forgive us all.

  • salaam danya,

    i started wearing hijab around march or so… and i struggled quite a bit with it myself at first too. when i first started experimenting with it, i only covered about 50% of my hair, and i would also only wear it to school, or while running errands, sometimes it would slip off too. maybe 1-2 motnhs later i started wearing it in front of my freinds, became a little bit more strict about covering my hair properly… and then as even more time progressed, i started wearing while traveling, with family, and now subhanaAllah after 5-6 months i wear the hijab properly and never take it off in public. i wish i was as strong as some girls i know who just wake up one day and start wearing it properly 24/7. anyway, Allah knows best, and although my progression was a bit slow, i’m happy i did it in a way that was most fitting for me, and did not give me so much pressure. take your time with it, make lots of dua, and put ur trust in Allah, and inshaAllah you’ll gain more and more confidence.

    and to those of you who think you are not at a certain religious level to wear hijab/grow beard… i had these feelings as well when i started, however, once i started wearing it, it really really pushed me to start reading salaat 5 times a day, and on time! i started reading quran, learning tajweed, im always doing dhikr, ive left tv and music, eat halaal only now … this all came with the blessing of hijab, im convinced. it was not sudden either… took maybe 5-7 months to change my lifestyle alhamdulillah, subhanAllah i am so grateful that Allah is guiding me. remember: when you make one step towards Allah, he makes 10 steps towards you.

    jazakallah khair

    jazakallah khair

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but religion is meant to be a guide for people to live a moral, honest, ethical lifestyle. Many people here talk as if it were a ruthless dictatorship that should never be discussed, or questioned. I believe that if you are going to be a good muslim AND a good person you must question your religion, NOT because you doubt the teachings but because man is suppose to wonder about the world around him/her and its laws. God would not have given us a mind that can understand things we cannot see if he didn’t want us to think about the words that we hear and are asked to obey. Returning to the point though, I must say that I am a young muslim man living in the western world, and although I practice my faith I do not condemn people that do not (whether they are muslim or not), or preach about what should or should not be obeyed according to religious laws. I will not try to argue whether or not the hijab is required, but I believe that as conscious human beings we can each make a decision based on our lives that, although we live moral, ethical lifestyles, and believe we are “good” muslims than we can judge for ourselves if a hijab is necessary to further prove our faith. If a woman wants to express her faith by her actions rather than with the hijab than that is her choice. Many Muslims that I know (not necessary a significant amount) take it upon themselves to preach the laws of Islam when the most important of them, being a good person, is largely overshadowed.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I do not mean to hurt anyones feelings I just felt the need to express my viewpoint.

    • Assalamualaikum

      Islam means ‘total submission to ALLAH’. Young muslims are taught this definition and non muslims also knows this. The Qur’aan is one book of many pages and it is sent to manking of ALL TIMES. We beleive and practice as much as we can BUT never say such part is wrong or must not be put into practice because our time is different.
      Say:’ O ALLAH help me to practice your flawless religion’
      One duty of the duty muslims have and non muslims do not have is that:
      whenever we see someone doing a wrong action, we stop him from doing it or tell him not to do it or at least feel unhappy about it. It’s the 3 degree of imaan.

    • All praise are due Allah,swt Qur’an 2:256 and 16:61 we all need to be patient with our sisters as Allah swt is patient with all of us including all of humanity Allah blesses whom He pleases to the degree that He pleases.peace!

    • Salam brother,
      I fully agree with your view that we should use our aql(minds) to question things. That is, after all, the purpose for which our aql was created. Prophet Ibrahim a.s. himself questioned this and that and as a result, his Imaan increased.
      I’d just like to add that an important point to note is for us to follow a guideline when questioning things using our aql. We must always use it in accordance to Islamic revelations, that is the Quran and the Sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. because bear in mind that since our aql is only limited, we cannot make sense of every single thing in this world purely based on reason and rational thinking. Hence why Allah sent down his revelations to us in the first place. To guide us and our aql.

  • Wow, brother! I feel, especially muslim men, look down on a muslimah w/o hijab! I personally feel and know that I will be treated badly if “do not comply”. I have even been warned and told that the hell fire is mostly filled with women b/c of their disobedience in the dunyah. If I do anything that is “not approved of”, I am told that I won’t be cared about, and can do whatever I want, whenever I want. And this included things like drugs, prostitution and everything haram. Subhannallah! Funny, but the brothers who act negatively about it, allege to want us to “follow the sunnah” but are far from following it themselves. It’s a shame that we judge one another in that way, when the most high is the only one that has the right to pass judgement.

  • If you think your life will be better because you are wearing hijab that is crazy. that is like saying you grow a long beard your life will be so MASHALLAH! the truth is we are living in times where the hijab is not really needed unless you live in some crazy islamic country. I have been muslim for 7 years and I wore hijab for the first two years. I stop wearing it simply because I didn’t care to wear it. My husband is muslim, and could careless if I don’t wear hijab. I don’t struggle with hijab because I have met so many sisters that are horrible people and believed that they are saved because they are modest. I don]t struggle with covering because I don’t focuse my energy on it. You wear hijab when you are ready, not because everyone tells you there are more women in the hellfire. Fear always makes people bend over backwards. NOT MOI!

    • Ukhti, in the Qur’aan Allaah commands women to wear hijaab, it is a command from Allaah!

      How can we just dismiss something which is clearly stated in the Qur’aan?
      It is arrogant to say “well i dont care for it”, how can you not care for something which Allaah haas commanded you to wear? Its like saying “well Allaah commanded me to pray but i dont care” astaghfirullaah.

      This world is but a deceiving amusement, a prison to the believers and a paradise for the disbelievers.
      The hijaab is a thing a beauty, modesty and it is fard upon us to wear it so we cannot dismiss it like it is nothing.

      Just because you do not wear it doesnt give you the right to encourage others that “oh its fine I dont wear it and dont care”. Just because you dont care doesnt mean that it shouldnt be worn.

      You can do something yourself which is bad but to tell others that hijaab is nothing is another thing.
      We have to have taqwa when advising and give the best of advice not an arrogant view point which does not stand because hijaab is clearly commanded.

      If i sound harsh i do apologise but reading what you wrote is shocking, and the most women are not in hellfire because of not wearing hijaab. They are in hellfire for their tongues and disobeying their husbands.

      You have to have taqwa, not for me not for anyone else but for your own benefit because we all know that we will return to Allaah and when we return if we are arrogant do you think we will enter jannah? If we disobey Him and pass over His commands do you think we will get to jannah?

      • Dear Amatullah – Often I find your tone tends to obscure your message, when the tone is very high handed. I don’t think it’s a good idea to scare away other Muslims because we believe our version of Islam is the only correct one.

  • I am a Pakistani man and from a conservative and practising family. I had the opportunity to read what sister Karen wrote. I would like to add that I read a Hadith saying that “create ease in Deen”.(or something along those lines). I am sure that Allah is most forgiving and He certainly has the power to change all our sins into good deeds and reward us if He wills. Sister Karen, as you have good intentions, Inshallah Allah will make a way for you and ease your burdens.

    To those who are quick to judge I would like to say that if men had Islamic honour and/or tribal honour sisters like Karen would not have to fend for themselves in the first place. First create a society where women are looked after and men take responsibility for their well being and then judge those women who still want to be out. If not, and until then, keep your mouths shut.

    • Yes. Jazakallah khair for this.

      I don’t have an issue with wearing a scarf. I live near a major university, and often see students who have come from majority Muslim countries who have on massive hijabs and below that wear jeans and shirts that look painted on. And when I say “massive,” I mean at the top of their heads the hijab is as wide as their shoulders, but below that, even if you don’t see skin, it makes no difference, because the clothes are skin-tight. This is only the most technical kind of modesty and misses the spirit of the instruction completely.

      I do not yet know enough Arabic to read the original, insha’llah I will be able to as my studies progress, but in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation, Surah Al Nur (24), Ayat 31 appears to be focused more on the issue of cleavage than of hair.

      And also the previous Ayat, which instructs men that part of them preserving their own modesty is to lower their gaze.

      Personally, I am adapting my wardrobe as my finances allow, and Allah (swt) is giving me patience, as it would be my preference to buy several proper, coordinated abaya/hijab outfits to wear in public and especially when interviewing for a job. Any job I get is going to have to fit into an Islamic lifestyle, and dress is part of that. It is possible to look both professional and like a Muslimah.

      I think that the call to the men of a society to step up to the plate is much needed, however, it is also said that the hijab and other coverings are there so that a woman can go out if she needs to or wants to, not as a way of keeping her shut in the house. Perhaps this part is a matter of opinion? I welcome instruction on that point.

      To Karen, I would say, I know a sister who, when I met her, had a husband who was not doing his part. They were literally homeless and instead of looking for work he was flirting all day with other women. How is this good for their children? So she divorced him, and is now with a hard-working, observant, responsible and also evidently loving and considerate husband. And they have two children with autism, so the situation is comparable. If this man is not pulling his weight, then even if you feel love for him, he is only diminishing your life and your children’s lives. Get out, and get help. I don’t know what country you are in, but at least on paper in the US, you have the right to wear the scarf at work.

      Also, and this is just my personal opinion, if a woman wears hijab and relies only on that as her reason for salvation and does nothing to develop her relationship with Allah, nothing to aid those around her, she is fooling herself. If she wears hijab because she loves Allah and wants to please Him, then that would be more on the right road.

      All of that said, there are times when I do not put my scarf over my hair, which is very short. But I do wear it over my shoulders and covering my chest, always, and I am working toward being always able to wear it properly. Ability here is not confined to feeling personally comfortable. There are practicalities that haven’t happened yet, and they are in the hands of Allah. I have to be patient, and use the time to grow.

      Salaam.

    • Beautiful!! Thank you Honourable Pathan. I luv the Pakistani peoples. May Allah help Pakistan. Every word you said is right on.

  • Slms, I’ve been wearing hijab full-time since I went for hajj two years ago. But sometimes feel so tempted to take it off, especially when there’s a function or wedding. However, I always remember what a Mufti once spoke about hijab, that whenever you feel like taking it off, say this: ‘Oh Allah, I love my hair so much, but I love You more, and You have asked me to cover my hair, so I will.’ I don’t care what other people think of my hijab, I know that I’m doing the right thing, and I don’t worry about what anyone else has to say, they won’t be taking the punishment for me when I’m six feet under. So sisters be strong and Inshaa’Allah we shall see the reward for it in the Hereafter, because isn’t that ultimately what we’re here for? For the Hereafter. Subhaanallah!

  • Very insightful and aptly expressed thoughts,attitudes and fears of born-muslims and new-muslims.May Allah give us all the strength and conviction to obey all His commands in whatever situation we are in and forgive us and show Mercy if we fall short.
    As for the Revelation of verses of hijab, they occur in 2 places in Quran. In Surah-An-Nur(24:30,31) and Surah Al-Ahzab(33:55,59)
    These were revealed 5 and 6 years after the Hijra(migration). Covering the hair is specifically not made apparent in the meaning of the verses as that was something the women were already doing but they wud put the ends of their “khimar” behind the head.So when the verse to cast the outer garment over their persons was revealed it added to the meaning that along with the hair also cover your front bosoms and there are many Hadeeth which collaborate this, mentioning them here wud become too lengthy and some have already been discussed in above posts.
    Just a word to sister Karen and others who are struggling with the issue, its true this was not the 1s command given after Islam. The Prophet Peace be upon him, worked for 13 years to build Iman(faith) and then most commandments were revealed. So at this moment if u do not find it in yourself to totally comply,atleast consider it to be a command of Allah that has to be followed and have intention to do it and make dua that Allah makes you strong enuf.May He ease your difficulties.And it is not up to us born-muslims or hijabis to judge you.

    Reminds me of a situation where a man wanted to become muslim as his “so-called muslim” living together girlfriend wud not marry him unless he converted, and the 1st thing she wanted him to do (and what was scaring him off)after conversion was to get circumcised. Alhamdulillah he met the right scholar Dr. Bilal Philips who guided him well and i think he did eventually convert but left the gf.

  • assalamualaikum.. sis… You have to try it.. To cover you body with Wear’s muslimah/hijab!! i think it will not easy, but sure that you can do it.. I’m Indonesian, altough in my country almost all people in here are moslem, but it don’t make us feel cozy/savety. There are a lot of people dont like with women whose cover the body with big hijab (burqo, etc).. it will be chalenges for us.. Sory, if my english so poor..

  • Assalamu Alaikum,

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me where I can post a question on this website?
    I am working in a speech about the Hijaab and need to know what the Islamic ruling is regarding whether or not a girl can be forced to wear the hijaab once she reaches the age of puberty. That is, if she doesnt wish to wear it.
    I also need to know what the sharia law has to say about the matter.
    Thanks for any help. It would be greatly appreciated.
    Wasalam.

  • Dear Sisters and Brothers,
    Salamalaikum.
    Iam a doctor by profession,I feel that the intent of Islam our religion is belief in Allah and Humanity.
    I read the problems posted by sisters and these are genuine problems we need scholars who can give them answers or counsell them.
    I would like to pay a tribute to my mother who is also a doctor,now she studied medicine in early 1960’s became a doctor,married had three children,always put her husband’s career first in consideration,she was a great mother,great cook,good housekeeper,good teacher for me and my brothers while at the same time being a good doctor at times doing night shifts when required,she was there when we needed her but she never shiked away from her profession nor her role as a wife and mother,even now this 70 year old lady does voluntary charity clinics for poor muslims.
    During her career she has helped a lot of people muslim non muslims alike,touched their lives.
    Now she is my hero.
    She didnt wear the traditional hijab but was modestly dressed neverthless she was practising muslim regarding her prayers ,fasting and other rites and obligations of Islam
    Iam sure there are so many sisters and mothers like her who have done a great service to our community and humanity as whole.
    So sisters just observing hijab or becoming a mother is not the end of your worship but a start we need siters who are doctors ,teachers scientists,nurses,techicians,politicians,jounalists etc.,I think you would be doing great service to humanity if you dont get boxed up in small ideas and think of the big picture of what Islam wants us to do.

    • Dear Azim – Your mum is a true Muslimah in every sense. What a beautiful tribute you wrote. She is a fine example for all the rest of us. Exactly, and well put. Thank you!!

  • I was so happy to read what you wrote because you have no clue how much this was bothering me. I wasn’t planning on taking it off (never) but those assumptions that people make just because of what you’re wearing are so hard to deal with. I can’t act like someone who I’m not. I barely do anything wrong but when I do a mistake just like anyone else they judge Islam right away as if I was a representitve which is a hard duty that I still can’t carry. I made a mistake once and those Muslim girls who dress up inappropriately use it as an excuse for not wearing what they’re suppose to wear saying “people who act religious are actually bad and stuff” you have no clue how much pressure I’m ging through. All that makes me always with that I was never born. I’ve never cried about it before but I just can’t hold it in anymore. I really truly wish I was never born.

    • Salam sister,

      I am truly sorry with what you have to go through emotionally, it must be very hard. May Allah’s blessing be with you, and may He continue to strengthen your heart and iman, and may His mercy be with you when mistakes arise. :)

      Everybody makes mistakes, even I do. And I truly think it’s wrong for others to put this kind of pressure on you. But always keep in mind, Allah knows what you are going through. It is not for others to judge you, it’s only up to Allah. If they want to judge Islam they must read the Quran, and the Sunnah, but they must never look at a striving human being and tear them apart if they do not strictly abide to the rulings of Islam 24/7.

      Don’t let those girls use you as an excuse for not wearing Hijab or modest covering, because it is Allah who tells women to guard their modesty. And what Allah says, we must obey. MashaAllah be proud of yourself that you are trying. Allah knows. He can see what you are going through. May Allah ease your heart and make this struggle easier for you. Ask Him this and He will help you, guaranteed. And Allah is with the patient. :)

      And if we go astray, we repent. Allah loves to see the one who sins and repents, better than one who has good deeds yet boasts about it and never asks for forgiveness.

      I hope this helps,
      May Allah’s peace and blessings be with you, sister :)

      -Rehana

  • I am so glad to have found this article and this thread. There many insightful and profound experiences being shared by everyone, and I would like to share my own.

    A female relative of mine living in Muslim country recently took of her scarf and it really affected me deeply; my mother and sister both who wear the scarf appeared take the news with better stride than me? What was going on?!

    At first I was confused, hurt, and I even felt betrayed. But why was I feeling like this? In retrospect I guess I was making it about me and I came to the realization I was being foolish and selfish. I than began to realize that I was feeling this way because males don’t really get it sometimes. Even until now I still feel hurt and it is largely because I care for this relative.

    I decided to challenge myself and adopt a non-traditional approach to advising her. I only really opened a dialogue between us because I was curious why she had done it when only months before she was wearing it consistently and we were discussing the very topic of why Muslimahs living in Muslim countries were take it off! Incidentally, days prior to her taking it off she was congratulating one of her very friends that started to wear it. I was utterly confused.

    1. The very first thing I realized is, us males will never truly understand the struggle a Muslim women undergoes to wear the scarf and keep it on whether she is living in an Islamic country or not. I would go as far to equate it to men understanding child birth. They really can’t. So for the Muslim male and even the female that wears it, be mindful that not everything is as easy as “well, if you understand the religion there is really no excuse to not wearing the scarf or taking it off.”

    2. The second realization I arrived to, was this female relative of mine was still the same person just one who was experiencing a spiritual and/or religious plight just like me, and just like any other Muslim or Muslimah. Her plight is one of an external nature so more noticeable, but as I am sure many of us are going through more serious plights just not as apparent.

    3. I began to look at myself. I shave my beard so technically I am not abiding by the Muslim male dress code and etiquette. I chalk it up to the western professional decorum. Is that really fair though? So, basically I’ve got to check myself first before I can began delving into the subject further.

    4. Then I began to think about the bigger picture. One cannot come to any single, quick conclusion regarding the scarf. There are many factors that play into this and it is important for one to stay fresh, resolute, open-minded and most importantly patient. I began to ask myself had it happened with my own sister what would I have done?

    I will raise some points that I believe need further inspection and consideration. Sometimes it’s how you approach a subject and the way you think about it that can help with perspective:

    1. There is little to no difference in opinion about what the Muslim(ah) have to wear during salat/namaz. The head covering is required for females. The scarf has to cover all the hair and the neck and the chest. Consider this…Should not the way we carry ourselves in daily life be an extension of what we do in prayer? So in front of God we have to be on our best behavior, does not His creation deserve the same expression? Is it not refreshing for the Muslim to feel that her ‘ibadah/worship during prayer can still carry on beyond the ritual?

    2. Discarding the head covering is not an automatic sentence to hell as several of our sisters here so unfortunately have been made to feel. Dear sister, you have the right to explore your own spiritual growth and development without anyone imposing upon you anything. But please do not discount the attempt of others to advise you even if they are not good at it. I have had Muslim sisters who have told me straight up that they do not wear the hijab simply because muslim males have that expectation of them when the same muslim males are falling short of their own duties. Please do not base your spiritual growth and development on the attitudes and actions of others. Rather, look up to the wives and sahabiat of the Prophet (s) for they are our best examples.

    3. Trust the ijtehad of our scholars that they have interpreted the sources correctly and that Hijab (dress code) includes a head covering for the female which includes covering the hair and the neck. If you take issue with that, that is completely understandable. However, do not attempt to find another fatwa that suits your convictions and easily resign to that. The more enriching activity would to be conducting your own research. Just like writing a research paper; you’ve probably had to do it for school or work a number of times, why cannot an important spiritual and religious part of your life be afforded the same effort and attention? Come up with a thesis that applies only to yourself and attempt to defend this thesis using a correct understanding of religious texts, scholarly interpretation, and reason. I would not condone publishing your findings for this is a personal endeavor, but you may discover new found insight.

    There is much more I would like to say on the matter. For now I will leave it at that and invite comments and criticisms to help further this discussion.

    • An anecdote I would like to share and if you can please chime in:

      Last summer I was visiting my home country, which is an Islamic one. All the relatives were together. At some point my aunt who wear niqab and her sister in law who doesn’t wear the scarf at all got into it hot and heavy about it. Eventually, it started getting personal so I left because I did not want to get dragged into it. I did get to hear their respective arguments and both of them were making pretty good arguments for their case. I came to some conclusions and made a mental note of them:

      1. Scarf and Hijab are not synonymous terms. The scarf is one aspect of the Hijab. The Hijab is the comprehensive dress code. I feel the controversy erupts from differences in opinion of how important the scarf is.
      2. I see a bigger issue at hand and that is the extremes people flock too. The first extreme i see is those who wear the scarf and those who don’t sometimes sabotage their own efforts in da’wah and naseeha by looking down on the other party. One side will exhibit a degree of self-righteousness and condescension and the other party will respond in like with the addition of mockery.
      3. The other extreme is when a tight knit social group consisting of those wear the scarf and those who believe everyone is free to do whatever they want. I find this a self-defeating attitude. For example, a scarf wearing mother sees her girls growing up and doesn’t make any proactive attempt to aid in helping them wear it. Or a scarf wearing friend makes no mention of it to her best friend who doesn’t wear a scarf for fear their relationship might be affected adversely. People will readily make personal recommendations to others about life matters like who they should or shouldn’t marry, what profession they should be but when it comes to such religious issues they remain silent.
      4. The ultimate challenge, and what I consider the “jihad” would be creating a scene for a better dialogue on such a matter. There should be a combined effort by scholars, intellectuals, and laymen/women to facilitate such a dialogue as it is a fareedah/obligation especially with all the confusion out there.

  • I have just come across this article, Karen’s story as well as some of the comments in response to hers.
    I am surprise how indifferent and uncompassionate some of the comments are towards Karen. First of all we cannot judge others. Allaah is the only judge.

