Married While Hijabi?


3973231971_c198ec8215_bQuestion:

I started wearing hijab1 a few years ago and I’m proud of it and happy that I’m doing it.  The thing is my family introduced to me to a guy a few months ago for marriage, and it’s been going really well.  The only problem is that he doesn’t want me to wear hijab.  I don’t know what to do.  I want to keep my hijab, but I don’t want to lose him.  What should I do?

Answer:

Assalaamu `alaykum dear Questioner,
I’m happy to hear that you’re passionate about wearing hijab and concerned about your potential fiancé’s negative feelings about it.  These are issues that really need to be talked about and resolved before getting married, otherwise they will turn into problems, and then into conflicts!

Have you sat down and explained to him how you feel about hijab, and how important it is for you?  In this case I think that you really need to be strong, and take a strong stance, for the sake of your Islam.  You also have to think about what this means for your future relationship—will your fiancé (or husband, in the future) be someone who discourages you from doing good deeds?  Will he become an obstacle or a challenge in your efforts, when you are trying to get closer to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala, Exalted is He)?  What about *his* level of practice and *his* iman [faith]? Shouldn’t both of you be helping each other, supporting each other, and encouraging each other to become better Muslims and closer to Allah Most High?  What type of relationship will it be if it is hurting you spiritually and in your deen [practice of Islam]?

Marriage is a very, very serious endeavor and one in which you will be committed to another person, attached and connected to that person, for the rest of your life.  There will never be any imam, teacher, leader, or friend who will have the level of profound influence and sway over you as your husband will.  In short, he will be your whole world and you will be his, as one famous speaker said.  My counsel is that you, for the sake of your heart and your deen, make sure to the best of your ability that the marriage you enter into is one that is good for your iman, and that leads you to grow and progress in your spiritual path and your Islam, and not the opposite.

I hope I have given you some food for thought, and I ask that Allah (swt) guide you to the best decision in this matter, one that only brings about good for you in this life and the hereafter.  May Allah (swt) grant us spouses who are upright and God-fearing, who help us navigate our way through the murky depths of dunyaa [this life] and keep our focus on the aakhira [hereafter] and Allah (swt).


  1. Hijab is the Arabic term for the religious covering of head and body for women, usually excluding face and hands.
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29 Comments

  1. OK says:

    WAllahu a3lam, I believe that a woman should never marry a man who is less practicing than she is or is discouraging her from doing good deeds. Inevitably this results in the woman slowly reducing her own practice until she comes down to the level of the man. This is especially true in the case of dress – even if a husband who does not like hijab does not actively discourage his wife from wearing hijab, his positive reinforcement when she wears more revealing clothes and negative enforcement when wearing modest clothing will push her to choose more revealing clothes, without even realizing it! I’ve seen this happen to several women I know who used to be extremely modest, and after a few years of marriage to husbands who don’t care for or don’t believe in hijab the modesty eroded.

    At the end of the day, you don’t want to be put in a position between choosing Allah or choosing your husband. Other potential husbands will come along insha Allah, who will be better for you in this life and the hereafter, so don’t feel like you have to compromise in your religion. Compromising in other areas is much better for you than in this area, and Allah knows best.

  2. Maryam says:

    beautifully given advice, jazaki Allahu kul khayr

  3. Zishan Malik says:

    I am usually more of a reader here than someone who comments, but I was compelled by this post.

    I guess this comes down to obeying Allah over a potential spouse. Sister, there are soooo many guys that I persoanlly know that wouldn’t even consider a sister for marraige unless she wears hijab. There is some confusion out there that wearing hijab is a hinderance to getting married, I ASSURE YOU ITS NOT. There are plenty of guys out there that you could find that adore that you are wearing hijab and support you in growing in your deen.

    In addition, what would this husband teach your children? What else does he think is optional? Imagine how much of a difference it would make to your children to have a mother that wore hijab? How much that would empower them religously and as a person?

    I am also dumbfounded and disturbed by these brothers who ask sisters to not wear hijab, what is their problem? How little of an understanding do they have? What is their concern, that they would feel embaressed if they were with their wife and ran into their coworkers. We fear our coworkers, but do we fear our lord?

    Sister I wish you the best, make istikhara.

