Posts

I Am Struggling to Wear Hijab. Is It Better for Me to Not Wear It at All?

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.

Hijab

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.

Converts

‘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.

Please see:

My Non-Muslim Parents Get Upset When I Wear the Hijab
Reader on Hijab
Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
[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.

Is My Volumised Hijab Like A Camel Hump and Therefore, Cursed?

Photo from vice.com

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I wonder if you could answer my question – is volumizing my hijab haram? I have read online many people stating the hadith that women are cursed if they wear their hijab like camel humps. If I make my hijab rounded and nicely shaped so that it is one level does this violate the hadith?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam

All Praise belongs to Allah; peace and blessings upon our master, Sayyidina Muhammad.

Thank you for your question. May Allah increase your desire to implement His Law.

The hadith of heads resembling camel humps has often been quoted as evidence for the impermissibility of donning the head scarf in a particular fashion. The wording of the Hadith reads,

“There are two groups of the people of the fire, whom I have not yet seen. A group of people carrying whips resembling the tails of cattle, with which they will lash people. And another is clothed women, yet naked; disinclined from Allah’s obedience and causing others to follow in their ways. Their heads are likened to the humps of camels. They will not enter Jannah nor smell its fragrance – it’s fragrance could (usually) be smelt from a far distance, a journey of many (miles).” [Muslim]

“Clothed, yet naked” in the hadith could mean that they are clothed with the blessings of Allah, yet naked from showing gratitude. It could also mean that are clothed with very thin clothing through which the color of their skin could possibly be perceived. “Disinclined from Allah’s obedience and causing others to follow in their ways” is the more probable interpretation of the words of the Messenger (peace be upon him), “Ma’ilat, mumilat”.

Finally, his words (peace be upon him), “Their heads are like the humps of camels (al-bukht al-ma’ilah)” have been interpreted in many ways. Imam al-Nawawi explained it as, “they enlarge or add volume to their heads by wrapping it with either a turban, a cloth or the like.”

Al-Marizi said, “a possible meaning of (the phrase) is that they desire men and do not lower their heads and gazes.”

Qadi ‘Iyad described that they comb their hair in a certain way and then gather it all to the top of the head and it thus resembles a camel’s hump. Another discussion was whether the hump is on the side of the head or not. [Sharh al-Nawawi ala Sahih Muslim]

The point here being that hadith has various interpretations and cannot categorically be referring to a specific hijab fashion.

Nonetheless, an interesting observation is that none of these scholars suggested that the hairstyle or manner of donning the scarf, is impermissible or haram. Further, it’s clear that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is listing a number of qualities of a particular group of females. A group that Imam al-Nawawi said existed in his time already – the 7th century. The fact that a lady may potentially have one of these qualities does not make her from that group and does not mean she’s destined for the fire.

By way of example, there are many sisters today that wear their scarfs in a manner that may resemble a hump of sorts. These same sister are not partially naked, nor do they disincline from the obedience of Allah. Many of them are righteous and observe the law of Allah in an exemplary manner. Surely the narration above could not be including such females.

In conclusion, we do not consider the way you may be donning your scarf as impermissible, as long as all your hair is being covered in an appropriate manner and that you are not attracting unnecessary gazes from strange men.

In addition, there are various levels of modesty. A fancy hijab – including a hump – may be extremely modest for a sister that begins wearing the hijab; while a plain – non-fancy – hijab may be modest for a lady that has been wearing hijab for a longer period. Every female takes her own time to develop and grow and that should be understood and appreciated. The ultimate modesty, however, and the goal of every female should be to resemble the daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Fatimah al-Zahra, and his blessed and noble wives, may Allah be pleased with them.

May Allah guide our sisters and grant them a special connection to the mothers of the believers and the daughters of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Can You Clarify the Standard Explanation of the Verse of Hijab? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari,

Question: Assalamu alaikum,

I wanted to get clarification on the explanation Shaykh Nuh gave on the evidence for hijab. This has been a topic of debate since the hijab ban discussion in France and I’m unclear now on where the requirement comes from.

