Should She Wear Hijab Even Though Her Family Will Be Harmed Because Of That?

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What is the ruling on a woman who wears hijab in an Arab country which forbids hijab by force and by harming the woman's religious commitment and social interests? Should she remain steadfast even though some of her family members may be harmed indirectly? Please advise me.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is a serious crime and a reprehensible action to prevent a Muslim woman from wearing hijab as enjoined by Allaah and forcing her by law to uncover her head and face and go out unveiled among people.

The Muslim has to adhere to the rulings of sharee'ah and "there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator." The Muslim woman's hijab is one of the duties that she is obliged to fulfil. The harm that a woman imagines will befall her or her family may be baseless, or it may not be extreme, and it may be something that can be put up with. So she has to continue to adhere to correct Islamic dress.

If the harm is extreme and certain, or it is most likely that it will happen, then the woman can take off her hijab in order to protect her honour and religious commitment, but she has to remain as covered and as modest as she possibly can. In this case it is not permissible for her to go out of the house except when absolutely necessary, and there is no concession allowing her to go out to study or to buy things that someone else can bring to her. What we mean is that she should only go out for essential needs that cannot easily be dealt with at home, or for some shar'i action that she cannot forsake, and so on.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

In some countries Muslim women may be forced to take off their hijab and leave their heads uncovered. Is it permissible for them to do that, knowing that whoever refuses to do that is faced with consequences such as losing their jobs or being expelled from school?

The Shaykh replied:

This calamity which is happening in some countries is one of the things by means of which a person may be tested. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'aan, and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings.]

2. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested.

3. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)"

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:1-3]

What I think is that Muslim women in these countries should refuse to obey people in charge (the rulers) in this evil action, because obeying those in authority in doing something that is wrong is not allowed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority"

[al-Nisa' 4:59]

If you think about the meaning of this verse, you will note that Allaah says "Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority" – but the verb (obey) is not repeated in the third case with regard to those who are in authority. This indicates that obedience to those in authority is secondary to obedience to Allaah and obedience to His Messenger. If their command is contrary to obeying Allaah and His Messenger, then they should not be listened to or obeyed in that which goes against obedience to Allaah and His Messenger. "There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to the Creator."

The persecution that a woman may face in this regard is something that has to be borne with patience, and she should seek the help of Allaah in being patient. We ask Allaah to guide those in authority to the truth. I do not think that this forcing her not to wear hijab can take place unless the woman leaves her home, but if she stays at home no one can force her, so she can stay in her house so that she will be safe from this thing. With regard to studies that will lead to her committing sin, this is not permissible, rather she should study whatever she needs for her religious and worldly interests. This is sufficient, and this can usually be done at home.

As'ilat al-Usrah al-Muslimah, p. 22, 23

And Allaah knows best.

She is not allowed to wear hijab, so how can she go out to work and meet her needs?

My question is about hijab. Women here are forbidden to wear hijab and they are treated badly in addition to the fact that they are not allowed to enter their workplaces or other places such as police stations, so they have no choice but to take off their hijab. What is the solution, especially since we have to meet our own needs and especially at work?.

Praise be to Allaah.

For a woman to wear hijab in front of non-mahram men is an obligation that is indicated in the Qur'aan and Sunnah and by scholarly consensus. It is not permissible for anyone to enjoin otherwise or to prevent those who want to follow this command, otherwise he is going against the command and laws of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error" [al-Ahzaab 33:36]

"And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell — what an evil destination!" [al-Nisa' 4:115]

"But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission" [al-Nisa' 4:65]


It is not permissible for a woman to be careless about this obligation or to go out of her house with any part of her body uncovered, unless she is forced to do so in a case of necessity that makes that which is haraam permissible, such as if she is summoned to a police-station, and she cannot avoid going there because that would result in harm to herself or her property.

As for going out to work, if she does not have to do that because what she is given by her husband or father or other relative who is obliged to support her is sufficient for her, then it is not permissible for her to go out to work if that will result in her taking off her hijab.

The Muslims have to cooperate with regard to this matter and ensure that Muslim women are independent of means so that they are not compelled to go out in ways that involve sin. That may be achieved by calling on fathers and relatives to spend generously on them and to provide some useful work that women can do in their homes, so that they will have no need to go out for any reason that may lead to them taking off their hijab and exposing them to harm because of wearing it.

This depends on convincing the men that hijaab is obligatory, because many of them do not care about that, and some of them are keen for their wives and daughters to go out and work, and some of them will not agree to marry a woman who does not work, even if her work means that she has to take off the hijaab. This ignorance and shortcoming on the part of the men is one of the greatest causes of this problem, and one of the reasons why the matter is not being resolved. We should strive to spread this knowledge, remind people of it and train them to follow it, so that every man will be keen to protect his family and dependents, and will realize that he will be questioned tomorrow about this trust – did he take care of it or not? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There is no person to whom Allaah entrusts the care of others and he does not take care of them sincerely, but he will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise." Narrated by al-Bukhaari (7150) and Muslim (142).

In fact, Muslims are individually obliged to strive to remove this evil, and to adopt all the necessary means of achieving that, through organizations and associations etc., so as to relieve their women of hardship and enable every Muslim woman to wear her hijab. They should not despair and give up on doing this duty. How many rights have been restored to people by means of patience, effort and striving.


If a woman is in dire straits and cannot find any alternative to going out to work because she has no one to support her, and she is also forced to take off the hijab, then if she is able to migrate to a land where she will be able to practise her religion openly and obey the commands of her Lord, she is obliged to do so.

Ibn al-‘Arabi said in Ahkaam al-Qur'aan (1/612):

Migration (hijrah) from dar al-kufr (kaafir lands) to dar al-Islam (Muslim lands) is obligatory.

And from a land where innovation is widespread. Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is not permissible for anyone to settle in a land in which the salaf are reviled.

And from a land in which haraam things are prevalent, for seeking halaal is an obligation for every Muslim.

But not everyone may be able to migrate, and it cannot be regarded as a solution for all Muslim women.

If a women really needs to go out of her house to work or do some errands etc, and the matter is limited to uncovering the face only, then we hope that there is nothing wrong with her doing that.

But we must strive to solve this problem completely, as stated above, by advising those who are in positions of responsibility and asking them for this religious and personal right. The daa'iyahs who call people to Allaah and the scholars have to explain to the people that hijab is an obligation that Allaah has enjoined upon the Muslim women.

It is very strange that we see this intense war against hijab, the symbol of chastity and purity, and at the same time we see that the door is wide open for immoral and promiscuous women.

Be patient, O believing women, for the reward of Allaah is precious and there will come a day in which the religion of Allaah will prevail over all other religions.

"It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) hate (it)" [al-Tawbah 9:33]

"And Allaah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not" [Yoosuf 12:21

We ask Allaah to guide this ummah so that people of obedience will be honoured and people of disobedience will be humiliated, , and to help you and all the Muslim women to adhere to hijab and give up wanton display and unveiling.

And Allaah knows best.


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