  4. I would advise this woman NOT to marry this man unless he repents and stops harbouring ill-feelings towards the religion of our Prophet Muhammad sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Doesn’t denying or opposing a matter established by unanimous consensus , such as the obligatoriness of Hijab, constitute disbelief according to the ‘ulama? I believe Shaykh Ibn Ata’illah has stated something like this in Kitab at-Tanwir, in his commentary on the following verse from surah an-Nisa:

    “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.”

    • Fahad says:

      It’s possible that he denies its obligation, but I don’t think we can conclude that from the way the question is worded. I think it’s possible that he does not deny its obligation but still prefers for her to not wear it.

      Many of us have been in situations when someone suggests that we skip maghrib and pray it later, because we are tied up with something at this moment. It’s the wrong thing to suggest, but it’s not the same as saying that we are not obligated to pray right now. I think the thought process going through the person’s mind in situations like these is more often something like, “Maybe it’s worth it to take on a little bit of sin if it makes our lives this much easier. We’ll try to make up for it by doing other good deeds.” Again, I don’t agree with the approach, but I don’t see how it can be equated to denying the obligation of something unanimously agreed-upon.

      Allahu a’lam

  5. Br. Corey says:

    There are TOO many brothers looking for a hijabi, for any sister to stop wearing it for one guy… I don’t even know how to respond, this is just really frustrating to hear. May Allah help us as an Ummah…

  6. shakib says:

    i beg to differ with those who have brushed away the prospective husband based on the logic of hijab comes first, and everything else follows. Nowhere in the letter did the writer mention that the guy has problem with the concept of hijab, neither did any respondent bother to explain the difference between the purdah and a piece of cloth that covers the hair. It seems like that most replies are made on the knee-jerk reaction to a stereotypical male who “doesn’t want [her] to wear hijab.”

    The writer’s dilemma is that she is married to her hijab, but not the male. Her future partner and her Hijab are not mutually exclusive artifacts, atleast she doesn’t to treat them differently. Instead of trying to understand her passion to unite both the person and her practice of hijab, most replies have demonstrated the vices of choosing the wrong person or the plentitude of the “right” type of person for her.

    Many early Muslims had been married to non-Muslims. Nobody advised them to discard their partners based on differences that is circumstantial. If both the persons are complimentary to each other, then their is always room for accomodation, and hijab is never the issue. What needs to be done between this couple is more clear communication on their other goals in life, those that will help them lead a flourishing, enriching and pious life. Once they can find some confident ways to express their true intentions, hijab will give in from being a divisor to a unifier.

    • umm says:

      These two are not yet a “couple” or “partners”. She has absolutely no obligation to him. She is in the select mode. It is her right before marriage to scrutinize a prospect. And it is her obligation to select her husband, in coordination with a qualified wali – who represents her with her interests front and center.

      After marriage, she will have to obey him, or disobey him if it is a matter commanded by Allah (like hijab). Why go into a marriage already knowing you will have to disobey your husband? Why go in knowing right off the bat you will have to choose between obeying your husband or obeying Allah? He is literally telling her that. She needs to listen.

      Again, this is her moment of option. If she had to obey him later after marriage, and she obeyed him in a matter displeasing to Allah, she might have an excuse before Allah that she was in a position of weakness in which she had to obey the authority. But that is not the case now. She does not have to obey him. Her eyes should be wide open.

      I agree with others; this is a red flag issue. His not wanting her to wear hijab shows he is lacking in ghayrah, which is a fundamental Islamic quality in a husband (not circumstancial). And though he may think he is being “liberal”, it also means he does not respect her choice of wearing hijab, while at the same time expecting and demanding his right to tell her what to do.

  7. Esam says:

    Alhamdulillah.. sis u have gr8 thoughts…. and my advice 4 u is that if ur fiance is not accepting u with Hijab then leave him… may b there is some1 more better than him… InshAllah

  8. Esam says:

    Alhamdulillah.. sis u have gr8 thoughts…. and my advice 4 u is that if ur fiance is not accepting u with Hijab then leave him… may b there is some1 more better than him… InshAllah.. JazakAllah Khair

  9. V says:

    Salaam,

    I like the last comment, nobody is perfect and we should make room for growth, but its an uncertainty, maybe the prospective partner will never come round to the idea of hijaab, even though they have had clear communications and discussions.

