Is Hijab Worn Out of Culture or Obligation?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Recently it seems as if serious scholars have started questioning whether or not the head covering is actually mandatory or not, the argument being that the textual proofs do not indicate a clear-cut obligation for the hair to be covered. Some have used the argument that since it was not to be worn by slave women, it cannot, therefore, be mandatory in all circumstances and times.

Also, the hadith that ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) relates about covering everything except the face and hands has been called not very strong. All of this has had an impact and I’m very worried. Could you please elaborate?


Thank you for your question. Hijab remains obligatory in the four schools of law and always has been. The mujtahid (and subsequent) scholars have done the research for us commoners and have ascertained this. Although I, myself, cannot go into the proofs and details, I urge you to read them in the links below:
How Should We Understand the Obligation of Khimar (Head Covering)?
What Are the Requirements of Hijab?
Denying the Obligation of Wearing Hijab
Explaining Why I Wear Hijab

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 aqidah, 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.