Does My Hijab Not Count If I Don’t Wear It Correctly?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Many people say things like, “if you’re not going to wear hijab correctly, don’t wear it at all” to sisters who are struggling with hijab and show their neck or a little bit of hair from the sides of their hijabs.

What is the Islamic basis of this? Is it all or nothing? Is a woman who covers most of her body and hair with a headscarf but shows a little bit of neck or hair regarded the same as a woman who wears a mini skirt and tank top? Or is one doing less harm than the other?

Answer

May Allah Most High reward you for being scrupulous and seeking Allah’s pleasure in the fine details.

All or Nothing

No, the hijab is not an all-or-nothing concept. It would help if you covered what you can; it counts, and your reward is not lost upon Allah Most High. Make the intention to build up your hijab, as you intend to build up your relationship with Allah Most High. You are not seen the same as a woman who wears a mini skirt and tank top; the two are drastically different. That being said, none of us should be stagnant in our faith, and we should constantly look to our spiritual role models and strive for an increase in outward and inward worship. Ignore ladies who criticize and befriend those who strengthen and inspire you.

Modesty

Please recall the inner meaning of the hijab. The whole of one’s behavior, speech, gaze, and conduct should be defined by modesty, which is more important than the cloth on one’s head. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) mentioned, “There is never any obscenity in a thing, but it mars it, and there is never any modesty in a thing, but it adorns it.” [Ibn Maja]

Please see these links as well:
Beyond Hijab: Modesty Amongst Women in Islam
I Am Struggling to Wear Hijab. Is It Better for Me to Not Wear It at All?
Muslim Women: Can’t We All Just Get Along? – Sr. Hosai Mojaddidi

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shayk 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.