Wearing Hijab: Can My Husband Order Me to Remove It?

27 November, 2019
Q I have been married for almost a year now. My husband had been living in America for the past few years and I joined him here after marriage. When I came here, I discovered that he is involved in a lot of un-Islamic practices like drinking and such.I, however, try my best to cope with all these, as he is a very nice person aside from all that. However, the major problem I face is in wearing hijab. He doesn't like me wearing it because he says it embarrasses him to be seen with me anywhere he goes.He doesn't take me when he is out with his friends and says we can’t do a lot of activities because of my scarf.I take all this, but it has now come to the point where he stops talking to me for days entirely because he is upset about my scarf.I know I can’t take it off and I don’t want to take it off, but what to do? I don’t know any solution for it.From what I have seen, my family and his will tell me to take it off for peace between me and him. This problem is making me miserable. Please, help.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- It is an unbecoming behavior of the husband to try to prevent his wife from wearing hijab. Hijab is a symbol of honor and dignity for the Muslim woman.

2- The wife who is faced by such difficult situation should try her best to convince her husband not to prevent her from wearing hijab.

3- The wife is advised to resort to all possible means to convince him as in Islam a Muslim wife can’t obey a person whether he is a husband or whatever, at the expense of disobeying Allah.


Responding to the question, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Professor of Fiqh and its Principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:

Thanks a lot for your kind question. Let me start with invoking the Almighty to grant you and your beloved husband strong faith.

Truly, it is a very disheartening and unbecoming situation to try to prevent the wife from wearing hijab.

I would like to tell you, dear sister, that we are all living in this world temporarily and one day we shall leave it and be over there where we will be held responsible for whatever we do in our lives.

Never Disobey Allah

Accordingly, you should never ever think of obeying your beloved husband in taking off your hijab to please his un-Islamic feeling and desire. You should and you have to please your Lord the Almighty.

Furthermore, you should remind your husband that in pleasing Allah the people will be pleased with you.

At the same time, disobeying Allah for the sake of pleasing people will lead to the displeasure of the people sooner or later.

Therefore, he should be worried about Allah’s anger not people’s dissatisfaction.

Be Proud of Your Religion

It is necessary for both of you to feel so proud of being Muslims and never ever think of hiding your religion in order to please others.

I call upon your beloved husband to fear Allah and remember that forcing others to commit a sin is a grave sin and a crime in the eyes of Islam.

One might be subjected to the curse of Allah, which will complicate his life in the future. I am sure and certain that there is nothing wrong with wearing hijab in any place in the States.

It is true that the image of Islam is tarnished by wrong practices of some Muslims, but this is not an excuse to hide one’s faith and distance oneself from this great religion.

All in all, you have to find all means and ways of convincing your beloved husband that there is no way that you will take off your hijib to please his friends or his unjustified fear before his friends.

Help Your Husband

Having said that, I call upon you to keep praying for him and helping him to avoid all prohibited activities such as drinking.

You have to make sure that he is punctual in his Prayers. Do tell him that Islam is practiced by 2 billion people in the world. Therefore, there is no reason to feel shy or ashamed of performing your religious duties or practicing this great religion.

Finally, may Allah protect you both and strengthen your belief and faith.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.