Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have wanted to take off my hijab about a year after I started wearing it at age 10. Now I’m 18 years old. For years and years of burying this feeling in fear of my parents’ reaction and in Allah hating me for it, it has started to make me resent Islam so much and no longer believe in it.
I ask if Allah would hate me or send me to hell for this when I still pray and am kind to people. Is He even as merciful or just as the Quran says? Does He even exist? (Astaghfirullah, I’m sorry for saying this) I’m tired of being stared at all the time and seen as different than how I really am because of this. I feel more vulnerable wearing hijab, even though it’s meant to be for safety. As a black girl, our hair is a huge part of our identity.
Thank you for your question. May Allah show you and guide you to the truth of the matter and make you content with your decision. Hijab is a beautiful symbol of Islam and I pray that you come to see it as such.
Hate and Disobedience
Allah Most High does not hate people who disobey Him, rather He hates their sins. If you were to remove your hijab, you would not necessarily be hated by Allah Most High, but you would be incurring a daily sin, that would require repentance. Also, removing the hijab usually results in additional sins. Adornment and fashionable, tight clothing quickly follow, which results in attention from men, and it gets harder and harder to return. You should not fear Allah hating you, but rather fear going down the wrong path in life. The best criterion is that you should be the way that you want your children to see you.
Merciful and Just
You ask if Allah is merciful and just, well, this is what we know. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When Allah had finished His creation, He wrote over his Throne: ‘My Mercy preceded My Anger.‘“ [Bukhari]
He has also told us that He saves most of His mercy for the hereafter. “Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts, and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it.“ [Bukhari; Muslim]
And this verse demonstrates his justice and mercy: “Indeed, Allah never wrongs ˹anyone˺—even by an atom’s weight. And if it is a good deed, He will multiply it many times over and will give a great reward out of His grace.“ [Quran, 4:40]
Does Allah Exist
Allah exists and it is through Him that all else exists. His existence is necessary and our existence is contingent. Please see these answers for more details, and consider taking the ‘Why Islam is True‘ course:
How Can Allah Just Exist?
How Do I Know that Allah Most High Exists and is Actively Maintaining Creation?
Why Islam Is True E02: God Exists
Wearing the hijab does mean that sometimes you get stared at, but I ask you to draw strength from this. Hijab is reminding everybody around you about God, and the reward for this good deed will be multiplied manifold, by His grace.
Asma’ bint Yazid reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “Shall I tell you who is the best of you?“ ‘Yes,‘ they replied. He said, “Those who remind you of Allah when you see them.“ He went on to say, “Shall I tell you who is the worst of you?“ ‘Yes,‘ they replied. He said, “Those who go about slandering, causing mischief between friends in order to separate them, and desiring to lead the innocent into wrong action.“ [Bukhari]
You mention that your hair is a big part of your identity, but I ask you not to use your outward beauty in order to identify yourself. Rather, use your inward as your identity. Your good character, your faith, your heart, your treatment of others, and your relationship with Allah…these are the things that define you. The Messenger of Allah,(Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “Taqwa is here,” and he pointed to his chest.“ [Muslim]
Choose for Allah
My final advice to you is to choose for Allah, and not for people. You are dressing according to the way that Allah has commanded, and you should be proud and very grateful. If you feel tired, exhausted, bored, or fed up, find another way to fulfill yourself, but not by going backward in religion.
Take a free course here at Seekers for some inspiration. Learn about the Prophet’s life (Allah bless him and give him peace), and see what he went through to bring Islam to us. Read about the perfection of our religion and how the many prophets and nations before us were told of an extraordinary and beloved prophet and ummah that was to come at the end of times and how they longed to be with them. That is us!
And finally, keep this hadith in mind, and stay true to who you are: Narrated ‘Aisha:
“A woman from the tribe of Bani Asad was sitting with me and Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) came to my house and said, “Who is this?“ I said, “So and so. She does not sleep at night because she is engaged in prayer.“ The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said disapprovingly, ‘Do (good) deeds which are within your capacity as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds.“ [Bukhari]
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.