    Karen opened about some of the hardships she had to endure. As a convert is it already difficult journey to embrace a new religion with all that it entails in terms of change in family/friends/relationships etc….
    I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell her things such as; “you not the only one who has challenges in life” or “You should only complain to Allah”. If she is isolated then she needs a support system. Unfortunately I have seen a lack of support system in the Muslim community here where I live. People invite each other other for dinner/parties, but don’t take the time to help families in need or participate in establishing social programs. Mosques are only concerned about raising money I don’t see them use towards helping needy families….
    I also agree with Karen that Muslim men have it easy in western society. They tend to speak freely with non-muslim women but when it comes to Muslim women it’s as if they’ll catch the plague if they communicate with them.
    I am in my late forties, married with two grown up children. I interact with men at work and outside. I see Muslim men mix freely and chat with non-muslim women but when it comes to Muslim women they expect them to have superior Moral values and be saints. This is so hypocrite.

    I am so sad to hear sister Karen’s story, and I wish we have a system within the Muslim community to provide assistance and help to those in need.

    Karen,
    Have tried reaching out to your local Mosque or Muslim community for help?
    May Allah help you in your struggle.

  • I have no personal anecdote to share but I will like to say that when we pray with our sincere hearts Allah does answer our prayers. The “hijab” question is one that comes up often when I talk with muslims mostly from the “mainland” -born in the middle east. I am more than grateful for the brothers and sisters on this page who have shared their thoughts.
    I will keep sisters like Karen in my prayers. And one final comment I will like to reinstate: the hijab is part of what helps us draw closer to Allah and grow strong in iman, but it is not the ONLY way for women to accomplish this. Sisters, trust your inner calling, read the qu’ran and relate its wisdom to our current daily strife. Life is a struggle, and we will all make bad and good decisions, but let’s remember it is Allah who will judge us for our individual actions.
    take care and be well.

    Asalam alekom

  • I’m 17 years old and Muslim. I wear the hijab and have been since I was 10 years old. I’m now having doubts about wearing the hijab since I dont wear it fully. I sometimes tend to take it off when going to weddings and etc. I dont have the best clothes for my hijab…I dont dress modestly. It may be due to the fact that I began to wear hijab when I was younger and didnt know the whole responsbilty of wearing the headscraf so I always put what kind of clothes I wanted and then the hijab. I feel confused. I feel like I should take off the headscarf and take steps to dressing modestly. First start with the clothes then the hijab.

  • I posted above, and then the other day had an experience that made me think about this topic again.

    I was out running errands and ran into a neighbor of mine, who asked me when I had become a Muslim. I told her, and we began to talk from there. We both sew, and I asked her some questions about where she finds this or that. I said I was working slowly on adapting my wardrobe, and she said, “Well, I see these young girls out on the street wearing just a scarf and otherwise dressed like everyone else. I thought maybe they’d changed the rules. Do you still have to do all that?”

    Subhannallah, the words, “Islam does not change,” just fell out of my mouth.

    A thoroughly illuminating experience.

  • Assalam alaikum,

    I started wearing hijab after finishing college, Alhamdolillah, and still wear it today. I never really understood it at that time but did it out of guilt for not being a “perfect Muslim” and pressure from my parents. Intially, I found it very hard but I received full support from my husband (this helped immensely).
    Parents always look out for the best for their children and I think this is what their intention was but at the same time I feel knowledge and love for Islam is also a requisite that would help sisters understand the real beauty of it.
    I am saddened when I hear stories of sisters who wear it and then decide to take it off. Usually, we get carried away with our day to day life but taking time for dhikr and gaining knowledge of Islam can help keep us steadfast in our practices,keep satan away and bring us closer to the Almighty.
    May the Almighty make it easy for all of us. Ameen.

  • I have been wearing a hijab since third grade, but know i am wanting to switch high schools, for a better education. If I go to a new school, I will have to deal with the bullying that I have dealt with before. Now I am considering taking off my hijab. I want to know if I can wear the hijab outside of school and still not get punished for it. I am grateful for this site.

    • You will hear people ask you to fear allah and not worry about bullying, you will also hear from people here to go easy as one should take care of ourselves in this life. From the little I know if you’re looking for scholarly opinion, scholars support both. So, if it was me, i’d just follow what my heart says and what is easier for me at that point and pray to God to guide and help me. I don’t like to complicate matters. For example when it was difficult for women to get an education with hijab on in france, sh. qardawi said it was alright for them to take it off in the school premises. Intentions matter a lot in islam – Deeds depend on intention (Bukhari). So yeah, don’t worry too much. Pray to God and if you feel more confused, contact someone you can trust and rely on, like Suhaib webb, who is a very practical trustable person from what I know so far.

  • Salam Sister,

    In short – the hijab is obligatory in Islam. Have faith and trust in Allah and your deen, and don’t fear those people at school.

    This world is a test, and you will be rewarded for your good deeds and trust in Him. Inshallah Allah makes it easy for you. I will make dua for you.

    Salam

  • Asalamu Aleikum

    One of my friends told me that she had spoken to an older man (well educated reg Islam) and he told her that when a woman decides to wear the hijab she must be really sure that she will never take it off because if she does so it is like she is denying her religion and it sounded like a “ticket straight to hell”

    Is it possible that the punishment for wearing and struggling with hijab for some time and then taking it off is worse than the punishment is for never wearing the hijab at all???

    Thank you//convert

    • Don’t worry about it. Don’t buy everything that someone older or knows a bit of islam says. Too many pseudo-shaykhs who know it all (like myself) out there. Knowing something doesn’t mean one has the wisdom or heart or understanding of situations.

      You try to do what you can to the best of your abilities, and don’t worry about what people say too (like the shaykh mentioned), rest God will take care. He’s the merciful, the understanding, the all knowing, the wise. :)

      Hijab is a hyped issue where muslims consider it as the ultimate sign of modesty. Most of the time it isn’t the case in this 21st century world. As a man, mostly we have better things to worry about than a woman’s hair. I, personally, would respect a non hijabi who is modest in dressing and behavior to a fashion hijabi or a thug muslim with a beard in style. [Too many of those out there]. I’ve often seen many non-muslim women in such modest clothing, right beside those fashion hijabis. I do like the headscarf and do consider it as a part of the muslim attire, but on the right terms- and it’s not that a big deal.

      Yes, our actions and soul are connected. One could again define actions and categorize them. Similarly with beard. From life experience so far, I wouldn’t just call someone a brother or sister or trust just because he has a beard or she has a hijab. I just wouldn’t care or bother. The world is made up of two kinds – good and bad. As simple as that. And we try our very best to please God and try to do the right things to the best of our abilities for ourselves and help others as humans. Let God be the judge. Don’t let satan bother you with every single detail and make you forget the bigger purposes in life.

  • AOA

    I am very confused and this discussion only added more to my confusion. I am a doctor and wearing abaya and hijab eversince I can remember. But now since I have stepped in practical professional life I am having troubles. I look odd one out cos no female around me wears a abaya, many wear scarf and dress modestly but no abaya. I specially encounter this awkwardness at conferences, seminars and professional gatherings where everyones dressed for the occassion. I became too frustrated and took off my abaya and dressed modestly fully covered and wore scarf at a conference and everyone welcomed the change. In fact my boss even told me that I should consider taking off abaya at my workplace, didn’t force me but just suggested. I am really very double minded. Is wearing abaya a MUST? If I dress fully covered with a scarf covering my hair, is that ok? Or should I continue wearing the abaya? I am no scholar but Islam says we should cover our selves properly so does it matter that we cover by a abaya or wear loose clothes with a scarf? I feel guilty at times but I am also a girl who has feelings and a wardrobe full of clothes waiting for me to wear them. Kindly tell me what you think. Jazak Allah khair

  • Respected sister

    I’ve read some of the posts here and The general impression I get is people are deciding what to do about such matters without consolation with reputable and authentic scholars.
    This is problematic because of many reasons, I’ll only give few to illustrate the point:

    1) This Deen is easy because Allah swt has not made us responsible to solve all our problems by ourself. That would have made it very difficult burden to bear. Instead we are required to ask people of knowledge and act upon their advice.

    2) without knowledge of fine details of the shariah, we take it upon ourself to resolve these matters, we will make our lives more difficult. So best to get advice from those who are scholars of Shariah
    if such things confuse you, the best thing is to talk it out with authentic scholars and then you will know proper way of dealing with such situations. If we take it on ourselves without the detailed understanding of the finer details of Quran & Sunnah, we will always be confused.

  • Many matters in deen are not black white. We need to discuss about issues that bother us and make our practice of Islam difficult with authentic scholars of shariah. Every person’s circumstances are different and if we discuss and talk with those scholars, we will inshallah find solutions and it will make our hearts peaceful.

  • Assalamo Aleykom! Good Morning from California,

    I too have struggled with hijab. I reverted to Islam in 2005 and have never worn hijab. In the beginning I experienced that rush that you mentiong in this reply to our sister’s questions. I was able to change my way of dressing to be more conservative, but the hijab was and still is a big step for me. I enjoy wearing it when I do. When I am able to participate in Friday prayer, I love to wear my hijab. I feel protected and I feel purer in my heart when I have it on.

    However, I struggle with the fact that although my friends and family know I am Muslim, I may be ridiculed or pushed aside. I also fear that it would have adversely affect my job as I am a government employee. Being Mexican-American, I also feel that those around feel that I am only trying to be Muslim and that I’m not really “that” Muslim. I am very outgoing and communicative as my job has always required that of me. When I think of how people will see me, I feel I will be treated differently and will be, in essence, ostrasized.

    I think about hijab all the time and I feel bad that I have not been able to take that step that will make me somewhat more complete in my deen. I buy beautiful hijabs and practice wearing them and in my heart I say, “Okay, it’s time.” And then the fear sets in.

    Presently, I feel even more guilty because I have lost my job due to a work injury. I have started to analyse my life and see that those who are around me are the ones who truly care about me and would not be bothered by me wearing hijab. I feel I have unnecessarily worried about doing what is right in the eyes of Allah (SWT) and now, here I am. I would love to take that step and would really appreciate any advice that could help me in that transition. I know well that I have much more to learn in Islam and pray that I can find my way to the right path as a Muslim woman.

    Sister, all I can tell you is that after you become Muslim (which you already are) and you know what is right and what is wrong, you won’t feel better if you take it off. I think you will feel worse and eventually put it back on. I say these words while I listen to them and pray that Allah (SwT) gives me the courage to do what is right in His eyes only. You are already doing what is right in His eyes and what is right for you in your life and deen. I wish to be as courageous as you have been.

    I wish you the best and will say a prayer for you today as I am home and able to attend jummah.

    Peace to all.

    • Salams Sr Veronica, I too am a revert to Islam working in a place where there are no other Muslims. About 6 months after reverting to Islam, I began to wear hijab whenever I left my home, Alhamdulillah. I did get looks and some stares, but in my heart, I knew I was wearing it to please Allah swt, not other people, and my fears melted away very quickly. That first day, first step is hard, but after that, your Iman grows to such a state you no longer are afraid, I assure you. I know you have read that to please Allah swt is our only concern–not the opinions of people, so I won’t repeat that…and only want to assure you that the grace from Allah swt comes when we submit to the teachings of Islam.
      I have worn hijab now for over 3 years and can’t imagine NOT wearing it. Allah swt has given me such protection and sakeena when I wear it now. Even though I am not a perfect, or even ‘good’ Muslim, I LOVE being identified as a Muslimah….because Allah swt knows my intention as I strive to become a better one through the purification of my heart. The hijab helps me do that. Take care and wassalam, Maryam

    • Dear Sister,

      I understand your stuuggle very well, as I myself went throught this stage. I even wore the hijab and then stopped wearing it because I thought it would make me a target in my job. The when conditions changed I struggled with whether I should put it on again in case of “IF” this or that. One day while I was browsing youtube looking at videos of different ways of wearing the hijab (that I was not wearing) I came across this video by Shaikh Shady. The next morning, I went to work with hijab. AlhamduliLah, I am still wearing it.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUK1Oh4Aojo

    • Veronica,

      I am not Muslim but I live a religion that has a dress code. It was hard for me to make the transition to living that dress code but i can say for me that it has been worth it, I admire Muslimas who wear hijab for their courage to openly follow that tenet of their religion. Be strong dear sister and know that there are those of us that are not Muslim that will respect you and admire you for having that strength. To all my sisters who happen to be Muslim and understand that maintaining a level of modest dress does not demean a woman but lifts her up in purity and righteousness I salute you.

    • Wearing hijab is the same as a women in prison. There no anywhere Hijab is a must. In Islam what is important is decent attire. Take care of your aurat and modesty, do not make it difficult by covering yourself like a blanket. Islam make it easy not difficult. Pure heart make a different. Allah is merciful, Allah will not burden the ummah. Many western clothes or attire are desent. Make it simple. Wearing a long pants and decents blouse is not wrong, it doest not make you a MAN, cover your head with a scraft if you feel your hair is aurat, your movement will be at ease. I am not anti hijab, but why make it difficutls when Islam call for being simple.Understand the quran is better than just reading and reciting the surrah. I notice woman wearing hijab closing her face and when she eat and drinks each time she has to lift the mouth cover pieces , aint that making life for a woman difficult while men enjoy his meal?

      • salam bro,
        when Allah says that He wants to make things easy for us, it does not include things that are not so difficult, like wearing hijab. … with much criticism i wear the traditional abaya wheever i go out . many people think that wearing it would be a burden, you can’t walk properly etc. but according to me its only aburden when you percieve it to be so. even the extreme heat in ma place doesnt really bother me…i know that when you have got ut intention clear and have set your eyes on Allah’s reward ..the rest is easy!!

      • Assalamu Alaikum Dear brother.
        Actually there is a direct command from Allah in the Quran to wear the Hijab. Suraht “Al Ahzab” Ayah # 59 (33-59). I Aslk Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala to show us the truth as such and help us to follow it, show is the wrong as such and help us avoid it. Ameen.

      • Dear Ruslan – Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I notice other brothers are often quick to jump on the requirements for women with Arabized interpretations of dress and lifestyle. However, these same Muslim men are often “invisible” as they melt into the Western societies in both dress and behaviour – not having Islamic beards nor even covering their heads while praying – coming to mosque in jeans, t-shirts, or shorts. Your comments are fitting with regard to modesty, society, and freedom of movement. After all, how many Muslim men do we see wearing thobes and Arab clothes to work outside Saudi? While many men and women are using Quranic interpretations to coerce women to don Arabic style clothing I find many Muslim men’s dress and behaviour to be veering very far from those same Quranic interpretations. You are also correct that face veils (also burqas) and abayas do indeed curtail a woman’s freedom of movement – as much as I like these clothes.

    • Ask Allah forgiveness and strength my dear sister … I will be too for you .. Also think this way because it helped me a lot “I won’t make Allah my creator upset with me to please humans ..

  • Dear Veronica, thanks very much for sharing your life experience. thank you Allah for His blessing indisguise (about your job lost, and other may be not so happy occasion befallen onto your goodself and family. please be patient, because actually all thi is because Allah loves you, and test you so that Allah knows that your love for Him is true love… not make up love

  • I am currently studying Islam. I am very appreciative to read others experiences and so don’t feel alone in my thoughts around the hijab issue. I currently wear coloured turban wraps and I could never go out of my home without one on. The fabric matches my modest clothing.I am also in the process of seeking a job and wonder if I will be accepted in a work place with my hair covered. I probably just won’t take a job that does not accept me as I am if that’s possible. The head covering stays. Whether I will wear a fuller hijab in a work environment remains to be seen. I have to ask myself if I serve Allah or Islamaphobia? The answer is simple. I remind myself that Allah guides who He wills to this path and when we ask Him to make it a bit easier for us He does. He does not want to make it difficult for us. Alhamdullilah! Thank you for sharing your experiences so I can learn more and in a way feel supported. I have a long way to go and Allah is very patient.
    Peace and Blessings
    Judith

  • Dear sister Veronica,

    I am touched by your plight. And as some of those before me have mentioned. It is important that we stay the path and preservere. as much as we feel saddened by what has happened to ourselves, we must look forward and not give up!

    Our lives are ahead of us, not behind us. Move on. And one day you will realize that what happened to you was for you to find something much better. Insyallah!

  • I would like to request a specific reference for the following Hadith used in the above q/a. I tried looking for it and could not find it. Jazak Allah Khair.

    “Anas relates that, “We asked the Prophet ﷺ, ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, shouldn’t we refrain from calling others to goodness if we don’t practice all good things ourselves, and shouldn’t we refrain from forbidding wrong things until we ourselves have abstained from all the bad?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘You should call others to goodness even if you don’t do all good, and you should forbid bad things even if you don’t abstain from all of them yourselves.’” (Al-Tabarani)”

  • I’m facing a similar problem. I was emotionally blackmailed and forced into wearing a Hijab by my parents when I was 11.
    I’m not very religious, I say all my prayers but I want to live my life, study, and enjoy my youth. I just feel that the Hijab’s become a barrier for everything in my life. I wouldn’t have had issues with it if I wore it at my own will at a decent age, but being forced into wearing it as a child has just made me rebellious. I don’t take it as something i’m doing for my deen, but as a burden.

    • I am very sorry to hear this, but I understand your situation. I am a girl who wants to convert to islam and I envy those sisters who are allowed to wear hijab freely or that have more courage than me in wearing it and converting.
      You should just try to read the Koran for yourself and not for your parents, it will be something to do step by step, because I know how much parents can influence us and then all we do is depending on their opinion. Maybe my speech doesn’ t make sense… I just want to push you to do it only for yourself and know that there are people who struggle because they have a hard situations and they cannot follow their religion freely. I pray that Allah (swt) gives you your own guidance and makes you find your own path. Ameen. Assalamu Aleikum.

    • Hamdoulilleh, you should thank Allah(SWT) that you have loving Muslim parents to guide you, instead of leaving you to your own devises! As a relatively recent revert who searched for decades to discover Islam, it is difficult for me to understand such sentiments. You are so very lucky to have been born into this and to have been raised properly by a family that loves you and doesn’t want to see your fate be one of hellfire. Whether you see it as a burden or a blessing, your choice to wear hijab or not has a direct impact on your eternity in the akhira, so please try to refrain from your inclinations toward (as you yourself worded it) childish rebelliousness and have a real heart to heart with Allah(SWT)…you’ll find your way if you only search hard enough for it, inshallah. May Allah(SWT) guide you, sister.

    • Dear Sisters … The hijab is a protector .. Makes women feel free and pure .. I reverted to Islam because all I wanted at some stage of my life a pure woman .. I only saw it in the real muslim woman wearing a hijab , eventually I am a Muslim now and married to a pure Muslim woman wearing a hijab. May Allah shows you the right pathway only “if you wish”

    • Dear Maria – I can understand your situation. Convert sisters often waggle a finger at born Muslims as to how lucky they are but every side has a story. Just as converts suffer ridicule when converting to Islam born Muslims also suffer from culturally defined religious pressures. Hijab should be your choice. While converts rebel against the morals of the societies they are born into young Muslims forced into religion also rebel. Everyone’s path is different but when you are of age you can investigate for yourself what is the best option for you and what is your relationship to God/Allah. No one should be forcing anyone else. Each person has a direct connection to the creator. Often these force tactics only push people away from religion.

  • Dear Sis. Maria, don´t think only very young ladies feel unease about the hijab. I´ll be reaching my 40´s this year and about 2 years ago I took the decission not to wear hijab anymore. I live and come from a hispanic society and during the 13 years I spent wearing hijab, it did indeed became a barrier between my people and me. I see how still some sisters keep emphasizing on liking “the path of Allah” with hijab. The path of Allah is too broad and there are so many aspects of our lives that need to be reviewed to see if indeed we are in the path or not.

    To begin with, in all the Surahs the Qu´ran makes reference to the word hijab, in none of them is refereing to covering one´s head with a piece of clothe. It has different meanings and connotations that most scholars agree on. Another point to consider is that in pre-islamic and islamic era the veil had a social connations since that was a sign of belonging to an upper class. For that reason the same Caliph Umar did not allow slave women to wear it and that is well documented in islamic history.

    Also when we examinate the following Ayat:

    “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)

    We can easily understand that the purpose of covering besides having a sociological connotation as we have already explained, it is to be recognized in one´s society as pious and decent woman.

    In most Western societies the dressing code for a pious religious woman is loose clothes, long sleeves, and long skirts.

    The Qu´ran also main purpose is that women don´t get annoyed by men by “drawing their attention”. Whenever a woman passes in front of a group of men dressed with a simple long sleeve blouse, long skirt, and a ponny tail, that lady would rarely be looked at and in some cases she might even be considered as an old-fashioned person. On the other hand, a lady with a colorful hijab in my hispanic society would invite all men to look at her and some even might say “bye linda” (beauty). So if I really want to follow what the Qu´ran main message is, I would go by the first option which is wearing long loose clothes and a simple ponny tail.

    Islam is a religion that welcomes all cultures without impossing any specific dress style, food, etc. There is a beautiful story in the Qu´ran about cultures and ways of living that I would like to share with you:

    18:86 Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: “O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.”
    18:87 He said: “Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before).
    18:88 “But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command.”
    18:89 Then followed he (another) way,
    18:90 Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun.
    18:91 (He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him.

    The Prophet Zulqurnain pbuh is given authority to punish. He sees a people with no covering protection against the sun. This could mean few trees, roofless homes or people wearing few clothes. Such people exist in the world today as so close to me in South America or in some parts of Africa. They wear few clothes, limited property, and they live in harmony with nature. The Prophet Zulqurnain PBU had left such people as they were. He didn’t punish them for not wearing more clothes. He left them alone because it was THEIR CULTURE and WAY OF LIVING.

    Also let us not forget what is really the best clothes to wear in front of Allah, S.W.A. which is stated very clear in the Qu´ran:

    [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness.

    So, I guess nobody at this point could dispute the beautiful message from above verse reducing the Path of Allah to a piece of clothe on the head.

