FAQs & Fatwas Hijab & Niqab Hot Topics Islamic Law

Is Hijab an Obligation? Don’t Religious Rules Change?


Why do we have to wear Hijab in America? Don’t religious laws change according to time and place? Isn’t there room for this to change?


Asalamu `alaykum dearest Sister,

I pray that this message reaches you well and full of faith.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to write this email. Such questions are a sign of one’s faith and concern for Islam. I ask Allah to reward you greatly for this concern and pray that He will bless us all. Indeed, as you noted in your question, there are certain rulings in Islam that can change according to place, time and situation. The general principle is that the rulings themselves don’t change, but the articulation of such rulings can. This means the ruling – whether permissible, forbidden or disliked – is still met; however, it is done so in a manner that facilitates its practice for Allah’s servants, while meeting the requirements set by the faith. Examples of this would be how buying and selling has changed (with the introduction of checks and credit cards), what type of prayer rug one uses, the instrument one might use to hunt, or the means by which one travels to Hajj. However, there are times where one is excused from doing religious acts due to abnormal circumstances. Such situations would need to be addressed by a qualified mufti.

On the other hand we have rulings which are fixed and unchangeable. The only way a change would be possible is under dire circumstances like the threat of death, harm, sickness and other things.


  • Fasting. This is an obligation; however, in the face of sickness, one is allowed to break his fast.
  • Prayer. It is an obligation for one to pray while standing; if one cannot do so for health reasons, she can do so sitting.
  • Hajj. Although an obligation, its obligatory status is based on one’s ability.
  • Even faith itself. If one is threatened with death, he is allowed to deny his faith.

The above rulings, and their exceptions, are prescribed in our holy texts. Scholars say that if one of the following five things are threatened, that is enough for a ruling, even when dealing with a fixed ruling, to change:

  • Faith
  • Intellect
  • Life
  • Lineage
  • Property

With some adding honor.

Ruling on Hijab

The hijab is identified by all the scholars [except for a few non-Orthodox scholars over the last 20 years] as a fixed obligation which cannot change unless a qualified legal scholar deems that a sister’s situation demands it. Examples of this would be the Inquisition in Spain and the recent wars in Bosnia and Rwanda. However, it should be noted that such a change is, at least most of the time, considered temporal at best as it would fall under what are known as nawazil – temporary trials whose outcomes, for the most part, are not permanent.

In the West

Scholars state that there is nothing that meets this requirement in the West that would allow our sisters, in the general sense, to remove their hijabs. Thus, I hold the opinion of all major scholars, males and females, that sisters must observe the Hijab.

A Look at the Hadith of Asma’ and Other Sound Texts that Support Hijab/Niqab

I certainly understand people’s contentions about the hadith of Asma’ narrated by Abu Dawood where the Prophet ﷺ scolded her saying that the only thing a pubescent woman should show is “these two,” pointing to his face and hands.

Proofs for Hijab and Niqab

In a sound hadith, we have the Prophet ﷺ telling his wife Sawda, “Cover yourself in front of him.” The word he used is ihjabi which means “Cover yourself.” It is an order, and in Islamic law an order means an obligation.

A proof for Hijab (and not Niqab) is found in al-Bukhari’s collection where one of the companions could not remember a woman’s name. He said, “I cannot recall her name, but I remember the mole on her face.”

Niqab was the practice of the Prophet’s ﷺ wives, including Sawda, so if a woman wanted she can choose wear it.

The hadith of Asma’ bin Abi Bakr, mentioned above, is found in the Sunnan of Abu Dawood; it is strengthened by the narrations above, as well as the Hadith of Fadil ‘Abbas found in Bukhari’s collection that clearly mentions him seeing the face of a woman. Thus, taking these  two sound narrations, the narration of Asmah found in Abu Dawood’s collection is at least Hassan li Gharihi or as our scholars noted, “sound.”

One of the Proofs for Niqab

In another narration, found in al-Bukhari’s collection as well as Malik’s Muwatta, we find the hadith of Habibba bin Sahl. She needed to speak to the Prophet ﷺ so she waited for him after the morning prayer. When the Prophet ﷺ approached her, he could not recognize her because she was completely covered [in Niqab] as noted by al-Baji. The Prophet ﷺ asked her, “Who are you?” This is one of the many proofs that, as the Hanbali school holds, a woman should cover her entire body save her eyes.

What We Don’t Have: a Third Option

We do not have an opinion that says hijab is not fardh, that one can show the neck, etc. There are no authentic reports of the Companions taking off their Hijab at all.

I advise you to wear the Hjiab instead of the Niqab. I base this on the fact that it is a contentious issue and we have a legal axiom that allows us, in the face of contentious issues, to take the more appropriate course for our time and place.

Secondly, adapt the method you wear the Hijab. There is nothing wrong with wearing Western clothes as long as they meet Islamic requirements. I hold this opinion is at is articulated by the Maliki school. Abu Barkat in al-Sharh al-Saghir [one of the most reliable books for Fatwa in the school] states that a woman’s  `awrah is in general, “Everything save her face and hands.”

Islam means to surrender and surrender involves struggle. I encourage you to struggle and continue to ask Allah for His help.

Your brother,

Suhaib Webb

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.


  • Salaam Sh Suhaib..a small suggestion:

    “Even faith itself, if one is threatened with death, he’s allowed to deny is faith”

    Maybe something like “one is allowed to utter words of Kufr/Blasphemy” since we are not actually denying out faith, just making it out as if we were, as even in these situations our heart stays firm on Iman.

    Hope you dont mind

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Why would I mind? Imam al-Muhassibi said, “Know! The one who loves you gives you nasiha, and the one who flatters you, cheats you.”

    I’m very grateful for your remarks and comments.


  • Salam

    Brother Suhaib… you say: “The hijab is identified by all the scholars [Save a few non-Orthodox scholars over the last 20 years]”. Forgive me if I am wrong, but there have been a very small number of ‘orthodox scholars’ over the last 20 years who have given an opinion of hijab not being mandatory. These include, I believe (and again forgive me if I am wrong), Zaki Badawi, former head of the Central London mosque, and also Muhammed Al Ghazali. My question is, what should our attitude be to such scholars, if they are going so far away from mainstream opinion?

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Sh. al-Ghazzali was against the niqab, not the hijab. As for Sh. Badawi [ra] I have not seen his fatwa so I’m not at liberty to comment on it. I would appreciate seeing it.


  • Salam

    I do not have the actual fatwa from Sheik Badawi, but his name is often mentioned by those people who claim that hijab is not mandatory.

