Jump to content
bunny55

Serious Question about Hijab - Living in the West

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Salaam fellow brothers and sisters, 

I have a 100% serious question with regard to wearing of the hijab. I would very much appreciate it if opinionated answers can be avoided as I would like direct evidence from different Marjas/authentic sources etc. Additionally, kindly refrain from telling me right vs. wrong as I am aware of the basic requirements as to why a woman has to wear a hijab and that it's obligatory/mandatory in Islam. Again, I would like to emphasize on evidence over opinionated responses. 

Here's my dilemma: 

Hijab wearer in the West (North America) for approx. a decade. Lately (since the past few years), my life has become very difficult due to the hijab. There has been several incidences of ignorance/racism that I have faced since wearing it and the "looks" from non-Muslims have just become worse since Islamophobic times. The social pressure has destroyed my self-esteem/confidence to walk in public for even routine tasks and as a result, I have developed psychological problems due to an extreme negative impact on my mental health. I rarely step outside of the house and if I do, I instinctively 'hide' from people whenever possible. My family has commented on that several times and have said that for the sake of my mental well-being, I should take if off and just dress modestly. Furthermore, I fear for my safety as well each time I have to travel to certain parts of the country/countries for work/or general travel because there has been attempts of harm from non-Muslims who additionally had a very unwelcoming attitude or treated me as a pest because of the hijab (I'm sick of undergoing name-calling in public too). Therefore, the hijab has made my life miserable in the West and as much as I desperately want to do everything commanded by God, the circumstances have become difficult to a point where my health is severely being impacted. In such type of a situation where carrying on with a religious obligation has made a believer's life miserable/difficult, what are the Marjas views? Would it still be haraam to take the hijab off at the cost of my psychological well-being? Are there any ahadith that shed more light on this situation? West being home and having no Shia muslim support network, I am totally lost and don't know where to seek an answer; this platform being the only place where I've come for help. 

(P.S. I have also been to psychologists/psychiatrists who either did not understand my religious dilemma or wanted me to take it off to get better). 

Thank you all in advance for your answers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bunny55 said:

In such type of a situation where carrying on with a religious obligation has made a believer's life miserable/difficult, what are the Marjas views? Would it still be haraam to take the hijab off at the cost of my psychological well-being?

In the past someone at ShiaChat asked that hijab question and the reply from Ayatullah Khamenei was that fear is not enough excuse for the woman to remove her hijab. Maybe someone can find that old topic and let us know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى will answer you:

[4:97]

Sahih International: Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "In what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell - and evil it is as a destination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The social pressure has destroyed my self-esteem/confidence to walk in public for even routine tasks and as a result, I have developed psychological problems due to an extreme negative impact on my mental health

Which means that allowing fear of people coming to your heart will cause low self-esteem and psychological problems, and to solve this, the only option is to remove the hijab? The problem is not the hijab itself, the fear for other than Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى is that cause these kind of problems to occure.

Quote

Therefore, the hijab has made my life miserable in the West

Life of the believer in this world is like that, and the believer accept it because they are not trying to please others or themselves but they are seeking the pleasure of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى by obeying Him in good and bad time. And if we follow shaytan footstep because people make our live miserable, then we become like them and nothing but disobedient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever fear to others bigger than fear to Allah SWT so much so that your action disobey Allah SWT but please others, what do you call that ?

I think it ignore the power of Allah SWT but admire the power of others.

Solution :

Say to others that i wear hijab is to please Allah SWT and is not you business, i.e you should be shameful to wanting watch mine covered by hijab.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bunny55 said:

I would like direct evidence from different Marjas/authentic sources etc.

what are the Marjas views?

This topic is in Jurisprudence so the OP does not want humanist, atheist or any other views. Only Shia rulings are acceptable. Off-Topic posts have been removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2018 at 6:23 PM, IbnSina said:

Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى will answer you:

[4:97]

Sahih International: Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "In what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell - and evil it is as a destination.

