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Husband Doesn’t Allow Me to Wear Hijab

08 August, 2022
Q As-Salamu 'Alaykum, first of all, I want to point out that both my husband and I were brought up to believe in Allah and the basics of Islam, but neither of us had a complete Islamic upbringing. We were not taught to pray, our mothers do not wear hijab except when being in a mosque and while praying, etc. But I want to raise my kids differently as, by the Mercy of Allah, I have recently returned back to praying and trying to live as a better Muslim. Now to the question: I have recently started to have the feeling that I want to wear hijab. I am almost 100% ready to wear it. But my husband doesn't want me to wear it. He is worried about that people might verbally or physically attack me, and he also thinks that since we live in the USA, it just doesn't fit like it would if we lived in a Muslim country. He says he doesn't want to always feel like a stranger. I told him that Islam came as a stranger and will return to being a stranger, but he hasn't changed his mind. Now, I know it's not going to be easy at first, but I am at that point in my religion where I am more worried about pleasing Allah than anyone else. I am not perfect but trying to do as much as I can. I can't say that I have no fear about what people could possibly say or do, but I also believe that by pleasing Allah, He will protect me. I have tried talking to my husband about me wearing the hijab, but he always says no. He doesn't have a problem with any other religious duties except hijab. I understand it is my right to choose to wear it or not, but I don't want to fight with my husband which might lead to divorce. I understand that everyone is responsible for their own actions, but in this case I am worried whether I will be punished if I don't wear hijab because my husband doesn't allow it?



As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

Alhamdulilah, may Allah (swt) continue to guide you on the straight path and bring you all the knowledge and strength to practice the deen as it has been prescribed to us.

Wearing the hijab publicly has been an issue discussed a lot, especially in recent time, and will inevitably raise concern for us all as Muslims due to the attacks that have occurred on people as a result.

Where a Muslim man’s identity as a Muslim is not so obvious, as sisters, wearing hijab is obviously a lot more covert and openly identifies us a Muslim.

The hijab is an obligation on us as women and, therefore, is a must that we wear it, even in situations where we may fear persecution.

It can certainly feel very daunting when we hear all the negative stories in the media about it; however, there a number of things we must always keep in mind to remain strong in our desire to wear it.

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Firstly, Allah (swt) said we should wear it and there is a very good reason for this. It serves as a protection to us.

Remember that we wear it to obey the command of Allah (swt) and that we are not doing it for anyone but Him (swt).

Therefore, the judgements of others are irrelevant. Ultimately, Allah (swt) is the One who will be judging our life on this earth and not anyone else.

Therefore, it is more important for us to strive to please Him (swt) even if it meant that everyone else on the planet was displeased.

This can be easier said than done when your spouse does not agree that you fulfill this obligation of wearing the hijab and you fear the consequences of disobeying him.

However, whilst in most cases, you should respect what your husband says, when a husband tells the wife to do something that is haram or outside of the fold of Islam, then they cannot obey such a command. 

Understandably, he is worried for your safety and this is a sign of his love for you, so you might reassure him that it is an obligation on you to wear it and that your fear of Allah (swt) is worth more than the fear of persecution from others.

In sha’ Allah, if he loves you for the sake of Allah (swt) and wants what is best for you in the Hereafter, then he will begin to support you with this.

Perhaps at the start, he could accompany you out to see for himself the kind of reaction that you get from others around you.

In sha’ Allah, he will come to realize that even though people may stare, the reaction probably won’t be half as bad as he expects.

Whilst we hear many stories of people being persecuted for wearing it, there are just as many (often unreported) stories of people actually desiring to ask questions about Islam and find out more.

In many cases, they even revert to Islam as a result. We can use it as an indirect form of making dawah.

People see the hijab and automatically know we are Muslims and will make judgements about Islam based on our behavior.

Therefore, having this constant reminder on our head will always encourage us to act the best of ways to show the beauty of Islam and that Muslims are not all as bad as is portrayed in the media.

Use it as a chance to challenge the stereotypes that exist for Muslims right now.

Being in the minority, wearing the hijab provides the perfect opportunity to do this.

So, yes, maybe as a Muslim you don’t “fit in” as much as you would in a country where the majority are Muslim, but you can use this to your advantage and do your best to mix in as much as everyone else, and let people know that Muslims are good people.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to proceed with your decision to wear the hijab and reward you for doing so.

May He (swt) soften your husband’s heart to accept you in doing so, and may He (swt) open the hearts of others’ hearts to Islam in accepting you into the community with no problems.



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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)