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Can I Remove My Hijab for My Safety?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I’m visiting UK for my studies. I wear hijab. The issue is that due to Islamophobic attacks increasing in the UK, a lot of people are suggesting me to not wear hijab for my safety. I’ll be living with my brother however I would have to travel alone to the university. Please advise me what I should do?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question.

Please stay strong and be confident, and do not act upon the suggestions made to you. Hijab is an obligation, and like any obligation it is not so easily lifted. Also, despite the increase in Islamophobia, you will find that generally the vast majority of people in the UK are very tolerant and supportive, insha’Allah,

Hijab

Unless you’re going to be living in remote country villages, you’ll find many sisters in the UK wearing hijab and going out their daily affairs, without harassment, especially in larger cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester etc.

It can be daunting for our Muslim sisters to go out in hijab at present, as unfortunately, they are easy targets. In these testing times, rather than shy away and compromise our freedom, rights and principles, we should try to see this as a way of increasing our faith and striving in the way of Allah.

Take heart in knowing that this is not something specific to our times. Muslims were tested, harassed, and much worse, throughout the centuries. Allah tests those whom he loves most, and through these tests, we become more cherished and greater in Allah’s eyes, even if other people look down on us. Let them, we have Allah and His Messenger on our side.

Be confident, firm, and friendly, and insha’Allah, you’ll have no problems.

Precautionary Measures

Having said the above, we should also be vigilant and take precautions, especially if you have some anxieties:

1. Say your du’a for protection when leaving the house, such as,

بِسْمِ اللهِ، تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللهِ، وَلَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللهِ

In the Name of Allah, I have placed my trust in Allah, there is no might and no power except by Allah.

الَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَضِلَّ، أّوْ أُضَلَّ، أَوْ أَزِلَّ، أَوْ أُزَلَّ، أَوْ أَظْلِمَ، أَوْ أُظْلَمَ، أَوْ أَجْهَلَ، أَوْ يُجْهَلَ عَلَيَّ

O Allah, I seek refuge in You lest I misguide others , or I am misguided by others , lest I cause others to err or I am caused to err , lest I abuse others or be abused, and lest I behave foolishly or meet with the foolishness of others. [al Tirmidhi]

2. Go out in groups if possible, whether with family, or other females. If you know a fellow student who lives close by or on the same route, perhaps see if you can arrange to meet up on route.

3. Avoid staying out late, especially on weekends when people usually go to bars etc. If you must, then be out in a group.

4. Use main roads. Avoid quite back streets and parks at night.

5. If using public transport, sit in busier carriages rather than quieter ones. When waiting on platforms, don’t stand on the edges.

6. Have a mobile phone at hand at all times.

7. You don’t have to wear black only. Choose colours which are neutral and don’t stand out too much.

8. If you feel unsafe or threatened anywhere, try to get to a public space, such as a shop, restaurant, station etc.

9. For further advice, please refer to this TellMama resource page:

https://tellmamauk.org/resources/

May Allah keep you safe and protect you. Likewise, may He protect all the Muslims, especially our sisters. May He make us steadfast and patient, make our hearts God-fearing before fearing others, and make us a source of guidance for others. Allah is well acquainted with what we do for Him and what others do to us for our faith in Him, so let us bear with what they do and say, and pray for their guidance.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

My Brother-In-Law Is Violent. Do I Have the Right to Move Out?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am extremely worried. I am married and live with my in-laws. However, my younger brother-in-law has a mental issue. He screams, swears and hits his family members. Now matters are getting worse. Can I move out with my husband?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah remove you from this harmful situation, grant you righteous offspring, and may He grant your brother-in-law complete healing.

Living arrangements

Even under normal circumstances, you have the right to move out and live in your own private quarters. I encourage you and your husband to read this excellent article, A Wife’s Right to Housing Separate From Her In-Laws, by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari.

