When I was 11 I saw all these older girls wearing the hijab.
So one day I thought I wanted to do it too and wore it for a couple of days. At the time, I had nothing against it as I saw compliments coming from several corners and it really made my mom happy. She even started calling back to our family in Morocco telling them I had started wearing the hijab.
Two weeks into it, I wanted to take it off and I asked my mom a question just to have a foresight if what kind of reaction I could receive.
I asked, “Mom, what do you think of girls that take of their hijab?” Her reply basically stated, taking it off is bad and those girls usually end up throwing away pieces of clothing just to act pretty for boys.
At that time, I was scared of telling her as I thought she would no longer even smile in my direction. Now I’ve worn it for 5 years and I want to confront my mother, but I don’t know how.
I have contemplated on this issue for a couple of years so I am sure that this is what I want. Please help me, how should I confront her?
In this counseling answer:
It is possible that you feel such need to remove the hijab because you were never really taught by your parents the deep meaning behind the practice of hijab. So, learn first about the hijab in Islam.
Personally reach out to active women members in your community and ask them why they choose to wear the hijab.
Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.
Intention vs. Action
Dear sister, in Islam, the intention is more important than action.
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” (Bukhari)
IF you are worshiping without an intention, then there is no meaning to the worship. It is not coming from your heart.
Imam as-Sadiq said,
“Anyone who performs a small act for the sake of God, God will make it bigger than he wishes in the sight of others. And anyone who performs a great act for the sake of people, God will make it trivial in the sight of others.” (Rawdhah al-Muttaqin, vol. 12, p. 142.) (Al-islam.org)
Therefore, dear sister, it is possible that you feel such need to remove the hijab because you were never really taught by your parents the deep meaning behind the practice of hijab.
If you were told that the hijab is a symbol of modesty, then you can argue back saying that loose clothing is equivalent.
If you are told that hijab is a symbol of obedience for Allah, then you can argue back saying that obedience can be shown in different ways.
However, hijab, alongside being a symbol of modesty and obedience for Allah, is a sign of your love to Allah. By wearing a hijab, you are making a statement that you are obeying Allah.
We tend to only obey those who we love, those who we know to be speaking in our favor, and those who tend to guide us and help us and are on the lookout for us. We do not simply obey anyone. We only obey those we love – and those who love us back.
This is the special relationship that Allah has with all His creation. And even more so with His slaves, us. It is what we are doing to please Allah.
Hijab in the Quran
Wearing a hijab and taking it off is a big step. Hijab is a command by Allah for women. It is a step towards developing a love for Allah and prioritizing what’s important in this life and the afterlife.
It’s letting yourself and others know that you value what is more important to Allah than valuing what is more important to the world around you.
Hijab is a symbol of your love for Allah and devotion to what He has told. By no means am I implying that it is the ONLY way. However, it is one of the most important ways that has been especially pointed in the Quran.
Allah tells us in the Quran,
“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)
” And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and their ornaments except what appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty…” [Qur’an 24:31].
In essence, believing women are asked to cover themselves up as it is better for them.
Hidden Benefits of Obedience to Allah
Although we are obeying the commands of Allah as an act of obedience towards Him so that we can please Him, there are in fact hidden benefits for us.
Check out this counseling video:
In the society in which we live today, women are seen more as objects rather than individuals.
A woman is usually praised and complimented based on her beauty. I am sure you have heard this before, but there are lots of feminists who are promoting the fact that women should not simply be praised on their beauty, but also on their intelligence, wit, strength, etc.
Therefore, when a Muslim woman wears a hijab, she is stating that her recognition is not beauty, but rather her brain, her strength, her careers, etc. Hijab makes a statement that we are to be judged for our worth, not our appearance.
Make hijab your identity, not simply an action is done without any consideration.
If you take your time to understand the hijab by asking someone of knowledge about its benefits, you will soon realize that it is not easy to take off a simple piece of clothing.
Confronting Your Parents
It is definitely going to be hard for your parents to accept that you truly want to remove the hijab. Like I said, whatever action you want to do must be accompanied by a true and loving intention underneath.
What your mom said regarding the fact that other women remove their hijab and will eventually remove more of their clothing is a sad but true reality.
I have seen many women who remove their hijab at the age of 17-19, and their intention is simply to fit in.
When a sense of impulsively wanting to fit in is grounded in the heart, then the individual can go to any distances to try and want to fit in in the crowd.
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I realize that you are 17 and are living in a place and during the times where there is an overemphasis on beautifying externally and not giving much attention to intelligence.
However, despite such times, there are some women who choose to wear the hijab. There are women doctors with Hijab, women athletes, women politicians, women engineers, women teachers and scholars, etc. etc.…
I want you to personally reach out to active women members in your community and ask them why they choose to wear the hijab. What was it about the hijab that made them give up a lifestyle without the hijab?
And, after you have enlisted their thoughts, I suggest to review which of them you agree and disagree with.
If you still feel the intensive desire to remove your hijab, I suggest, you tell your parents that before you commit to hijab, you would like to learn more about it so that you are wearing it from the heart before you physically wear it.
May Allah make it easy for you,
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