    Another question: would the fact that historically, muslim women – all over the world – have indeed worn hijab since the time of the Prophet(SAW), constitute a proof for hijab being mandatory? After all, Imam Malik (RA) used the actions of the people of Madinah as proof.

  • As far as i know people have misquoted or misunderstood Zaki Badawi.
    He said that if a women feared for her security then in those situations she may open her hijab since he said the cause of its leglislation was for her security and if this was undermined by wearing it, then taking it off would be allowed in those
    circumstances only. Thus his view, as far as i know, also is that the default situation is that Hijab is mandatory, whilst he gave a Rukhsah (Legal License) to women in situations where they feared for their security.
    He said this after the London Attacks which made the situation of the Muslims here quite difficult especially in areas where Muslims numbers were few.
    They registered more than 15,00 assault against hijab-clad women
    within a three day period, in addition to a flood of threat letters.
    Thus you can see the context of such a fatwa,,saying that Zaki Badawi did not view the hijab as mandatory is dis-service to him and a gross misinterpretation of what he said.

    Whether i agree with such a fatwa and its implications, and this type of inference is not important here and i am only saying this to clarify the issue.
    This is as far as i know it, being a Musim living in the UK


  • Salam wr wb sheikh suhaib. I have been told by many sisters that they hate the hijab that they wear and they dont see it as necesarry to Islam. One even said that some of the most religious muslimahs that she knows is not a muhajjibah. Another thing i keep hearing is that it is a social stigma and that “i would not understand”. How can I possibly, as an outsider, respond to these arguments?

    • If you are in the US (or other “western” country), try this:

      Grow a full bead and wear thobe plus kufi, kaffiyeh or turban whenever you leave your house.

      Come back to this conversation in 3 weeks and let us know how it went! With luck you will have had the opportunity to help confront islamophobia in a good and positive way and help our Ummah in that way.

      • Actually this is easier then said. There are many areas in America where it’s easy to wear traditional Islamic attire due to the population of Muslims in the neighborhood. Examples would be NYC, Dearborn, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Toronto to name a few.

        Also London I hear is now “Londonistan”.

      • Awesome reply, Sister.

        From a sister who wears hijab, but admits it is a gigantic burden and causes a lot of issues in America.

      • I actually did by promising my muslimah sisters that i would dress in “Islamic” clothing for a whole month at my university (a poputlation of 65000). I had reverted 25 people, interested thousands, cleared the minds of tens of thousands, and became more firm on my religion, even though Arabian clothing is not Islamic clothing. It helped start conversations that even I never thought would happen. Islam is so perfect.

        • Awesome brother! Mashallah. May Allah reward you abundantly. And may Allah make all of us strong enough in our dawa. ameen

      • I live in the states, have always had a beard and wear a kufi. I have rarely ever experienced islamophobia. In fact, people who may be prejudiced act nice to me. I think it depends on how comfortable you are with it. If you have fear (of people), then people sense it and may treat you differently. Respect can only come from Allah & I currently do not see legitimate (security or even economic) reasons why someone in the States would not grow a beard or not wear a hijab.

  • Asalamualaikum wrt wb,

    All praise be to Allah, jazakumallahu khairan Imam Suhaib. One more daleel for the legal obligation of the Hijab, in fact the main proof, the verse from Surah Noor:

    “And say to the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their private parts, and cover their necks and chest with their khimar (head covering).”

    The khimar is what the Sahabiaat women used to cover their hair. The verse is affirming that they must wear the khimar and in addition, cover their necks and chest with it.

    And Allah knows best.

    • The translation of the verse is not true to the arabic text. The verse says to cover the slits on the front of the dress (the juyoub). In Arabia, women used to wear dresses with long slits at the front and whenever she would bend, her breats would show. So Allah ordered women to cover the chest and not to display this area except in front of the people mentioned in the next passages. Mind you that the list does not include the uncles on the mother side nor the father side which a woman can display her hair in front of. The verse mentions the husband, the father-in-law, the father..etc but not uncles because it is usually with these people a woman lives and if she’s nursing a baby, sometimes it is hardship to cover the breasts. Scholars interpret this passage as commendment for Hijab and add on the uncles because they are mehram, but if this verse was about the Hijab, why did Allah stop short of mentioning the uncles?

  • As-Salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    To reiterate the shaikhs point, I would like to mention that when making Ijtihad or seeking to see if a
    given rule is applicable to different times and places our scholars look to identify something implied
    in the texts known as an “‘illah” this could be roughly translated as the reason or purpose for the ruling.
    For example with alcohol and drugs is “intoxication” therefore anything that is scientifically proven to
    intoxicate is deemed as Haram and vice versa which is why the famous Fatwas these days on non-alcoholic beer
    are permissible. It is a fact scientifically that there still remains in the beer .00000-something alcohol
    after its being de-alcoholized, but on the other hand science indicates that a person would have to consume
    23 12 oz. cans in one hour to have any “intoxicating” effects thus the person would die of consuming to much fluid
    way before being intoxicated by it.

    In the Hijab, and Allah knows best the “‘Illah” or reason for its ruling is to conceal the beauty of a woman.
    even though our fellow western counterparts despise the Hijab they do admit that beauty is in the hair, skin
    and curves of a woman. They also admit that there is no reason for her to conceal these beauties as it is
    her right to dress as she likes. Allah disagrees with them.

    My point is that the “illah” will remain until the Day of Judgment therefore so will the ruling. For our brother
    who asked about our attitude and or the ruling concerning those who do promote that Hijaab is not Islamic?
    I would say that this is something that is known from the Deen by necessity and thus the consensus of scholars
    hold it to be the menaing of no less than three Ayas as well as the more clearer meaning of a few Hadiths as well
    as the understanding of the Sahahaba adn tabi’een. Our Attitude to them is that of calmly and respectfully presenting
    the proofs and the clarification as to why it can become an issue of Aqeedah as well as what it means to introduce
    something which was never part of Islam as a result of Western influence. The ruling was laid out by Allah in soorah
    an-Nisaa 115 and we seek refuge with Allah from falling under such a ruling.

    And Allah knows best

  • Assalamu alaikum

    Jazak Allah khayr for this timely post. I recently heard a person saying that it was not obligatory for a woman to wear a hijab and was pleased to see the post here.

    Alahmdulillah I have been wearing my hijab since puberty and I’m pleased to wear it as an ambassador for Islam and I pray that Allah reawrds me and all the muslim sisters who wear it for His sake.

