Explaining why I wear hijab

Question: A common question I get from people is why I wear the Hijab. Typically, it makes me closer to my lord, and I wear it for modesty reasons. Due to my shortcomings, I’m unable to respond that truly explains why, and I don’t want to give a response that is wrong or a response that could deter people due to my lack of knowledge. Could you explain why we wear hijab and what I should tell people when they ask?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. You have brought up an excellent question, and I feel that every woman answers this question differently. There are legal reasons and personal reasons.

Hijab according to fiqh and Qur’an

One can give the legal answer that one wears a hijab because there is unanimous consensus among the scholars of the four law schools that it is obligatory to wear for Muslim women. See these links for details:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-hijab-obligatory/

You may also tell your questioner that wearing hijab is mentioned in the Qur’an, and here is an explanation of the command from Allah directly to his female servants:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/can-you-clarify-the-standard-explanation-of-the-verse-of-hijab/

Also, see an answer to your question in much detail here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-should-we-understand-the-obligation-of-khimar-head-covering/

Personal reasons

When I asked women throughout my life why they started wearing the hijab, they all had reasons that motivated them, and each had hit a certain point where the light of Islam entered their hearts. They may have been inspired by a schoolmate, a teacher, a cousin, or just from reading and understanding the Qur’an. Some were affected by an event, such as a death, marriage, befriending a group, or a trip to the Middle East.

There is no wrong answer.

When someone asks you why you wear the hijab, don’t feel obliged to come up with a scholarly answer, nor worry about dissuading another from the religion. Just tell the truth and mention that it is fard in Islam. If Allah wants to guide someone to hijab, He will clothe your words with tawfiq and put inspiration into the person’s heart. It’s not in your hands. There is nothing more required of you than this. If someone wants to argue with you, send them the links above. Remember that words coming from you may seem paltry and meaningless, but their impact on others can be eternal.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.