What Should I Do with a Husband Who Won’t Allow Hijab, as I Can’t Leave Him?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Can I dress modestly, given that everything is covered except my face, hands, and hair because I am tired and fed up with my husband’s daily fights, arguments, and comments that I don’t look good? Will I be sinful? I am not as young as I was; hence, I don’t have the patience to deal with his reactions and tantrums. Because of this, my mental health is affected by anxiety, panic attacks, and high blood pressure. Will I be sinful for not wearing a hijab? Will my worship, like prayer, fast, and zakat, not be valid? Divorce is not an option; I’ve been married for 16 years.


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, stress, and pain, and I pray that your husband grows up and answers the call of Allah to fulfill his covenant toward Him and his family.


Although your husband is your guardian, it is not permissible to obey him when it entails sinning against Allah Most High. “There is no obedience to any created being in disobedience to Allah, the Glorified and Exalted.” [Bukhari & Muslim] However, you must use wisdom and decide carefully. Please try consulting others and seek an answer in your heart. I have seen time and time again that there is no baraka (blessings) in deciding to adopt a sin for the sake of the husband, and his demands and insults won’t stop; I can guarantee that. He will start harping after you for your weight, then your skin, then your clothes, then your hair. Some men are impossible to please, and I doubt his character will improve. Why take off your hijab for him?


Good deeds and worship are still accepted; they are not connected to whether one wears a hijab or not.


I ask you to use gentleness, calmness, and wisdom in your approach to him, and by Allah’s grace, he will eventually accept you and probably, in the end, support you. Never get angry and always respond to his insults with goodness; I know it’s very difficult. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah is gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness.” [Ibn Maja]

Turn to Allah

With every difficulty, I ask you to turn to Allah Most High and devote yourself to Him. Channel your complaints into dua to Him, pray on time, read the Quran daily, and learn what your obligations and rights are in marriage. Please take a course on Islamic character with your husband, in sha Allah, you will find much benefit.

Allah Most High has told us in the Quran, “And they are those who endure patiently, seeking their Lord’s pleasure, establish prayer, donate from what We have provided for them—secretly and openly—and respond to evil with good. It is they who will have the ultimate abode: the Gardens of Eternity, which they will enter along with the righteous among their parents, spouses, and descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, saying, “Peace be upon you for your perseverance. How excellent is the ultimate abode!” [Quran, 13:22-24]

And Allah Most High has told us in the Quran, “Today I have indeed rewarded them for their perseverance: they are certainly triumphant.” [Quran, 23:111]

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May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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