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My Husband Doesn’t Want Me to Wear Hijab

Question and answer details
Name of Questioner:    A (28_female_UK)
Question:    As-Salamu Aleikom,Thank you for the wonderful service and help you provide, MashaAllah.I am a European revert (I reverted 1 year and 4 months ago) living in the UK and married to a born Muslim for 6 years.

My husband has always been very supportive of me practicing Islam, even though he isn’t very practicing (he believes, fasts, doesn’t drink alcohol etc., but doesn’t pray). However, there is one thing he does not want me to do: wearing hijab. He is happy for me to wear modest clothes, but not to wear the headscarf. I have wanted to wear it ever since I reverted as I know I should, and I want to please Allah (SWT). At first, his reason was that I should give my parents time to adjust and accept my conversion before I took this step. After 7 months, I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to talk to my parents (against my husband’s will). They were not happy, but I got the feeling that they would accept it with time. I was really relieved and thought that I could finally start wearing the headscarf. But my husband still stopped me from wearing it. I was shocked; I didn’t think he was opposed to the headscarf since most women in his family wear it (including his mother and sister). He said he was not opposed to it and would always support his mum and sister to wear it. He now tells me that he doesn’t know actually why he doesn’t want me to wear it. One reason, he says, is that he is concerned about my safety (although, his family lives in a politically much more dangerous situation than we do; they are Palestinians living in Israel). He actually would not object to me wearing it if we were living there. I know what I need to do: start wearing the headscarf as my husband does not have the right to stop me. But I don’t know how to do it without causing too much damage around me. I know I will face problems at work and with my family, but I think I will cope with that. It is more difficult for me regarding my husband, since I see him every day and I love him very much and I don’t want to have a constant conflict with him.Do you have any advice on how I could go about it?Jazaka Allahu Khairun.
As salamu Alaykum wa rahmatulllahi wa barakatuh,
Al hamdu Lillah, subhana Allah, Allah (SWT) has supported you in your life choices. As long as you maintain the relationship with Him, you will always be guided, in sha’Allah.Our life’s journey goes through stages, and so do the tests that challenge ones faith and relationship with Him.
Only Allah (SWT) knows what lies before us, and as long as we are alert to His signs, we can know what it is that we have to learn to make us fulfill our true life’s potential. Al hamdu Lilllah, you have a good husband who has seen much in his life and has been challenged and tested by the trials and tribulations that he witnessed in his own country. Maybe Allah (SWT) has brought you to him to help him fulfill his life transaction with Allah. If this is so, then you must continue as you have done so far and exercise patience and understanding with your husband’s reasoning. He is clearly not against hijab, but instead is concerned for your well-being.
One can appreciate your husband’s concerns in a country where Islamophobia is rife, especially against the visible signs of Islam which a hijab wearing Muslim is a representative. It is this representation that you require in your life to help fulfill your sense of being Muslim. As you strengthen your relationship with your husband, and you strengthen your relationship with Allah (SWT) and thus yourself, a balance must be maintained if those relationships are challenged by the socio-political environment in which you live. Do not exclude your husband from the process. Yes, I know this is not your intention, but it can be so easily done without realizing what is happening. It is important that you spend moments of deep sharing of feelings and thoughts so that you can understand one another and grow closer to one another. In this way, you will be both better placed to support each other’s life choices without growing apart. Through prayer (make regular du`aa’ for him) and consultation, he will become more able to support you in this choice, which is your right.
{“And [as for] the believers, both men and women – they are friends and protectors of one another: they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong“} (Al-Baraat 9:71).
“By the One in Whose hand in my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something that if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salam [peace] amongst yourselves” (Muslim 2: 35).

You also have to realize that in an environment where members of society are enslaved by their insecurities and react to anything that seemingly questions their identity, there can be an instinctual reaction to what they perceive as a threat, whether that threat is real or not. There will be men who react because they feel that their manhood is being threatened, and there will be women who react, because they are but products of the media hype that portrays, exploits the woman’s body as a commodity that does not belong to women themselves – in other words, you have to be aware of the body politics which contradicts the notion of freedom, democracy, women’ liberation and female empowerment.
The same salam that should be spread amongst Muslims should also be spread amongst non-Muslim with your colleagues. This will help them overcome any perception of threat. Be patient and understanding with them, and help them to see: they have nothing to worry about. It will not be easy, but with du`aa’s before you leave to go to work, you will have the inner tenacity to face hurts and insults, and to still smile from the heart which will bring out in you the Sunnah of smiling which, in turn, will help your colleagues to see that you are still human and that you still respect them. You will need your husband’s strength and support to help you through the difficulties that you may face, and in turn, in sha’Allah, your husband will begin to pray again.
It is through us as human beings that when we truly and genuinely love for the sake of Allah, we expedite His mercy. Equally, we must know that when we fail, there is nothing to prevent us from getting up, and trying again with renewed intention for this is the nature of the inner jihad (striving).
“Coming back to the inner jihad, which is the jihad and the most important part ofjihad, I must say that there are two forces within us operating all the time in opposite directions. One is inviting us to do good and the other inviting us to do evil. These opposing forces are trying to take over our hearts and our minds which have control over our actions to go in their direction. The inner jihad is overcoming the forces of evil by the forces of good and the triumph of one over the other. Because, if the forces of evil, which insight us to do wrong doings are not overpowered the man will be destroyed internally and will be tempted to destroy his surroundings externally.” – Dr. Shahid Athar.

Source: OnIslam