    I do not wear the niqab, however, as i would feel unsafe to wear it in the UK. I have heard of many niqabi sisters being attacked, or even shouted at in the street. I know sisters who have worn the niqab but were asked by their own husbands to remove it due to fear for the sisters safety.
    – just thought i’d share this. what are things like in the US for sisters with niqab?

    fi amanillah

    • Salam,
      It’s not that bad here. Or at least, it wasn’t. I stopped wearing my Hijab (I am only 13) because I was threatened by a group of kids at school. Before reading this post, every night I would worry that I had made a grave mistake. But now I am reassured though still uneasy.

      • Assalamu alaykum,

        I’m intrigued, for those who don’t wear hijab out of fear of being taunted or racist slurs, having read some of these statistics, is there not a higher chance of being raped without hijab?

        This isn’t directed at “us citizen” in particular. I’m unsure how you start a new comment, it’s my first time commenting.

        • I don’t know anything about US Citizen’s situation, but I assume that the immediate threat directed by the bullies is more significant and more likely at the moment than any other threats.

        • I find it interesting how many people believe that rape is rampant and that hijab would protect a woman from it. As another commenter has said, the largest problem for a hijabi in the US would be harassment in general, and the more insidious discrimination that can occur in the workplace.

          At least in the US, the motivations for rape run much deeper than a spur of the moment response to seeing a woman, whether she be in hijab or not.

          To believe that hijab will protect a woman from harassment in these post 9-11 days is naive. A woman wearing hijab is forced to be on the front lines confronting islamophobia constantly while going about her daily life.

        • Most muslim women I know would be more afraid of being raped in Egypt or Saudi. I’m a Muslimah living in the uk and the only time I’ve been sexually assaulted ( only touched thank God) was when wearing full abayah and hijab in Syria many years ago. I don’t wear hijab in the uk and I’ve never been assaulted here.

  • I just wanted to know what is the fatwa if ones husband totally does not approve her hijab.And the hijab is creating a problem in their marriage.

  • Dear Shaikh,

    Regarding the two hadith you brought forth as some people's proof for not niqab not being mandatory, the scholars who support niqab maintain that those hadith were before the revelation mandating hijab/niqab. Complete hijab was only after the battle of ahzaab (in surah ahzaab, not surah noor) which was sometime after the 6th hijri.

    This means there will be almost 19 years of hadith in which sahabiyaath did not cover their face. Similarly, hadith can be found of sahaba talking in Salah or drinking alcohol. This was all before the mandate prohibiting such acts.

    Of course, each school has its proofs, but I just wished to point this principle out when people sometimes find conflicting hadith. And Allah knows best.


  • Assalamu alaikum sheikh Suhaib,

    I just wanted to know if wearing the jilbaab (or abaya as commonly worn by sisters) is fardh? Can sister's who work wear loose trousers/skirt and a long top/shirt in the work place?

  • The jllbab isn't fard. You can wear loose clothing (skirt, etc) as long as it covers the awrah and is loose enough not to reveal the shape of your body… Imam Suhaib can correct me if I'm wrong.

  • salam
    First of all thank you sooo much… im 16 and go to high school and i wear a hijab but i didn’t know why… i finally learned why from you yesterday. The problem is alot of people ask ” why do you wear a ‘turban’ on your head”?but I dont have an answer. how can i explain it why in a way that would relate to teens or todays world?

    • Salam, hi! I’m sixteen as well.

      Perhaps you can say, I cover my hair/body FIRST and foremost as I believe God asked me to do so.

    • dear sister

      you should reply that one wears it bcoz this not only include hijab of hair but it also include hijab of eyes, niyyah i.e. intention, heart and thought..
      and it has many positive points first of all it is sunnah, secondly .. it also protect us from many crimes teasings etc etc.. and definitely even if we people donot know the advantages of it we atleast know that it is sunnat and remember every sunnah definitely had one or many advantages

      i hope i answered your question….
      assalamualaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatuhu..

    • You can answer this in your own words. I think you have to first understand the purpose of the hijab in YOUR life. For me, it helped protect me from the traps of society’s standards for women, preserve my modesty and correctly represent myself as a Muslim to others. Maybe you can say…
      -I have a body like everyone else, but I prefer to cover it to preserve my modesty/chastity.
      -I have the freedom to display what I want others to see from me. I choose this.
      -I prefer being honored by my character,intellect,etc. in the sight of God rather than my body. If I take this off, it will interfere with that honor.
      -This helps me represent myself as a Muslim to others. I take pride in my religion.

  • salaam!
    i have an issue regarding a converted muslim who has accepted islam and wears a hijab in fact all her children do also. Although she married a muslim he had never forced her to accept islam in any way. His belif is that one should accept islam through their own accord and marriage must not be used to convert as this is not true conversion. The issue i have is concernining her parents and her hindu family that she had not seen for 30 yrs, she was bought up as a hindu and lived a life of a hindu for 30yrs.
    she has been a practicing muslim for the last fifteen yrs. she has recently made contact with her parents and family via telephone for the first time and has informed them of her well being and that she has changed her religion to a muslim, first reaction from her family was muted to show their resentment but not verably objectected, so she continued liason, and the parental urge of her parents took presidence and they wanted to see her and the family and asked her to come to india, she oblioged by arranging flights etc, but just before leaving she had sent them photos of her self and family all wearing hijab. Then a phone call came from india Parents asking/requesting her not to wear her hijab to visit them in their family home for the duration of her visit (2-3days) because of the local resntment that might be caused by knowing that a local prominant hindu family have a member of their family onverted to a muslim. Remember that the place we are talking about is Gujrat where recently a riot took place between hindus and muslim, where BJP rules all the major states. true there are muslim there but my suggestion is this that she should remove it just for the duration of that trip so that she doesnt cause hardship to her family. Remember they are not asking her to change her reigion but maybe trying to avoid a backlash of hindu hardliners. Infact the hindu family started greeting their daughter with salaam and eid mubaraks with the little knowledge they have of islam.
    However the two eldest children have refused to take off their hijab and are pressuring the mother to accept their stand. I’m saying like she was never forced to accept islam in her life why is she forcing her parents to accept the consequenses of her conversion by local extremest /neighbors etc take out on her parents. She will be gone and they will have to bear the brunt of isolation and whatever backlash that might bring upon them. They are not asking her to deny her religion this is her first vist for almost thirty years the father and mother are hoping to see their daughter and grand children for the first time. they want a peacfull ending to this not a violant repercussion do the deserve this. Can she not tolerate their demand for 2-3 days to keep peace. Please advise

    • I can see why the eldest two are reluctant to take off their hijabs, as I’ve been in a similar position. I would advise the sister and her family to wear Indian attire and use the dupattas to cover their necks and heads, and stay mostly indoors to guard their safety and that of their family. The family is being accommodating, so the sister’s family should know that they need to be accommadating as well.