With all due respect, some of us have non-Muslim families and do not have enough money to just simply pack our belongings and move to Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, etc. (Myself included, although I am still working on getting the heck out of here) If we move out, we could be severing ties with family, emboldening bigots and making life more difficult for those who choose to stay. I believe we should make where we live in the West more Islamic and easier on ourselves.

@bunny55

Quote

470. Question: If putting on the face veil (an-niqab) in a country [like England or America] sometimes arouses astonishment and inquiries, is it obligatory to take off such veil since it would become part of the libasu ’sh-shuhra?

Answer: It is not obligatory [to do so]. However, if wearing it arouses disapproval by and dislike of the general public in a particular country, it would be classified as “libasu ’sh-shuhra” in that country and it would not be permissible to wear it over there.

^ I don't know if it applies  to your situation but this is from Sistani (ha) apparently.

I found it here: https://www.al-islam.org/a-code-of-practice-for-muslims-in-the-west-ayatullah-sistani/womens-issues#general-rules

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

With all due respect, some of us have non-Muslim families and do not have enough money to just simply pack our belongings and move to Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, etc. (Myself included, although I am still working on getting the heck out of here) If we move out, we could be severing ties with family, emboldening bigots and making life more difficult for those who choose to stay. I believe we should make where we live in the West more Islamic and easier on ourselves.

I agree 100% with you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, IbnSina said:

Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى will answer you:

[4:97]

Sahih International: Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "In what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell - and evil it is as a destination.

You’ve taken this surah entirely out of context.

OP: write your marja on this issue. People here will only give their opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:
Quote

470. Question: If putting on the face veil (an-niqab) in a country [like England or America] sometimes arouses astonishment and inquiries, is it obligatory to take off such veil since it would become part of the libasu ’sh-shuhra?

Answer: It is not obligatory [to do so]. However, if wearing it arouses disapproval by and dislike of the general public in a particular country, it would be classified as “libasu ’sh-shuhra” in that country and it would not be permissible to wear it over there.

^ I don't know if it applies  to your situation but this is from Sistani (ha) apparently.

I found it here: https://www.al-islam.org/a-code-of-practice-for-muslims-in-the-west-ayatullah-sistani/womens-issues#general-rules

Correction. It is about the 'face veil' (niqab), and not the headscarf, which the OP is asking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AbdusSibtayn said:

Correction. It is about the 'face veil' (niqab), and not the headscarf, which the OP is asking about.

I know it says niqab, but this could apply to hijab as well. I  am thinking of that incident where a man threatened a hijabi teacher in Georgia a couple years ago.

Quote

"Why don't you tie it around your neck & hang yourself with it," the handwritten letter says before ending with "America!" and a crude rendition of an American flag.

Teli, who received the letter amid a surge in reported Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist incidents after Donald Trump's election, said that she posted the pictures to show "the reality and climate of our community."

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/muslim-high-school-teacher-told-hang-hijab-article-1.2873052^

This is a very extreme example but clearly there is strong disapproval, even hatred for the hijab in some of the American public still.  Mariah Teli is  somebody's daughter, niece, sister and cousin, and somebody threatened to hang her.   What she said about the reality and climate of the US is true. Anything openly Islamic causes nervousness and irrational fear sometimes in people. If wearing the niqab or hijab causes such issues and targeting, then perhaps it is reasonable to not wear it in public and only in the privacy of home?  But moving away  is only going to confirm and justify bigoted people's beliefs and actions  about Muslims. Because moving away means they "win".  To all brothers and especially sisters, if you stand your ground and not  allow yourself to intimidated, they'll run away because they'll realize that they can't control you with fear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

I know it says niqab, but this could apply to hijab as well. I  am thinking of that incident where a man threatened a hijabi teacher in Georgia a couple years ago

Brother, hijab is unconditionally fardh, unlike niqab, which at best is only conditionally fardh,and usually not even fardh at all, so the libas-ush-shuhra criterion doesn't apply here. The two are very different things.
I cannot recall having read even a single fatwa which says that a woman is allowed to take off her hijab just because she fears harassment/threats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

With all due respect, some of us have non-Muslim families and do not have enough money to just simply pack our belongings and move to Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, etc. (Myself included, although I am still working on getting the heck out of here) If we move out, we could be severing ties with family, emboldening bigots and making life more difficult for those who choose to stay. I believe we should make where we live in the West more Islamic and easier on ourselves.

