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. khadeejah says:

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

    • Mariam says:

      Dear khadeejah,

      I am in a similar position as you and would like to make contact if possible…

      Mariam: surgis@iway.na

    • Pia says:

      Wa alaikum as salam,
      very well said and very nice what you wrote!

    • Ayah says:

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

    • Adja says:

      Salaam dear sister Khadeejah,

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

    • Anieza Noor says:

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

      • aamir says:

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

    • BerserkHijabi says:

      You are incredible MashaAllah. May Allah shower His blessings on you and make your path easy :)

    • Ayla says:

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

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

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

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

    • Abdullah says:

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

  2. ayiesha murtaza says:

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

  3. Umrah says:

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

  4. UmJibreel says:

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

  5. Rodayna says:

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

    • Sun says:

      @ Rodayna,

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

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

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

      Wa Assalam alaikum wa rahmato Allah

    • Salam says:

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

    • Boshra says:

      Wa alakum Alslam ,,

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

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

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

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

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

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

  6. Muslimah says:

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

  7. CatherineLJ says:

    Assalaamu’alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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

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

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

    • Aafia says:

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

  8. Farah says:

    Jazaki Allah al khair…beautiful words…thank you!

  9. Ali says:

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

  10. Mariam says:

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

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

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

    Salaam ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah

    • BerserkHijabi says:

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

  11. Nour says:

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

  12. imaan says:

    Salaam to all

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

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

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

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

    Slms

  13. shal says:

    that was very good answer!

  14. SophiaA says:

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

    Just my two cents :)

  15. Sammi says:

    Salamalikam sisters,

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

    • Latifa says:

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

  16. shams says:

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

  17. Dini Mariska says:

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

  18. SamK says:

    Jazak Allahu Khair,
    Both a really necessary question, and a beautiful response.
    Glad to have read it!

  19. Guest says:

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

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

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

  20. BerserkHijabi says:

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

  21. Muslimah says:

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

    • Amatullah2 says:

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

  22. gabby says:

    but what happens when you take it off :(

  23. Sheena says:

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

  24. Jelly Bean says:

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

  25. Said Hasan says:

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

  26. Shadan says:

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

  27. Alyaa says:

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

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

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

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

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

  28. Syed says:

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

  29. wina says:

    Assalamualaikum sisters,

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

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

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

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

  30. Chilli says:

    Assalaamualaikum to all.

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

  31. shazia says:

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

  32. Adeela Khan says:

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

  33. Anonymous says:

    Good points made but it would be better if the article was more concise.

  34. tabassum says:

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

  35. Learn Quran says:

    “Say to the believing men that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste). This is better for them.” Al Quraan

  36. Queen says:

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

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

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

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

  37. Hyde says:

    Lets say this: Hijab is obligatory but not mandatory.

    • Adith says:

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

  38. Simone says:

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

  39. abubakar says:

    A great knowledge to share. Jazakumullahu bil Jannah.

  40. Zena says:

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

  41. Omer says:

    Asslam-u-Alaikum,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Regards,

    Omer

  42. Aisha says:

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

    Thanks in advance!

    • Ade says:

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

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

  43. Satsuma says:

    I also took off hijab after 16 years wearing it.

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

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

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

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

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

  44. verily679 says:

    @satsuma,

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

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

  45. Nour says:

    Mashalla the comments are very informative.

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

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