How to Communicate My Displeasure at My Wife’s Clothing?

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I have just had my nikah with a girl, but I can’t get over one thing. When I first met her, she wore a hijab and loose clothes at a Muslim event. After our initial meeting, all of our interaction was over the phone. We tried to get to know each other with parental permission. Then we met a second time when I was sure I wanted to marry her, and her appearance shocked me.

She has never dressed the same way as that first day. I’m a simple person and want a simple life, but now she says she wants a big home and a closet just for shoes. Now she only wears a hijab at the masjid, tight pants, shirts that expose some neck area, and a lot of makeup, and I feel she wasn’t honest with me.

Answer

I am sorry that you are going through this confusing time. If there is one thing that you must know about marriage, it is this: honesty.

What Does Allah Want?

First, how does Allah Most High oblige Muslim women to dress? Allah, Most High, in His infinite wisdom, has obliged them to cover everything except their face and hands. Clothing should be loose-fitting, not transparent, and not overly adorned. See this link: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra). Women should not wear tight pants when praying or when leaving the house. Makeup is not permissible to wear outside of the home either. See this link: Am I a Disbeliever for Thinking That Lipstick Is Permissible for Me?

Options

What you want is in line with Islam and the shari’ah. Now there are only a few options to consider:

First, you might consider staying married to her, completing the walima, and putting up with her attire. This will probably end up in resentment and jealousy, and anger.

Second, you could ask her gently to change the way she dresses. You can do this by being kind, giving her all the time she needs to change, buying her whatever beautiful Islamic clothing at these links: https://shukronline.com/https://www.niswafashion.com/, and praying to Allah that she can be reasoned with. Explain to her that it affects you and you don’t want her to set a good example for your children.

Thirdly, you could walk away right now. You have not started living with her yet, and if you were to leave here, there would be no `iddah as the marriage would be annulled due to not being consummated.

Istikhara

Please pray Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance about what to do. Ask Allah Most High to guide you in what is best for your deen, dunya, and akhira. Remember that choosing a spouse for deen is the Prophet’s advice (Allah bless him and give him peace). He said (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed! “. [Bukhari; Muslim]

May Allah reward you for striving to do what is right.
Will Allah Hold Me Accountable for My Wife and Sister Not Observing Hijab?
Am I a ‘Dayyuth’ If I Let My Wife Go out Without Hijab and How Do I Maintain Protective Jealousy (Ghayrah)?

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh 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.