    I´m a muslim but also hispanic with a beautiful historical heritage which I´m very proud of and there is no need for me to adopt a dressing code that was meant only at one specific historical time to distinguish social classes in Arabia. I rather opt to wear the Garment of Rightousness.

    O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All Aware (49:13)

    • I’m sorry, but to say that hijab (meaning the headscarf) is not required is incorrect. There is a specific ayat that says to wear headscarf, and also to drape it across your chest (to hide one’s cleavage). Although it feels nice to say that hijab isn’t required in this day and age, it’s more important to dress modestly in the West (because men feel more empowered to view women as objects). Scholars are unanimous about hijab being mandatory upon women, and there are hadiths to support this view as well. It is not for us, who are less versed in shariah, to make our own decisions about the deen when it it decided for us.

      I understand that you’ve done a lot of research about this topic, but that does not take the place of the unanimous scholarly agreement that hijab is required, nor does it take away from the wisdom and freedom that is associated with hijab. Even in this day and age, it is smarter to wear hijab than not to.

      • My dear sister in Islam Sara, I suggest you to read one more time my post.

        I would like to clarify for you that NOT ALL SCHOLARS have UNANIMOUSLY agreed that hijab is obligatory for all women. It matters to happen that those who have “louder ($$$$) voice” in the muslim world are those who have reduce women´s faith to a piece of cloth on the head as Saudi Arabia does or “the modern islamic movement” Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt which has many branches all around Arab countries promoting their ideas.

        To prove my point, just when France started to issue laws that forbade hijab in public places, french authorities went to get a legal (Fatwaa) opinion from the Ex-Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar Sheik Tantawi, and this one clearly stated that muslim women should obey the law of the country where they live or leave:

        “Last year, Sheikh Tantawi barred female students at the university from wearing the full-face covering niqab veil.
        He also caused upset other Muslim scholars by saying that French Muslims should obey any law that France might enact banning the veil.
        His views on the veil prompted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to accuse him of “harming the interests of Islam”.

        Interestingly enough the Islamic Scholar Gamal al-Banna who happens to be the brother of the founder of the islamic movement “Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt Sheik Hassan al Banna, sustains with solid proofs that hijab is not mandatory for muslim women:

        “He doesn’t press his ideas, does not try to wage a contest with the institution of Al Azhar, but instead takes the long-term view, hoping to plant a few seeds that will, in time, take root and spread. He recognizes that, at the moment, the other side is winning the contest of ideas in Egypt, and the region.

        The views alleged to fall outside religion include those on women: They are not required to wear a veil, as most do in Egypt, Mr. Banna believes; they should not be forced to undergo genital cutting, as most do now in Egypt; and they should be allowed to lead men in prayer, which is forbidden in Egypt.

        “My idea is that man is the aim of religion, and religion only a means,” said Mr. Banna.

        ”What is prevalent today is the opposite.”

        So, sister I cordially invite you not to hear only one branch of scholars whom you think represent “all voices” but go ahead and open your mind to listen to other voices so you can ellaborate your own conclusions based on a solid and “smarter” argument.

        Concerning the the word “smarter” that you used, I will urge you to retract yourself from the use of that word since it is kind of insulting for all the good, respectable, and “smart” sisters who opt not to wear the hijab.

        Do you think the following sisters are “less smart” than you because they choose not to wear a piece of cloth on their head?

        I never take the credit from any sister who wear the hijab with a SINCERE INTENTION to please her Lord without looking for any personal benefit neither to impress or be accepted by anybody. I think I have repeated that several times here, so the minimum I ask is to use an approriate vocabulary denoting respect to all of us who believe that hijab is not mandatory for all muslim women aroung this globe.

        [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness.

        • Assalamu alaikom sister Maryam. I have serious issues with the two ‘scholars’ you mentioned. Some of their views were or are in direct conflict with the Qur’an, imo. Just be as sure as you can that the Qur’an and sunnah support whatever the ‘scholars’ say. There are way too many self-appointed scholars out there now.

          We are all on the path Allah (SWT) has willed for us and I remember an ayat about one of the angels questioning Allah (SWT) about the ‘wisdom’ of putting man here on Earth and Allah (SWT) said “You do not know what I know.” He created us to think and decide things for ourselves and for sure, we will not all agree.

          I do have one question, that I am curious about. It is kind of a big topic, but I’m not looking for support or anything. I’m just trying to understand why a woman should be allowed to lead men in prayer? Do you think women should have the same rights as men? I just wonder what the purpose is behind it? Jak sister.

      • As far as im aware im sure women cant lead men in prayer, Can you think where the men would be looking when the women goes into ruku, i dont mean to be rude but thats one reason why, people can say that they wont look and they dont and theyre reading namaz so how can you think of such a think but beleive me thats what would happen.

        • I see women sweltering in 95 degree heat, covered from head to toe, and men running bare chested to the beach. This surely an inequality in Islam. I have seen women pass out from the heat of their clothing in the summer. Why? It seems that men are unable to control themselves. Why should women have to suffer because of men’s lack of shame?

    • I totally agree with you Sara.. I am a Hispanic revert too <3 I wear a scarf at the Masjid and when I go to the house of a girl that wears a scarf out of respect for her choice. Anyway may Allah guide us ALL!

    • The Hijab is an Obligation, there is no room for interpretation. Many men who have let their beards grow in order to please their lord have went through difficulties. Men have lost their jobs, have been divorced by their wives, attacked and criticized by their friends and loved family members. It is easy to look for excuses in order to stop doing that which they heart knows and holds to be true but it is difficult to remain steadfast in the face of adversity and depend on Allah to make things better. It is easy to let the beard grow or put on the hijab, the difficulty lies in being steadfast once we have done this. My dear brothers who find excuses to shorten their beards, and sisters who do the same with hijab. DO NOT allow yourself to be fooled by Shaytaan and his whispers, or his friends among man. These two obligations when they have discarded will be cause for so much sin it is unfathomable. I ask Allah to strengthen us and keep us steadfast upon that which pleases our lord, and I seek refuge from insisting on pleasing his creation instead……

      Abu Zejd

  • Salaam alaykum again. I would like to express my thanks to the Moderator of this discussion for allowing my opinion to be post it here. I have tried to participate in other discussions before concerning the same issue and my opinion was always rejected, something which really made me suspicious about the sincerity of such islamic sites. I am really happy to see there are still islamic websites and groups willing to let different opinions to be heard even if one might not agree. By no ways I deny the main purpose of hijab which is modesty. I just believe that concept doesn´t limit to a dressing code of a particular culture at one spicific time. Most societies’ view of Modesty don´t contradict the Holy Qu´ran. Again thank you very much and may Allah, S.W.A. blesses the Moderator as well as Br. Suhaib Webb for their sincerity and willingness to let all opinons to be heard. JazkhAllah Khair!

  • Your mail has a.swered all of my questionns. Thank you so much!! I really do not have any words to describe how beautifully your wods has enlightened me!

    • I don´t know if you meant my last post here. If you did so, you don´t have to thank me sister. I´m pretty sure if you allow yourself to listen to your heart and mind, you will reach to the same conclusion or perhaps add more to it. There is not any right guided religion that commands an unmodest dress or behavior, and there is one point allreligions agree is to preserve women´s dignity. A veil on one´s head has no islamic meaning by itself but only seen through the culture and time one is living. For example, if you live in Saudi Arabia where most women are fully covered, you definetely would break the modest standard there by going out with all your hair out. However we muslim women who live in the West wearing the hijab cause the same effect as the one said before. The way I understand the message of the Qu´ran (and plase don´t tell me I should rely on Scholars point of views because all of us now most of their opinions have to please certain interests) for a woman is to be modest according to the prevalent standard in the society where she lives. Definetely I believe the most disliked thing in Islam for a muslim woman is “the center of attention” wherever she goes, that all comentaries are about her, people looking at her from head to toes, etc. Do you think that is modest? Remember Islam is a religion of a “middle ground” and extremism is the most disliked thing. I do respect though the sisters who opt to wear hijab because “in their understanding” they believe that´s what Allah wants from them. I´m pretty sure Allah will reward them just for their honest intention but they need to know that a veil on their head is not required, and they should never put it as a condition to be in the path of Islam because at that time they will be distorting the whole message of Islam resuming it only on piece of cloth.

      • Modesty does not mean not being the center of attention. It means protecting one’s dignity, and that only way to prevent a person from objectifying you or seeing your beauty is to save it for those who truly deserve it.

        Hijab is timeless.

        For you to say that you can’t trust the scholars (because they serve their own interests) undermines the entire idea of religion. If we can’t trust those who are more learned than us, then who can we trust? The Qur’an says to follow the prophet (saw), but did he (saw) serve HIS own interests?

        It seems that the issue here is not with hijab, but rather with an unwillingness to follow authority, even if it is divinely inspired. I, having been raised in the West, can understand this; after all, we’re raised to think that, as an individual, we can do whatever we want to do. However, you need to remember that rulings such as that of the hijab are from an authority that we cannot deny: Allah.

  • Dear sisters, thank you for your wonderful comments which I find very supportive. I recently went to a converts support group and the ‘silent’ group norm seems to be to wear hijab but I am a new sister and am not able to yet and have mixed views about wearing it although part of me would like to perhaps to this group but unsure about at other times. I’m also not interested in wearing long black gowns or niqab but each sister to their own way and choice. I don’t want to feel pressured to conform to what might be more acceptable by some. I dress modestly and that’s what I feel Allah requires of us. It is unfortunate that wearing a piece of cloth on one’s head has become such a huge political debate. I heard it said that it has become the 6th pillar of Islam in some circles. Unfortunately there are some muslims that pressure others into dressing as women did 1400 years ago and I find that alien to the true spirit of what I understand Islam to be about. It’s enough sometimes to make one want to retreat and live in isolation.

  • Very true sister Rose. The true spirit of Islam is justice, being merciful towards Allah´s whole creation including animals and plants, and being a righteus person as the same Quran tells us [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness.
    My own daughter wears hijab out of her desire to please Allah, S.W.A. which I totally support. She is half Arab, so indeed the veil is part of her cultural background. In my case, as I explained before, I am 100% hispanic. For some people is shocking to see a veiled daughter and an uncover mom, but that is the beauty of Islam: people from different backgrounds, looks, each one still keeping one´s own culture, all that under the beautiful umbrella of Islam. What would happen if me, Maryam, start wearing a Jordanian jelbab with a colorful shayla, a black triangle scarf with shalwar kameez, or a silky floral turkish square hijab with a pardesu? Maryam will not be anymore a “hispanic muslim”. I will look just like another Arab, Pakistani, or Turkish muslim woman. I don´t think that is even psychologically healthy:( Why? Because one doesn´t belong either to an Arab, Pakistani, nor Turkish culture and it a certain way, one would break one´s ties with her own culture. Islam is an easy religon and changing the nature of things is very disliked in Islam. Each culture has beautiful ways to express modesty and no one is better of superior than another one. I´m certaintly muslim but also Hispanic and I´m very thankfull to Allah that I was born in Latin America, as each of should feel about his or her own country and culture :-)

    • I whole-heartedly agree with what you’ve written here. How can, say, Muslim women from India, or from other Islamic cultures, who wear a scarf, be criticized, for instance? I wear a scarf instead of a hijab. This is what I’m most comfortable with, and my heart is pure. I’ve never struggled with this; I’ve always been true to myself and my personal relationship with Allah. I will only ever be myself, without pretense to adopt another culture which is foreign to me.

    • Salaam Alaykum Sister Maryam.

      Inshallah you are well. I can understand your feelings about losing your hispanic heritage at the expense of wearing hijab but I dont think it is as simple as that. As a chinese convert, I get those stares and looks of curiosity by my community as well. I can figure from the look on their faces that they are trying to decipher whether I am chinese, malay or filipino. At times I feel like my ability to communicate with them is limited to my outer appearance/hijab. I’ve had to justify my choices/religion on several occasions to strangers but all of this doesnt make me loose my identity as a “Chinese” person. My identity of choice is Islam and that is what the hijab tells the world. First, I am a muslim, second I am chinese/female/young- whatever is seemingly important.

      Sister, I just wanted to say that I understand completely but sometimes we get a choice in how we want to show ourselves to the world. Allah be with you always and keep your steadfast on this beautiful mercy called Islam.

      JAzaakAllah khair for your time and your story.

      Masalaam.

  • Alhamdullilah sister Maryam-Haleema, your words are comforting to me. I dreamt last night that I was wearing a long black and white hijab and was being assertive with a friend and said I would wear hijab if I want to! It was quite funny really and I suppose there is much going on in my subconscious mind at present as I feel the time is drawing near to wearing something concerning hijab. I was born in Scotland so like you I am not Turkish or Arab either. I still feel like I am in transition. I live in Australia which says it’s tolerant but it’s Islamaphobic ib most places but I suppose that’s as many places. I am too busy working on my nafs at present; for me it’s the inner work that takes precedence. Your words expressed here are those of Allah Almighty and express the true meaning of Islam. Thank you so much. And thank you to the moderator for this great website where each person can express their views openly without fear. Peace and blessings sister. Can I ask you a question? have you taken two muslim names?

  • Al-salamu alaikum!
    Just take it easy with the hijab! For me it took 4 years after reverting before I was able to start wearing it. Actually I put it on first, then stopped using it, because I was too uncomfortable. And then after 4 years I finally was ready. You can’t just force yourself, you need to get eagerness to wear it. That’s what happened to me, alhamdulillah! Ask Allah to give you that eagerness. Don’t let other humans to pressure you to wear it, we must wear it out of our own willingness to submit to Allah’s will.

  • Assalamu alaikom. I really struggled with putting on the hijab when I became a Muslim. I looked at everything in the Quran about it and also all of the strong hadiths. We cannot follow the Quran and ignore the hadiths, because the Qur’an came to us through the prophet and so did the sunnah and Allah (SWT) told us to obey the prophet (pbuh). The women in the prophet’s (pbuh) time already wore a head covering, but their neck and chest were not covered, so the Qur’an verses that talk about covering the front told them to simply pull their head-cover to the front. It did not need to tell women to cover their heads, because they already were. I found multiple hadiths from the companions that specifically said to cover all but our face and hands. It also warns us about dressing like non-Muslims.

    I tried very hard to find the tiniest reasons not to wear the hijab. I was very determined, but I could not. That said, submission is a process. I doubt there are very many reverts who start out doing everything they should. It has been 3 years for me and I’m still finding out things I should or should not be doing. And failing to do even what I know is right at times. We all do wrong. It is a part of creation. Allah (SWT) will forgive us over and over, alhamdulillah!

    I finally put on my hijab about four months after I became a Muslim. Before that, when I was putting it on to go to the masjid, I was so hot and miserable wearing it. I didn’t think I could stand to do it all the time. I didn’t want to! It kept haunting me though and I started feeling strange uncovered. Once I made the decision to practice hijab, the discomfort went away and all of the negative feelings too. With the hijab, I feel so serene and although I kind of resemble a nicely dressed bag lady now, on the outside: I feel beautiful inside. I have never felt so much peace. I think if I had done it before I was ready to, it would have made me resentful, so I’m very glad I did it without external pressure. Wearing hijab is not optional, according to the Qur’an and sunnah, but Allah (SWT) also specifically said that there is no compulsion in Islam. Someone who wears hijab isn’t automatically better than someone who doesn’t. Only Allah (SWT) knows and we should think the best of our brothers and sisters. I definitely disagree with some of the comments here, but I do respect every person’s right to take their own path to Islam and to submission inshallah. Jak sisters and to you too brother Suhaib Webb. Your articles have answered many timely questions for me. Shukran.

  • Thanks sister Rose for your comments. May Allah, make our minds see Islam as an easy religion and not to distort its beautiful and simple message as it happened with previous faiths. Islamophobia, Christianphobia, Jewishphobia, etc. is a negative human reaction against things that seem to us “allien” or “different”. Insh-Allah with the time and GOOD EXAMPLE from the muslim community, it will go. Also, let us not forget that in European´s past there were many battles against muslim countries as we can see in the case of the Crusades and in Islamic Spain, so somehow that hate is a reminiscence from the past. Insh-Allah that will be over soon. We converted sometimes complaint about our communities and families how they resist to accept our decission to follow Islam and we don´t ask ourselves what would happen if it was the other way around? If I was born Muslim in Egypt, Morocco, or Jordan and I decide to become Christian? Families there would never ever accept it and in some cases the person would risk even his or her own life if he or she declares publicly his decission. Concerning this issue, I would like to invite everybody here to see an article I wrote about this topic on my blog http://www.Maryam1Hispanic.Wordpress.com
    Dear sister Amatullah2, I congratulate you for your eagerness to please Allah, S.W.A. I always regardes those like you with high respect, Mash´Allah! One very common thing I found among the hijab supporters of its obligatory condition, is that they mainly based their ideas on Hadiths or interpretations of previous scholars claiming that it is not enough for us to follow the Qu´ran alone. That is quiet strange and a contradictory thing for me because the Qu´ran itself tells us it is a book sent down to humanity with “clear guidance”. I don´t reject however all the hadiths, many of them really can give us a picture of the Prophet´s personality but in some cases I have found that some hadiths from the same Bukhari and Muslim go against the sacred concept of Tawheed, Audubillah! Some also distort completely the personality of the Prophet to a point that they feed the arguments of all those who hate Islam and slander our beloved Prophet. If we use our rational mind, who can go to a court with a testimony based on that I heard from such who heard from such, who heard from the Prophet said…? The Judge might laugh at our faces if he has a good sense of humor :)As it happened in Christianity and Judaism, “sayings” and “deeds” were atributed to prophets and messengers to suit Kings, Ameers, rulers, and governors “best interests” to control their people at spicific times during history. Let us not forget that using methods to “silence and isolate women in society” is a very useful tool to control a comunity. Women are usually half of every society´s population. Around 40 or 50 years ago here in Latin America many dictators forbid women from holding Id cards and from voting and that really helpped to maintain their cruel regimes. It was not until a dictator in my own country killed 3 sisters, that the whole country rose in protest and got its freedom welcoming the democracy! In the Quran Allah reminds us that before Him we are all equal, so why was He going to put a bigger such a burden on HALF OF THE HUMANITY making it more “visible”? Many of you live in cold countries with well stablished laws that protect the citizen, but try to put yourself 1 minute on a woman with hijab walking under a tropical sun, in a desertic area, or under a humid climate while going to university? Please sisters, I don´t mean go and take off your hijab, but let us use our minds and our rational thinking without following blindly scholas´ opinions and understand that hijab is not mandatory or compulsory for all women nor for all cultures. We converted muslims at one time used our rational and logical thinking to come to Islam because we realized at that time Islam was the most coherent and rational religion. Why suddenly we stopped our critical thinking? The first command Muhammad, P.B.U recieved from Angel Gabriel was IQRA (read) (this Quran)! After removing the hijab I noticed a big positive change: I can talk to all people more freely, I´m not the center of attention wherever I go, I don´t longer go justifying or giving illogical explanations why is mandatory for all women in Islam to cover their head to hispanic people who listen to that while standing under the sun :( and the most important: I feel peace in my heart :) Islam is much more than a piece of clothe on the head that women on 7th Century Arabia wore to distinguish their social class.

    • Those like me, lol. It gets very hot where I live, but I figure that Allah (SWT) knew what the climate was going to be like, when He told us to cover.:-) It’s not my place to argue with you, but I do want to point out that the hadiths were not simply he said or she said. Critical thought and logic are very necessary to understand the role we have in Islam. Especially the women’s role. The process of understand which hadiths are reliable is based on the testimony of many witnesses and when there are multiple people involved, their honesty and character was taken into consideration too. Rather than ‘he said, she said’, it is more like dozens of people in separate rooms testified to the same thing. And then another dozen were asked again. They testified about what the prophet (pbuh) said and did. If you want to get technical, the Qur’an itself is a ‘he (the prophet (pbuh))said that he (Jibreel)said, that he (Allah (SWT))said’. We are accepting the word of the prophet (pbuh) on that, so it is not a stretch to determine that we should model our lives after his example.

      What is shahih (strong) was not based on ‘crowd control’or culture. The sunnah was a good thing for women back in the formal introduction of Islam and if it were based on culture, they would have still been equal with a camel. Muslim women had rights that most women in the world did not. It still gives us rights that many in the world do not have. The Qur’an tells us what to do and the hadiths tell us how. The Qur’an tells us to pray and sunnah tells us specifically how. The Qur’an tells us to follow the example of the last prophet (pbuh), so the sunnah is absolutely necessary for us to know how to submit to Allah (SWT).

      Putting on the hijab has given me opportunities to explain Islam to many strangers that I never would have had the opportunity to talk to, if they hadn’t seen my hijab and asked me about it. It makes those that wear it a constant witness for Allah (SWT). It is far more than a piece of cloth. Hijab shows on the outside, but it is really about the inside and letting go of an attachment to this dunya. Our looks and our ethnicity are superficial and will be dust before the turn of the next century. Hijab helps me focus on what matters. I want to be the best servant of Allah (SWT) that I can be. I lack in so many ways, but the hijab was something I could do, Mash’allah.

      When I first became a Muslim, some of the women who don’t cover told me not to worry about it, but like I said, I could not find anything in the Qur’an or sunnah that supported my desire not to wear it. I decided then that I didn’t want my lack of covering to make the next new Muslim feel comfortable about not covering. It is one thing deciding not to do something ourselves, but taking others with us is a huge responsibility. The Qur’an warns us about leading others astray, dire warnings! So even if we decide there is justification for not doing something, we need to be careful not to encourage others to do the same. I can’t find anything in the Qur’an that allows me to go in public with my hair and skin showing. The Qur’an says to cover our beauty and I can’t think if any culture that doesn’t consider hair to be a significant attraction. Walking around with our ‘crowning glory’ displayed seems to defeat the main purpose of covering at all. Have you come across anything that says that modesty is subjective? Do you believe we all should get to decide what is modest? The Qur’an says “Ask those who have been endowed with knowledge, if you do not know” (Qur’an: 21:7). That means that scholars can be a credible source of our deen. I could never begin to be as knowlegable as the people who have spent their lives studying. I do not take what they say, without checking the sources, but when we want to clear up questions about Islam, I do believe we should go to those who have spent their lives in it’s study, inshallah. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. We don’t have to agree to have a useful and constructive discussion. I think we should all know why we do and don’t do things and these conversations make us think about some of the more controversial things. Jak sister.

