How Do I Cope With My Parents’ Fear and Disapproval of Hijab?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: When I reached college, I began to study Islam, which then lead me to not only practicing Islam, but also actively lecturing at mosques.

I tried to wear the hijab, at which my father told me he would hate me for doing so. So for the time being, I have refrained.

Is obeying one’s parents enough of an excuse to postpone wearing hijab?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah reward you manifold for your desire to do what which pleases Him. Know that Allah tests those whom He loves, and inshaAllah your hardship is a sign that He wishes well for you.

Obeying Your Parents

No, obeying one’s parents is not an acceptable excuse for postponing hijab. Remember the Prophetic injunction “there is no obedience to creation if it entails disobedience to the Creator.” [Tabarani, Mu’jam Kabir; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba]

That being said, there are a few things you can do to make things easier:

1) Don’t wear hijab at home when you are in front of your parents.
2) Wear a hoodie/bandana/equivalent when you are on your way out of their home, and change into hijab when you are far enough away from them.
3) Treat your parents with respect and kindness, and keep the doors of communication open.
4) Keep making dua for Allah to guide them. When the course reopens, consider doing The Rights of Parents to give you a better idea of their rights over you, especially when they call you do the impermissible.
5) When you feel down, remember the stories of the many Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who were tested by parents who also disliked their Islam. These Companions responded with kindness and good character, and continued to be steadfast on their Islam.

Acts of worship

“And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good – then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of [all] matters.” [Qur’an, 31:22]

I am so happy to hear that you are such an active Muslimah, mashaAllah. The ummah needs more young women like you. I pray that one day, your family will learn to be proud of all the good works you are doing. In the meantime, know that Allah is well aware of all the good that you do.

Don’t let Shaytan trick you into despair. Put on hijab full-time. Continue your acts of worship. Constantly renew your intention behind why you wear hijab, pray, fast, teach. Remind yourself everyday that you seek the pleasure of Allah alone.

Only Allah knows the state of our hearts, and He alone knows if He will accept or reject our acts of worship. Our job is to ensure that we do our best, and trust that He will not let us down.

Accusations of disbelief

Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “If a man says to his brother, O Kafir (disbeliever)!’ Then surely one of them is such (i.e., a Kafir). ” [Bukhari]

I am shocked to hear that because you are not in hijab, others have called you a disbeliever, and called you to apostasy! May Allah protect you from such a terrible ending, strengthen your faith, and guide these naysayers.

Seek comfort in the fact that there is no veil between the oppressed and Allah, and that Allah knows the contents of your heart.

Please refer to the following links:

My Non-Muslim Parents Get Upset When I Wear the Hijab
My Husband Won’t Let Me Wear the Hijab
What Do I Do When My Parent Forces Me to Cheat?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani