Can I Obey My Parents If They Forbid Me to Wear the Hijab?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

What should a woman do when she is out with her parents and they have forbidden her to wear the hijab?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

She should ask Allah Most High for facilitation, and put on the hijab. There is no obedience to creation in disobedience to the Creator.

Please see also: How Do I Cope With My Parents’ Fear and Disapproval of Hijab?

And Allah alone knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Charles Roffey

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

Do I have to Obey my Parents if they Order me To Leave Sunnah Acts?

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Since the beard is sunnah and not wajib in the Shafi’i madhhab, I was wondering what the ruling was for following/performing sunnah acts when parents forbid it without a good reason?

Answer: Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah,

Dealing Righteously with Parents

Dealing well with one’s parents is an Islamic principle; dealing poorly with them, sinful. The Qur’an says: Worship Allah; do not join anything with Him, and be good to your parents (4:36); and: Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully. Lower to them the wings of humility towards them in kindness and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on them, just as they cared for me when I was little’ (17:23-4).

The Prophet (peace be upon him), in a Hadith narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), also described the major sins as associating others in worship with Allah, and dealing poorly with one’s parents (Bukhari).

General Principle of Obedience

The general principle is to obey one’s parents in matters that do not entail disobedience to Allah or His Messenger: ‘If they strive to make you associate with Me anything about which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Yet keep their company in this life according to what is right…’ (31:15).

There are, however, other situations in which it is permissible to disregard parental orders:

Recommended Acts

It is better to not leave off recommended acts if your parents order you to do so – such as keeping the beard in the Shafi’i school, or other sunnah acts. That being said, this should be done while maintaining mutual love and kindness.

Permissible Acts

It is better to obey one’s parents if they order you to do, or leave off, something that is permissible. It is, however, not considered sinful disobedience to disobey or disregard a parental order or prohibition regarding something that

– Does not harm or does not entail negative consequences for the child, or;
– Falls under the general rubric of advice or preference, or;
– Is generally considered silly or unreasonable, or;
– Doesn’t have a very good reason behind it
– Disobeying it would not be considered to constitute undue hardship for them

An example of an order that does not have to followed in a permissible matter is a parental order to divorce one’s wife. An example of a prohibition that does not have to be followed is preventing one from traveling for the sake of knowledge.

Additional Guidelines

The above constitute general guidelines. Disregarding parental advice, if one must, should be done in a manner that is respectful, maintains ties, and seeks to please. It is not permissible in a manner that is harsh, disrespectful, or abusive.

Furthermore, interpersonal relations are highly dependant on time, circumstance and custom. Different scenarios will necessarily demand varying courses of action, which can only be determined by knowing these circumstances, as well as a healthy dose of common sense.

Source: Al-Zawajir

Shuaib Ally

How Can I Be a Dutiful Son While Maintaining Independence from Controlling Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Jameela Jafri

Question: I wish to be a good son and fulfill my responsibilities. However I feel overwhelmed by my parents approach towards me. I feel I cannot be independent and live my own life and that my parents expect too much from me. How can I be a good son yet also be independent while respecting my parents wishes?

If I set boundaries and do things I want to won’t that be disobeying them because they want me to do things their way and they want to be informed about everything? How can I do what I want to knowing that if i try to set boundaries and do my own thing it will result in arguments. Can I accept the arguments and still just carry on as I want to?

I am young and in my twenties but this is causing me to feel very stressed, with low self esteem and weak. I just wish to make my own choices and live my own life while being a good son.

My parents being staunch promoters of the Asian full extended family system where there is lots of involvement by parents and siblings in everything and you have to simply follow this without question I expect these issues to worsen. Please advise me.

Answer: Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question. May Allah Most High facilitate ease and success in your life.

With regards to one’s parents, the general situation is that they are to be obeyed and followed in all permissible matters. One should be mindful of ensuring the highest respect and honor towards one’s parents. Allah Most High says, “We have enjoined upon man to be good and dutiful to his parents” (29:8).

It is important for you to maintain this high respect and dutifulness to your parents, while also making space for yourself to grow and make your own choices. There are some matters where it is important and natural for a person – especially a man who will have his own family one day, inshAllah – to exercise control and independence. These includes finances, personal time, private space, etc. As you mention, it is important to have some boundaries in these matters.

As you develop these boundaries, it is important to but to do so in a way that maintains kindness and respect to your parents. This will require you to be emotionally intelligent about their need to be involved in your life. You may need to overcompensate in some areas to balance these needs. Your parents may feel, for example, that you are pulling away from them as you try to assert your independence. Ease their fears by spending more time with them, calling them regularly, or buying them gifts, to the extent possible.

In today’s time, it is a great blessing to have caring parents and a family network – particularly for someone who is still in his early twenties. Your parents will be a source of continued blessings for you in this life and the next, inshAllah. Keep this in mind as you develop your boundaries with them and always maintain positive relationships. There are many people who have complete independence over their personal and financial affairs, but wish that they had an extended family system to provide guidance and advice. In times of difficulty, it is your parents and siblings that will support you.

Jameela Jafri

Related Answers:

Dealing With Parents