      • congratulations, sister Amatullah2! I have been reading the justifications from these sisters of not wearing the hijab . and sorry to say but they are pretty lame! it is true, it is one thing to not follow something that’s been mentioned specifically in the qura’n and instructed by the prophet (saw), and quite another to encourage others as well to join you in it.
        by saying that the hijab was ordained only upon 7th century arabian women is like saying the quran was only sent for one specific culture (arabs) and for one specific era. it is also like saying that the this glorious book of Allah swt is outdated! on the contrary, Allah says repeatedly in the quran that is has been sent as a guidance and mercy for the WHOLE OF MANKIND AND FOR ALL THE ERAS right upto the day of recurrection! that is one of the reasons it is the last testament of the creator and Muhammed SAW is the His last prophet! the quran as Allah swt says is a COMPLETE AND PERFECTED favour of Allah upon the whole of humanity. the idea is to remove attachment of the dunya and nurture the desire to please ur Lord, whether ur in a hot desert or the north pole, for that matter! and please, oh please stop calling the hijab “a piece of cloth of our heads” *cringe*…indeed Allah swt does not wish to burden his servants, but would that serve as an excuse for us to do what was most convenient rather than doing what He wants us to do? I’m indian, ain’t no secret that the majority of Indians are Hindus, and I was born and raised in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai and I wear my hijab, it doesn’t make me any less of an Indian (hardly a matter of concern to Allah by the way), it just makes me more of a Muslim. people know at first glance I’m Muslim, and that is the greatest honour. it distinguishes me from the non muslims. For me I’m Muslim before I’m anything else, Indian, Hispanic, Chinese, mother, wife, daughter etc.
        I left India and have been lived in 3 middle eastern countries in the last 3 years alhamdulillah! I also offer all my 5 salats alhamdulillah. The time for Fajr here in Qatar is currently 3.20 am, can u imagine, it’s like the middle of the night to me. Would it be okay if i missed it, slept through it because it was so difficult for me to get up? because Allah swt wants things to be easy for me? I dont think so. On the contrary, if i woke up despite of my difficult, it would please my Lord and that drives me to it! and that I think should be the driving force for all Muslims irrespective of where they live or what culture belong to! Alhamdulillah for everything and may He guide us all, ameen!

        • Shukran sister Sabah. I agree with you. There are many areas of the Qur’an that we could assume were meant for people ‘back then’, but only if the Qur’an were written by fallible men, rather than from Allah (SWT). I do understand that it can be difficult to do some of the things we are supposed to, but I can see the overall good behind each thing, even when it feels like it doesn’t seem to apply now. If we can’t see it’s purpose, we still need to do it. As hard as it can be, submission to Allah (SWT) is what makes us a Muslim, alhamdulillah. With every difficulty Allah (SWT) gives us ease. That doesn’t mean things aren’t hard. In my limited experience, ease doesn’t come until the struggling stops and the gratitude takes it’s place. How lucky we are to be Muslims! Jak sisters.

        • SoubhanALLAH sister ,that is so beautiful!
          Especially what you said about waking up for fadjr at 3:20.
          It doesnt matter what time it is where in the world:we must obey the times of salaat.
          As we must obey all the other islamic commands .

    • Alhamdullilah. Beautiful. I myself have bought clothes from East Essence online, adapted them to North American styles, and wear a European style scarf on the streets (although not on the job). I have tried to blend my European background, North American culture, and Islamic ethics. I got less attention and more respect walking down the street wearing flared cotton pants, long sleeved tunic shirts, and a light scarf on Summer days than when I tried wearing robe length abaya styles. I also found that when I shortened floor length coats to below the knee I was much more accepted in North American society. I would love to wear robes in an Islamic country but I know I am doing the right thing for my current location. My wearing a scarf already makes me stand out although many Pakistani friends dress as I do here. Recently I saw a lady in black burqa walking in August with her North American son who was literally embarrassed to be with her – unfortunately. I hope it does not push her son away from Islam to be forced to accompany his burqa’d mother in a Western society.

  • My dear sister Amatullah2 as I said to you again, I really congratulate you for your strength on going through hardships in a hot climate to please Allah.

    According to the analysis how hadiths were selected that you just presented:

    ” The process of understand which hadiths are reliable is based on the testimony of many witnesses and when there are multiple people involved, their honesty and character was taken into consideration too. Rather than ‘he said, she said’, it is more like dozens of people in separate rooms testified to the same thing.”

    Still the testimony of those honest people had to be evaluated by “certain group” and that is what nowadays some scholars argue about. For example the famous Egyptian scholar Gamal al-Bana, uncle of the popular Swiss muslim writer Tariq Ramadan, and brother of the founder of Muslim Brotherhood, who also have rejected the validity of more than 600 hadiths from Bukhari and Muslims and calls for an islamic reform under the “Ijtihad”

    Do you know the same type of “selection process” was done to insert words that prophets and messengers never said in books such as the Torah and Bible? Sorry sister, but I believe the last book sent down to humanity as a guidance was the Holy Quran and I do trust Prophet Muhammad´s, P.B.U. honesty that he proclaimed exactly the same words as Angel Gabriel told him. I think if anybody would have a doubt on that, at that moment I don´t know if I should consider that person as muslim anymore.

    I believe though that anything a human does to approach Allah, S.W.A. is good and valid. So, if by wearing hijab, niqab, a blue, black, green, or purple abaya draws you close to Him, Alhamdulillah! Some people might find a very useful tool to fast twice a week, others might find uselful not to watch TV, Mash´Allah for them. I would only say keep doing it but don´t try to impose it as mandatory on every human being on this earth.

    All of islamic historians know that after the Prophet´s death, rulling dinasties came such as the Omeyas and Abbasids, each one carrying their own “agendas”. You cannot turn your back to that reality sister.

    Concerning your statement:

    “The Qur’an warns us about leading others astray, dire warnings! So even if we decide there is justification for not doing something, we need to be careful not to encourage others to do the same.”

    Have you ever thought that maybe you yourself by declaring hijab as obligatory, are leading people astray from Islam while the Qu´ran tells us CLEARLY that the best garment a human being could wear is the garment of righteusness?

    [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness.

    I would recommend you my dear sister a much better way: just share your beautiful inspiring story about the hijab, explaining how much it indeed helpped you to become a better human being. Then, leave upon every muslim woman to decide or find out for herself if hijab is mandatory or not; or if it could really help her to become a better muslim. Otherwise my dear sister, I´m afraid that you might be among those who say a lie against Allah,S.W.A. about something that is not clearly stated in the Qu´ran:

    “They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords; instead of God…..” 9:31

    “And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allah – their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant?” (Holy Quran 39:60)

    There is one interesting Ayat which ontains a prophecy for the fabrication of “sayings” by the Prophet’s enemies:

    “We have permitted the enemies of every prophet human and jinn devils to inspire in each other FANCY WORDS, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.” 6:112

    It is very sad to see how our present Ummah (muslim community) is presently divided among groups Sunnis, Shi´aas, Sufis, Salafis, Ahl-Sunna-wal-Jamaah, etc. all thanks to the “so-called-hadiths” which each one use to support their ideas while the message of the Qu´ran is simple and clear:

    “Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you THIS BOOK FULLY DETAILED? Those who received the scripture recognise that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbour any doubt.

    The word of your Lord is COMPLETE, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” 6:114-115

    It would seem as a contradiction right now for me to use a hadith to support my statement, but I understand that could help to make things more clear since quoting only the Quran sadly for our present Ummah is regarded as “insuficient” or “incomplete”. So there it goes :

    Omar is also reported to have stated that he had desired to write down a collection of the Prophet’s sayings, but refrained for fear of the Muslims choosing to abandon the teachings of the Quran in favour of the hadith.

    “I wanted to write the Sun’an, and I remembered a people who were before you, they wrote other books to follow and abandoned the book of God. And I will never, I swear, replace God’s book with anything” Jami’ Al-Bayan 1/67

    Ali Ibn Abu Talib, the fourth Khalifa in one of his speeches said, “I urge all those who have writings taken from the Messenger of God to go home and erase it. The people before you were annihilated because they followed the hadiths of their scholars and left the book of their Lord.” (Sunan Al-Daramy)

    Finally, I would like to share with all of you a testimony that I have about approaching only the Qu´ran: from 1994 to 1995 while being a non-muslim, I used to read one page every morning before going to work from a copy of the Holy Quran in Spanish that I had bought. I started noticing that the day I didn´t read it, I encountered a lot of difficulties. That day just simply didn´t go so smooth as when I read The Quran. That draw my attention, then I decided to search for Islam. In 1996, I started attending an only-sisters-meeting every Saturday and my head started getting bombed, Lol by all those so-called-hadiths and scholars´opinions. From 1996 until recently, I stopped that beautiful habit of reading the Quran early in the morning. The days have never been again so brilliant as before and somehow I got lost navegating in rivers of man-made theories and opinions.

    If you are happy wearing the hijab as my very own daughter feels, wear it, be happy , share your experience with others, but don´t try to impose it as a general rule on every woman on this planet. Islam is much more than a piece of cloth on the head, after all there are only 5 pillars of Islam which are the only way one can prove to be muslim or not. There are many “impostors” out there wearing hijab, niqab, beard, jalabyas, turbans, you name it! Now, How many of them pray 5 times a day or genuinely fast during the whole month of Ramadhan in the privacy of their homes where nobody see them? I doubt any impostor could do it and for such reason they are regarded as The Pillars of Islam.

    Here I finish my opinion regarding this issue. May Allah, S.W.A. rewards all the muslims sisters who genuinely cover themselves in any ways they find to please Him and may Allah, S.W.A. stop us from going to extremes in this religion, Insh-Allah as He warns us in His Holy Book:

    Oh people of the scripture, do not go to extremes in your religion and do not
    speak except the truth.
    [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:171]

    • Assalamu alaikom sister. Thank you for your input. I would like to address the issue once more and then I’ll quit too, inshallah. I belong to a Muslim only discussion group that I can give you the name of, if you decide you want to discuss this any further (if it’s okay to post a link?). I’m not sure debating to this degree is acceptable here.

      My questions are rhetorical, but make my point or objection. But first of all, I am not going through any hardships due to wearing hijab. For every difficulty Allah provides ease. Once I stopped struggling with submission, Allah (SWT) brought me peace and comfort, rather than the misery I had been feeling. I have a long way to go, but I’m okay covering now.

      Again, please know that I believe it is up to each of us what we decide to do. The only reason I felt the need to speak up is because you justify your choices by making it seem that Islam is ambiguous or defective or undecided on hijab and this seems so wrong. Of course the Qur’an is complete. In it Allah (SWT) told us to follow the example of the prophet (pbuh). He’s not here, so the only way to do that is through the sunnah. We wouldn’t know anything about Muhammad (pbuh) by only reading the Qur’an, except that he is the final messenger (pbuh) and we are supposed to love and obey him. Why would Allah (SWT) tell us to follow the prophet (pbuh) and then not provide any way to know him (pbuh)? Or was it only the people in the prophet’s (pbuh) time, that were supposed to learn from him? Our prayers and how to pray came from the sunnah. How do you know that source is credible?

      I am not “imposing the hijab as the general rule for women”. I am not basing it on my opinion. I wouldn’t dare put my opinion before Allah’s or Islam! I am basing it on what Allah (SWT) said. If we were to ignore the sunnah, even though Allah (SWT) specifically told us to obey His (SWT) messenger (pbuh), the Qur’an still has Allah (SWT) telling women to move the veil to cover up the front of themselves. Again, the veil was on their head, covering it. I did not see any exceptions, with those ayats. The question isn’t whether or not we have been told to wear it. We obviously have or Allah (SWT) would have specified in the Qur’an that the command was just for early Islam and the Muslims in the future didn’t have to be as modest as those during the prophet’s (pbuh) time. You are saying you think the companions and all the other Muslim women in Medina and Mecca covered up because of their culture? Not because of Islam? So that degree of modesty was just for the prophet’s (pbuh) direct ummah? Do I have that part right? If so, which parts do we follow now? There are so many things that could be seen to be for the prophet’s time period. How do you know what to ignore and what to accept? Should a man have 4 wives if he wants or was that for back then too. I would actually like to have co-wives. Is it allowed? Can a muslimah marry a non-Muslim man, since there are not enough marriageable brothers now? Is the man, the ruler/boss of the woman and family? Is wudu different because we don’t get dusty and dirty now? Should a woman stay home with her children? Not travel without an escort? Do you believe that a couple should be able to date or was it because of that culture too? Should Islam be modified to fit with each culture?

      Since most of the scholars for the last 1400 years have studied and then confirmed that women should wear hijab, why do you think they all got it wrong? And now a few (relative) have the ‘correct’ answer? Allah said that we were not supposed to dress like non-Muslims. Is that an old rule too? When people look at us, should we look like Allah’s servants? Again, how do you know which hadiths to discard?

      Like I said earlier, our hair is part of our beauty. Before I became a Muslim, from my teen-age years and on, until a few years ago, I had waist length light blond hair and guys followed me around like puppy dogs, even though I always dressed modestly. A woman’s hair can be a definite source of fitna for men and cause unwanted attention for her. Should a Muslim woman who doesn’t cover, put her hair in a bun or chop it off? Is she allowed to braid it. Can she wax her eyebrows?

      I learned many of the basics of Islam from an Egyptian brother and his wife. When I was grilling them on why I had to do some things that did not seem particularly necessary for me, he told me many things are for the good of our ummah. While it might not seem necessary for some, it is for the overall good. Do you believe that?

      After the death of the prophet (pbuh), Aisha spent years writing down hadiths. She had first hand knowledge of what the prophet (pbuh) said and Abu Bakar told everyone to start recording the sunnah, which had only been oral up until then. She was directly responsible for many of the hadiths. 1250 in Bukhari alone. There was no chain of ‘evidence’ there, other than she heard it from her husband. Unless you think she was dishonest, you should realize that many of the strong hadiths quoting the Prophet (pbuh) are correct and Aisha addresses the issue of hijab multiple times. I have a hard time believing that the prophet (pbuh) would have been guided by Allah (SWT) to marry Aisha (ra) if she wasn’t looking out for the interest and moral integrity of Islam.

      It doesn’t matter if there are scholars now trying to discredit the companions (ra) hadiths. It is absurd to think someone can decide the people who were close to Muhammad were wrong and they are right 1,400 years later. You have to wonder why these ‘scholars’ would even want to do that. You also should wonder why the practical application of modesty was mis-interpreted for those 1,400 years.

      I’m am not at all sure why you are referring to the Bible. We know it has been added to and is not accurate. I was a Christian for many years and it was obvious even back then that the Bible was full of many inaccuracies. 9:31 was actually talking about the Christians and the Jews and 6:112 was referring to all prophets having some dishonest/destructive people around him. We already know that there are some false hadiths. Saying the prophet (pbuh) hit Aisha or threatened to divorce his oldest wife because she was no longer attractive. Obviously we know things like that are out of character and are the work of Islams enemies. I’m not saying there aren’t faulty hadiths. I do think it takes many years of study to be able to tell for sure and 1,400 years is a pretty good long study.:-)

      The bottom line is, you believe part of the most common practice of Islam is wrong and I believe it is absolutely true. I hope you’ll sit back and examine the issue in an objective way. Make sure that it wasn’t because you didn’t like wearing the hijab, so you found something wrong with the rule. Would you have even questioned it, if your experience had been a joyful one? Again, thank you for your responses. In the end, everyone has to decide who and what they will follow. I agree, we should make dua’ for our ummah every day, that we can come together and be strong like we are supposed to be. I apologize for the length of this. It surprises me how protective I feel about Islam, lol. Jak sister.

      • Mashallah, thank you for your well-reasoned response. This is truly the spirit of Islam: submissions to Allah’s guidance to humanity.

  • Wow! Mashallah I love the discussion on hijab, but since it’s past midnight I am going to come back to them another time.
    I am still struggling with Hijab a bit, even though I’m almost 50 years old and have started wearing it not long ago, after I’ve come back from Hajj in 2010.
    My daughter sent me this link this evening. She doesn’t wear it but has always encouraged me and helped me.
    I would like to thank the moderator for allowing people to express different opinions.

    Salam

  • Iis so sad that Muslim sisters are advising one another go stray away from the path of Allah swt… Dear sister whom feel dressing modestly with a hijab or niqab is an Arabian culture from 1400 yrs ago that doesn’t have to be followed based on the argumesty that modesty in the west is different. I say to them first off we dress to please Allah swt, not society and second off modesty cannot be defined by your standard of what is modest enough sister. If so someone could come out with some botty shorts and say well I’m more modest than the one with the thong on! Doesn’t sound right, sister when you say your interpretation of modesty is a ponytail and a skirt over your knees, really what your doing is is being rebellious against the words of Allah….”and tell your woman to draw their cloaks over them…..” and don’t even try to rebute it by saying that was for the wife and daughters of Muhammad saaws only, Remenber we the wife’s of the prophet saaws have the title of “mothers of the believers” so you, think Allah will enjoin something upon them and give us the option to follow them or not …. Also Remenber prophet saaws said ” the path to righteousness belongs to those whom adhere to my sunnahs(my ways )” so no it’s not a Saudi thing it’s just that that country is so attached to the sunnah of the prophet, alhamdulilaye they make it a country mandatory law. But, that doesn’t mean the woman of the west since since its not a law here should not adhere to that same laws, Remenber ya rabbi is also the all knower and all seeing.. And those whom say well faith is only a matter of heart….Purifying our hearts is the goal, but the means to reaching that goal is through the very real and specific physical prescriptions and commandments that Allah (swt) has given us. It is through His obedience and through following the teachings of our deen that we clean and polish our hearts. It is for this reason that I have to say that hijab is not something trivial. Anything that leads us to spiritual awareness, elevation, and purification – that helps us come closer to Allah – cannot be considered trivial or petty. Perhaps it is more likely that there are hidden depths within it that we do not perceive, or that we are not putting it in the proper context of its deeper purpose and meaning.

    • Salaam alaykum dear sister,

      I would cordially invite you to read my past posts and understand that nobody here is discouraging anybody to wear the hijab. I myself presented a whole proof based on QURAN ONLY that the best clothes someone can wear is a righteous conduct. Do you contradict these words from the Qu´ran sister? If you insist that hijab is the best clothes to wear for a muslim woman, you are contradicting and denying the words of Allah!!!!! AstigfirAllah! Nobody in their sound mind would ever agree that a good muslim woman is all about clothes for God´s sake! If you still are missinterprating my words. I´m really sorry :-(

      • Asalamualaikum to all sister..
        WEll, i have been following every post since the inception of this great debate. Thanx for sharing the bounties of Almighty. But, above all i have been following the reply series of Sister Mariyam in particular & it was apparent from her beliefs on the subject that she is trying to mold the islamic teachings according to her whims & caprices. She is more concerned about her being Hispean heritage rather than being muslim….Sorry sister for judging you, but it is what i could decipher out from it….Rest, Allah knows best……….