  • Quote “The hadith of Asmah bin Abi Bakr, mentioned above, found in the Sunnan of Abid Dawood is strengthened by the narrations above as well as the Hadith of Fadil ‘Abbas, the brother of Ibn ‘Abbas, found in Bukhari’s collection that clearly mentions him seeing the face of a woman. Thus, in the face of those two sound narrations, the narration of Asmah found in Abi Dawod’s collection, where the Prophet scolded, her telling her the only thing a pubescent woman should show is, “These two pointing to his face and hands” is at least Hassan li Gharihi or, as our scholars noted, sound.”

    Why is it so vague as to whether it was the FACE and HANDS or the HEAD and HANDS?
    If it was such a Fard to cover the Head why wasn’t made crystal clear like all other Fards?

    I hope I can receive a clear answer otherwise I will lose all hope in our scholars being honest with their Ummah.

    • I second the sister’s question.
      What is the clear proof that the prophet meant the face and hands, not the face and head?

      I have heard/read that the prophet’s demonstration was non-verbal. In other words, he silently pointed at the areas allowed to be visible. Further, the hadith is ahad and not mutawattir.

      A few other questions:

      “In a sound hadith, we have the Prophet ﷺ telling his wife Sawda, “Cover yourself in front of him.” The word he used is ihjabi which means “Cover yourself.” It is an order, and in Islamic law an order means an obligation.”

      An obligation for whom? We know that certain verses of the niqab/hijab in the Quran were directed towards the prophet’s wives, and Sawda(RA) was a wife of the prophet. So how is this hadith a proof of a general command for all Muslim women?

      “A proof for Hijab (and not Niqab) is found in al-Bukhari’s collection where one of the companions could not remember a woman’s name. He said, “I cannot recall her name, but I remember the mole on her face.”

      How is this a proof for hijab? This might be a proof against the necessity of niqab, since he saw her face…but it is not definitive proof of hijab. The hadith simply mentions that he remembered her face, it does not state whether her hair was uncovered or not.

      If I say, for example, that my sisters face seemed happy today…it is no proof whatsoever of whether she was wearing a hijab. It’s simply left unmentioned and could be either/or. It’s not proof of anything beyond that she was not wearing the niqab.

      “In another narration, found in al-Bukhari’s collection as well as Malik’s Muwatta, we find the hadith of Habibba bin Sahl. She needed to speak to the Prophet ﷺ so she waited for him after the morning prayer. When the Prophet ﷺ approached her, he could not recognize her because she was completely covered [in Niqab] as noted by al-Baji. The Prophet ﷺ asked her, “Who are you?” This is one of the many proofs that, as the Hanbali school holds, a woman should cover her entire body save her eyes.”

      Again, how is that a proof of anything? If the verses of Quran dealing with niqab were addressed to the prophets wives and there is no other Quran or hadith making it a general command to all Muslim women, then all this narration proves is that this one woman happened to emulate the prophets wives. It doesn’t prove a command for all women to wear niqab whatsoever.

      There are plenty of hadith where the prophet was approached by numerous women individually or in groups and he KNEW exactly who they were…which would mean they weren’t wearing niqab. So how do the Hanbalis answer that?

      I’m not trying to say whether hijab is obligatory or not. I’m no scholar, and it’s not appropriate for me to attempt to make such declarations. All I’m saying is the “proof’s” I’ve highlighted here seem really weak to be frank, so I’m asking questions.

      The one brother quoted the Quranic ayah”:

      “And say to the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their private parts, and cover their necks and chest with their khimar (head covering).”

      ..this I accept w/o any questions and it seems a solid proof. I am not Maliki and don’t believe in amal e Madinah…but I’m open to believing that the majority practice of Muslims everywhere in the first centuries of Islam was probably on target. So that together with this QURANIC ayah AND Asma’s (RA) hadith is probably the best and most solid proof.

      The other proofs given seem like grasping for straws to be honest…and I mean no disrespect to Imam Suhaib in saying that. They just seem really, really weak…

      • Excellent response. I agree. The quranic verse is the best proof that Hijab is mandatory. All the other Hadith seem weak. At best they give support for why niqab is not mandatory. I hope Br. Suhaib Webb reponds to your comment.

        • How is this quranic verse about the hijab? Allah does not mention the uncles on the mother side nor the father side in this passage in surah Nur. This passage about covering the breats because in Arabia women wore dresses with long slits and when she’d bend, her breats would show. So Allah ordered women to cover the “Juyoub”, the opening of the dress, and gave permission to show in front of husband, father and father-in-law..etc because these are the people a woman can happen to live with and at the same time nurse a child. The uncles are not included in this verse, but the scolars add them because they are mehram. If this verse was about Hijab, Allah would have added the uncles to the list of people. And Allah knows better.

    • All I read here is what this scholar saids or what the Hadiths say,But have we foregotten about what God has to say,(Quran)the complete book easy to understand.What does God say Asalaamu Alaikum

  • Greetings Suhaib Webb~ Although not a Muslim, I am intending to marry a Muslim man in the near future. Thank you for your insightful remarks concerning the wearing of the hijab. Once I am married, I would like to accompany my new husband to Friday prayer (recognizing that the women pray seperately). I am planning to wear the hijab for this service out of respect, but am also wondering about the rules concerning this. It is not my intention to convert & I’m sort of wondering how exactly to present myself to folks in the Muslim community. Perhaps others, reading this post, who have experience with this could respond. I would also like to hear your comments concerning recent bans on wearing the niqab (here’s a link to one article about what is going on in Canada & I know that France has had similar issues: http://blog.taragana.com/law/2010/03/31/women-refusing-to-remove-niqab-in-canada-will-be-charged-21179/)

    @ WB~ concerning the Hindu revert to Islam. Did she marry her Muslim husband prior to changing her faith? My reason for asking is that my fiance and I have just gone through several months of conversations with 3 Islamic scholars to get a Fatwa for our marriage (I am a non-Jewish, non-Christian monotheist with a belief system similar to the Hanifs). Naturally, I hope this woman and her children will be safe during their travels to India and I will be holding them in prayer, knowing that God is both guiding them in their decisions and protecting them and their family in India.


