Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My husband and I are converts to Islam. I work in the public eye in a place with a lot of Islamaphobia, so I wear hats and scarves instead of hijab. Is that OK?
Answer:Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Dear sister, may Allah reward you for having such sincere concern for your deen.
It is better for you to take small steps towards a complete hijab, than to abandon it completely. You are in a complex situation, and I pray that over time, Allah will make a clear way forward for you. May Allah protect you and all Muslimahs from harm. Trust that Allah knows your struggle, and nothing is lost with Him.
The validity of hijab requires you to cover everything except for your face and hands.The Shafi’i school of thought requires you to also cover your feet.
It is not necessary for you to wear a visibly Muslim scarf in order to fulfil this criteria. A hat and a neckscarf, strategically worn, would accomplish the same.
‘Abd Allah b. Umar reported the prophet (May peace be upon him) as saying: “A Muslim is a Muslim’s brother: he does not wrong him or abandon him. If anyone cares for his brother’s need, Allah will care for his need ; if anyone removes a Muslim’s anxiety, Allah will remove from him, on account of it, one of the anxieties of the Day of Resurrection ; and if anyone conceals a Muslim’s fault, Allah will conceal his fault on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
I am sorry that you have been made to doubt your hijab by some of the Muslims in your community. I encourage you to find your centre, and from that place of calm, speak your truth. Balance welcoming ‘constructive criticism’ with asserting your own journey.
Converts often face the unique struggle of constantly questioning their Islam. Strengthen your foundation in the deen through studying at SeekersHub. Draw strength from the long, trustworthy line of authentic scholarship. I also encourage you to study with Anse Tamara Gray at Rabata, who is a learned Shaykha, and an American convert. Many great scholars in today’s world such as Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf have also converted to Islam.
Think about the Companions – they were converts in a time where oppression was tremendous. Dear sister, you have already shown great bravery by embracing Islam and striving on your journey to Allah. Nurture your courage with dhikr, Quranic recitation, tahajjud, and keeping company with the righteous.
I pray that Allah grants you the strength to continue striving on the deen. Please pray for us at SeekersHub.
[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.