Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
It has been increasingly bothering me that I do not wear a hijab. I think it is fair to assume that covering a woman’s adornments is for protecting herself and the honour of her husband – am I right in saying this?
Following that, given today’s world and especially living in a xenophobic generation where there is so much conflict, scrutiny and violence against women who wear hijab/niqab etc. Doesn’t it go completely against the idea of protection for a woman in the first place? For example at airports while passing through security, while walking around in a town where Muslim women wearing hijabs are stared at as opposed to being left alone.
I guess my question really is, is it not better for a woman to protect herself by not wearing a hijab and therefore protecting herself by not being scrutinised or stared at, than her wearing one blindly without thinking about its repercussions, especially and limited to the western world and not Middle Eastern countries, where I believe it is absolutely better for a woman to wear her hijab ie. cover her adornments, than not.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Difficulties wearing hijab
Dear sister, you raise many very good points about the real tribulation faced by many women who wear hijab. None of it is easy, nor is any of it lost on Allah.
Please know that despite these real hardships, hijab remains an obligation in today’s world.
We observe hijab because Allah commanded us to, just like He commanded us to pray, fast, perform Hajj if one is able to, and so on.
Please refer to this link: Is Hijab Obligatory?
Those whose souls the angels take while they had wronged themselves, the angels say (to them), “In what business were you (involved)?” They say, “We were oppressed in the earth.” They say, “Was not the earth of Allah wide enough for you to emigrate to it?” Those people are such that their refuge is Jahannam . It is an evil place to return.” [Qur’an, 4:97]
If you are living in a deeply Islamaphobic part of the world, and this is preventing you from wearing hijab – then please set the intention to move somewhere else. InshaAllah Allah will place barakah in your decision, because you have chosen to prioritise what pleases Him.
I realise, of course, than it is no easy matter to just pack up and leave one’s livelihood. The alternative would be for you to put your trust in Allah, wear hijab, and adjust to your new reality. No change is easy at first, but anything is possible through Allah.
I strongly suggest that you perform the Prayer of Need, and ask Allah to help you come to hijab. With great difficulty comes great reward, inshaAllah.
Conflict Over Hijab
It is not your responsibility to explain or advocate for hijab. Keep it simple. Your responsibility is to wear it, while also upholding the inner aspect of hijab. Take each day as it comes, instead of catastrophising about the worst possible outcome. InshaAllah with dua and commitment, Allah will keep you safe.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.