    • Assalamu alaikom Cynthia. Please ask anything you want to know. We often have non-Muslims at my mosque. Some come not necessarily to convert, but to learn about Islam. Since you are marrying a Muslim, it would be good for both of you to understand his beliefs. See if the mosque has any women’s classes and go to one of those, if there is. We’ve had people take the classes for many months and there was no expectation of them becoming a Muslim, if that is not what they want. Okay, we hope and pray they will, lol. But this way, you will meet some sisters who can show you what to do. If you don’t get to go to a class, maybe your fiance can introduce you to a sister. And if that isn’t possible, just go to Friday prayer (Juma) and follow the women. You can just stay toward the back, if you are not praying and you can see what happens. It’s okay to ask someone in there to explain things to you. Go a bit early and you will probably find yourself talking to someone. Fridays are the only time many of the sisters see each other and there is alot of talking and socializing going on before and after the prayers. Many blessings on your coming marriage!

  • ASAWRWB Brother Suhaib. I must admit, I look at your aqidah as somewhat liberal in certain things, but this was a most excellent, beautiful, and eloquent posting. JazakumAllahu Khair brother.

  • Salam Alaikum Brother Suhaib,

    I’ve been looking for a strong argument for covering the hair, and unfortunately, still don’t see one in your post. You rather argue more convincingly why a woman need not cover the face or wear niqab. Your proof for Hijab consists of the Prophet SAW telling his wife “ihjabi,” but we already know that the “Verse of Hijab” (33:53) ordains that the Prophet’s SAW wives be fully screened from view (full niqab). Most scholars say that this “Verse of Hijab” is only in reference to the Mothers of the Believers RA.

    Your argument would be more convincing if there was a sound hadith in which the Prophet SAW said “ihjabi” to a woman who was not his wife.

    So what about other women? – Does the verse of Jilbab (33:59) require that all women cover their hair? Are there evidences beyond this that the Prophet told general women (NOT his wives) to cover themselves (beyond the hadith of Asma which scholars deem as weak)?

    Thank you for your response,

    • Wa ‘alaikumus-salaam,

      I’d like to point out my comment which is posted below, listing a variety of the ahadeeth which prove the obligation of wearing hijaab (i.e. covering the hair and the rest of the bdoy).

    • This is the ruling that I have found to be is the most solid proof for the requirement of the hijab. I started hijab considering it a requirement based on the hadith from Asma where Prophet Muhammad (saw)and ayah 31 from surah Nur because I did not know the meaning of the word “khimar” which is in the ayah. The translations mostly do not say what that is, but it is in fact a head covering. Quoting this from another poster above:

      “All praise be to Allah, jazakumallahu khairan Imam Suhaib. One more daleel for the legal obligation of the Hijab, in fact the main proof, the verse from Surah Noor:

      “And say to the believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their private parts, and cover their necks and chest with their khimar (head covering).”

      The khimar is what the Sahabiaat women used to cover their hair. The verse is affirming that they must wear the khimar and in addition, cover their necks and chest with it.

      And Allah knows best.”

    • Allahu’alim, the Qur’an is very clear in several places referring to hijab but the mufassireen make it even more clear for us so that we do not end up interpreting as we feel, but rather as we ought.

      “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:31).

      “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)

      at the time these verses were revealed, the women were imitating christian women, wearing a veil on their heads with the chest open, so they were told ( in the Qur’an linguistically) take your head scarf/veil and cover your bosoms (juyubihinna). This is why the khimar comes down to at least this length.

      Also, once the verses of hijaab were revealed each companion went home and explained it to his wives, and according to the way they understood it they covered their faces ( I wear the niqaab but I am not able to say that it is obligatory, I do so for extra credit and I have found that it is better for me and others if I wear it, Allahu’alim) and Aisha (RA) praised them in a hadith in bukhaari, she said when the women of the ansar heard the verses they tore their aprons and covered their faces. so whatever they understood at the time, at least the majority of the ansariyyah were wearing niqaab. However, I have said what I have said proving hijab alone, as far as I know, and I do take the opinion of the late and great muhaddith of our time Shaykh Al Albaani that is is mustahhab Allahu’alim, at the same time, there is quite a debate among the knowledgeable about whether niqaab is waajib or not I believe bin baaz and uthaymeen rahimahullah say it is wajib and the opinions of the scholars are not to be neglected since they are the inheritors of the prophets Allahu’alim. So, something on a smaller scale such as hijab must be a no brainer. I think brother Webb may have spent so much time talking about why niqaab is not fard/wajib because this is the general consensus among salaafis, but again, the great muhaddith of our time wrote a great exposition of ahadith and explanations describing women at the time having shown their faces without it being sinful, however, there is not a scholar worth his salt who would say that there is no proof for hijab or that it is not obligatory, hijab meaning to loosely cover all save the face and hands after the wrists. Only in the hanafi school of thought does it say that a woman can show her feet and not even directly….it says this based upon the ayat ” what normally appears thereof” so like if the wind blows or something and you can see the sister’s figure it is no fault of hers, but most every other scholar says a woman must cover all save her face and hands in front of non mahrams and more than this is better Allahu’alim. The Qur’an also says women passed the age of child bearing may discard their outergarments but it is better for them to keep them and Allah knows best. A woman cannot even pray and acceptable prayer without her hijab ( unless there is some extenuating circumstance where she cannot find clothing like extreme poverty or being pursued by an enemy, in such a case she could pray unveiled whilst running! Allahu’alim.

  • I applaud the questioner for being brave and asking this question because without asking and then listening to the answers, from respected scholars like Imam Webb, one cannot get rid of their doubts. Of course, Imam Suhaib Webb answered it beautifully!

  • Assalamuaykum;
    With regard to the problem facing the sister coming from hindu family, I think you should advise the daugters to take the hijab off temporarily for the trip. Else leave them at home. Do this for the sake of security to your hindu family as well as for daawah. Let’s say you bring the two daughters along and they wear their hijabs and later your hindu family suffer hostile reactions from the neighbors. Then what will your hindu family think of their muslim family and islam in general. Firstly, they will think you disrespect them and have no concern for their safety at all whereas they are the ones who are trying to improve family relationship. To them hijab is a small piece of clothing and therefore what so big deal about it. But what have you done to them is disrespectful and no appreciation to the love and care that they have given you. Of course I’m talking about the hindu parents.
    Remember the peace treaty of Hudaybiyah between the prophet s.a.w. and the people of Makkah. The prophet s.a.w. started out the writing of the treaty with ‘Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem’ but was objected by the Quraysh people. They say they only knew ‘bismillah’ not ‘Arrahman’ and ‘Arraheem’ and the prophet s.a.w. conceded to their demand. The strength of the muslim ummah at that time was superior to that of Quraysh. Many qabilah outside Makkah have pledge alliance to the prophet s.a.w. In that case, our prophet s.a.w. have shown tolerance and compromise. Islam is not about confrontation, rather asking us to show the beauty of Islam so that we can win some hearts to Islam. After all majority of ulama give excuse to hijab under such circumstances.
    Let’s say we make a mistake by taking off the hijab. Remember Allah S.W.T. is all forgiving and He say this in the Quran, there is no sin that he cannot forgive except the sin of uniting others to Him.
    Consider this; if your hindu family receive you without having to suffer any humiliation from your actions and the people around the neighborhood don’t even know that you’re muslims rather they see your kindness and warmness. Later on they learn that you were already muslim when you visited them. You perhaps gonna win some hearts by your beauty conducts. That I think a good start for daawah.