 The message of the video was not that you need to move to the middle east, as you know even in north america there are more tolerant places for hijabis to live, america is a big country. To move to the sake of Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى is a very noble thing to do. Dont mind the bigots because they are irrelevant to your servitude. 

 

5 hours ago, Islandsandmirrors said:

You’ve taken this surah entirely out of context.

OP: write your marja on this issue. People here will only give their opinions.

 

I did not quote a surah, I quoted an ayah and that ayah was quoted by sheikh Sekaleshfar in the linked video and from my understanding he knows the holy Quran better than you. 

Hijab is wajib, which means it is obligatory and that is not an opinion, it is the commandment of your maker. 

But I agree that nobody here has the authority to make something Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى made wajib not wajib, exceptions from the rule of hijab can only be given by her marja of taqlid. 

Either way, just like the holy Quran say, the earth is wide enough to travel if it reaches the point where you fear for you life and if you cannot move then you need the permission of your marja to deviate from the law of Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, IbnSina said:

 The message of the video was not that you need to move to the middle east, as you know even in north america there are more tolerant places for hijabis to live, america is a big country. To move to the sake of Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى is a very noble thing to do. Dont mind the bigots because they are irrelevant to your servitude. 

All I am saying is simply this: Sometimes we don't have an option to move because of family, especially if there are elderly involved,  work, practicality  or money, this is our jihad.  Instead of moving away,  we should try to have a presence in our communities and make our environments safer. Maybe then, we could solve the issue of Islamophobia and bigoted people. If you have the means to move, then move and please Allah  سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى.  However moving doesn't solve anything, it is merely replacing one set of problems with another. I don't want to have to repeat myself again and again. Just something to think about the next time you suggest moving, brother. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

All I am saying is simply this: Sometimes we don't have an option to move because of family, especially if there are elderly involved,  work, practicality  or money, this is our jihad.  Instead of moving away,  we should try to have a presence in our communities and make our environments safer. Maybe then, we could solve the issue of Islamophobia and bigoted people. If you have the means to move, then move and please Allah  سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى.  However moving doesn't solve anything, it is merely replacing one set of problems with another. I don't want to have to repeat myself again and again. Just something to think about the next time you suggest moving, brother. 

Yes, that would be ideal if we can change our social environment to make it less Islamophobic but I think the OP is not in a position to do so. Correct me if I am wrong @bunny55

If the situation arrives that the oppression is to such an extend that you cannot practice your wajibats, such as hijab in this case, then it is the QURAN that suggests that you should move and that is not my opinion or my personal suggestion, it is the words of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى and me mentioning it, just like it was mentioned in the video by the sheikh. It is not my words your arguing against.

Of course all places on earth have their own set of problems but we both know our deen always comes first and to be able to practice our wajibats is always our highest priority. So moving can in fact save you from your most IMPORTANT problems, just like it did for he muslims that moved to Medina.

If the OP can neither change her social environment to make it less Islamophobic nor endure the hardships it gives her nor have the ability to move to another city in north america where people are less Islamophobic, then she will have to ask her marja for an exception of the rule. But from what I could read from the OP it sounded like what most hijabi women in the west go thru on a daily basis to different extends. 

 

@bunny55

Do you have contact details for your marjas office? Otherwise someone here might be able to help you get them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/11/2018 at 1:58 AM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

However moving doesn't solve anything, it is merely replacing one set of problems with another.

On the contrary GC. Moving for the cause of Allah is a recommended act and carries numerous benefits.

