Catholic Parents Object That I Wear Hijab

14 January, 2018
Q Salams, I have a problem that is really weighing on me. I'm married to a Muslim and I was brought up Catholic and went to strict schools. Since I met my husband, I have been interested in Islam and trying to gain as much knowledge as I can. I love the meaning of wearing the hijab and know in the bible we are suppose to wear a head covering too. But my problem is my family is Catholic and are against me wearing a scarf. I really want to wear it and I keep getting pulled close to the hijab. I love my parents very much. But I know if I start wearing the hijab, things will be like world war III when I've just got back on good terms with my parents. I can't risk losing them again. My question is: if I wore the hijab all the time, can I take it off when I go out with my parents in public due to massive stress that will be caused by my parents? Wearing it with them it's not that simple as just don't go out, as I have a baby. So, I will have to go out places with my baby and my parents when I visit. What should I do? My heart tells me to wear it, but at the same time, it will cause a lot of emotional stress with my family.


Short Answer:  Give them time to come around and to understand. As a new Muslim, you will take slow steps, so you might need to take a bit of time before you wear hijab in front of your parents for the first time.


Salam (Peace),

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

We make our lives so complicated, don’t we? You seem to be in a real dilemma over the issue of wearing hijab and you want to do what is right.

May Allah guide you in finding the thing that is right for you to do, insha’Allah.

I am not exactly sure from your question whether you are now Muslim or not. You tell us that you were born a Roman Catholic and brought up according to Roman Catholic teaching and that you married a Muslim man.

Since marrying your husband, you tell us that you are interested in Islam and have read about it to find out more.

It seems that your dilemma is what would happen if you accept Islam and then begin to wear hijab, since that would cause difficulties with your parents.

I hope I have understood the situation correctly.

Priority Concepts & Issues

First of all, it is so important to realize that Islam, like Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a mercy to mankind.

{We have sent thee not, but as a Mercy to all creatures.} (Quran 21:107)

Islam is not a punishment, nor is it meant to make our lives difficult.

In resolving your dilemma, you must bear this in mind. When Islam dawned upon the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century it came to set people free, and it still has that same power to set us free today from those things which diminish us.

Hijab, too, is not meant to diminish women in any way, but rather to help them guard their modesty in the sight of others and help them to move freely around without unwanted attention from others.

Hijab is also, incidentally, a way that Muslim women can witness to Allah.

If you are seriously contemplating accepting Islam and becoming Muslim, the only question you have to ask yourself is if it is the right thing for you to do. Forget all other considerations.

Forget “what if” this happens or “what if” that happens. 

Is it right to become Muslim?

If the answer is “yes,” then Allah Almighty will provide you with everything that is necessary for you to live as a Muslim.

One Phase at a Time

Don’t allow perceived problems to paralyze you into not acting. This is one of the shaytan’s cleverest tricks.

If you accept Islam and become Muslim, all these other considerations, such as wearing hijab in different situations, can then be looked at.

The important thing, though, is do you want to be Muslim or not.

Once Muslim, those who have accepted Islam should take slow and careful steps in the way they precede forward.

New Muslims can’t be expected to know everything about Islam all at once, nor to act and behave as mature Muslims right from the first day.

New Muslims are, in fact, like tender young plants needing a lot of care.

New Muslims don’t know Arabic. They are not used to getting up at the crack of dawn to pray or to pray regularly five times each day.

They are not used to certain prohibitions on eating and drinking.

For women, there is the added originality of wearing the Islamic headscarf – which can come as quite a shock.

Practical Tips with Parents

Maybe a way forward with your parents would be to tell them that you have become Muslim, but do not rub it in their faces if you feel it might cause some initial pain or difficulties in your relationship with them.

Once they know you are Muslim, they will be expecting hijab at some stage. So, there is no need to make such a big issue of it.

Give them time to come around and to understand.

Let them see you have not been captured by aliens or joined some terror cell. Let them see you are still the same daughter who loves them and wants to get on well with them.

As a new Muslim, you will take slow steps, so you might need to take a bit of time before you wear hijab in front of your parents for the first time.

Perhaps you might first of all show them a family photograph with your husband and baby – and you in hijab.

You might even want to mention to them that the Virgin Mary is always portrayed wearing hijab

Wearing hijab when you are not with them will eventually become second nature to you and not an issue at all, so you will grow in confidence and one day will feel quite comfortable, whether wearing with your parents or elsewhere.

Start now by praying for your parents and ask Allah to make you a good daughter to them and a good example. Ask Him Almighty to make you the beautiful face of Islam for your parents.

So, take your time. Enjoy being Muslim!

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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

Jessica Broke Down Barriers When She Came to Islam

When I First Put On Hijab