    • I would have no problem with putting on Indian dress as long as it covered all that is necessary. I could not take my hijab off anymore than I could go out in my underclothes. If my visit put my family at risk, I would stay home. Perhaps the parents could come to visit instead. Islam is not about submission to man. It is submission to Allah (SWT) and taking our hijab off to placate those not following Allah (SWT) can’t be right. Yes I agree, the prophet (pbuh) compromised, but he (pbuh) did not disobey Allah (SWT) to do so. As much as I love them, my family is not more important than Allah (SWT). Again, I am all for a compromise, like the Indian clothes, as long as Islam is still being adhered to.

  • Assalam o alaykum and Ramadan Kareem,
    I’m writing to you from Belgium.
    Ok,probably my problem might sound funny or “weak imaan-ed” matter.But,I still ,would appreciate your opinion as I myself don’t know any better.I am living in a small Belgian town near german border,where openly,practicing Muslim woman have no chance to get a job(accept cleaning out someones houses)as Islamophobia is on march over here. Say,as far you keep your religion privet,it’s not a big problem to cope here.I work at the public prosecutor office,and i know for sure that if i start wearing hijab or expect them to let me pray in the office, i would definitely loose the job.It might sound not a big deal,losing job–>>dunya matters vc hereafter …But,I escaped war in Chechnya and came over here as a refugee,i don’t have parents or family members living next door to provide for my needs,say…if I won’t go out of the house to provide for my self,no one will do it for me.I am not “crying over my fate” over here,really,I accept anything Allah does,with the help of Allah ,I am doing well,Alhamdulillah.I stay away from Haraam,and actually I am not a weak person.But I am pushed by the society to practice my deen in the privacy of my home.I am not comfortable doing so,it feels like i am hiding,and me being weak to stand for my religion & principals.But…what shell I do? any time i pray on Dua I ask forgiveness of this behavior,but i feel so down because of this.I feel my self deceived & extorted somehow…I am sorry again if i sound childish or something…but i just had to speak it out.
    P.S sorry for my poor English.

  • Seda have u considered making plans to a country where u can easily practice yur faith? Maybe turkey or egypt or malaysia to name a few?

  • Jazakillah khayr for this article.

    In regards to the hadith used as an evidence for hijab and not niqab, was this incident reported before the verses of hijab were revealed or after (surah ahzab and surah noor)? Also, is there any other incident that we know of from the time close to Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam death or the time during the khalifah of Abu Bakr or Omar radiAllah anhuma because that will be a more solid proof for hijab and not niqab. JazakAllah khayr.

    • May Allah make it easy for you dear sister as some societies are anti religion of Islam…May Allaah put light in them to accept Islam as a true religion

  • There is an astounding number of ahadeeth which point to the obligation of wearing the hijab, and the preference to wear niqaab as well.
    Amongst these ahadeeth are:

    Hadith – Bukhari 6:282

    ‘Aisha used to say: “When (the Verse): ‘They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,’ was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.”

    Hadith – Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin

    When the verse “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons” was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.

    Hadith – Abu Dawud, Narrated Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi
    The Apostle of Allah was brought some pieces of fine Egyptian linen and he gave me one and said: Divide it into two; cut one of the pieces into a shirt and give the other to your wife for veil. Then when he turned away, he said: And order your wife to wear a garment below it and not show her figure.

    Hadith – Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah, Narrated ‘Aisha. [In his work Jilbab al-Ma’rah al-Muslimah, al-Albani states (p. 108) that it is hasan due to corroborating evidence. Also, in a narration from Asma, Asma also covered her face at all times in front of men.]

    Narrated ‘Aisha (RA) who said, “The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah ). When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we would uncover our faces.”

  • Salam Alaikum Brother Suhaib,

    Maybe sisters just need to accept that its prohibited to not wear the hijab and that their refusal will come with certain consequences in the afterlife. What is not really clear at ,least from I have read, is whether wearing the Hijab is the make or break religious obligation for a women. Could a woman who prays, fasts during Ramadan, gives sakaat, and does Hajj save herself from the hell-fire I am inclined to say yes, but I like to hear the scholarly interpretation about this question.


    Yusef Ibrahim (New Convert)

    • salams,

      I don’t think if a sister doesnt wear hijab it means she’s headed to hell. everyone in the world does things they shouldn’t, not just someone who isn’t wearing a headscarf.

      • let’s keep things in perspective, there are minor sins and there are major sins, our minor sins alhamdulillah can be washed away from wudhu to wudhu, can be prayed away from one salaat to the next, can be fasted away from one ramadan to the next, can be completely forgiven after umrah, one jumuah to the next, according to a hadith which i believe can be found in Bukhaari, however, major sins are with Allah subhaana hu wa ta’aala, and not wearing hijab is a major sin that is high up on the list of major sins. replace it with fornication and see what it looks like, or with murder, because hijab is around these on the list as is being disobedient to the parents, things we think are small due to our exposure to them, but in the sight of Allah are enormities… can it be forgiven by Ar Rahman? NO DOUBT! But without repentance or deciding in yourself that its not all that bad, well, then the very pillar of taubah has been missed. without sincere istaghfar and taubah from the major sins we really can’t say, but it is better to stay as far away as we can from the major sins, I would be afraid for some one fornicating throughout the day through ramadan just like I would be for a sister not wearing hijab throughout ramadan, because during this month, bad deeds, like good deeds, are heavier and exaggerated in reward/punishment, may Allah help us to always remember who we are sinning against when we deem our sins small.Everyone one does things they shouldn’t you are right, but some worse than others, we need to save ourselves from being among the major wrong doers. and hijab is not just a headscarf, there are many people, muslims and non muslims alike who wear headscarves but are not in hijab. Allahu’alim

        • Assalamu alaikum I agree when you say that there are many people who wear headscraves but are not in hijab. Surely our deeds and what is in our hearts are what matters most? Only Allah can judge us at the end of the day. Surrender and obedience to Allah and not to dictatorship by humans is what matters and when we stay close to Allah surely we will ‘know’ what to do? Ramadan Kareem

        • Salam,
          How can not wearing hijab be classed a major sin? I have not been made aware that there is any punishment in islam specified for failing to observe hijab. Is there one specified I am unaware of? Major sins like murder, fornication, etc, have detailed explanations of punishments in the afterlife, and for many specify punishments on earth, which communicates the seriousness of the sin. If Allah has not mentioned any punishment for improper hijab, how can we make it so important?