The OP should consider moving to another city or state where she would feel safer practicing hijab.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For all those who have suggested moving to a safer place, that simply is not an option for me. I did not come here to replace one problem with another. Again, moving is not an option whatsoever due to various valid reasons. I thank you all brothers and sisters for answering my inquiry, although I'm still very lost. As for my marja, I follow Ayatollah Sistani. I have tried e-mailing his offices, but never get a reply and it has been months. So, I don't know how to contact him. Since, getting through to him through e-mails is impossible, a direct contact number would be helpful. However, it would be helpful as well to get both Ayatollah Sistani's views as well as of other marjas as I mentioned in my initial post. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2018 at 4:36 PM, bunny55 said:

although I'm still very lost. As for my marja

I’m not a woman but even women at Iran were in danger of physical harassment by authorities beside the mental Issues & bad feelings 

Seyyed Baqir Mojtahed Sistani for  attending in presence of Imam of Time started the pilgrimage of Ashura on Friday  for 40 times,  in every mosque of the city every week. He said:"On one of the last Friday’s, I saw a light radius coming from a house near the mosque I was in. I got strange now. I got up and went to the house looking for light. It was a small, poor house, I knocked on, when I opened the door, I saw that the Imam Hazrat Vely Asr(aj), was in one of the rooms of the house. In the room I saw a corpse which putted  white cloth  on it.I arrived and I greeted  with tears. The Imam said to me: Why are you looking for me and suffering these sufferings? Like this (pointed to that body) until I come to you. This is a lady who did not leave the house for seven years of banning of hijab ,so that nobody would not see her. "(4)

Enthusiastically of Imam Mahdi (aj)  v3 p158

https://article.tebyan.net/238892/توجه-و-عنایت-امام-زمان-عج-به-شیعیان-

27959

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashf-e_hijab

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235056786-necessity-of-hijab/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-3140074

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2018 at 10:36 PM, bunny55 said:

For all those who have suggested moving to a safer place, that simply is not an option for me. I did not come here to replace one problem with another. Again, moving is not an option whatsoever due to various valid reasons. I thank you all brothers and sisters for answering my inquiry, although I'm still very lost. As for my marja, I follow Ayatollah Sistani. I have tried e-mailing his offices, but never get a reply and it has been months. So, I don't know how to contact him. Since, getting through to him through e-mails is impossible, a direct contact number would be helpful. However, it would be helpful as well to get both Ayatollah Sistani's views as well as of other marjas as I mentioned in my initial post. 

You have my prayers, inshaAllah things will get better.

I am sure you already know this but you will have to wait for the permission of your marja before you refrain from a wajib act, unless your life is in immediate danger.

Maybe someone here has a number to one of his representatives? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salam,

you could email his office in London which replies typically in a day or two, just scroll to the bottom where you can send your question, i will link it below,

http://www.najaf.org/english/

Also if you want to contact one of his representative it is Sayed Murtadha Al Kashmiri and his number would be located all the way at the bottom of the website 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wsalam dear OP, Sayed Sistani's opinion in regards to hijab and danger:

Question: Can I remove my Hijab in time of danger?

Answer: If there is a real danger threatening you because of your Islamic dress, you can remove it only to the necessary extent.
 
 I guess it depends on how threatened and fearful you feel, if it's becoming unbearable to the point of extreme disparity, then maybe you can apply the above fatawa from sayed sistani, anyway may Allah swt bless you and make this tribulation easy for you, wsalam 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rinneganMahdi said:

Wsalam dear OP, Sayed Sistani's opinion in regards to hijab and danger:

Question: Can I remove my Hijab in time of danger?

Answer: If there is a real danger threatening you because of your Islamic dress, you can remove it only to the necessary extent.
 
 I guess it depends on how threatened and fearful you feel, if it's becoming unbearable to the point of extreme disparity, then maybe you can apply the above fatawa from sayed sistani, anyway may Allah swt bless you and make this tribulation easy for you, wsalam 

Keep in mind that "real danger" is a pretty strong term, much different from social discomfort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×