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.

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369 Comments

  1. mayriana says:

    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.

    • LAURIE LYNGEN says:

      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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

      • Amatullah says:

        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.

        • me too says:

          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.

        • Karen says:

          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.

        • Schvach says:

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

        • Appalled says:

          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]

        • Amira says:

          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.

        • Amira says:

          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.

        • Ibrahim says:

          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.

      • Shazia Ahmad says:

        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

        • Amatullah says:

          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.

        • mariam says:

          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?

        • Schvach says:

          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’.

        • Gia Daniel says:

          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?

      • Maryem says:

        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.

      • African says:

        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!

        • Ayeshter says:

          To African and Karen and Me Too.

          I compleatly agree with all of you. Alhumdillah, you guys are out there!

        • Makzhoum says:

          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!!

      • Moiz says:

        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.

      • Denise says:

        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

      • Sabqat says:

        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.

      • VivaPalestina says:

        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

      • Maria says:

        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.

      • Concerned Muslim says:

        Tell your husband to grow his beard. That’s what the Prophet (saw) commanded every Muslim male to do.

      • Em says:

        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?

    • sister Khalilah says:

      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.

    • Schvach says:

      Here is a link to a testimonial written by a young man about the significance of hijab. It’s in pdf format; the article is found on page 8:
      http://www.iec-houston.org/newsletter/wahdatnov10.pdf

    • ssyedb says:

      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

    • Umm Aaron says:

      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.

    • Ingrid says:

      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.

  2. smiley333 says:

    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.

    • Nahla A. Hussein says:

      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!

    • LAURIE LYNGEN says:

      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.

  3. Maryam says:

    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!!

    • Muslim says:

      Beard isn’t mention in the Quran, but Hijab is. beard is sunnah, optional, Hijab is compulsory.

      • Melissa says:

        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.

        • LAURIE LYNGEN says:

          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.

        • Amatullah says:

          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.”

    • smiley333 says:

      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

    • Ayeshter says:

      Absolutely agree!!!!

    • Em says:

      Sister Maryam you have spoken the truth.

  4. sound heart says:

    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>>>>>>>>>

  5. LAURIE LYNGEN says:

    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.

    • Shazia Ahmad says:

      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.suhaibwebb.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

  6. Amatullah says:

    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.

    • Em says:

      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.

  7. striving muslimah says:

    thank you. jazaki Allahu khayran. I really needed this.

  8. Hannah says:

    @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” :-o … 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…..

  9. Amina says:

    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…

    • Heat says:

      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?

  10. Yusuf says:

    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

  11. Eesa says:

    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

  12. smiley333 says:

    could someone let me know what hadith explains hijab? I’d like to take a look myself
    Thank you in advance

    • sunniswagger says:

      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..

      • Em says:

        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.

  13. Amina says:

    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

  14. z says:

    aslm alkm

    I would also recommend taking a few minutes and reading this article :

    http://www.muhajabah.com/whyhijab.htm

    May Allah swt make it easy on all of us Ameen.

  15. HH says:

    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^^

  16. z says:

    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.

  17. CM says:

    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.

    • AI says:

      ^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.”

      • Moiz says:

        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.

    • Em says:

      LOL. Very well said. Very true sister. Makes me sad.

  18. jamicam says:

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

  19. danya says:

    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.

    • Rehana says:

      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!

  20. Sakan As Sakoot says:

    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.

    • AI says:

      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.

    • Heat says:

      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.

  21. Dar says:

    i think wearing the Hijab encourages other sisters to wear the Hijab as well.

  22. Sister says:

    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.

  23. Rehana says:

    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 :)

    • danya says:

      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.

      • Rehana says:

        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

  24. blueskies says:

    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

  25. Farah Naeem says:

    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.

  26. Mohamed says:

    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.

  27. Islam says:

    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.

  28. hijabi says:

    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

  29. sara maheen says:

    jazakallah,this article helps me alot,im also facing sometimes this type of problems…

  30. Baffled says:

    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.

    • Mohamade says:

      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.

    • hasan says:

      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!

    • Muhammad Rizwan says:

      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.

    • Em says:

      Very true – good points Baffled. Thank you.

  31. Umm Aaron says:

    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.

  32. HIJABLESS MUSLIMAH says:

    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!

    • Amatullaah says:

      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?

      • Em says:

        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.

  33. Honourable Pathan says:

    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.

    • New Muslimah says:

      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.

    • Aminah says:

      You have made a very good point brother.JazakALLAH kyran for your input!

    • Em says:

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

  34. Rubina says:

    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!

  35. umm abdillah says:

    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.

  36. sadia says:

    Assalamu Alaikum.sis

    I appreciate your goods answers and thanks to Allah
    may Allah show us the good path

  37. khasa says:

    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..

  38. Salam says:

    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.

  39. azeem says:

    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.

    • Em says:

      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!!

  40. A girl who's also struggling says:

    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.

    • Rehana says:

      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

  41. Omar says:

    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.

    • Omar says:

      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.

  42. Sarah says:

    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.

  43. Alicia says:

    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

  44. Sara says:

    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.

  45. New Muslimah says:

    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.

  46. Asma says:

    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.

  47. Anonymous says:

    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.

    • Someone says:

      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.

  48. Friend says:

    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

  49. a3 says:

    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

    • Someone says:

      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.

  50. Salaar says:

    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

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