Despite that, there can be very strong expectations for married children to live under one roof, especially in certain cultures. A wife can choose to forgo her Islamic right for the sake of maintaining harmony. Allah will reward her immensely for her patience and sacrifice. This is not an easy living arrangement, but the arrival of grandchildren often does smooth things over.

However, in your situation, your safety, your husband’s safety, and the safety of your future children is at stake. Your children are a trust given to you by Allah. Your current living situation is unsafe and unsuitable for raising a family.

Safety

The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Whoever persists in asking for forgiveness, Allah will grant him relief from every worry, and a way out from every hardship, and will grant him provision from (sources) he could never imagine.” [Ibn Majah]

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and ask Allah to help you out of this hardship. Guard your prayers, make regular istighfar, salawat upon the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) and give in charity.

I urge you and your husband to move out after having a frank discussion with the rest of his family. Try your best to explain things in a way which they can eventually accept. It is understandable for them to react negatively (denial, anger, shock etc), but continue to treat them with respect and kindness. Even after moving out, you and your husband must still visit and maintain family ties.

Help

Your brother-in-law needs professional help. Is there a family therapist/counsellor/psychologist he can see? I am aware of the deep stigma attached to mental illness, but this issue will not go away on its own. It sounds like all of your in-laws and your husband need some kind of family counselling to help them heal from being physically and emotionally abused.

There are many psychiatric and psychological support networks which your in-laws can tap into. Please start by speaking to your family doctor. Many people who suffer from these imbalances do get better through a combination of counselling, medication, diet and lifestyle changes, and spiritual exercises.

First things first. Speak to your in-laws, move out, heal, and be there to support them from a safe distance.

Please refer to the following links:
Reader on In-Laws
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wasalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Afraid to get groceries? Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray on being a Muslim woman in today’s turbulent climate

Each time a high profile act of violence is committed by a Muslim or in the name of Islam, the fear of reprisal attacks rises acutely in Muslim communities. It has become almost par for the course, and the statistics prove the threat is real. Often, women who are visibly Muslim find themselves the primary soft target. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has been inundated with concerned messages from many who are directly and indirectly affected. From being afraid to leave the home to do basic, every day errands to fearing for their lives – this has become the sad reality for many. Ustadha Anse has some much needed advice.

Resources for seekers:

Finding Safety and Solace in the Sunnah

In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Sayyiduna Muhammad and His Folk and Companions.


In any matter that faces the believers, individually and communally, they would not find a better recourse than to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). 

Times of trial are reminders to hold fast to Allah and to find safety and solace in following the way of our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).  

It is related that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would exit his house he would say:

Finding-Solace-Iman-Badawi3

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might or power but in Allah. O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip, or cause injustice, or suffer injustice, or do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”

This supplication, as it appears here, is a combination of reports from the Sunnan of Abi Dawud, on the authority of Sayyida Umm Salama and Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be well-pleased with them all).  Imam an-Nawwawi, in his Adhkar, collected similar narrations from at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaa`i, and Ibn Maajah.  

Ibn Allan, in his commentary on the Adhkar, entitled al-Futoohat ar-Rabbaniyya, explains that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught this supplication to his ummah to teach them how to seek refuge from all harm in their dealings with people, both outwardly and inwardly. This can only come about through humbly turning to Allah, Most High, and asking for steadfastness upon the straight path.

He quotes at-Teebi as saying, “One who exits from his home will engage with people, and so it is feared that he would swerve from the upright way; either 

  1. in matters of religion, by leading others astray or being led astray; or 
  1. in worldly matters, such that one might oppress another or be oppressed; or 
  1. in one’s mixing with others, such that one would act imprudently or be treated as such.”

Ibn Allan explains that each one of these is a foundation in itself, not redundant.

 


TRUST IN ALLAH

Dua-RainNewImage.png“In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah.”

Through reliance upon Allah, the believer seeks to rise above every difficulty. This is sought by invoking the name of Allah with the intention of seeking His Assistance, Gentle Care, and Facilitation and that His Power protects one’s acts from deficiency and inconsistency.