Sh. Nuh writes:

‘There is no other lexical sense in which the word khimar may be construed. The wording of the command, however, and let them drape their headcoverings over their bosoms, sometimes confuses nonspecialists in the sciences of the Qur’an, and in truth, interpreting the Qur’an does sometimes require in-depth knowledge of the historical circumstances in which the various verses were revealed. In this instance, the elliptical form of the divine command is because women at the time of the revelation wore their headcovers tied back behind their necks, as some village women still do in Muslim countries, leaving the front of the neck bare, as well as the opening (Ar. singular jayb, plural juyub, translated as “bosoms” in the above verse) at the top of the dress. The Islamic revelation confirmed the practice of covering the head, understood from the use of the word khimar in the verse, but also explained that the custom of the time was not sufficient and that women were henceforth to tie the headcover in front and let it drape down to conceal the throat and the dress’s opening at the top.’

I’m confused about how the wording used in these particular verses are considered to be a command. Can you please clarify what it is about the wording/grammar in the verses reference above that makes them the evidence for the obligation for hijab?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Praise be to Allah. May Allah’s peace and blessings shower upon our beloved Messenger.

Dear Sister,

The obligation of hijab is evident when we examine the grammatical structure of this verse.

The verse reads:

وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ

وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ

وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ



The translation:

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…” [Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

The style of the language employed in the verse is very important. Allah Most High begins with the imperative form of the verb “qalla,” which means to say or tell. Thus, Allah Most High is commanding the Prophet, peace be upon him, to tell the believing women to take a series of steps:

1. To guard their gaze, which is an important factor in modest interaction;

2. To guard their chastity or sexuality;

3. To conceal their adornment and natural beauty, which scholars have interpreted to mean the whole body except for the face, hands, and (for Hanafis) the feet.

4. And, finally, to emphasize the above point, Allah Ta’ala uses the phrase, “wa-lyadhribna bikhumurihinna ala juyubihinna.” The verb “yadhribna” which means “to draw or pull over” appears as a feminine plural, thus going back to the original subject of the verse, the believing women. Most importantly, it starts off with the letter “lam,” which is called “lam al-amr.” Lam al-amr, when prefixed to a present tense verb, such as “yadhribna,” makes the verb an imperative, that is, a command. It is not understood as a recommendation, but a specific command directly from Allah Most High to His slaves among the believing women.

Lam al-amr is used in other imperative contexts in the Qur’an. For example, Allah Ta’ala says, “Let the man of means spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what God has given him…” [Al-Talaq, 65:7]

The Arabic reads:

لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ

وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَاهُ اللَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْساً إِلاَّ مَآ ءَاتَاهَا

Here, Allah Most High is commanding men to spend according to their means in the context of child support for divorced wives.

This is understood to be a command, not a recommendation, since men are required to support their children. The lam of command, or lam al-amr, once again appears prefixed to the present verb, “yunfiq,” meaning “to spend.” [Qatr al-Nada, Dar al-Asmaa, 96]

To return to the verse in question, the phrase “wa-lyadhribna bikhumurihinna ala juyubihinna,” is a command for women to draw their veils over their bosoms. Allah Most High did not say, “And tell the believing women to put on their veils,” because implicit in the verse is the understanding that women were already expected to veil. However, unlike the practice at the time of leaving the scarf hanging down the back with the neck and cleavage exposed, Muslim women were to take it one step further and draw the “khimar” or veil over the neck and cleavage area. Those who argue that the Qur’an says nothing about veiling are completely misreading this verse. Not only does the Qur’anic text make it clear that women are expected to veil, it also dictates the extent of the veiling, i.e., covering the neck and cleavage.

This point is elucidated by reports from Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, and other women of the Sahaba, who immediately implemented this verse by tearing up pieces of cloth and covering their hair and bodies. Al-Bukhari recorded that Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “May Allah have mercy on the women of the early emigrants. When Allah revealed the verse:

[وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ]

(and to draw their veils over their bosoms), they tore their aprons and veiled themselves [made khimars] with them.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

The actions of the Sahaba, may Allah be pleased with them all, did not indicate that hijab was optional. I find it interesting that hijab was not legislated in stages, as opposed to the ban on intoxicants. When the verses in Surat al-Nur were revealed, the female Sahaba immediately covered themselves. Would that we had a fraction of their iman!

And Allah knows best.