      • Sister I don’t think that that anybody here is missinerperting you words.
        You said several times that hijab is not obligatory,the issue wasn’t hijab as character .But hijaab as you stated : being a piece of cloth on the head…

  • Assalamu alaykum,
    I am a convert of almost 4 yrs. am nn older mother of adult children, 2 of which are Muslim. I began wearing hijab 3 yrs ago and was happy to do so. Now, after seeing more of practices the Ummah, the gender separation at the masjids, etc.. and the treatment of women as 3rd class citizens, i am so resentful and angry, i am truly questioning my faith. i can give a few examples of how women are treated here in the US w/in the muslim community i live in, but take my word for it, Islam is not how it is represented in the Quran; women are treated like children. i am a retired social worker and worked for years to advocate for women in domestic violence, for women’s rights, etc…so much of what i see on FB or online, Islam…is like a Men Only Club that makes me so mad i dont want to subscribe to a religion that supports that view. Therefore, now when i wear the hijab (which i still love to wear) I feel like a hypocrite, as a bad example of the faith, with so much confusion in my heart. wassalam

    • Salaam alaykum Sis. MaryamHajar,

      I understand perfectly what you mean. In most Mosques and Islamic Centers women are treated just as children and who knows, possible as pets! Islam as it is practiced right now have very little to do with the true teachings of the Prophet, P.B.U. who appealed for justice to everybody. I am sure if the American law of gender equality would be applied, most mosques accross US would be closed due to their unfair and discriminatory treatement towards women. I also have nothing to share with people who have such views but believe me not all muslims follow thos man-made traditions based on “so-called hadiths” which purpose only served to contribuite in keeping the Ummah in a complet backwardness and lack of progress. You can see here by yourself that most people still cannot understand what I meant and condenm me to hell just for saying that a piece of clothe on one´s head is not mandated. Most people with a sound intelligence, if don´t agree at least would say “I disagree but I respect your opinion”. No they go on and on, distorting completely what I said because simply because they have never been in a system where different opinions are freely exposed. Most come from repressive and dictatorial countries where freedom of expression never exists, if they don´t come from those places at least they learnt Islam from people who grew up in those places.
      Anyway, don´t get discourage. I learnt one thing: if someone doesn´t please me, I move on to meet another one until I meet the right people who add in my life and never substract either they are muslims or no 😉

      • Lol@ regressive, dictatorial countries. those that wear the hijab and advocate it either come from regressive, dictatorial countries or “learnt Islam from regressive backward people”. Sister, what we’re saying that covering up your beauty and adornments in the presence of a non-mahram IS A REQUIREMENT OR FARDH in Islam. A detailed list of who a believing woman can and cannot expose her apparent beauty to have been mentioned IN THE QUR’AN itself by the Creator, who knows best! Even if one was to go with your argument that refutes the sayings and teachings of the Prophet as “so-called hadiths”. Allah says Himself in the Qur’an how a believing woman is required to dress in the presence of such and such people of the opposite sex. Would you also consider that unimportant or optional? You continue to quote the ayah that says that the garment of righteousness is the best, yes indeed it is, because despite of following all the guidelines of Islam, it is only and only Allah who knows what it in the hearts of men and women. That is a reminder for us to keep our hearts clean, free of evil, indecent thoughts because Allah has access to them even though nobody else does. But it is a package deal, sister. I’d also like to mention that I do not believe hijab is a requirement because the so called oppressive men in my regressive, dictatorial society brainwashed me into thinking like that. LOL. By the way, the hijab has been ordained upon the men before the women i.e to lower their gaze. what if the men said lowering their gaze wasn’t required and they could keep looking till they could keep their minds from wandering? Again, nobody can walk up to a guy, smack him in his face and say, ‘you , there lower your gaze’ just like no one can force you into wearing “a piece of cloth over your head”. The desire to do it comes from within. Nobody is judging you based upon it because only Allah is the judge. If you and I are unable to complete a religious requirement for whatever reason then that is a personal decision, but when we look for loopholes and say the require doesn’t exist then it stops being personal and starts to generally apply. Whether you complete the requirement or not, it does exist. It doesn’t change with the culture, language, era, ethnicity, weather conditions and from regressive country to advanced country. If it did The One who Knows Best would have mentioned that as well or at least His beloved Prophet would have. Allah swt does mention in the Qur’an when drawing an outer garment or veil over yourself becomes optional. That is in the case of a woman who has passed child bearing age, and then He adds, but it was better for them it they covered anyway! Like sister Amatullah, I also leave this thread now, with a smile and respect and duas for you and all my sisters in deen! masalama :)

      • SALAM ALEIKOUM! DEAR SISTER MARYAM-HALEEMA, SO YOU SAY “You can see here by yourself that most people still cannot understand what I meant and condenm me to hell just for saying that a piece of clothe on one´s head is not mandated”. FIRST OF ALL JUST IN CASE YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF ISLAM WHICH MEANS(COMPLETE SUBMISSION TO ALLAH) LET ME EXPLAIN, SEE WHEN SOMETHING IS WRITTEN IN THE QURAN ITS A COMMAND FROM OUR LORD FOR US TO OBEY &&NOT TO TRY TO GIVE OUR OWN INTERPRETATIONS OR OPINIONS. SO HERE IS EVIDENCE ONE Allah says in the Holy Quran,
        “Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veil) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely)that will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” 33:59 SO YEA AS U CAN SEE ABOVE,”THIS PIECE OF CLOTH” IS MANDATED.POINT TWO, THEN YOU GO ON TO SAY “they have never been in a system where different opinions are freely exposed. Most come from repressive and dictatorial countries where freedom of expression never exists” OKAY SO JUST BECAUSE YOU PERSONALLY DO NOT AGREE WITH THE DRESS CODE THAT IS IN THE TEXT OF THE QUR’AN DOESN’T MEAN THAT ANY OTHER WOMAN WHOM TRIES TO MAKE YOU AND OTHERS UNDERSTAND ITS IMPORTANCE &&IS STEADFAST IN APPLYING IT; IS OPPRESSED, OR DOESN’T HAVE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MEANS -“Right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing, and other forms of communication but without deliberately causing harm to others’ character and/or reputation by false or misleading statements.” SO FROM ITS DEFINITION YOU MY DEAR ARE THE ONE WITH NO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION! YOU FALSELY ACCUSE YOUR SISTER OF ISLAM! I AM 20 YEARS OLD &&BORN AMERICAN CITIZEN OF AFRICAN DESCANT AND I WEAR THE NIQAB,YES IT WAS SOLELY MY DECISION NO OPPRESSION, NO INFLUENCE, EXCEPT THAT OF THE RIGHTEOUS WOMAN OF ISLAM, AICHA (R.A), FATIMA (R.A) JESUS MOTHER MARY(PBUH) ETC.., && THE WORDS OF ALLAH && PROPHET P.B.U.H. WHO SHOULD BE A MUSLIMS ROLE MODEL BECAUSE OF THEIR RIGHTEOUS CONDUCT AND HIGH STANDING IN FRONT OF ALLAH! SEE SISTER I READ ALL OF YOUR POSTS. I NOTICED YOU TRY TO JUSTIFY YOUR OPINIONS BUT NEVER WITHOUT FACT OR YOU PULL CERTAIN TEXT FROM THE QURAN TO JUSTIFY YOUR OPINIONS, WHICH IS GREAT AND ALL, BUT U ALWAYS INTERPRET THEM YOUR WAY, THE WAY THAT FITS YOUR STORIES.AND I SEE THAT YOU BASE YOUR PRACTICE SOLELY ON THE QURAN AND TELL PEOPLE THAT THE “so-called hadiths” OF PROHET PBUH ARE MAN MADE TRADITIONS. WELL HADITH ARE The Prophet’s sayings and actions, which were primarily based on revelation from Allah (One True God) and, as such, must be considered a fundamental source of guidance along with Qur’an. Allah in the Qur’an said concerning the Prophet (pbuh) -He does not speak on his own, out of his own desire; That is but a Revelation that is revealed to him.[Quran 53:3-4]Therefore, the Hadeeth represents a personal source of divine guidance which Allah granted His Prophet (pbuh) which was similar in its nature to the Qur’an itself.SISTER ITS HARAM TO SPEAK ON AN ISSUE WITHOUT PROPER KNOWLEDGE ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE ADVISING OTHERS. THE AUTHENTIC HADITH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD SAAWS PLAY SUCH A HUGE ROLE IN THE COMPLETION AND UNDERSTANDING OF ISLAM.Hadith is considered to be second to the Qur’an. It is impossible to understand the Qur’an without reference to the Hadith; and it is impossible to explain a hadith without relating it to the Qur’an. B CAREFUL BECAUSE REMEMBER ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT ALLAH WILL QUESTION US ABUT WHAT WE SAID AND DID IN THIS WORLD AND WE MIGHT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEM! ALLAH KNOWS BEST I HOPE U REALLY GET A CHANGE TO STUDY AND UNDERSTAND THE BEAUTY OF ISLAM!AND MAY ALLAH GUIDE US ALL :)IN THE CORRECT PATH OF ISLAM.ISLAM IS PERFECT BUT ITS PEOPLE ARENT SO DONT JUDGE ISLAM BY ITS PEOPLE BUT RATHER BY THE SUNNAH OF RASOULULAH AND THE QURAN! :)

        • Sister Fatima, you said that I don´t quote from any text, that tells me you haven´t read all my postings here. Go ahead back and read all my postings from the beginning and you will see my opinion is based solely on the Qu´ran. How do you know my dear I don´t have any knowledge? Do you know me personally? Do you know hijab among scholars have been very debated and I cited here scholars who understands that hijab by no way defines the purity of a muslim woman or from the beginning was commanded for all muslimahs. The same Sheik Hamzah Yousif, founder of Zaytuna Institute in US has declared that hijab was fully practiced among the Ummah years and centuries later. You became muslim using “your brain”. Why suddenly you stopped using it? Why do you hear only one voice and don´t go around opening yourself to different opinions?
          You are very young and still there is a lot from life for you to learn.

        • Sister Fatima, do you contradict this:

          [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness.

    • wa alaykum as salam warahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

      I am so sorry to hear about your experiences. I have had so many as well and it has only made me frustrated and angry and it continues to make me feel so. However, it has also helped me feel a new zeal to study Muslim women in Islamic history and the ways they were a part of society.

      What I have learned is that what we’re seeing in some of our communities now is a regression of what Islam has really taught us and the only way that I personally can help change it is by learning, applying to my life, teaching others and vocally speaking against what cultural misunderstandings of Islam impede on the lives of Muslims who are truly seeking to live beautiful Islam.

      I hope this video might be of help in this rocky time you’re experiencing. This wasn’t always how our Ummah was and it is going to take people like you to help bring change, in sha Allah.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If6diRHzRhI

  • Asalam alaikum.

    It’s true what sister Fatima said, why are other sisters discouraging a sister from wearing hijaab, when it’s part of the religion?

    Speaking without knowledge is really dangerous to do.

    • Do you mean sister the Holy Qu´ran doesn´t give us any knowledge??????? As far as I remember in all my posts I only quoted the Holy Qu´ran!

      Can you read well in English? If not please go back and read my postings because I never intended to discourage anybody to wear the hijab just expresed my opinion based on the Qu´ran that itself says the best clothes a human being can wear is the garment of righteousness. Do you go against these clear words of the Qu´ran? Astigfirullah!

    • No one is discouraging sisters from wearing or not wearing hijab. No Muslimah should be judged based on a a scarf. There is a difference between religious identity and religion. One is outer and the other is inner.

  • Assalmu Alaikoum,

    I am having second thoughts about the Hijab as well. I have been wearing it for a year and a half, and although I was at first comfortable with it. I am now thinking it was probably a rushed decision. I have nothing against it. I have an excellent resume and after wearing the veil, I have been rejected from every job I have applied for. I have been out of work for a year and a half, I have also had a baby who died. So being out of work is having its toll on me. I have thought about not wearing it but I keep thinking that god will punish me even more. I really just want a normal life but I cannot get it. I don’t know what to do. If anyone here can help me find a job, I will be grateful. I have a PhD as well.

    • salaam aleikoum sister SOUAD holding on to your deen, your religion, for a believer is not an easy task, he, prophet Muhammad saaws said ” there will be a time after me for the believers when holding on to the deen will be like having fire in the palm of the hand”. what this tells us is its not going to be an easy task to being a good Muslim during our times, b/c of how people in society and whispers of shaytan will try to get you to conform to the kafir way of living by influencing you to think that your religious duties are blocking your possibilities. also there are many references in the Qur’an and the sunnah of Muhammad saaw that Allah constantly test the believers with trials and tribulations as was done with Muhammad saaws. i feel that your tribulation was the death of your child (may Allah grant him/her Jannah) and you not being able to find a job is your trial. so yeS many jobs are denying your application BUT ITS NOT because of your “hijab”, BUT RATHER ITS BECAUSE this is the decree of your Lord and he knows best! and in the times of trials and tribulation you must remain very patient and very faithful to Allah, make a lot of duaas,&& voluntary salah. seek for Allah’s help, tell him to make you patient so u can accept everything he decrees for u . sometimes we think why does Allah decree such a thing for me but remember he knows the unseen. he knows whats best for us. trust Allah he is most just, most loving, most wise, and if you remain patient who knows inchallah this might be the trial that grants you jannah.we all get tested but the best of us are the patient, && steadfast ones. do not take off your hijab trust me it will not be wise of you. REMENBER NARRATED IN THE QURAN AND BY PROPHET MUHAMMAD if you do something for THE SAKE OF Allah and suffer because of it, but YET remain steadfast and patient Allah will greatly reward you either in this Dunya or in the Ahkira and expiate some of your sins because of it. SO WITH THAT BEING SAID STAY STEADFAST IN YOUR DUTIES TO ALLAH PLEASING HIM COMES FIRST SO DO NOT TAKE OFF THAT HIJAB NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS! ALLAH KNOWS BEST!

      • SubhanAllah, sister! so true. Let’s pray to Allah that He makes our feet firm and helps us through the trials and fitnah of this life, ameen!

    • Salaam alaykum dear sister Souad,

      Let me tell you sister that I also had a baby boy who passed away. He only lived for 3 days and for me that was completely devastating. Me, the one who never had any health problem and whose life was always smooth! That was something really hara and I can understand what you are going through 99%. If this can help you Insh-Allah, I will just tell you something someone told me in the hosptial when the doctor gave me the bad news “He will be waiting for you at the door of Jannah (paradise). It is up to me, to make it true with my behavior”. I still have the hopes to see him again, Insh-Allah.
      Your thoughts about taking off hijab is normal and you might get more doubts about other matters. I just advice you to pray. Try not to miss any prayer as much as you can and make Du´uas after you finish them. Prayer is like a rain over a dry land.
      I don´t think this is the time to take off your hijab since that decission would be based on how you feel at present time. If you started wearing the hijab with full conviction to please Allah, S.W.A., you might regret it if you take it off now. I´m not saying YOU WILL BE PUNISHED because not even in the Shariah there is one single punishment prescribed for a woman who doesn´t wear hijab and it is how righteouss one is what at the end really matters as I have repeated here one hundred times (still they don´t get it). Just this is not the right time to take that decission. They say most decission must be taken when one has “a cool head”, so follow the folks wisdom.
      About your job, it depends what your field is. Have you ever considered moving into another city, perhaps another country? Some places are more open minded than others. Also, what kind of hijab style do you wear to the job interviews? Dark colors definetly are not a plus. I find that turban styles really pass. Also, don´t forget that we are living in a global economical recession. It is hard to find a job for everybody not only for hijabis. Likewise experience is very important. Most companies prefer people with experience than those who don´t even if they hold a Phd!
      Don´t get disspair sister. Smile :-). All of us have had good and bad times. This is the time for healing right now, not a time for taking any kind of decission. Later on in your life, you can analyze with “cool head” if you should take off your hijab or no. Remember Allah loves you more than 70 mothers all together and He is closer to you than your own yugular vein, always remember that.
      And you girls who accused me of discouraging sisters to take off hijab, open better your head and read well my postings, eh? :-(

    • Dear Souad – Perhaps you could try to adapt your hijab style to be more culturally fitting? The people hiring are not just looking for credentials but also for someone who will “fit” the team and the company. You should also look to see if you feel comfortable with the company too. But reality is if you are too different they will reject you out of such concerns. As Allah has gifted you with education and intelligence it seems your purpose in life should include using and applying your skills. I cannot speak for Allah but it seems strange that you should be requested by the creator to favour a headscarf over using the PhD you have attained for the good of the society while still remaining modest. May Allah bless you.

  • I love u for the sake of Allah ta’ala dear sister shazia. JazakAllah khair for such a beautiful and encouraging answer. Love u…..*big tight hug*….

  • Thanks for your replies. However, it is easy for some to say it is a test. But saying it is a lot easier than living it.
    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts…

    • @souad….asalamualaikum………
      ………..By saying that it is a test from almighty, it means to allow the hope inside you to take u on…….

  • Shukran sister Shazia. The video with Maryam Amirebrahimi was excellent!! Her iman is a pleasure to witness. Women don’t tend to get alot of recognition for the vital roles played in our Ummah, but that is okay. When we do it for the sake of Allah (SWT), we know that it is counted in the only way that matters. Thank you again for the opportunity to respectfully share with each other and to better learn what Allah (SWT) requires of us. We are so blessed to be Muslims, alhamdulillah!

  • Assalamalaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu,

    First of all, I would like to thank Sister Shazia for writing such an amazing article, MashaAllah.. May Allah SWT reward you immensely in this dunya and Akhirah, Aameen!!..

    Secondly, there were many messages with debates about hijab being obligatory or not. I would just like encourage all the sisters to persevere in their struggle to become better muslims – both those who were born into Islam and those who reverted back to Islam.. Every one of us is plagued with a trials and they may be in different aspects of our practice – some of us may struggle with performing Salaah on time, or waking up for fajr while some may struggle with putting on the hijab, while others may struggle with some other aspect. Every one is fighting their own battle.. May Allah swt make it easy for us to choose the path that brings us closer to Him.. Aameen.

    For sister Maryam-Haleema, with all due respect for your views, sister, I do not argue with the verse from the Quran that talks about righteousness but please remember that every verse in the Quran has been revealed with a context behind it and it is important to learn about this context in order to understand any verse from the Quran. This is no simple task. Scholars dedicate their entire lives to this and to belittle or disregard their work is not respectful. There are many scholars today, some are more closer to the Truth than others, which is why it is important to make sure that the scholar’s work or word is as close as possible to the Truth, which is where authentication and validation comes in. So, while the verse you quote from the Quran is absolutely correct, you cannot deny the other verses in the Quran which merely confirm each other and build upon each other (the one about the jilbaab).

    No one can claim that someone who wears the hijaab or the niqaab is a better muslim than one who does not, because only Allah SWT knows what is in each and every one of our hearts, but yes, a righteous person with a hijaab is one step closer to the pleasure and obedience of Allah swt compared to a righteous person without a hijaab or a not-so-righteous person with a hijaab. These are aspects that go hand-in-hand and are not exclusive to each other. We will be judged on the basis of our intentions, whether they are good or bad deeds.

    JazakAllah khairan. May Allah SWT guide us and grant us better understanding of our beautiful deen…

  • Surah 24, verse 31 is already clear about Muslim women having to wear hijab.
    Read with sincere heart because of Allah.

  • I reverted to Islam over 16 years ago. Back then, pretty much nobody wore hijab–it wasn’t an issue. You wore it when you prayed, but as far as seeing somebody outside the masjid wear it? Just didn’t happen. No pressure. Didn’t see it among European Muslims either. I think the popularity was fueled by Amr Khaled and other TV preachers–but I’m not sure. Laila Ahmed’s book is a good one on the history of its resurgence.

    Anyway, I started to wear hijab after 9/11 solely to come out of the Muslim-closet. Took a lot of grief at work (worked at a Fortune 50 company in the South), etc. But over the past few years, hijab has made me HATE Islam and my faith. I’m tired of how I’m treated by non-Muslims. I’m tired of the comments and threats. It does not bring me closer to Allah(swt), it does not cause me to be left alone–it attracts unwanted attention. Islamopobia now is much worse than even post-9/11. It’s getting to the point that I don’t even want to be a Muslim anymore if it means wearing hijab. That’s how much I hate it.

    My husband doesn’t get it–but of course, he wears Western clothes and nobody can tell he’s a Muslim. He’s never had somebody threaten him, make nasty comments, etc. He also believes that my behavior outside of the home must be perfect because everybody can tell I’m a Muslim. I can’t deal with the pressure. He’s told me if I take it off, he’ll divorce me. This is after three kids and 10 years of marriage. I’m getting to the point where I hate it so much that I really don’t care. If he values our marriage so little, then fine.

    Up until recently, a women’s faith was more than just her dress. These days, it doesn’t matter if you’re kind, if you pray, if you do sadaqah, if you love Allah(swt) with all your heart–all that matters if that you dress like a 7th century Arab. It is so depressing. Do I think Allah(swt) only looks to see if the hijab box is checked? No…but when that’s all you hear is important, it makes you wonder. There are probably 20 articles on hijab for every article that addresses some other point of spirituality for women.

    For all of you who love hijab, great. For men who’ve never experienced the hate associated with it in the West, you have no idea. I wore hijab with pride at first–but after 11 years, I can’t stand it anymore. I hate it and it makes me hate Islam. It can be very destructive.

    For those who say it is a choice, I know I am not alone in feeling forced to continue wearing it, even if it was my choice at first. Being told I’ll divorce you if you take it off, makes it not a choice anymore. I know quite a few Muslim women who the first thing they do upon divorce is to remove hijab. Do not underestimate the controlling nature of some Muslim husbands. If you look at domestic violence statistics in Muslim countries, you’ll find they trump ours by a long shot. More than 50% of women in South Asian and Arab families experience domestic violence (that’s 1 in 2)! Just because you don’t see bruises doesn’t mean people aren’t being abused. And the abuse doesn’t have to be physical…. being told that you and your kids will be abandoned (financially–they leave the country), or even worse that you risk losing your kids as in some countries they are on the husband’s passport and can easily be taken is control/abuse too. Nobody talks about it though. Keep quiet. Don’t tell as to not air our dirty laundry. The Imams tell you, “Pray about it Sister. Try and be nicer to him, Sister. Try and think about his needs and complaints, Sister.” But when do they talk about your needs, desires, wants?

    If it’s really about choice, then why do fathers insist that their daughters wear it? Why do husbands pressure their wives?

    When can we have as many khutbahs on articles on men’s responsibility to lower their gaze as we do on hijab for women? Why is there not more stressed about men’s responsibility to control their lust as there is on women’s modest dress? And what about men’s dress? All of the men who wear Western dress (I have to for work, they say)…yet freak out if their wives aren’t dressed in abaya and hijab?

    • I am so sorry you feel like that. I don’t wear hijab and don’t care to wear it.. My husband wants me to wear it… I dress modestly but I dislike the unwanted attention I get. Islam is not the fault, its people who always want to be right or pick on something so petty like a cloth in your head. Islam is easy but people make it hard.. I can only imagine how hard it is for you. May Allah give you the highest levels of Jennah for dealing with so many narrow minded people. :)

    • I agree with you sister, we are judged on appearance and not deen. I often wonder, if their hijab’s covered their eyes, would I be a better person? Maybe they could see me for who I am, and not what they want me to be at their timeline. Sisters and brothers, lower your gaze and stop judging me. It’s not your right to decide when I wear a hijab, and if this is the only part of dawah you engage in, it’s not useful, it’s destructive.