  • Well I am totally confused. I have been hearing lately that the Holy Qur’an is the only hadith to listen to; the Word of Allah. The hijab is such a contentious issue and many women are now saying that the hijab is not mandatory. Sisters are persecuted for wearing it and also not wearing it. What to do? Many women in the western world are choosing when to wear it and when not to. I am told that the directive in the Qur’an says that it only means the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) have to wear hijab.
    Ramadam Kareem

  • Salaam,

    Jazakallah khair br. Suhaib Webb for your article and everyone who contributed positively to this discussion. I am wondering if anyone can shed light on the matter of wearing hijab/niqab in places where it has been legislated as banned such as in Quebec government buildings or state schools in France? Does our requirement (as muslims) to abide by the laws of the land in which we reside overrule the obligation of hijab?

    Secondly, would someone be able to clarify the post-pubescent women’s responsibility to dress appropriately within the home? I understand that women need not cover in front of their fathers, brothers, and other mahram men, however I am not sure to what extent. For instance, it would seem appropriate that a woman may wear short pants and a sleeveless shirt in front of her sisters, however what is the right behavior in front of her [biological] brothers? I would appreciate any knowledge on the matter as these are things I’ve wanted to know for a long time but have not been able to.

    May Allah forgive us for that which we do not know.

    • Assalamu alaikum sister, I’m sure that Br Suhaib will provide a more appropriate answer for you but I would like to offer a comment regarding your second paragraph. It’s my opinion that modesty still applies in ones family home and especially where brothers and sisters are concerned and especially from puberty onwards or even before. The family home is the starting place to teach all children about modesty and appropriate boundaries. Teaching them as much as we can about these important issues will assist them enormously in the outside world and into their own families. How much to cover up though is the descretion of practicing muslim parents and Allah knows best. I am a convert to Islam and my own childhood was short on boundaries and the lesson was very difficult for me as a young adult so it’s something I feel strong about. We are so responsible for our children and Allah has given them to us for safe keeping and education. May the Blessings of Ramadan be with you and your family.

  • The point made that there is no direct decisive proof that makes hijab obligatory is something that did pass my mind often times.

    Also i have some questions on the two verses related:

    (….and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.)(24:31)

    Here in this, except for the part “their headcovers over their chest”, the rest of it is in specific reference to not exposing the “adornments”. The exceptions related thereafter is in specific reference to this “adornment”.

    Now, is “adornments” anything beyond jewelry and such added ornaments? The last part of the verse on not stamping the feet, does seem to indicate that this is what the meaning of adornment is. On what basis then is these rules on exposing “adornments” expanded into rules on covering the whole body ?

    From the outward sense to me then, only covering the chest and added ornaments is suggested. The implied context on the usage of headcover, to cover the chest, does not make it clear as to whether the headcover should be necessarrily worn. It is possible that it is mere suggestion that the headcover can be used as a tool to cover the chest. The verse does not seem to order the usage of headcover as it ordered the covering of the chest. It only presumed the usage of it without any order to necessarily wear one or even suggesting a preference to wear one.


    The other verse:

    (…. and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.)(33:59)

    Here the purpose of this command to wear jilbab is made by revelation itself. The purpose is to be “known” and “not be abused”. So therefore the explanations that this is to gaurd the modesty or prevent sexual temptations don’t come directly from this verse and would require added proof if this specific purpose of jilbab is to be expanded into such meanings decisively.

    Now this specific purpose of being “known” has to imply to being identified, and from the commentary, to be identified differently from the slave women. From what I read the slave women at the time even used to have the chest kept bare open and the order of any sort of covering was not applied on the slave women. This practise is not surpsring since in places in India this was common among Hindus untill recent century, that lower class women had to keep open their breast while upper class covered it up. So it still wonders me whether the jilbab was intended with the purpose I hear commonly associated with it, rather than just in context to be known from the slaves in this narrow way.

    The purpose of “abuse” similarly can have multiple interpretations and require decisive proof if we are to expand it to necessarily mean some sort of protection from sexual abuse or stares of strangers or horny men, as it seems the revelation was in specific context to being abused as a slave women facing abuse at that time.

    Finally the questions do come up,

    – what would the ruling be, if the jilbab becomes a source of abuse and thereby defys the specific intended purpose of it ? What is the state of a revealed law with specific purpose, when the law becomes a barrier to achievement of the prupose?

    – what is the state of the ruling, when the practise of slavery no longer exists?

    – what is the proof that the jilbab has to necessarliy meet a certain criteria of covering up so and so skin, rather than that sufficient to be known and prevent abuse ?

  • Another point is that, the face and even eyes are more attractive then the hair. Yet there is disagreement over covering the face but not over the hair. Thus this dilemma makes it seem that the temptation argument often and mostly used is over stretched and divertionery.

  • Sallam Br. Webb,

    Could you send me some resources on understanding the methodologies of the various schools? It would be very helpful.

    I understand that the companions may have worn hijab, but I am unclear as to whether that means it’s an obligation. The interpretation of Asma’s hadith seems a bit dubious to me, since I was always under the impression that in Islam something is generally considered halal unless expressly forbidden. Just because a man describes a woman by her mole doesn’t mean that her hair wasn’t showing. It may just have been a distinctive feature, far easier than simply saying “That woman with dark hair,” since that description may fit multiple people.

    I do believe that scarf represents the most excellent form of physical modesty, but also believe that if such a practice would be damaging to a woman’s spirit because she hasn’t yet reached that level of devotion, then it would most likely be best for her to abstain and work on her inner iman first. Not a scholar though, Allah knows best.

  • An interesting article. My understanding is the wifes of the prophet (pbuh) and many other women covered their faces because Allah asked them to in surah al ahzab. The beleiving women used to get harrased by the monafekeen, so for protection, they were asked to cover everything except the eyes or one eye.

    I am still unable to find a convincing hadith that explicitly states that a woman has to cover everything except face and hands. The Hadith of Ibn Fadil that he noticed the mole on the face doesn’t prove that the Hijab is compulsory. There’s the hadith of Jaabir who reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, let him do so.”

