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Love Hijab, But Afraid of Wearing It

31 January, 2024
Q Thank you for providing us all with support and answers in our greatest times of need. I have a particular dilemma, and it is one that I have been literally grappling with for over 7-8 years now. My problem is Hijab. Well, actually in reality, I should say the problem is with myself or my nafs.Since I became a Muslim, I always wanted to wear hijab. Hijab is something I love and I adore so greatly almost to the extent that I wear it inside my house when I am alone. I even used to fall asleep with it on when I took naps. However, I have never had the courage to wear hijab full-time outside my house.To give a little background about myself, I am an extremely sensitive person. I really do care what others think about me, and I get nervous when I feel people staring at me. I try not to care by reminding myself constantly that nothing hurts or benefits me except that which Allah wills, and Allah has power over all things. Yet, at the same time, I am so afraid to wear hijab. I have worn it outside many times to the grocery store; I wear it every time I go to the masjid. Even last Ramadhan, I accepted to wear hijab full time, but I would wear hats to make it easier for me in public in areas where I felt like people would stare and I would get really uncomfortable. So technically, I cover my hair almost all the time when I go outside, but I think many Muslims would believe that my “hat” is not really a true hijab. I wear loose, long clothes, I lower my gaze, I don’t like mixing with males, I spend much time in the remembrance of Allah, even in the latest times of the night. I literally dedicate my life to Allah and Islam, so why is hijab the only thing that I cannot do fully?I went for a job interview the other day at a hospital and right before the interview I took my hijab off and went there with nothing on my head! I came back home feeling so bad, wishing I was not so afraid. It comes to the point that even I am shaking with it on because I am afraid of how people view me! AstaghfurAllah, this is a serious problem.Now, to complicate things, I really have no support in my life to wear hijab except from Allah. My family accepts that I am a Muslim and they are actually happy, but they do not like hijab. I married a year ago, and recently my husband has literally become anti-hijab and really gets upset when I wear it, but I try to do it anyway and compromise by wearing nice hats instead. Although he is a good husband, it makes him angry even when I wear hats. He even tries to take it off of me. My friends do support me, but at the same time they don’t really understand why it is so hard for me because they were born Muslims and always had that family support system for hijab.Where can I find that inner strength to where the best hijab all the time even when it seems like everyone is against me on it? When is the day going to come when I stop being afraid of people and their judgmental views of me? Please make dua for me; this has been going on for 7 years now. and I feel hopeless. Jazak Allah khair for taking the time to help me. May Allah reward all of you with the highest level of Jannah, ameen.




Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salaam dear sister,

Thank you for your question. You seem to be a devoted and insightful person.

I do not know why hijab is such a difficult task for you, so I will address some of the points you have made, and hopefully you can put together an answer that works for you.

We all care what others think about us. Some people are able to deflect it more.

Depending on the issue, sometimes it’s easier and other times it is harder.

I also think that caring what others think is an Islamic thing.

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We should be concerned with hurting other people’s feelings and take precautions to avoid it, even when we have to do something that will hurt them.

There should be a focus on minimizing their hurt. Of course, there are times when our fear of judgment stops us from doing things that we need to, and this can be problematic as you’ve described in your question.

For times like these, I would question what the barriers are.

Why are you so concerned? What is the underlying fear? How will their opinion of you impact your life?

I think your lack of support from family, especially your husband, maybe a big reason you are unable to wear hijab.

Causing him displeasure will obviously affect your marriage.

Why does he not want you to wear hijab? What are his concerns and reasons? It is important, in every successful marriage, that each person support their spouse in achieving their dreams (without compromising responsibility, of course).

I would wonder what is getting in your husband’s way of helping you obtain something you wish for (and which is obligatory in Islam).

Hijab, like any other, Islamic practice is a means to get closer to God.

Do not let the physical aspect of hijab (the actual piece of cloth) forget what it represents.

There are many opinions about the physical aspect of hijab, so do not feel there is a specific shape for hijab that you have to abide by as long as you are fulfilling the minimum conditions for the right Hijab.

Hijab is more than a piece of clothing.

It is a manner of dress, a manner of conducing oneself, and an overall manner of humility in one’s actions.

You seem to do this, which is good.  Keep your closeness to Allah at the center of your wish and doors open up, in sha’ Allah.

I pray that you find peace with your decision and current circumstances.

Sometimes when we are unable to have something we want, we tend to hyper focus on it.

Therefore, ask Allah to open your heart and give you courage to do something that you feel will bring you closer to Him.

Also ask Him to ease your affairs with your family, because having good relations with family is also one of the ways to gain closeness to God.



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About Attia Zaidi
Attia Zaidi is a writer, educator, social worker and mother. She has worked with the GTA’s Muslim community for over 15 years in various capacities. Currently, Attia runs a small private practice offering therapy for Muslim families.