    • To Anonymous,

      May I tell you I feel exactly the same way as you do. I wore the hijab after coming to England from a Middle Eastern country. I came from a liberal background religion wasn’t an issue in our house we wore whatever we wanted. So when I married my husband and came to this country I was shocked at the site of Muslim women who wore hijab. It was something new to me because I was never in contact whith anyone previously who had worn it. So it was my destiny that I met a few Muslim women with hijab and I started to learn from them that if you don’t cover your hair you will be thrown in the hell fire etc…
      To cut a long story short I decided to study Islam properly and was convinced that wearing the hijab was right so I did just that put of love for the religion.
      Fast forward 13 years later I am hating it ! Not because ai don’t fully believe in it but it has made my life hell in the way people treat you. The hate towards Muslims is at all times high and I can’t go out without thinking a thousand times what people are going to think of me. No matter how educated or mannered or classy you are you will always be this backward Muslim woman. My husband never gets what I go through although he said to me you can take it off if you want that is your choice but I know once I do I will get unwanted attention and it will cause problems in our marriage the way it did prior to me wearing the hijab( sorry didn’t mention this part!!)
      I am constantly at pain and sometimes I get panick attacks when I go pick my daughter up from school because the mums just look at me in a weird way. I need serious help but no one seems to have a solution the imams are so out of sinc with what is going on in the lives of women because most of them come from far fetched countries that has no connection with what is happening. Needless to say I think I wore hijab for the wrong reasons and now I feel so out of sinc with society that I am really hating myself with the hijab because of the hate people have for Muslims. But at the same time I know with hijab comes blessing and Allah’s approval but its proving really hard when you are put in a situation like that. As you mentioned the Arab men don’t understand what it feels like to wear hijab and face the world because they themselves wear western clothes with no beard!!! And as you said as soon as a Muslim women gets divorced she takes the hijab off! Which makes me wonder is that how Islam treats women?

    • Dear sister – thank you for your courageous and honest post. I hope all other sisters out there who love Islam will take heart from these honest and real life accounts. Please don’t let the sisters and brothers who intone on and on about hijab being mandatory push you away from Islam. I have met such variety of Muslimahs many without headscarfs or hijab and I would never DARE to critique them on this. Majority of them were loveliest people. Islam has been hijacked by patriarchal and authoritarian interests. Islam should be to welcome people not to judge them and coerce them. The reality of womens’ roles in Islam has also veered very far from the ideal in the Quran.

  • If you’re feeling down because of the hostile, rude comments you had to endure, cheer up!

    The Messenger of Allah (saw) was called a sorcerer, a poet, a madman and what not when he set out to preach Islam in a polytheist society. The Prophet faced the harshest of insults with a smile and knew he was on the right track. Some of the enemies of Islam had gone as far as throwing garbage on him, spitting on him, boycotting him and his companions, depriving them of food and water, and even plotting to kill the man who preached a strange religion with strange ideologies.

    “Islam began as something strange and will return to being something strange”

    Abû Hurayrah related that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Islam began strange, and it will become strange again just like it was at the beginning, so blessed are the strangers.” [Sahîh Muslim (1/130)]

    `Amr b. `Awf relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The religion will shrink back to the Hijâz like the snake shrinks back into its hole. It will cling to the Hijâz like the mountain goat clings to the mountaintop. The religion began strange, and it will become strange again just like it was at the beginning, so blessed are the strangers who restore what the people corrupt of my Sunnah.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (#2630)] Al-Tirmidhî grades it as good and authentic (hasan sahîh).

    `Abd Allah b. `Amr b. al-`As relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), said one day when the Companions were with him: “Blessed are the strangers.” He was then asked: “Who are the strangers, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “They are righteous people among many evil people who disobey them more than they obey them.” [Musnad Ahmad (2/177 & 2/222) and Ibn al-Mubârak, Kitâb al-Zuhd (#775 p. 267)]

    The hadîth tells us that a time will come when person, on account of his uprightness in knowledge and in deed, finds few who agree with him but many who disagree with him and ridicule him. When he calls the people to what he is on, he gets few followers.

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) made this meaning clear when, after being asked about the strangers, he said: “They are righteous people among many evil people who disobey them more than they obey them.”

    This estrangement is typified by the small number of those who assist in doing right and the paucity of those who answer the call to Allah.

    Another aspect of this estrangement is the difficulty faced by the one who attempts to travel on the straight path without stumbling. Evil and iniquity will continue to increase and righteousness will continue to decrease as the time between the people and the era of Prophethood grows longer. It will become more and more difficult to achieve anything of benefit without getting involved in something detrimental as well. It will also be difficult to do what is best, due to the great number of impediments that discourage a person from trying.

  • More than 50% of marriages in the USA end in divorce, sister. Who abused who into wearing a hijab in those cases? No, it isn’t a ‘Muslim thing’. There are abusive men AND women in all societies, religion, color, caste, creed, notwithstanding.

    I’ve come across wives that want to wear the hijab and their husbands are ashamed to be seen with ‘7th century Arabian’ looking women (by the way, 21st century Arabs wear the hijab too)!

    Pressuring someone into wearing or not wearing the hijab doesn’t sound right. It must hurt for you to be given an ultimatum like that. That’s blunt. But tell you what sis, there is a way around all the hurt and sense of betrayal. If you ever DO decide to wear it, have the thought of only one Being in mind. Your Creator, who is closer to you than your jugular vein. Who loves you and is the Most Just. Talk to Him, cry to Him and whatever you do, do for Him. Let every other relation, with every other responsibility towards every other human being be secondary.

    Remember, we will all ultimately return to Him. And I pray it will be with as many deeds of obedience towards Him as we can accumulate during our lifetime.

  • Salaam anonymous,
    I am a Dutch convert,I converted a long time ago. After I went to Haj I started to cover that was 2 years before 9/11
    It was very difficult for me also,but I made the decision to cover and I stuck to it. Why do you care so much what others are saying about your hijab ?, they sometimes insult out of ignorance. I find that it helps when people are not that nice just smile at them, and sometimes they smile back.
    In the beginning when I became a Muslim I was always looking at other Muslims behavior, till my husband told me that I should look at the religion of Islam not the people, after that it was much easier for me.
    I hope that the God will give you strength to look at Islam in a different way.

  • Salaam, a nice article, just want to add the point that I wear hijab but my husband can freely see women at work, on tv etc. who are not covered and that gets me :(
    Yes he’s supposed to lower the gaze but it seems that this is hardly mentioned in khutbas and so men tend to forget. Khutbas, talks, articles seem to focus on women needing to cover up etc. and don’t concentrate on how men should conduct themselves. I hate it when my husband and I go to a restaurant or shopping and I’m covered but he can see other women who are openly showing off their beauty, it sucks because I’m supposed to be the most beautiful for my husband but when my beauty is covered and other women are flaunting it, it hurts when I catch him looking at them. Yes, yes he should lower his gaze but men seem to be weak and I don’t know of many who do…yes I’m doing it for Allah, but I wish men were told more about not looking, being over friendly etc at other women. It makes me feel sad when my husband sees other women not covered, either on tv and in public, and no I can’t stop him from either.

  • Assalaamu’alaykum Sister Green,

    My husband works in an office where the majority of the women wear very revealing clothes. How do I know? Because he told me. Like you, when we go out, there are bound to be other women, whether muslims or non-muslims. who probably revel in showing off their physical assets. It used to bother me but not any more. Why? Because I’m not accountable for my husband’s actions. He (the master and leader in a family) is accountable to all the obligatory deeds that I and my children do or do not do. If its HIS eyes that see what is haram for him, then HE’s the one who has to answer to ALLAH on Judgement day, not me. I can only remind him gently and I still get my reward for reminding.

    As a wife, I just want to concentrate on trying to be the best muslim wife so I can enter Heaven any which door that I please. ALLAH has promised this as long as I pray 5 times a day, fast in the month of Ramadhan, obey him (as long as what he tells me to do is within the shariah) and guard my chastity.

    If he doesn’t lower HIS gaze, then that’s HIS sin, not mine. If he gets affected by what he sees, he’s going to come to me later inshaALLAH, so I still win, twice. So don’t be sad when he “gets to see all the other beautiful women out there”. I guess it can’t be easy for the men either in today’s world. We women can still enter Heaven IF we obey all that ALLAH tells us to do and refrain from all that ALLAH prohibits us from doing. But husbands will take a much longer time to be judged by ALLAH on Judgement Day because he will have to answer and account for his own actions, that of his wife/wives AND that of his children BEFORE he can enter Heaven, that is, IF he can get the clearance from ALLAH. ALHAMDULILLAH that I’m a woman.

  • This is a very precise,clear authentic(since the author has cites the authentic Ahadith and notable scholars stances they derive from Quran and Sunnah article I had come across(thanks to someone above to share the website) about the KHIMAR(HEAD COVERING),HIJAB and JILBAB(OUTER GARMENT to be worn over the other than Modest Clothes)being obligatory for the MUSLIM WOMEN ,I hope it clears every little whatsoever doubts about the Hijab being mandatory for Muslim sisters ergo ruling out the “SELF PROCLAIMED” opinions of some of the sisters who are actually MISLEADING and consequently discouraging other observing Hijabi sisters as well(although not in direct sense)from carrying out the commands of Allah SWT and His Prophet PBUH,without neither having any proper command over the Arabic language(specially the classical one used in the Quran)and thus failing to present the true interpretation of Quranic verses and Ahadith, and nor having the true complete knowledge of Fiqh which requires years of extensive research and study to give a ruling over the major do’s and dont’s.

  • What does the word “hijab” really mean?

    In common usage among Muslims, the word “hijab” refers to the headscarf. This sometimes gives the impression that wearing a headscarf is all there is to hijab. This is not correct! It has already been shown above that Allah SWT has given seven commands in two ayat in regard to the modest dress and behavior of the Muslim sister.

    The word “hijab” according to ‘The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic’ means “curtain, woman’s veiling, screen, partition”. It refers to the ENTIRE modest dress of a Muslim sister, that which screens her from the male gaze. It can also refer to her behavior that screens her, such as lowering her gaze, guarding her modesty, and not revealing her hidden adornments. Thus, all seven of the commands in these two ayat concern HIJAB. Again, Allah SWT has sent down two ayat concerning the hijab of the Muslim sister. These are Surah an-Nur ayah 31 and Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59. In order to be wearing proper hijab, a sister must obey all of the directives contained in these ayat.

    The word that Allah SWT has used in the Quran to refer to the headscarf is “khimar”. This is not the complete hijab in itself!! As explained above, Surah an-Nur ayah 31 contains additional commands relating to covering everything but the face and hands with loose, opaque clothing, and to behavior. And as well, Allah SWT has revealed Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59. As explained above, the only logical understanding is that the jilbab referred to in Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 is some type of outergarment, an extra layer worn over the ordinary clothes. This is part of hijab too!

  • Wonderful advice. Even though I wear the hijab with honor these days, it was extremely difficult at first. I fell into my old thoughts but Allah propelled me forward. My hijab moment was a sign and that even on the days I wish I could wear my hair down like the rest of the women in my family, through hijab ALLAH is saving me from a vice that I may otherwise fall into. I can’t sit idle. I need wear Islam on my sleeve at all moments. Its encouraging. And I like that you mentioned the part about Allah covering some of our faults because we have done a relatively greater deed. A fresh new of dealing with an issue I and other hijabis may feel from time. Jazak’Allah khairr

  • salamouaalaikoum,
    firsti want to say that i was happy to find all those replies;and that made me want to share my problem with you.
    actually I am a muslim girl, I wore hijab when I was 14, for sometime, but after that I took it off again.and I wore it again when I was 21, when I was convinced that it is decesif between heaven and hell;I don’t wanna get burned in hell and I don’t want to be heated by ALLAH;I want to be a good muslim; but this hiijab put me out of life, I feel now unsecured unhappy I feel like i have done a bad choice when i wore it especially that I look better without it.I want to get my self confidence back and feel pretty even with hijab!!!I want to have a life and have a good endung “hosn alkhatima” and I want to go to the alajanna so much, how can I make every thing work together anad live with islam!!

    • Walaikumsalaam warahmatullah sister,
      know that Allah is the One looking after you and He is your Creator. Know that He never gives us a test we cannot pass. So if the hijab is ordained for us, then it is only good for us as Allah is al-Kareem (the Generous/full of good). Trust in Allah and He will Guide you and make it easy for you insha’Allah. And if you come across any difficulty, bear it with patience and Allah will show you the fruits of your labour…and what greater reward is there if it’s from Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful? :)

  • I am a muslim convert and I must say, although I have read many things about hijab, I still don’t really know what to think about it…(I don’t really see where is the obvious obligation, but I am still thinking about it with an open mind). One of my big issue is the relationship I have always had with headscarf. I don’t feel modest at all with a headscarf! I used to wear headcarfs all the time when I was a teenager (not in the islamic way but it did cover my hair). It was a fashion accessory for me. I have green eyes and I used it to enhance the color of my eyes, amongst other things. A few years before converting to Islam, I stoped wearing make up and headscarf in order to feel more modest. Now that I am a muslim, I wear very modest clothes and I like it very much. But when I put the headscarf, it’s taking me back to that period where I was a lot more worried about my looks. I am really having a hard time to associate headscarf with modesty…(even non colorfoul headscarf).

  • As salaamu alaikum sisters don’t get distracted and digress from the original post. I see a side bar discussion going on with Maryam and requirements about hijab. The point is that this sister (the questioner) wants to wear Hijab and feel that her sinlessness is causing her to feel like a hypocrite. Sister I agree with the responder to your question and the other posts from the sisters her. None of us are sinless. We all have struggles. Sometimes, even hijab seems like a struggle, but it is nothing impossible to overcome with dhikr, fasting and praying. According to the quran it is a requirement for modesty. Perhaps you can look at various styles of wearing hijab as one sister mentioned. As long as you are modestly dress, hair covered, I can guaranteed you will continue to feel convictions and strive to get better each day. That is what it is all about. I know I try to hard everyday to make my inside match my outward. Inside is very hard to change, bcause of the world we live in the influences, our experiences etc. However, knowing that people see you as a person with some sort of substance based on you outer make you wnat to improve. Be encouraged sister. You can do it! I am not your typical hijabi, but I am modest, and I cover my head. My style is different, but I clearly see the respect even from people in the workplace. I have never had an issue at work in 14 yrs and they know I am muslim. It actually give me an opportunity to spread dawah when it is solicitated. Salams

  • For some reason, the reply box isn’t there below Zahara so I’m cutting and pasting.

    Zahara
    November 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm
    I see women sweltering in 95 degree heat, covered from head to toe, and men running bare chested to the beach. This surely an inequality in Islam. I have seen women pass out from the heat of their clothing in the summer. Why? It seems that men are unable to control themselves. Why should women have to suffer because of men’s lack of shame?
    ___________

    To Zahara
    I just wanted to clear something up. The Qur’an tells us to cover so we won’t be bothered. It’s not about hiding from men who can’t control themselves. I wear my hijab because Allah (SWT) told us to. It has been a blessing. It helps me match on the outside, what I am trying to be and live on the inside. I’ve chosen not to be a part of the world where dating and flirting and casual exchanges do exist and the hijab does separate me from that kind of exchange. It makes me unavailable and that is great. It gives me freedom. I have more time to work on my inside when I don’t have to worry about the outside. Even though Allah (SWT) has told us to cover, it is still my choice to do so. I choose it, so there is no reason to compare what I do with what a brother is supposed to do. It is not a contest. The benefits, the peace and serenity it gives me, is worth a little sweat. Assalamu alaikom!

  • To Zahara:

    The Arwa in private for a man is from waist to knees. The Arwa in private for a woman is armpits to knees.

    This is the minimum standard to be followed among other Muslims or family members other than one’s spouse.

    So a man running around on a public beach with only the minimum it seems to me (and I am no authority)would be not in compliance with generally accepted standards of Muslim modesty, anymore than a woman who was doing the same.

    Private beach or family backyard, different issue.

    Allah knows best.

  • It’s important to respect different viewpoints. If someone does not see the logic behind the hijab, I don’t appoint myself in forcing them to understand. For the Muslim women who either do not wear hijab, or are considering removing it, I choose not to make an issue out of it (and I personally know so many girls who already have).

    It’s an inevitable fact that people live different lives and therefore, will interpret religious values differently. At one point, we need to accept that people are not prone to agree with one another, especially on matters of modesty in Islam.

    It’s offensive when rude remarks are uttered, referring to a comment comparing hijab to the likes of a prison. This defeats the whole purpose of these helpful Islamic blogs and discussions!

    There is the Quran and hadith, and with today’s convenient technology, information on Islam is readily available. Let’s not make it our priority escalate negativity and intolerance. I’m extremely tired of these silly arguments being contributed to the worsening stereotypes of Islam and Muslims in the eyes of non Muslims.

  • Dear sisters and brothers in Islam and in Humanity,

    I really enjoyed reading all the posts from all point of views. I see bright comments and arguments that are challenging our way of thinking. But the devil is in the details…
    I have a question to the sisters who don’t wear hijab because they struggle with it or they don’t believe in it.
    What do you do when you pray? Are you also struggling with salah, do you wear hijab when you pray? If so, what do you when it is time for salah and you don’t have a hijab with you ? Do you postpone the salah or you pray dressed the way you are at the moment? Also, what about going for hajj, would you wear it because the place is Saudi Governed or because it is TRULY governed by Allah (SWT)?
    These are some of the reasons why I personally chose to wear the hijab, I believe Islam is a way of life and I want to be able to offer my prayers anywhere I am and to be dressed in a way that makes it easy for me to do so.
    As far as some comments being from Hispanic origin, maybe sister Maryam you don’t feel the need to cover because of your age now but what is your view on young latinas and the way they dress, do you agree that your culture is a culture that would greatly benefit from more modesty? If so, how do you define modesty? Isn’t it based on your opinion that modesty is a long skirt, long sleeves and a pony tail? If we are going to base our conduct on opinions, isn’t better to base on the opinions of the majority of scholars? As a Hispanic sister, you definitely don’t have to look like an Arab or an Indian, you can easily adapt your hijab to your culture like it is immensely done right now in North America and Europe.
    I live in Montreal, I work for the government and I buy ALL my clothes from regular stores here, even scarves. As far as being under the sun, you will be hot if you don’t choose properly your style and fabric. Come on, who likes to have the heat of the sun on their head and skin when it is 50 degrees. Hijab is a mercy for hot and cold weather.
    I have been a convert for 17 years and have been wearing hijab since, this is what has kept me on the path of Islam and reminds me that I am different, like it or not, we are different and we must assume our identity. I wear it to be recognized and identified as a Muslim, otherwise how would I get the random salams when I walk. I don’t care about the strange looks, alhamdulilah I don’t have to put henna in my beard :) lool!

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Im a muslim of 20 years of age, and I really need some advice. I started wearing a hijab when i was 15 I think, my mother didn’t approve at the time and used to say horrible things. In the end, I decided to take it off. Last year, I fell into depression and was in a psychiatric ward for a month. During my time at the ward, there was a man 65yers of age who used to read the quran at night, he was an ex army officer and said his friend who was in the ward previously had given him the quran to read. He then advised me to read the quran and i started to read in the ward and part of it brought me peace. I thank allah swt so much for this experience and hardship as it brought me closer to him. In return, some of my knowledge of islam i used to share with this man and he eventually said he wanted to convert. I am unsure of what he is doing now but i pray that allah keeps him safe and well and guides him to the right path.

    After hospital, i stayed at my aunties for a bit and her family is quite religious whereas my own family is not. At her house, I used to automatically pick up the quran and read, which i liked and felt content in doing so. i was still having problems with anxiety at the time tho and felt very vulnerable. Also, at her house, it was nice to see the family together praying and i would join in. I then wore the hijab which my cousin suggested why not try for a day and see how i feel. I just kept it on after that. I would say it has probably been nearly a year wearing it again.

    However, reading more into things and experiencing more in life I feel that scarf is unnecessary. (I’m using the word scarf , because hijab applies to many aspects) Ive read so many things, and I have spoken to a family relative of mine. We had a long conversation about it. i explained to her i felt that attraction is subjective, a person could even look more prettier wearing the scarf than not wearing it, so then what is the purpose of wearing it, if it draws more attention.

    I really thought how i feel would pass, but i really am distressed. Its probably been 2 months still thinking about it. Then also, I know it was my own choice to wear it, my family will really have a go at me for taking it off. My worry is that now atm I’m not wearing it to please allah, I’m doing it to please my family. my own family isn’t religious but i spoke to my parents and my dad got angry and said I’m just unsound in mind, saying i can make decisions because I’ve been through depression and I’m just mentally ill. But i am not mentally ill, I am very healthy infact. I was discharged from hospital ages ago, infact they wanted to discharge me earlier, i sought help from the hospital myself because I knew i needed to get better.

    I feel that the only reason why i am muslim, is because i was brought up muslim. My parents didn’t really engrave the teachings as such, but it was more that my culture really was geared towards that religion. I have read so many things, islam is more understandable to me than other religions. However, one thing which has really been bugging me is that it condones killing of people who are homosexual. Why should anyone be killed? It also talks about killling nonbelievers? ..I try to interpret it as a deterrent rather than saying actually kill people, but trying to explain that to someone who is non muslim, i can understand why they would think that the religion is hateful. They do not have anything against muslims, infact they believe that all religions are hateful, that religions are just used to gain power over people.

    I spend my time researching and listening to quran and i speak to my muslim friends about my issues. They said to keep my scarf on and continue praying and reading quran. I have and i feel like what is the point of wearing a scarf if i find no meaning in it. I find purpose and meaning in prayer and other aspects but nowadays anything can attract someone. I mean where would you draw the line seriously, ok you will say wear the scarf, and if i still get looks, you’ll say why not try the niqab, if i tried the niqab i could still get looks because eyes are still very attractive. And then wearing coloured scarfs, ok i don’t wear bright colours anyway but where draw the line then. patterned or not , some people only wear black because they think it is less attractive, when someone is dressed blacked they are drawing more attention to themselves,

    I did isthikara at a point to, and a few days later there was a hijab talk at university. I thought maybe it was a sign so i went to the talk. The talk made me very angry in fact, the lady speaking was bias towards wearing a niqab, not only that it made me very sad that they were ridiculing the way non muslims dress, who are they to judge when what is in the heart matters the most. This idea that we must separate ourselves from society because we are muslim by wearing the scarf/abaya, makes me feel like we are trying to put us in better light.That we think of ourselves as better. Im not saying we should leave our legs bare, but I do think that modesty can still be done without wearing a scarf.