    Doesn’t this also mean that a women did not have everything covered so as a man can find something in her which will encourage him to marry her, like the hair for example?

  • I have a friend who’s daughter wears a hijab.She is in 6th grade I’m new to Islam, and I also have a daughter(2 years). When should she start wearing her hijab? Should she start in Middle School or younger?And also, before , I attended sports and participated in them. Now, with a hijab, can I still exercise?And how can I?
    Thank You

  • I am wondering, because i want to join the military, and they said i can not wear my Hijab while in my uniform. Somebody please give me an opinion on what i should do

    • assalamu alaykum sister,
      i do not think that it is ideal for a muslimah to be a part of the military itself…pls send you question to islamqa.com or the website that you trust….muslim women can work, but her roles as a good wife and mother comes first

    • I do not know what military you intend to join, but please, please, please read about the treatment of women in the military. Rape is rampant, and if you are protected from rape, mistreatment and dishonor are statistically likely to be your lot.

      I sincerely suggest you avoid joining the military at all costs.

      Allah keep you.

  • Assalam Alaikum,

    Isn’t the Hadith from Dawoodcollection, Mursal, broken at the key juncture? why don’t advocates of hijab hide this fact while making their case?

  • Assalamu alaykum,

    what is the ruling on wearing nice clothes? eg colourful hijabs and fancy ‘designer’ abaya/jilbab as long as they cover properly? Also is it ok to wear coloured abaya, in saudi arabia it is only allowed to wear black?

  • Asalamu ahlaykum Imam Suhaib Webb

    My question to you is does a Muslim woman have to wear a nigab or put a screen in front of her when doing public speaking to nonmahram men and women? Such as, giving an Islamic lecture or reciting Islamic poetry? I already wear hijab and jilbab is this enough? Please respond back to me as soon as you can. Jazzakah Allah hukheir.;)

  • Dear Br. Suhaib Webb,

    I have been happily wearing hijab for 10+ years, however recently (2-3 years) I have developed a painful scalp disease that is exasperated from keeping my hair tied up and wearing a hijab.

    I have tried everything from seeing dermatalogists, medications, to nature remedies, to different hajib styles, methods, etc. However, I cannot find a way to sub-due the intense pain from my scalp.

    The only way to deal with this pain is to remove the hijab. (I removed hijab for 10 days while being in a remote location and found that the pain was gone).

    I know that in some cases if you have a medical ailment we are excused from fasting. Can this be held the same way with regards to Hijab? In my case I have a rare scalp disorder. Will I be sinned for this? I am not sure what to do about my situation.

    Jazakallahu Kheir

    • Please see an internist about your issue as well, I am afraid it might have a rheumatological cause.

      Allah heal you.

  • Salam alaikum brothers and sisters.

    Read Ayat 24:31. When this ayat was revealed, ALL believing women understood it to mean to cover their bodies with a cloak. And these sahabas were the best of all ages in terms of their understanding of Islam because they learnt directly from the greatest of all human teachers.

    Stop looking for loopholes. The Lord of the Worlds has commanded you to wear the hijab. End of discussion.

    Fee amanillah wa Salaam alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

  • I don’t understand why legal analysis in Islamic law is a simple. Is this seriously your legal analysis of why hijab is fard? I’m not convinced. Could you please expand on your reasoning that gets you to your conclusion? I think the Muslim community has a right to hear such reasoning, don’t you think? If the Supreme Court of the United States can issue 60 page opinions for the public to scrutinize on abortion, why don’t our Muslim scholars reveal their methodology and legal analysis on such a contentious issue like hijab?


    • Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Trying to make it complicated is an easy way out. It is pretty simple-and there is a unanimous consensus that hijab is required.

  • Assalamu alaykum,
    The equivalent of hijab to men is for men to wear a fabric around the head and the face and go out in the world to work and shop for a month in the west and then come back to tell us what you think and how you feel. Don’t need to wear thobe. Just wrap fabric around your head and face And see the reactions that you will get from people. How do you feel when people give you either a pity, suspicious look. See how strong you can handle it and imagine facing that everyday for the rest of your life. So easy for men to dictate to women. I understand you have the obligation to protect but my spirit and my self has far greater need to go out there and not have to fight this battle of prejudice every single day of my life. I am very modest in my appearance and my conduct and I am a very responsible person. My sense of self slowly crumble when people don’t even want to make I contact with me. Is a piece of fabric over my head determine my modesty after I wear clothes that cover my arms up to my wrist and legs up to my ankle and very high neckline. In top of that my clothes are far looser than some who has fabrics over their head. Come on where is our sense of balance in thinking let alone our critical thinking. Are we so weak that we think so superficially and far too literal. May Allah forgive me for my mistakes.

  • Asalaam Alaikium,
    I wear niquab and live in midwest of U.S.A.I am an american citizen,however revert to Islam.Finding a job is very trying especially in a state like Indiana.I would sacrifice the niquab,Allah Hu Ahad,even then it it quite trying wearing hijab to find a job.On top of all that I feel literally barren w/o niquab.Much prayer,dua,and thikr have gone into what seems this hopeless search.I do know whatever is in store for me..Allah is the very best of planners.Some advise or tips would be spectacular.Wasalaaam Alaikium.

    • wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا

      And whoever fears(has taqwa) Allah – He will make for him a way out

      وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ
      And will provide for him from where he does not expect.

  • A.S.A where specifically does the Quran instruct women to hijab/niqab. I ask this because the custom of being covered was already practiced by the wealthy women of Mecca and indicated their station. Since they were covered it indicated they did not work out in the sun as most women did and their skin remained fair.

    I know the Prophet’s PBUH wife covered herself but the 1st Masjid was in their home & after her death women began honoring her by wearing the hijab. I ask not to argue but to be able to point in my Quran the why, the bible is clear about women keeping their head covered/modesty where is this in the Quran, I’ve yet to find it. When I ask questions a Hadith or Sunnah is quoted by not the Quran

  • I want to know two things, first why weren’t slaves who became Muslim allowed to wear hijab/ khimar under the rulings of the caliphate, and two if not wearing hijab is a major sin why is there no dictated punishment found in the Quran for application in the dunya?

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  • Tackling Islamophobia? Allah has mentioned a solution of it in the Qur’an,

    “Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves – [the angels] will say, “In what [condition] were you?” They will say, “We were oppressed in the land.” The angels will say, “Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?” For those, their refuge is Hell – and evil it is as a destination.” [4:97]

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