She Wear Hijab Even Though Her Family Will Be Harmed
Because Of That?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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.