Friday, November 24, 2017 - 6 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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A married woman wears hijab but her husband asks her to take it off. Is he allowed to do so?

A married woman wears hijab but her husband asks her to take it off. Is he allowed to do so?

Answer

The hijab for a Muslim woman is obligatory once she reaches puberty. This is the consensus of the religious scholars of the Ummah. The prophet Muhammad said “there is no obedience to a creature if it is seen as disobedience in the sight of the Creator”. In other words, your husband has no right to ask you to take off your hijab from the legal perspective. Therefore, according to the Islamic law you are not obliged to abide by his request.

From the sent question however I believe the husband is having a major misunderstanding regarding Islam and modernity. He is falsely equating the percentage of how much the woman is willing to reveal of her body with how modern she is. This measure is logically false for the simple reason that modernity has nothing to do with fashion and life style. Modernity does not mean following the mob blindly but it rather indicates freedom in choosing what suits one best without infringing on other people’s right to make an equal choice. As a matter of fact following the mob blindly is against Islam because it leads to committing wrong action in the false name of being popular or agreeable among many people.

The hijab does not prevent women from being an equal partner in society but it actually enables them to play fairly in the work field just as men without having extra advantages by not wearing modestly. I think the wife needs to conduct a heart to heart conversation with her husband in which she explains that taking off the hijab jeopardizes immensely her sense of freedom and compromises greatly her religious beliefs. If her husband loves her enough and respect her choices, he will consent to her decision of wearing the veil. Respecting the wife’s choices in life should be one of the bases for having a healthy marital relationship irrespective of the husband’s degree of religiosity. In other words whether the husband is praying or not, he should respect his wife’s choice of praying which in your case he does. When it comes to hijab, he needs to show an equal understanding without feeling ashamed of his wife not being modern or cool or equal to other women. He should respect her feelings and decisions especially if her decisions are not compromising his dignity or self respect.

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