Muslims often become exasperated by the default state of suspicion placed upon them in the wake of terrorist attacks.  While we must take every means to enjoin good and forbid evil and avert all forms of harm, it is not by our efforts that the truth prevails.  Rather, above all of that is the duty to trust in Allah.

 

MISGUIDANCE

“O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip

Guidance is to uphold the truth in belief and word and deed. Straying from guidance (dalaal) entails being distracted away from the high aims for which we were created.

Worldly events often cause a shift in this focus and lead to negligence in upholding Slavehood to Allah.  

The verb “zalla” means to slip from an elevated place. In this context it means falling from the lofty heights of adherence to the Straight Path to the low strata of following one’s caprice (hawa), or turning away from the dictates of God-consciousness (taqwa), or being consumed by the pursuit of worldly gains (dunya).  Misguidance is a willful turning from the truth, while slipping is an unintentional mistake resulting from weakness.  

Even as Muslims feel threatened or unsafe, we must not lose our resolve to adhere to the obedience of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in all circumstances. This is the means to overcoming difficulty and the manifestation of true reliance upon Allah.

Thus, it has been reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (may Allah be well-pleased with him) that Allah immediately answers and an angel declares, “You have been guided.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Book of Supplications]

 

OPPRESSION

“I seek refuge in You lest I….cause injustice, or suffer injustice”

Dhulm means to place something in other than it’s rightful place or to take the right of another.  

There can be no greater oppression than to take the words of Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) out of their proper place to achieve the exact opposite of their aims. However, a believer is responsible for his or her own actions.  Thus, one will not be asked about the oppression of others before he is first asked about his own.

One who has been protected by Allah from oppression will have what our Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) promised, as the hadith continues to say:

“You have been sufficed.”, meaning, of every worldly and next-worldly concern by your reliance upon Allah. 

 

IGNORANCE

“I seek refuge in You lest I…. do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”

This entails being ignorant of what is obligatory upon one or to act in a way that is contrary to the character of a believer or to be treated with like imprudence.

Incidents that provoke anger, fear and hatred are easily reciprocated with their like.  In that is a victory for the true enemy.  

Thus the angel responds, “You have been guarded.”, meaning from the harm of your enemies, of devils and jinn, by your sincere consigning of all affairs to the Creator.

 

Concern For Others & Praying for the Good for all Believers

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was granted the most succinctly eloquent and vastly comprehensive speech.  In this short supplication, he teaches us to seek protection, both from these harms and from being the cause of leading others to them.  There is no harm to recite it in English for one who finds difficulty memorizing it in Arabic.

In the narration of at-Tirmidhi, the same supplication has been narrated in the plural, intending all the believers.  This is a general recommendation, as it is from wishing for one’s brother what one wishes for one’s self. [Sunan at Tirmidhi, Book of Supplications, on the authority of Sayyida Umm Salama from ash-Sha’bi]

 

Planting Prophetic Meanings

Most of the Sunnah is habitual guidance; a consistent way of approaching our dealings with our Creator and our dealings with the creation.  Good habits are best established early. Through teaching this supplication to our children, explaining its meanings and reciting it with them consistently, every time we leave our homes, we pray that it’s beautiful meanings are imparted to them.  

 

Modern Interactions

The reality of our modern world is that we now engage with people, to a great extent, through social media.  Thus, the harms from which we seek protection through this supplication are no longer limited to leaving one’s home.   As the aim of du’a` is sincere turning to Allah in neediness, it would be a good practice to recite this supplication or, at least, bring its meanings to mind in all human interactions.  

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Allah, Most High, says:

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is your return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do. [Quran 5:105]

By Iman Badawi

 

Resources for seekers:

Faith Breeds Safety, Surat al-Baqarah (verse 126): Duas from the Qur’an Explained

You’re listening to a series of lessons on important duas found in the Qur’an, as explained by Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad Al Azhari – a distinguished master of the Qur’an and scholar in residence at Seekershub Toronto during Ramadan 2015.

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