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Hijab: All Or Nothing?

11 February, 2017
Q I am not veiled but I believe in it 100% and I love it and think it is mandatory and the right thing to do. I hope I have the courage to do it very soon (please pray for me). My issue is, when I see veiled girls wearing tight pants, I really feel sad and mad because this is not how hijab should be like. The whole point of hijab and modesty in terms of appearance is to cover yourself properly and not attract attention to your body and your curves and your beauty. Insha'Allah when I do wear it I want to do it right because I represent Islam. Am I wrong for thinking that one should either do it 100% right or not at all?


Beloved Sister, Peace be upon you!

I’m very happy to hear your question. Your sincerity and the goodness in your heart are clearly manifested in your words.

May Allah Almighty aid you in your journey and help you lead the purest most righteous life here, and reward you for eternity in the hereafter. Ameen.

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It is admirable that you think that hijab needs to be done properly so that it reflects its true meaning.

However, let us think together about your argument.

As you know, wearing hijab is required for Muslim women once they reach puberty. Some follow this commandment, and others don’t. Both are being tested by Allah. We are all being tested actually.  The Creator says that it is He:

{who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving} (Quran 67:2)

{And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs.} (Quran 47:31)

In this test of modesty, those who are not fully committed to all it’s requirements may be getting around 50% right. But, what you need to consider is that while they’re getting 50%, you are getting 0% on this specific test.

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The rationale of: “I either get full marks on the exam, or I fail completely” is not really helpful here.

Mind you, we are not judging anyone here. We’re only contemplating the rationale you presented. What we mean is instead of judging others, try as much as possible to also do the right thing as much as you can because you’re also being tested. Your test doesn’t start only when you decide to wear the hijab.

Now, let’s clarify a few points.

1-Only Allah Almighty is the Knower of the Seen and Unseen and He is the Ultimate Judge of all His creations. So, we are not in any position to judge others, we only do what He has asked us to do, which is to follow His commands and to kindly advise and help one another on this path.

2-We do not ever say in our deen “it’s all or nothing”, rather it’s a journey and we all have huge room for improvement. So, saying you either do it 100% right or not at all is not in line with the teachings of Islam.

Allah’s Name is AsShakoor (The Most Appreciative) and He appreciates all the efforts that His slaves are doing sincerely and earnestly on His path for His Sake.

Additionally, The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Allah says: ‘When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Al-Bukhari)

So, taking a step for the sake of Allah leads to Him descending more help, aid, and blessings on the way of the seeker, which will enable him/her to do more and elevate more and get closer and closer to Allah.

Allah didn’t say to only meet Him at the highest point. He asked us to take steps and walk on the path to Him. And we will find Him helping us when He sees us putting in the effort.

Remember: we are on a journey. What you said is like saying, I either reach the destination point or remain where I am, I don’t like those standing on the middle of the road. The issue here is that you need to start walking and taking steps to reach the destination; you’re not going to jump there suddenly.

Also, those in the middle of the road are closer to the destination than the ones who are still at the starting point and didn’t take any steps. We can’t tell them: you either jump right on the destination point, or remain at the starting point/don’t move at all.

Also consider this, just because some people don’t pray with utmost khushoo (concentration/humility) doesn’t mean they should give up prayer entirely or that they shouldn’t even approach it until they do it 100% right.

Rather, one should remain on the right path, trying and struggling and persevering until he/she reaches the desired state.  Same with hijab

3-Remember that Allah says:

{Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity […]} (Quran 2:286)

And Allah has ordained the hijab for Muslim women (and men, but in a different way) while He is The All-Knowing. So, He knows it is doable and within the capacity of believing women of all walks of life.

We encourage you to take the step, not to hesitate and to do what you can do and what you know is right. You never know when the test will be over, and you never know when your exam will be pulled from your hands. So, do as much as you can now.

Also, pray for your sisters who are also struggling with hijab. Maybe their struggle is worthwhile in the Sight of Allah. May Allah help us all fulfill His commands with strength and dignity and sincerity as He pleases! Ameen.

For now, do not judge others or focus on being judged by them. Just focus on Allah. Take steps and ask Him to help you more and more.

Be nice, kind, gentle, and merciful with your sisters who are also on the journey. We need each others’ aid, love, support, and wisdom. We’re here to strengthen one another, not break one another.

May Allah soften our hearts and help us and make us of help to one another. Ameen.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Do I Have to Wear Hijab to Be a Good Muslim?

Why Are Women Ordered to Wear Hijab While Men Aren’t?

The Why of Hijab