    I would really appreciate any answers,

    Jazakallah Khair

  • Salam,
    I cannot remember the last time I commented on this article but it must have been in 2011.
    I am born Muslim and lived half of my life in my country of birth before coming to Canada 25 years ago.
    I have started wearing the Hijab in 2010 after I went to Hajj that year, I had not given it serious thoughts before going to Hajj because of the simple reason that I didn’t want it to discourage me from going to Hajj in case I had come to the decision of not wearing it. I decided to leave that decision until after my return from Hajj.
    On my return from Hajj I kept the hijab. It was not easy not so much at work or outside as I live in Canada and we do not experience some of the problems Muslims do in the US.
    I have struggled with it as I have been active and wearing the Hijab has restricted some of the things I used to do. I haven’t had any problems at work nor was I treated differently. I am a professional with over twenty years experience. At the beginning people were wondering and asking questions as to what changed especially that they were not prepared for it nor did I talk to them about it, but they got used to it.
    The problems I was experiencing were internal and also from a practical point of view: having to cover in front of my son’s best friend who was part of our family unit, not being able to go to the gym in my neighbourhood and having to drive to a women’s gym etc.
    What would have made it easier for me would have been to prepare mentally and practically for it like my daughter who was in her first year university had advised me back then. I should have taken the time to build a new wardrobe before going to hajj, started wearing long-sleeves before wearing the hijab to get used to it.

    I subscribe to SuhaibWebb articles and I read them daily during my commute to work.
    One day an article caught my attention. It was about the Hijab. This article provided me with the motivation to keep wearing the Hijab.

    I am still struggling with it: I am still not good at tying scarves or putting them around my head as well as I see some of teh younger girls do, however I hope this is a small inconvenience.
    I am not a scholar so I would rather be wrong wearing it than wrong not wearing it.
    Having said that, I do understand what women are going through as it seems our Muslim society here in North America places so much restrictions on women and almost none on men. One only needs to go to local mosques to see how men come to prayers wearing jeans that reveal their underwear when they bow, and no one talks about it, yet if women were to do less than that, for example go without a head cover there would be an uproar, as so much more is expected of them.
    I believe we should all be respectful of others’ opinions on this.
    At the same time, one has to be careful in asserting something as being the truth from the Quran or the Sunnah unless sure of it or unless it is a reference to a scholar’s opinion. I am always careful and state only my experience.
    The struggle Muslim women are experiencing are real and should not be dismissed.
    I am happy to see SuhwaibWebb is providing an outlet to discuss these issues affecting our society.
    Let us be tolerant and respectful of each other’s opinions.
    Thank you,
    Salam

    • salam
      i am tolerant and respectful..it is not acceptable from islamic point of view…not to cover body except hands and face as a woman^^

      Islam is a universal religion…if u woiuld live in a tribe where people wear almost nothing u would gain attraction by wearing “normal” clothes for western standards, of course. Why do we live here? To serve Allah. That’s it..and not to avoid attraction. That is the test! You will gain attraction but you will be respected even if they show you the opposite.

      But no..u would dress almost nothing – not to gain attraction… But u should know that women in those cultures had no rights and were seen as minor beings in such indio-cultures like in papua.And in western countries you will find still the mentality that women are less worth than men.They do love you because u do not please you Lord to the best extent. If you do can live with that small sin..your choice.
      Do not let it to become a mountain..salam

  • Salam.

    I’m a man, need to say, and I really want to respond and point my posting here especially to both you MaryamHajar and Anonymous and whoever that has the same thought as them, because I havent read all postings/comments. Saying women in Islam are not treaten the same as men, as in men seem have smoother life.. Also muslim men didnt experience how bad the asociation with the people around in a west country.

    Hey, look, you dont know what we are facing or maybe you know but you just cant get it. Let me tell you. If you hate Islam because what happened to you in becoming a muslimah, plus muslim men seems okay at all. Thats not true,

    Anonymous, your point I can decipher it as muslim men life seems smoother than muslimah women.. is it? So, you wanna know how men are tested? Let me tell you, you know Prophet said woman has nine disires/lust and man has only one desire or lust which is sexual, arent you? You just dont know how hard we are as men facing this in living in a west country. How are we in living in girls and women around are all dress… you can understand (you are including if you dont want to wear hijab). You dont know how bad we refrain ourselve in facing and doing work with our girl colleagues or our girl students. How we try to abstain in order not to over the limit in meeting and greeting our neighbours (your husband’s). How we just release them in the halal way which is in fact what we really desired is just like what Allah promised to reward in paradise/jannah which is girls around, all them young yet so pampering. For those who died as marty will get at least 70 angels. If me, I cant even see a girls’ eyes in niqab, even eyes can kill you know. You dont know how hard men preserving theirselves in a west country!

    To Anonymous and MaryamHajar, both man and woman are tested by Him in an equal level and hardness but just that in different way. If woman are tested in such obvious way, we are internally. You should glad that you have a loyal husband caring about you yet try to preserve you. In the same time he is facing his! Take a wild guess, to say that he will divorce you if you take off your hijab is like you say you will ask for divorce in court if you know he has a mistress. The same thing.

    Its a long discussion though… Just get to know, the least thing is to realise dunya is not all that we want. You are given a test by Him to look how will you react. Others in another place in africa is poverty that shaken their Iman, yet they still wearing their hijab on.

    Syatans know well how to trick his enermy. Seek refreshment of iman by reading Al-Quran always with its translation. Do pray long ask Him to guide you.

    (I came out from a very sick life, this is what I really feel but really make me happy)

    By hook or by crook, YOU ARE A SERVANT AFTER ALL.

  • Coming back on earlier posts, I don’t agree that the sister “is trying to mold the islamic teachings according to her whims & caprices. I think she’s just not convinced that hijab is an order from Allah. The moment she will be, she will take on the hijab without question. And I think she has been disappointed by people with regards to her deen with may explain the reluctance and unhealthy suspicion. I also think she’s scared, as I am today.
    My story is a bit odd, one would say. I became Muslim in 2003 and wore hijab around a year later, then took it off after two years because at the time I was also thinking that “it’s just a piece of cloth on my head” so it wasn’t a big deal for me taking it off and unfortunately the result of that thinking was that I would be wearing hijab and smile at men, smoke (telling myself at the time that I was too addicted to quit, but that’s solved now Alhamdulillah). Because I didn’t understand that it’s not just about “the piece of cloth”, but about a whole attitude as well. Even when I took it off, I never justified not wearing it, and my strong view is that one may not wear hijab, but it’s never okay to try to justify not doing so. So whatever it takes for you to be convinced that this is a command from Allah, then do so, and make a sincere du’aa for Allah to show you the irrefutable proof, because Allah sees our hearts and judges our sincerity, not our dresses. This is not a matter of debate for me because it’s clear that it’s a command from Allah. I just knew that my personal devil was getting the best of me, and I gave in to the stupid excuses it was whispering in my heart (like, it’s too hot, how dare you claim to be such a pure muslima knowing what a sinner you are, what are you trying to tell people, what are your parents going to say, it’s so unfair, etc . Reflecting, that’s one of the worst things I’ve done these past years and I cannot describe how bad I feel as a result. Despite being of African “muslim” origin, I was raised with western values that most often than not contradict islam but people don’t perceive it that way. I’ve landed on this forum because I’m about to wear hijab again, inshallah. And I’m being faced with several issues, one of whom is this fear of losing my culture, of drowning in what many fear to be, sorry to say, the idiotic following of arab culture. Another fear I have is that it may have adverse consequences on my job, because I’m a communication manager and I’m an extravert, and pride myself in being ‘fun to be around’, good looking, easygoing with all, etc and now with the hijab I know I’ll have to be more reserved with men, not hugging males left and right for example. I’m also scared because my husband doesn’t want me to do this, also arguing that I should just wear decent skirts and stuff and I don’t need hijab to obey Allah and I don’t want to pain him or worse lose him. So I’m scared of so many things but I’m going to do this nevertheless inshallah (I’ve already given away all my other clothes, and about to go buy hijabs) because my fears are groundless, I’m sure of that. I chose to be muslim because I know this is the truth. So I’m not going to listen to this voice inside me anymore or give in to my fears, because I chose islam, which entails that I’ve made a pledge to follow the truth and not try to fit islam in the lifestyle I wish to have, but rather fit my lifestyle into islam. Like a sister said earlier, growing up in western environment teaches us that we must just do what we want and that’s what I do except when Allah tells me to do something. Even if in my heart I can’t bring myself to do it, I ask Allah to forgive me and ADMIT it’s the truth anyway. That’s also what being Muslim is, we’re not perfect, we’re sinners, all of us. But on this one, I say to my culture, islam is more important because I made a pledge and inshallah I will stand by it to the best of my ability. I say to my husband, sorry honey I love you dearly but you have no say on this one because when Allah created me you were not there, and when I’ll die you’ll bury me and throw dust over me then I’m going back to Allah without you to speak out in my defence. So I say no to all these fears, because I want to stop this nonsense of mine and stand by the unvoiced promise I made when I chose islam: to follow Allah, and not my culture, my race, my history, my social class, my husband, my parents, my friends, my fears, my desires, my preferences. All this doesn’t matter AT ALL, because Allah tells me so, and I have no doubt about this command. That’s another meaning of la ilaha ilallah right there.
    Sister, no one should condemn you to Hell because you think that hijab is just a piece of cloth. That’s your opinion, you’re free to express it. I personally don’t agree and am convinced that this is not it, but I would like to say two things: 1- that you should have an open mind and let yourself be convinced that you’ve got it wrong. There are many arguments in this forum that are really convincing, if only you would leave your hard position of suspecting everyone and everything – which may be understandable by the way, but still. And 2- NO ONE in his right mind would think that a woman without hijab is definitely going to Hell solely because of that. Don’t think that’s what others think because even if they do, they’re WRONG! Our religion is not like that, and like I said, Allah looks at your heart and your deeds. We’re all sinners, and our God is the owner of mercy and pity. So being clothed with righteousness is the best, of course. Still being physically clothed with a hijab is also a command, albeit not of the same importance.
    I would also like to tell this other sister that I’m sorry that muslim women are mistreated in her community, but that she should not let any person’s bad behavior deter her from her deen whoever the person, whatever the case, however serious what they do to me. If I have the ability I will fight them with all my strength because Allah did not put me on this earth to be oppressed by NOBODY or mistreated. But if I can do nothing about it (because sometimes we just can’t change the world!) then at least they will not make me turn away from my creator, by Allah! they will not endanger my akhirah. So sister, remember that you’re not wearing hijab for them, but for your salvation, and because it’s Allah who told you to do it, not them. I suspect this bad attitude towards women in some communities may also just be a trial from Allah, to see how we react but let’s not also forget Allah has told us to defend ourselves!
    May Allah forgive me and you, have mercy on us, and help us with His mighty help. Salaam alaikum to you all and please make du’aa for me.

    • May Allah give you the strength to do what you’ve set out to do. You should be proud of all the strength you have shining through all the obstacles you’re well aware of! May Allah reward us all for our struggles and sacrifices, both in this world and the next. Remember that you may struggle in this world, and wearing the hijab may be your test, as we all have tests of our faith. But if you go walking towards Allah, he will come running towards you, inshaAllah.

    • Salaam dear sister Khadeejah,

      Your post here is amazing MachALLAH. I am also an African muslim woman, and I would be so grateful to have your email address for questions regarding wearing the hijab, job place, etc…
      May ALLAH bless you sis and everyone on this forum

    • Dear sister, Subhanallah I really salute and respect you for writing this piece. May Allah have mercy on you and give you the courage always to having istiqamah in doing the right thing upon making the right decision (to do the right things for Allah). I hope more ladies are moved by your sincere writings. Insya-Allah my prayers are with you and people like you..

      • If opinion on the mandatory nature of Hijab is on the whole ambiguous, should we not ask why it has become a part of Islamic identity? Including something as a part of Islam’s identity (even if inadvertently) has pitfalls as well as seemingly inconsistent with our belief that Islam is immutable.

    • That is why we shouldnt judge others easily. Practising religion means we are honest of our weaknesses. If we cant cover yet, or on&off with headscarf it is okay. We are honest to Allah regrding our condition & asking Allah to guide us. We upgrade knowldege from many resources. Try to be better person everyday.

      For me, when you live in western countries , you cant expect same sitiation when you live in nuslim majority countries. That is what community for. Where we can embrace each other, knowing how to be a muslim & good citizen at certain country too.

      We shouldnt let headscarf blocking our activities. When I have to teach my kids to swim (since no women only swimming pool), then diving clothe with or without swimming cap would work. For me, just try to do best & choose best option available.

      Faith is going up & down. Sometimes going out without scarf for a day makes you appreciate how comfortable it is when you wear scarf. If we ask all the time, who should we pleased? ( creations or Creator?), we will learn slowly to make right decision. Seeing many people died in different way, different age, makes me realize what final destination is. When you wear scarf, you might loose friends, etc but that shouldnt stop you from wearing scarf & trying to be who you really are. Insha Allah, you will have better friends, etc. With or without scarf, we are tested with problems daily. It might seems hard in process but it is worthy.
      As long as we do good, we will receive good.

    • assalamu alaykom wa rahmatullah
      may Allah bless u sister n all muslims
      i need u 2 give me a site which i can find written advices, effecting short lectures mp3 n mp4, for a sister dt took off her hijab n worked in a sinful job in a european christian mixed environment! Cz she needs money 2 pay back her debts etc…
      she was christian n coverted 2 Islam n weared niqab alhamdulellah.
      bt mowadays she z loosing her religion n imaan!
      plzzzz sister help me 2 bring her back 2 da right path in Allah willings

  • an important step sister can take is find good company for herself-company of women better than her in deen as suhbah is extremely important if one wishes to improve in deen and spirituality!

  • Allah SWT has commanded us with every action that is good for us and prohibited us from performing every action that is bad for us. Allah SWT orders the Muslim woman to wear the Hijab when she steps out of the security of her home or when in the presence of strange men. So to wear the Hijab is a source of great good for you.

  • I am a convert/revert to Islam. It took me 14 yrs to gather the courage to wear the hijab. The defining moment for me, was during an assault on Gaza. I wanted to show my solidarity with my brothers and sisters in Palestine who were suffering. I wanted the world to see a Muslim when they looked at me. I wanted to define who I was, not allow others to make assumptions. We are Muslims, InshaAllah. That is the key, “InshaAllah.” We are always striving to be worthy of the honor to call ourselves a Muslim, until the day we leave this life. May Allah guide and help us all to be the best possible example of His great religion, Islam. Allah(S) knows we are flawed. He did not create us to be perfect. Make duah for Allah(S) to guide you, and to make wearing the hijab easy for you. May Allah(S) reward you for your struggle.

  • Slamo Allikom Guys. I would like to ask u something related to this issue. I’m an 18 years old teenager who her dad somehow forced her to wear hijab 3 years ago. Now I grew up and I hate the fact that I didn’t choose hijab and also I’m not convinced with it neither like it yet. Yes I know that’s what Allah said but I think there are more important thing to concentrate on like who’s Allah and know I’m more about islam (I barely know anything about it). So what do u think I should do? I need help please. Thanks in advance :)

    • @ Rodayna,

      I had to put Hidjab when my dad asked me to do it,I didn’t like this first but later on I changed my mind. I thank Allah now for giving my such a great father who imposed on me the hidjab not because he wanted to restrict my freedom but simply because he wanted to protect me from all what’s bad and make me a better Muslimah.

      For your second question, I advise you to read a lot about Islam. You can start by reading the biography of our Prophet peace be upon him, read Quran with tafsir (translation), watch videos about Islam and its teachings and make du’aa that Allah opens up your heart towards Islam and guide you.

      May Allah bless you sister and grant you all the best, insh’Allah.

      Wa Assalam alaikum wa rahmato Allah

    • Hi Rodayna,
      I’m in my 20s, but I remember my feelings a couple of years ago when I wanted to take off my Hijab sooooo baaad (I started wearing it in 5th grade btw), and until this day, with all the fashion trends, seeing all of these people dresses up and almost half naked, it’s hard not to be affected by that. But after that, I remember that Islam freed me from my fears (how I look and how people are judging me) and from being EYECANDY -if you know what I mean- 😉
      The first thing you have to do is to embrace your Hijab. As students, we come across many tests in life that we hate, but at the end we have to embrace it and start studying. Well, one of our tests in life as human beings and -more importantly- as Muslim girls, is to take this test and challenge our selves. Yes, sometimes, we play around and forget about our tests, but at the end it should always be part of our mentality.
      As the Shaykh said that we should focus on our sins, but on how merciful Allah is.
      None of us is perfect, believe me. But at least, we are challenging ourselves and doing something that Allah loves. :)
      Take Care and hope to hear from you soon

    • Wa alakum Alslam ,,

      Sister ,, Your father was wrong when he force you to wear Hijab with out your conviction. But believe me, your father force you to wear the Hijab not to make you suffer or to take your freedome from you ,, Remember he did that because he wanted to protect you.. Your father knows how the men look to a women ,, from witch side they look to her..” You know what I mean !! ”

      While you are wearing the Hijab ,, men don’t say anything from you exept “you” !! your mind !! your thoughts !! ,,
      Wearing Hijab ,, Doesn’t mean I’m freak or I’m oppressed !!, It means I’m esteemed women.. I’m not easy to play with ,,

      Also , Wearing Hijab means You are strong !! You’re proud of what you are !! You’re Muslim and you have to be proud of that.. You have to thank Allah .. that he made you grew up in Believeing, Muslim Famliy.. grew up as a respected girl … And not to learn how to respect your self on the hard way .. !!

      In addition , You are worshiping Allah every minute you are wearing Hijab .. Because you’re following his instructions …

      After .. You now why your father make you wearing the Hijab ,,,
      You’ll be “Free” .. by wearing the Hijab ,,, Because you want to !! not because you’re forced to ..

      May Allah protects you in every step you’re going to take

  • Assalamu alaikum sis Rodayna, i Think that the Best Way for you is to seek knowledge about why the hijab is fard in islam. And seek a Company of sisters who can help you in your deen inshaAllah :)

  • Assalaamu’alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

    What a beautiful response! Subhan’Allah, I am not the only one going through the “hijab crisis”. I reverted to Islam a few years ago, but didn’t do the obligatory acts sincerely until a couple of years ago. I always gave myself excuses as to why I am not yet wearing the hijab until it eventually hit me that no matter what reason/excuse I give, none of them will be justifiable in front of Allah (swt) when He questions me on Yawmidin. Some time later, I found out that the men in my life will also be questioned as to why I am not wearing my hijab and this pretty much nailed me. Wallahi, something stirred within me and I knew that I had to wear my hijab soon. The last thing I wanted was for my husband to be in trouble with Allah (swt) because I wasn’t wearing my hijab yet. Not to mention, we don’t know when we’ll die. No matter what reason we have to put it off, it’ll never be sufficient. What if I die today without my hijab? What reason do I give Allah (swt)?

    I’m currently in the process of wearing my hijab, and I don’t just mean the scarf. I’m starting to buy abayas and loose clothing as well. I don’t need a wardrobe, I need a wardrobe addition, hehehe. I’m not wearing the scarf yet, just loose clothing, as it’s a step by step process for me. Insha’Allah, in the next few weeks, I’ll have be wearing the scarf. After all, we need to do things gradually.

    Allah maak to all of you sisters going through this dilemma. May Allah (swt) guide us all in our hijab journey. May Allah (swt) be pleased with our efforts in taking one step forward at a time to donning our hijab.

    • Thank you so much for your explanation of why to wear the hijab! It really makes a lot of sense, and I hope that I can start wearing the hijab sometime inshallah.

  • Mashallah! I feel so proud to have all this muslimahs commenting on this site as my sisters.. I cannot even explain it! May Allah give us all the strenght to stand up for Islam and share our beautiful religion to whole mankind, and may Allah show us the right path! Amin!

  • Masha Allah! May Allah guide us to the right path and give us strength and victory over shaitaan. Doubts about our religion comes from shaitaan. He vowed to lead us astray and as the world is coming to an end, it seems like he is winning because we are surrounded by those who would love to lead us astray. The best course of action, at least that’s what i do whenveer i have these kinds of doubts about my religion, sometimes my doubts even goes deeper untill i get depressed. Well, Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) helps cleanse the heart. When doubts come in, i do Dhikr, fill my heart with it and refuse the doubt to take hold of me. It is difficult but by Allah’s grace, I return to normal i.e i feel happy. Its like a feel a presence greater than anything in this world fill my heart, i feel closer to Allah.

    Alhamdulillah, I have come to a point that without my hijab, i feel exposed, infact, NAKED. It is now a part of me and I pray that Allah (SWT) continue to guide our path.

    May Allah make it easy for us to obey Him (Ameen Ya Rabb)

    Salaam ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah

    • Haha I love my hijab and am dedicated to it but I feel properly clothed and all if Im not wearing it.May Allah always keep you absorbed in His thikr :)

  • Alsalamo alaykom :) actually I was not wearing Hijab I’ve been lost the way Muslim but it just a name
    But then Allah (subhano w ta’ala) guide me to the right way I felt that the missing part is finally complete in ( Qura’an – hadeth .. And everything Allah give it to us to make our soul speak and happy . But the first thing I did is wearing Hijab simply I feel like ( Muslim & broud ) then I start learning all the things about Islam Mashallah it’s just Amazing subhanu Allah and alhamdulillah :))) I want all ppl to know Islam to be on the right way inshalla plz make dua’a for me to find a way to be part of it , I want to serve Islam ya raaab
    . We love u Allah and we will do everything u asked for COZ U KNOW US MORE THAN WE KNOW OUR SELFS :)
    God bless u all sisters take care :)))

  • Salaam to all

    I am also a revert muslim and a proud hijabi for the past 4 months and I have to say that I love my hijab, it was scary for me at first, you know job, what will the boss say, what will my friends and clients say(I’m in the legal profession) but I made that intention in my heart and to Allah(swt).

