Muslim in America: Can I Dress Modestly Without Hijab?

25 August, 2017
Q I feel like soon I will take off hijab. I was driving home from picking my kids up from school (I live in a small-town in America) and someone blocked me from driving onto my road and screamed "RAGHEAD!!!!" at me before speeding away. I feel scared daily that someone will run me off the road or something. My kids notice my fear. Can I remove my hijab? I would still dress modestly, of course, but covering my hair is impossible these days. Just impossible.

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally, from Let the Quran Speak, addresses this question in the video below:

Transcript:

Aisha Khaja:

“Is it equally as rewarding for women to cover her chest and other parts of her body with clothing other than khimar while her hair shows? And can you be equally as modest with the hijab as without?”

Dr. Shabir Ally:

“Yeah, so this question requires some elaboration.

A simple answer won’t do, because the possibility of controversy, obviously, is connected with this question.

For a long time, some questions were not asked because there was no need, you know. Societies were fine. Muslim women dressed in a particular way, men in a particular way and… it was never a problem.

Now, of course, some Muslims are facing pressures in European countries where, in some situations, there are restrictions on a Muslim woman wearing a head cover.

And recently in the United States, because of rising anti-Islamic sentiments, a Muslim scholar there, Khaled Abou el-Fadl, of Egyptian origin, has issued a fatwa in which he said that Muslim women are allowed to remove the head covering.

He sees that wearing the head covering actually brings more discrimination on women and he’s given a long argument to show why it’s permissible for women to remove that.

But, we need to examine the question all over again going back to what the Quran actually says, how it displays out in hadith reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him, the early Muslim communities, and what it means for us in our present times.

So, in the Quran itself very little details are given on Islamic law, more generally. And, as to be expected, regarding the clothing, not much is said.

Nowadays, it is quite common for somebody to stand on the Muslim pulpit and delineate: here are the rules on Muslim clothing.

And they will say, “Okay, it must be large enough to cover the entire body of the woman, in particular. It must be large enough to cover the awra—which for men is from the navel to the knee, but for women, it’s the entire body.

And it must also be loose, so that it’s not clinging to the body to reveal the curvature of the body, so as to highlight sexual aspects” and so on.

But all of this is based, to a certain extent, on what the Quran says, to a certain extent on what hadith says, and to a certain extent on what Muslim scholars have derived over time.

So how much does the Quran actually say?”

Watch the video to learn more…


I hope this helps answer your question. You can also check out more from Let the Quran Speak at the link here.

Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.


Learn more:

Remove Hijab Because of Hate Crimes?

 

Hijab, Recommended or Mandatory?

 

To Wear Hijab or Not, Help Me Decide

 

Help! I Have Become a Cultural Muslim

 

About Dr. Shabir Ally
Dr. Shabir Ally holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, with a specialization in Biblical Literature. He also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Quranic Exegesis.
He is the president of the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International in Toronto where he functions as Imam. He travels internationally to represent Islam in public lectures and interfaith dialogues. He explains Islam on a weekly television program called "Let the Quran Speak". Past episodes of this show can be seen online at: www.quranspeaks.com.