Umm Salah (Zaynab Ansari)

Photo: Ikhlasul Amal

What is Modest Clothing for Men and Women?

A woman in a headscarf or face veil is one of the most, if not the most, commonly associated image with Islam but the concept of modesty in Islam is a fascinating, profound concept. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a methodical and thorough explanation of how it relates to both men and women.

Dalia Mogahed on The Hijab: A Case of Misplaced Blame?

Following Dalia Mogahed’s rivetting interview on the much-loved Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the following clarification on her Facebook page has created further ripples on social media.
Regarding a woman covering her head, consider these verses:
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head because of the angels.”

No, not the Quran.

It is 1 Corinthians 11:7-11:11 in The Bible.
The problem I think is that many people have this understanding of the head cover (whether they know where it comes from or not), as literally a symbol of man’s authority over women and her inferiority, from the Judea-Christian tradition, and wrongly assume the same applies in Islam. It does not.
Here is the Quranic verses for comparison related to this topic:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most con­ducive to their purity – [and,] verily, God is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms. And let them not display [more of] their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ Sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of women’s nakedness; and let them not swing their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden charms And [always], O you believers – all of you – turn unto God in repentance, so that you might attain to a happy state!” (The Quran 24:30-31)

Dalia-Mogahed-Daily-ShowNot about subjugation

The Quranic verses clearly are dealing with matters of modesty and privatizing the display of beauty, and begin by addressing men to behave respectfully toward women without condition. Nothing at all implies the head covering is a symbol of subjugation or inferiority to men.

Resources for seekers:

Beyond Hijab: Modesty Amongst Women in Islam

In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives advice on reframing the question of Hijab from one of form (clothing) to one of essence (modesty) by using the Prophetic example and the example of the best of women: Khadijah, Fatima, Maryam, A’isha, and Asiya (may Allah, Most High, be pleased with them all).

Can I Wipe My Headscarf Instead of My Head in Wudu?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

Can I perform wudu with my headscarf on? By that I mean running water over my headscarf instead of running water over my hair?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

According to the Hanafi school, it is obligatory to wipe one quarter of the head because of the Words of Allah Most High, “wipe your heads ” [5.6], and the traditions (hadith) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in which he wiped the front part of his head (nasiya). [see: Muslim & elsewhere]

Wiping your headscarf or turban, however, doesn’t fulfil the obligation, derived from the decisive Qur’anic text, of wiping the head, and is thus problematic, and practically, invalid.

As for the traditions which seem to indicate permission of wiping over the turban, they are interpreted to mean that this was (a) done as a form of completion, after the obligatory wiping, or (b) that the wetness was sufficient such that it passed through to the head itself, or (c) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) straightened his turban and the narrator thought that he was wiping it.

[Tahtawi, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah; Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih; `Itr, I’lam al-Anam Sharh Bulugh al-Maram]

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is Hijab Obligatory?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Sometimes I feel strongly about wearing hijab, but what if my husband is no longer attracted to me? Isn’t hijab a concept of modesty? Why do women (generally) in scarves look more attractive these days with perfect makeup and scarf accessories compared to those without? Is Hijab really obligatory?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for your sincerity in doing that which is pleasing to Him.

Obligatory nature of hijab

Please read this related answer to clarify your doubts about the obligation of hijab. In summary, there is no doubt about the obligatory nature of hijab.

Look to the Creator, not creation

Muslims, by virtue of being human, will always fall short. Do not look at the rising ‘hijabista’ movement as a reflection of hijab, nor look at women who uncover during their wedding day or on holidays. Rather, remember the hijab encourages virtues like modesty, chastity, and a focus away from physical beauty.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. You have no control over the actions of others, but you do have control over your actions. If we were to judge Islam based on the actions of Muslims, today and even historically, we would be in trouble! Every soul will answer to Allah, so take responsibility for your own actions.

Repentance

Allah Most High has told us in a Hadith Qudsi, “My servant draws near to Me by nothing more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him.”

The door to seeking forgiveness from Allah is open until the moment your soul leaves your body. Do not fear being a sinful hijabi – acknowledge that you will still sin, but at least when you are in hijab, you are fulfilling an obligation upon you.