    You should talk it out, but take it with a pinch of salt, in my experience any man who doesn’t appreciate the concept of the hijaab i.e. the physical manifestation and the spiritual roots of modesty that the outer garment is anchored by – is not someone you can truly connect with – more often than not.

    If you have had a negative experience, lets say some ignorant slur because you’re wearing a hijaab, how much support will you get? I myself have heard the common response well just take it off. To hear that from your husband – owch man, thats going to hurt a lot.

    I don’t know what this brothers reasons are for disliking his prospective wife wearing hijaab, theres a multitude of reasons, could be simply he wants her to look more attractive when they go out, or maybe the common one, which is you don’t need to go to all the hassle of wearing a veil to be modest – God knows. But Hijaab is a really beautiful hallmark of Islam, in this day and age I think its a beacon of strength, to see a woman representing her faith n keeping it real! Dealing with all the judgements and stereotypes that people have about Islam, we’re walking targets SUBHAAN’ALLAH, Sister you deserve someone who appreciates that struggle and supports it!

    I really pray for all my sisters who want to embody the concept of modesty, its a tough battle, may Allah grant us all with partners who see the wisdom, struggle and courage it takes for a woman to wear hijaab and may our partners see the beauty in us inside and out!!! Ameen.

  10. Diana says:

    Hi! I think its better to wear hijjab and dont have a man than dont wear hijjab and have a man but ofcourse its better to talk to him first and try to persuade him first

    ummm, i want to publish something but how do you do it?? my question is very important plz help me!

  11. Nancy says:

    Salam!

    That exact situation actually happened to ME! I left him after he gave me REALLY bad reasons why he didn’t want me to wear the hijab..otherwise he was perfect. It was one of the worst situations ever…I just lost so much respect for him! How can he be the father of my children? How are we going to deal with each other every single day? How are his opinions going to effect the way I dress in the future? No matter what, if he doesn’t respect your hijab and the commandments of the religion, he won’t be able to respect you fully. And believe me, there ARE plenty of GOOD men who want to marry a hijabi. I ended up marrying a wonderful man who respected my views on religion…it was ALOT easier to communicate, less fighting, less stress.

    Let me tell you one thing, don’t ever marry someone thinking you might be able to change their mind after marriage, it’s not a good idea.

    Your relationship with God should come first…it is the foundation of your life. You also have to remember what God told us about choosing our partners and what characteristics we need to look for. His/her religion is first on the list.

    I wish you all the best!
    Salam.

  12. Mumina says:

    I recently started wearing hijab myself Alhamdulilah. After struggling a lot with my nafs, i finally had the courage to wear hijab and after i did, it was as if i had lifted a huge weight off my shoulder. I never realised it, but everytime i walked outside my home without hijab, at the back of my mind, i had a huge amount of guilt, and it just kept building up. Even though my parents were against it, when i wore it, i felt so happy and relieved that i wasnt disobeying Allah(swt) anymore.Your obedience is to Allah(swt) first, and He has made it an OBLIGATION for you to wear it. Its not an option. Do you really want to marry a person who wants you to engage in disobedience to Allah(swt)? Do you want to earn Allah(swt)’s anger and displeasure? No, because your love for Allah(swt) is far greater than your love for this man or anyone else. Forget about losing the man, what about losing Allah(swt)’s pleasure? On isra miraj(the night of ascension), Muhammad(sallahualayhi wasalam) saw women in hell being hung by their hair as punishment for not wearing hijab. Sister, to not wear it is a major sin. If this guy wants you to disobey Allah(swt), then what kind of a man is he? Think about your meeting with Allah(swt) in the Akirah. Fear Allah(swt). In the Quran Allah(SWT) says: “.. it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”(2.216) This man may not be right for you. Marry someone who encourages you to obey Allah(swt), not disobey Him. Keep your hijab sister, and inshAllah you will be rewarded abundantly.
    “And whoever fears Allah – He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.” [At-Talaq: 2-3]

    • Sarah Amena says:

      Salam Sister~
      After much contemplation, I am seriously considering putting hijab on. I am married and my husband supports my decision but I am still dealing with my doubts. I work full time and I am also a student, I know this is horrible, but I am a little nervous about the response that I receive from my coworkers, fellow students. In my mind, they have all seen me without hijab and then one day I put it on, I don’t even know if this argument makes sense, but I would truly appreciate any advice and support. How do I know when I am truly ready for hijab??

      Thank you,

      Salam

      • Waris says:

        Salaam Sister Sarah,
        Put on the Hijab for your LORD and no one else. HE controls the hearts of people. Inshallah, HE will make people respect, adore and love you. HE controls all our affairs. The honour HE grants , no one can grant. The help HE gives, no one gives. No one loves you more than your LORD, it is more befitting that we try to please HIM than people. So Sister put your trust in your LORD and go for it. Inshallah, you will achieve a tranquility that cannot described by words.

      • Zienab says:

        Salaam sister,

        I remember this EXACT feeling when I was thinking about putting on the hijab. You sit there worrying about how ppl will react after having seen you without hijab for so long. It’s not even that you expect ppl to start shooting spit wads at you…. You just have no idea what to expect. Questions, perhaps. Passing comments. Strange looks…

        Though Br. Waris said it perfectly, I’d also like to say a few things about the worldly experience of putting on the hijab. Really, truly… it’s like diving into a pool. You KNOW in your heart that you want to get wet. But uncertain, you hedge your bets and stay on the perimeter, testing the water with your feet. You simply prolong the fear, and who knows how long you have on this earth. The fact is, you just have to dive!!! Yeah the first few moments are nerve-wracking. But it will become like your skin iA. But you have to jump first! Don’t sweat it sister! The water is warm, and Allah is on your side in all that you do for His sake :)

      • yakub says:

        the same way woman struggle to wear hijab it would be the same for men but the beard.

  13. pashamina says:

    may allah make easy 4 u sister

  14. Asalaamu Alaikum Sister Sarah Amena,

    For me it was a leap of faith, and once I took that leap, it made my faith stronger for having taken it. Leaps of faith are a rush, they made my heart beat faster. It is fabulous that you have a husband that supports you in this. May Allah make your path easy.

    If you do decide to wear the hijab, you may find, as I did that the reaction of many people was, “You go girl!”. Yeah, there are occasional frowny looks, but, whatever.

    It also made me identifiable to other Muslims, who were supportive.

    Salaams, Your Sister in Islam

  15. Sarah Amena says:

    Salam Sisters,

    Thank you soooo much for the support and guidance, that is exactly what I was searching for, SubanAllah that I found exactly what I needed. I made a commitment to myself, to be wearing hijab by the 1st of Ramadan and hopefully sooner Inshallah :)
    Zienab ~ Thank you so much for understanding exactly what I am feeling, at least I know that my feelings aren’t completely bizarre :)

    pashamina ~ Thank you for the prayers :) I really feel connected to my fellow Muslims, Thank you and may Allah give us all guidance <3

  16. fatimah says:

    there is no one worthy of worship except Allah. Allah has made Hijab fard on women, make istikhara about this potential husband maybe you can make his imaan stronger or will he be an obstacle to your imaan?. Do not disobey Allah to please a person. Do you want to be married to someone who does not want you to obey Allah?

  17. tabassum says:

    if i was you i would call off the engagement because religion always comes first… he cant tell you to stop wearing the hijab! you should marry someone that respects you for what you wear… not to tell you to disobey Allah.

  18. Sana says:

    If he tells you to stop wearing Hijab, drop him like a bad habit. We cannot uphold the created one’s wishes over the creator.

  19. sunniswagger says:

    Beloved sister in Islam.. lose this guy like a bad habit.. before you make a grave mistake and place man above Allah.. i mean hijab is fard..salat is fard he might as well say dont make salat anymore because they are both the fard and Allahs commands.. and our duty as muslims to observe.. we enjoin in good and forbid in evil..

  20. smiles says:

    this is wonderful advice

  21. yakub says:

    i know this situation is old now but, hopefully the sister ishallah has moved on and married someone better suited for her.

    hijab hijab hiajb ONLY for woman?
    how about the MEN?
    us dudes?
    IF the guys atittude towards hijab is like that (in the article) then how do you think his (internal) hijab is?

    May Allah protect us from the accursed Shytan!

  22. Kinza says:

    Leave him sister. He is not your type.

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