    My husband took my kids n I for Umrah in Feb and all I can say is that my life has never felt so fulfilled after that, the sheer force of where u are hit me like a ton of bricks, wen I saw the kabaa and in madina the roza al jannah @ musjid al nabwi I cried like a baby, and when I left I felt light as a feather.

    So my little advice is wear ur hijab with pride… If u drop 2 sweets on the floor one wit the wrapper and one without…which would u pick pick up?

    Remember u are that sweet, wrapped up wit the protection of Allah (swt)

    Slms

  • I think the most wonderful part of this faith is the emphasis given to freedom of choice and the importance of intent. I think that if you have ever been forced to do anything, for your “own good” or otherwise, it wasn’t a decision that was between you and God alone. If you leave the hijab and find something missing or finding your heart calling back to it a few years later then that’s great. If you take it off and don’t want to wear it again, that doesn’t make you any less of a Muslim. Faith is in your heart, not a cloth on your head. Choose to wear it, choose to take it off but don’t absolve yourself of the power you have over the decision. It’s entirely yours to make.

    Just my two cents :)

  • Salamalikam sisters,

    I have been wearing the hijab for almost a yr now, and i feel like taking it off because at work i get verbally abuse, once i had a bag thrown at me!!Ever since i have worn the hijab i have been not as close to allah (swt) as i was when i wasnt wearing the hijab, do women really go to the hell fire if they just dont wear the hijab but prays, wears covered clothes, fasts and gives charity?? I need some help plz!!!

    • Salaam Sammi, the non wearing of hijab (refered to as scarf only) is not a precondition for hellfire. There are degrees of iman and action within Islam and the scarf on the head (RATHER than the whole ‘concept of hijab’ – wearing modest clothing and acting with modesty at all times) is much further down the list. Please don’t be afraid, Allah is most merciful and seeks to guide you and protect you at all times. Allah Is pleased with you for your iman, your sincerity, your nearness to Him and your good deeds. This will weigh heavy on the day of judgement. May Allah guide us always

  • Awesome response, made me cry! I chose to take off the hijab a year ago after wearing it for 7 years. I’m slowly building a great relationship with God and I really hope I can gather enough strength to wear it properly one day again.

  • Assalamu alaikum, Masha Allah what a great reminder for sisters :) May Allah SWT makes the questioner istiqamah with her hijab, aameen yaa Rabb. Wassalamu alaikum.

  • I just want to make a comment about the concept of the Hijab. I believe that the distinct head covering that Muslim women wear is something very nice in a way that it shows that you are different – that you do not take anyone in society as an example, except for the believing women (such as Mary) in the past. I think it bares a very pure and beautiful resemblance.

    However, from my personal experience with the hijab, it is not true that the hijab itself will protect you from harm or sin, especially when we over-estimate it. That is something that comes from our faith and our connection with Allah swt. So to speak, I think it’s more important to view modesty in women as a reminder to ourselves of the value Allah has placed on us, and to respect the trust that Allah has placed on us with our bodies, and not to abuse or belittle it.

    I also don’t believe that comparing women to candy is a very effective way to put it. All women are beautiful and valuable and if a woman does not choose to cover her hair, it does not mean she does not have Iman in her heart, and if she believes La ilaha illallah she is our sister in Islam regardless and we must not belittle who she is simply if she may appear to sin differently than we do. I pray to Allah to open our hearts in order to understand one another and to stand as strong and united Muslims.

  • I love this article.its a beautiful piece of writing ANSI think that if I was the questioner it would definitely help :) May Allah make it beneficial to all of us.

  • Salam,
    I have been wearing Hijab now for a year and 3 months. Coming from a non-practising, European family living in Australia, I found it is a really hard thing to do. At first, I found that I had maintained a strong relationship with Allah (swt), but now unfortunately I find my self struggling to keep my hijab on. I feel like I’m betraying people into seeing me as a better person than I actually am, and feel like a hypocrite in doing so. I fast and pray etc, but I still feel that even though I wear the hijab, it doesn’t make me any more of a better Muslim than those that don’t. I constantly feel left out and always have people judging me, and it’s little things like that, that get to me. I don’t want to take it off and displease Allah, but it just doesn’t feel right wearing it.

    • Sister…….We all have times that we struggle and feel like we are not good enough, a fraud, etc. The people who look and sound like they do everything right have those feelings too. All we can do is try our best to do what Allah (SWT) tells us to do. What other people think of you isn’t really important. I’m the only Muslim in my family and I feel left out at times too. Since I became a Muslim, it often feels like I am a visitor in this world. The only thing that helps is to spend as much time as possible with other Muslims. The support is wonderful. It does not make you a better Muslim just because you wear a hijab. It makes you a better Muslim if you wear the hijab to please Allah (SWT). Assalamu alaikom!

  • […] Websites run by Muslim scholars typically offer advice columns for those seeking legal rulings and religious guidance on personal concerns. One young Muslim woman wrote to a site about her doubts that wearing hijab was connected to being a good person. The gist of the opinion was that wearing a head scarf, whether she feels right about it or not, will internalize good behavior thus transforming her faith. The acting scholar, Shazia Ahmed writes, […]

  • Thanks for the beautiful way that you have solved the controversary around hijab. it makes a lot of sense when we think of our actions bringing us close to Allah – hijab is one of the many actions – and not the only one. Also, thanks for the upfront clarity that all actions are for Allah alone (in the light of the Quran and Sunnah) and that we should stop ourselves from thinking about how people might judge us.

  • If anyone wants to read an academic treatment of hijab then please read ‘Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women’ by Dr Khalid Abou El Fadl. The book isn’t just about hijab, but this book shows that the issue of veiling is more nuanced then the current traditional views on hijab. In Abou Khalid El Fadl’s book he presents the debate that arose around the issue of veiling vis-a- vis slavery and awrah, by referring to classical scholars, who made a distinction between the awrah of free Muslim women (head to toe excluding hands and face, though some included hands and face too) and the awrah of female Muslim slaves (navel to knees the same as a man or between the chest to the knees and down to the elbows p. 257). Therefore if veiling was an obligation for Muslim women until the end of the world it would have been so for all Muslim women regardless of whether she was a slave or free. So the issue of veiling and awrah is more complicated than is presented in the usual debates. So is the obligation to veil solely related to modesty or is it more about the social distinction between a free Muslim woman, other non-Muslim women and slaves, or both? Also, read tafsir by Ibn Abbas, Ibn Kathir and Jalalayn etc. They are very illuminating on the subject. Furthermore, read Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Numbers 512, 513, 522, 523 and 524. Islam is a journey and I’m always learning.

  • Masha Allah!
    Alhamdulillah how wonderful it is to see Muslim sisters discussing or sharing their religious experience with understanding, pride, love and goodwill.
    I enjoyed reading their comments as much as I did in the article.
    Thank you sister for asking such a good question.
    Thank you Suhaibwebb.com for this beautiful answer.
    As a male, I was reading from the good deed perspective and Alhamdulillah I hope it will be easy to do good deeds consistently and consciously even if I don’t feel sudden change or feel good moments.
    May Allah make all the Muslim men and women those who practice Islam publickly(Salah, Hijab, Beard, standing for truth and justice, etc) without the fear of creation or the domain culture in place whether social, economical or political of which there is fear of loss of material or social benefit.
    May He make us fear him only in the hope that He will appreciate our good deeds and rewards with paradise for our never-ending effort, sacrifice and patience choosing His pleasure in place of our lustful desires and other people’s expectations from us even if they are loved ones.
    May Allah(SWT) especially help for those of us who want to be better Muslims and crown our effort with success and unite us in paradise, Ameen.

  • There is a key point often missing when the issue of “hijab” is raised. Hijab has 2 aspects: “hijab batin” (inner hijab) and “hijab zahir” (external hijab). As with all things the inner is the substance, the outer, the shell or appearance. The principal of hijab for women is to not draw provocative and suggestive attention to themselves. Many girls laden in make-up with kohl exaggerted eyes exuding suggestiveness wearing tight jeans plus hijab manage to draw the kind of attention to themselves that a hijabless woman in modest business working attire does not. The reaon that the lady in the article does not feel a better person or muslim is that the clothes or appearance does not ulter the interior spirit. Hijab is fundamentally inside, for men and women.

  • Thank you sister for asking this question. It is an issue that I am struggling with at the moment as well. I have worn the hijab for 10 years now, since the age of 14.

    I, unlike many blog posts I’ve read, will not blame my struggle on my young age (I do not question Allah’s SWT ruling – that hijab be worn after girls hit puberty) or the fact that I did it for the wrong reasons. I know and I believe that this struggle is a result of weakened faith and a struggle for worldly desires. I am now trying to re-energize my faith through my salat, dhikr, and fasts. However, this does not come as naturally to me as it used to.

    To Suhaibwebb.com, this answer was beautiful, thank you VERY MUCH for it. Your answer, very moderately put, was able to move something inside of me.

    Sisters and brothers, please make duaa for me and all those struggling like me.

    May Allah (SWT) help those of us who want to be better Muslims and crown our efforts with success and unite us in paradise, Ameen.

  • Can I just say, Alhamdulilah. This is actually a place where people are advising with love and patience. I haven’t seen any judgmental comments. This is how it is supposed to be.

  • Assalamualaikum sisters,

    MasyaAllah..I am moved with the supportive comments posted from this article. Coming from Malaysia, where Islam is our national religion, I know that I am blessed to be able to wearing Hijab openly without having to face the judgements and predicaments as my sisters have posted in here.. My du’a and prayers are with you. And hopefully you will find the strength in your heart to do what Allah has command us to do.

    I have just started wearing hijab again for the last year, and this time with more conviction and faith.I have never felt more ‘covered’ and protected. And somehow rather by putting on my hijab, I have felt closer to Allah…SubhanaAllah.. and still trying to strengthen my connection with Allah.

    I love this website. It makes me see Islam in a broader prespective and I can feel the love and the strength of Islam in the world.

    May Allah gives us strength to show our Love to him unconditionally.InsyaAllah.

  • Assalaamualaikum to all.

    What a comforting thing to come to this thread. I have just started wearing the hijab ( 2 months), and my convert husband is not happy with it and it has caused many tensions between us. I pray that Allah will make me steadfast in this and please pray for me and my husband too.

  • It is good to cover your whole body with loose cloths in a dress in which your body parts are not prominent .what I feel is that I cover my body with nice cloths a dress which is mot exposing my body but not covering the hairs is better than I cover my head but wearing a very tight cloths in which my body parts are very much prominent and full of makeup face
    Second most important thing is hijab is not only from outside but also crom innerself

  • Asalamo Alaikum, Just to add I am a praticing Muslim trying to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Holy Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). I so far have found in the Holy Qu’ran and also from my husbands research that woman in Islam are required to cover their curves and make themselves identifiable. I am happy to say that I have been a White Muslim for over 15 years now and although at first I did not wear a head scarf, I have worn one but now do not cover my head. I only cover my head in Prayer and attending Mosques and gatherings out of respect for the house hold occupants. Life is much happier since removing my head scarf after understanding that it is not required for Muslim Woman. I wanted to share this with those woman whom are struggling with this. Sadly our communities keep woman down with this mis-interpreted practice. If I lived in a society where the head scarf was the norm of the clothing around me then I would adhere to this cultural clothing. I live in the West and it is not a piece of clothing that westerners wear. Therefore as female practicing white Muslim, if I covered my head I would stand out rather than blend in. I dress as the locals and the locals know me and know my faith and are easy with this. Wasalaam Adeela

  • Assalamu alaikum, Masha Allah what a great reminder for sisters.. May Allah SWT makes the questioner istiqamah with her hijab, aameen yaa Rabb. Wassalamu alaikum.

  • I agree with what the sheikh said, except the last paragraph:

    “Know, dear questioner, that if you feel far from Allah, the solution is not to stop what you are doing and find a different way, but to persevere and continue on the path you are on, even though it is hard.”

    I disagree with this logic. If you can find a different way and that way is better for you, why not? Why we must struggle with one way if we are not happy with that? There are many ways to Paradise. Even a prostitute could go to heaven because she was feeding a hungry dog right before she died.

    I’m not saying that she should take off her hijab, I’m just saying that it’s not good to ‘convince’ someone to wear the hijab if she’s not willing to. Maybe she isn’t ready yet. Maybe she need more time to understand the meaning of hijab for her. Maybe she has some problem that we aren’t aware of. No one knows what is better for her than herself. We can only help her to see things more objectively, then let her decide what’s best for her, because it’s her life, so she knows better.

    • I truly wish what you said is true but you know it isn’t. I do not understand why Muslim women (some of them, at least the cases I know so far) are forced to wear it and nowadays it is like a 6th pillar of Islam. Being a convert without knowing much about hijab, I think it is a women’s choice but then I found out it is not. It is a “Fard” and if you are not doing it, you will be condemned by the whole community or you will be distant by your muslim friends. My husband even said he will divorce a woman without a hijab. I know Allah wants to make things easy for us but why the men have as a say on what is on our head?

  • Assalamu Alaikum
    Only Allah swt knows how I fell on this article…Subhan’Allah! I wasn’t looking for it but it’s was exactly what I needed!
    JazakAllahu Khairan

  • assalamu alaikum everyone :) this article is quite lovely. and I love how all the comments on here are so loving, full of mutual support.
    I am a 17 year old girl, coming from a Lebanese Muslim family. I don’t yet wear hijab, nor does my mother, but we both find it beautiful and look forward to wearing it in the future. I am scared however, I’m scared that if I die now the only thing I will be judged on is that I did not wear hijab, despite the fact that I am a believer, that I love and fear God. and I’m scared for my mother, my mother is the most amazing, supportive person who has sacrificed everything for me. I do not want her to go near hell fire purely because of the hijab. I understand hijab is fard in Islam, but is not wearing hijab really bidah?
    I’ve written this because I’m scared sisters, I’m constantly worried and I feel like support from my sisters would help. I’ve been judged harshly from my own Muslim community, some even telling me my mother is going to hell. but the God I know is merciful and forgiving, am I right? my mother and I both have the intention to wear hijab soon we’re just not sure when. thank you for reading this.

  • Asslam-u-Alaikum,

    Introduction:
    Male, +37, Pakistani, Born Muslim (InshAllah will die Muslim), IT (Network, Systems, Security) Specialist. Trying every single day to be a Muslim and goal is to achieve the category of Momin.

    Finding after reading Post:
    Alhumdulilah most of the ppl here are converted Muslim and they are trying to achieve the goal of Hijab. And most of the comments i’ve found are,
    what will happen?
    who ppl will react?
    what they will think?
    how am i going to do that?
    and so many other questions in one’s heart
    i’ve got a true story of me & my younger sister which i would like to share, it might help someone.

    I born in a muslim family we were not very much practicing muslim but yet my mother strictly(from the age of 6) every morning used to send me masjid at fajr time in order to learn reading The Holy Quran and strictly for Jumah prayer as well. During Jumah Khutba I learned about our beloved Prophet Muhammad Rasool Allah (P.B.U.H) as well as Sahabas (RA). I heard the hasanat of saying Azan then after school it was my first priority to go to masjid and say Asr and Maghrib Azan and later stay in masjid to offer pray as well, even my parents or any one else never forced me for practicing my religion, but my mother was always surprised and used to ask me do you like saying Azan or praying Salat i used to say yes Mother i loved performing these activities. In jumah khutbas i learn alot about our religion and having beard on a muslim male face is one of them and since then i decided to grow beard on my face. Since my father working in Gulf we moved to gulf in 1990 (but only for 2 years) there i started growing my beard at the age of 14 even i had very few hairs on my left and right cheeks. I was 16 when we moved back to Pakistan and at that time my bread had grown enough to be noticed and all my cousins and friends were not glad with that they always asked me so many stupid questions and used to make fun of me, in any family or friends gathering I was always the odd man among that community. some of you might be thinking awwww poor guy but really trust me i was so glad that i’m the only one Alhumdulilah i was always very happy when they used to make fun of me and i was always happy when they laughed at me, always thanks to Allah because Alhudulilah Allah lit my way towards right path and chosen me. Later after few years all my friends and cousins realize that they were wrong and i was right and then they started respecting me just because of my decision to stick strongly with my religion Islam. I never thought about anyone else that what they will think, how they will react, what will happen….. I always care about me and my religion. If the sunnah is true and proved by saheeh ahadeeth then i must follow regardless of what so ever happens with anyone or society (there is no excuse for not following this). Alhumdulilah its been 14 years that i’m still having beard on my face, one thing i would like to mention here my father was clean shaved all his life even when i used to ask him father please grow beard he always said i will grow beard when you become father….. Alhumdulilah when i became father my father starting growing beard same day :) and its been 5 years he has beard on his face.

    Regarding hijab Alhumdlilah all female in my family were and are doing hijab (covering body and face as well). My family means,
    My Mother
    My Sisters
    and My Wife
    my elder sister started hijab when she was 16 in school she learned in a khutba that hijab is fard for women and then she started hijab.

    My Younger sister when she passed her matric (10th Grade) exams and now she supposed to go to college i told my mother that i won’t take her college until unless she wear hijab and my mother replied back……. you know what your sister says, i said what? my mother said my sister told her that she won’t go to college until unless my mother get her hijab….. i was also glad to hear that.

    I’m not trying to prove that i’m super human in this world but i believe there are thousands of good practicing muslims better than me in this world.

    I saw so many ppl are wearing or doing stupid things in the name of fashion and they are not afraid of adopting such things…. specially in western world there is no question mark on nudity but so many issues for covering their bodies.

    Believe me on the day of Qiyamah no one will be asked about others opinion but about ihkam assigned to us by Allah through The Holy Quran and through Rasool Allah….

    May Allah turned our hearts toward Islam and fill our hearts with the noor of Ilm. Ameen

    Regards,

    Omer

  • Salam,
    Please I want to know what keeps you ladies going and strong in wearing Hijab. I recently moved to the west last month and lets say my dressing hasn’t been the best. I am so depressed because I was so holy this Ramadan and now I feel like I am slowly becoming everything I said I wouldn’t be. How do you fight the urge and continue wearing hijab? How do you handle stares from people thinking you are strange. I was born a muslim and back at home, everyone wears hijab so its just so easy. But hear in the west its different and I am so sacred for myself.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Salaam aleikum sister Alisha, I can’t really say that I get strange stares, I live in London to be precise. One thing that I have found to be helpful in going strong with the headscarf is relying upon ALLAH SWT to grant you that inner strength and that confidence to wear it with grace.

      Another tip that works for me is dressing smartly. I have blazers, maxi skirts, dresses and shirts and blouses. I hope you find this reply useful for you.

  • I also took off hijab after 16 years wearing it.

    I tried very hard. I knew all the hadith, and agreed with them.
    So for 16 years I never once took it off.

    But- every time i looked in the mirror, it wasn’t me that was looking back. It was a stranger. No matter how I tied it- and I learned many ways, having anything touch my neck was unbearable. Every time I went out i could not wait to be back home where I pulled it off the moment the door slammed shut.

    Finally, on a snowy day 8 years ago, I had enough. I looked at the hijab, and decided: NO .
    I will rather endure hell than another day. I asked Allah to forgive me and left the house for a walk. Snowflakes on my hair. Wind through my hair. I could hear again. I walked for hours through the silent city, smiling. Went to a cafe. Had a chat with an 80-year-old man. It was wonderful.

    From that day on, I was happy to be a Muslim. Some people did not want to know me any longer. I can live without. I still follow all other things in Islam. I travelled to Muslim countries and spent many hours sitting in mosques, praying, reading.. headscarf now does not make me feel like a zombie any longer. I quite enjoy it.

    Perhaps one day I might leave it on again. But my guess is, I will rather be in purdah for the rest of my life than doing something I simply cannot do.

  • @satsuma,

    I can fully understand your situation and happy for you. I too are very struggling wearing it. My situation is I cannot have the autonomy to take it off. Why we as muslim cannot accept a non hajabi in our ummah? Why we need to make it a barrier for people to approach Islam and be involve in it?

    To be honest, I am so worried about my future employment opportunities in US. who want a hijabi in an administration post or greeting customer after what is happening now in the media? There are lots of limitation for us as a female hijabi to earn a living in US. What should we do? I am not willing and it is not my intention to be a stay home mom /wife with a dozen of kids. I want to earn a living of my own but the future seems for us is depressing.

  • Mashalla the comments are very informative.

    I do have a question in regard to my situation. I am born a muslim , but I never wore the hijab , but I feel that islam and imaan is in my heart always. I wear modeste clothing alhamdullila. The issue is my job. I work in law enforcement postion, where I have to wear a uniform , carry a belt with tools to fufill my job. I cant see myself wearing hijab on the job, maybe I’m weak …Can someone help me with this issue? Or is anyone in the same situation could give me some advice.

    • In Malaysia women in law enforcement, nursing, emigration,custom etc wear their normal uniform but under their caps or head gears they have a scarf to cover the hair and neck exposing only the face. That we be sufficient in Islam. Remember that shaitans will always whisper to disobey Allah’s command even in our prayers they still can penetrate our minds and hearts.But for Avery time we refute their instigation Allah rewards us with a shahid. So just imagine the rewards from The Rahimm. Muslims have to face the test and the rewards is jannah if we don’t succumb to the shaitans and their human armies. Allah blesses us all.

  • I really liked youre response. I myself felt to take of my Hijab but Hi jab isint to tell that you r a muslim its to tell that you are a MUSLIM!
    Alsa Hijab is a part of Purda.

  • For believers Allah commands them in Surat al noor, 30-31
    Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do. (30) And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. (31)

    A human is born with free will, even angles cannot disobey Allah.

    O human think again before your sole leave your body.

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