Addressing your fears

Your husband is so blessed to have a wife who is keen in bettering her practice of the deen. He will still be able to witness your beauty within the privacy of your home. I pray that his practice of Islam will also strengthen when he sees you wear hijab.

Allah is the Turner of Hearts, including your husband, so make it a habit to wake up before fajr and beg Allah for ease in this matter. Even a regular dua before fajr is a tremendous blessing, until you are able to pray regular tahajjud. Read Ayatul Kursi after every prayer and ask Allah for ease, strength, and commitment. Strengthening your inward state and connection to Allah will help you be steadfast in your outward adherence of hijab, inshaAllah.

May Allah ease the doubts in your heart, and strengthen your resolve to better your practice of Islam.

Wassalam,
Raidah

Related links:

My husband won’t let me wear hijab
Pressured by my parents to take off my hijab: how should I respond?

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

My Husband Wants Me Wear a Headscarf at Home: Is There Any Religious Proof for This?

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: My husband feels it is a higher/advanced level of adab to also wear a head covering at home. As he has taqwa, he feels doing so is more modest and brings greater blessings into the home. He suggests (never enforces) that I should wear head covering even in seclusion with no visitors or non-mahrams. I have no objections to doing this if evidence or proof of this is presented as I wish to obey my husband. Could you please clarify if covering at home is more inline with the principle of ‘haya?  If not, will I be sinning if I refuse? My husband is from Pakistan and I am concerned that this is actually a cultural practice and that there is no recommendation/benefit from my doing so.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thank you for your question. I hope you are doing well inshaAllah.

The Obligation

The obligation regarding dress for women, generally speaking, is that they cover their bodies in front of marriageable (non-mahram) men according to the well-known guidelines of hijab. But there are details for what constitutes the woman’s `awra (nakedness) in different situations. In front of marriageable men, it is everything except her hands, face, and feet. There are other rulings for when in front of marriageable men, non-Muslim women, or in seclusion. As for strictly between spouses, it is permissible for each of them to see any part of the others body.

What Modesty Entails and Prophet Guidance Regarding Modesty

This is in terms of obligation and minimum requirements. However, modesty dictates that one dresses in a way that is honorable and represents the values of Islam. Wearing scanty or revealing dress for no purpose while with members of the household has never been part of the Islamic etiquette and the way of the righteous, even in situations where it would be “legally permissible.”

The precious words of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) describe to us the centrality of modesty (haya’) in our religion:

681. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by one of the men of the Ansar who was admonishing his brother for being too modest. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Let him be. Modesty is part of belief.” [Agreed upon]

682. ‘Imran ibn Husayn reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Modesty only brings good.” [Agreed upon]

In a variant of Muslim, “Modesty is all good.”
[Imam al-Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]

Summary

Legally speaking, covering your hair and body completely when with your husband or in seclusion is neither obligatory nor specifically called upon. However, it would be praiseworthy if you were to do this as an expression of modesty and other Islamic values such as dignity and virtue or decency (`iffa). In your particular situation, it would also be praiseworthy because it would please your husband. Any action that one spouse does for the other in order to bring happiness to him/her and to bring harmony to their relationship is immensely rewarded. It is rewarded on the level of entering happiness into the heart of the believer, on the level of maintaining harmonious family and kinship ties, on the level of establishing a healthy household environment in which Allah can be worshiped, and, if it involves difficulty, on the level of selflessness.

Regarding your concern about cultural practices — if it could be argued that covering oneself more than what is specifically called upon is a cultural practice, it is one that conforms to the values of Islam. It would therefore in no way be something that one needs to avoid, given that one recognizes its appropriate place in the religion.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Tightness of Clothes

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Tightness of Clothes

clothingAnswer: Tightness is, indeed difficult to specifically define. The tighter clothing is, the more disliked it would be–and when it is reasonably likely to attract undue looks as a result of the tightness, then it would become sinful as well.

Caution is best. This does include the legs with very high boots, though “regular” boots wouldn’t be considered disliked (as they are being worn for good reason, and aren’t typically considered “unduly attractive”).

The outer garment should be loose around the chest area, yes.

One should strive to hold oneself to the “higher” ways of greater modesty and decorum, while making excuses for others, and seeking whether we can gently and positively encourage them towards what is better.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani