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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375 Comments

  1. Riaz Syed says:

    Respected sister

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

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

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

  2. Riaz Syed says:

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

  3. Veronica says:

    Assalamo Aleykom! Good Morning from California,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Peace to all.

    • Maryam Hajar says:

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

    • Sherifa says:

      Dear Sister,

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

    • Athena says:

      Veronica,

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

    • Shafiq Ansari says:

      Salaam Alaikum,

      Don’t worry about fatwas, the Prophet said to follow your heart (Nawawi’s 40 Hadith).

    • ruslan says:

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

      • ad says:

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

      • Samy says:

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

      • Em says:

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

    • Deanuro says:

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

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

  5. Judith says:

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

  6. Abd says:

    Dear sister Veronica,

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

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

  7. Nawaz Ghouri says:

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

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

  8. Maria says:

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

    • Rita says:

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

    • avi says:

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

    • Deanuro says:

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

    • Em says:

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

  9. Maryam-Haleema says:

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

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

    Also when we examinate the following Ayat:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Sara says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        ”What is prevalent today is the opposite.”

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

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

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

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

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

        • Amatullah2 says:

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

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

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

    • Rizwan says:

      May Allah swt forgive me if im wrong, but im sure Zulqarnain (as) wasnt a prophet

      • Rizwan says:

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

        • Naeem says:

          Zulqarnian might be a Prophet. He had all the traits of a prophet as mentioned in the Quran.

        • Zahara says:

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

    • Elizabeth says:

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

    • Abu Zejd says:

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

      Abu Zejd

  10. Maryam-Haleema says:

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

  11. Thajur says:

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

    • Maryam-Haleema says:

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

      • Sara says:

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

        Hijab is timeless.

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

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

  12. Rose says:

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

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

    • Julie says:

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

    • Wendy says:

      Salaam Alaykum Sister Maryam.

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

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

      JAzaakAllah khair for your time and your story.

      Masalaam.

  14. Rose says:

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

  15. Amina says:

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

  16. Amatullah2 says:

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

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

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

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

    • Amatullah2 says:

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

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

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

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

      • Sabah says:

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

        • Amatullah2 says:

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

        • Aminah says:

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

    • Em says:

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

  18. I fogot! Again thanks to the moderator of this group. You are the best Moderator! We just love you :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Concerning your statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Amatullah2 says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Sara says:

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

  20. Dyhia says:

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

    Salam

  21. Fatima says:

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

    • Salaam alaykum dear sister,

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

      • Danish Wani says:

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

      • Aminah says:

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

  22. MaryamHajar says:

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

    • Salaam alaykum Sis. MaryamHajar,

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

      • Sabah says:

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

      • fatima says:

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

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

        • Sister Fatima, do you contradict this:

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

    • To MaryamHajar says:

      wa alaykum as salam warahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

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

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

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

  23. Agree with Fatima says:

    Asalam alaikum.

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

    Speaking without knowledge is really dangerous to do.

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

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

    • Em says:

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

  24. Souad says:

    Assalmu Alaikoum,

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

    • To Souad says:

      wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmat Allah wa barakath,

      Watch this. I think it will speak directly to your situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRWqb4vDFmg

    • fatima says:

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

      • Sabah says:

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

    • Salaam alaykum dear sister Souad,

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

    • Em says:

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

  25. umm ibrahim says:

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

  26. Bazigha says:

    Sister Maryam Haleema
    I applaud you for the courage to speak your mind .A breath of fresh air

  27. Souad says:

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

    • Danish Wani says:

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

  28. hamizah says:

    N what other excuse? N it is 2 Allah subhanahu wataala we submit.

  29. Amatullah2 says:

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

  30. nmcan says:

    Assalamalaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu,

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

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

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

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

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

  31. Nor'ashikin Ali says:

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

  32. Anonymous says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Elizabeth says:

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

    • Karen says:

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

    • Reem says:

      To Anonymous,

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

    • Em says:

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

  33. The Stranger says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  34. The Stranger says:

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

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

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

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

  35. Johanna says:

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

  36. Green says:

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

  37. Sa'adah Masrukin says:

    Assalaamu’alaykum Sister Green,

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

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

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

  38. Aisha says:

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

  39. Aisha says:

    What does the word “hijab” really mean?

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

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

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

  40. Rafia says:

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

  41. Sakina says:

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

    • Isra says:

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

  42. beatriz says:

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

  43. Neen says:

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

  44. Amatullah2 says:

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

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

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

  45. Muslima says:

    To Zahara:

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

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

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

    Private beach or family backyard, different issue.

    Allah knows best.

  46. MG says:

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

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

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

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

  47. Imane says:

    Dear sisters and brothers in Islam and in Humanity,

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

  48. Fshakil says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I would really appreciate any answers,

    Jazakallah Khair

  49. Karina says:

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

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

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

    • Mohamed says:

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

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

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

  50. I'm a man says:

    Salam.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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