Wife Wants Her Husband and His Family to Let His Sister Wear Hijab
Fatwa No: 84304

  • Fatwa Date:11-6-2002 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 1, 1423
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Question

I am a Muslim convert who lives in the U.S. with my husband. His youngest sister, who is also living in the U.S. but in a different area, has just started to wear Hijab. However, when she returned to her home country last week (which is supposed to be a Muslim country, I might add), her parents made her take it off. Her sister criticized her, as well. I feel that it is my husband's duty and responsibility to inform his parents that they are committing an error by prohibiting their daughter from wearing the Hijab. He has said almost nothing to them concerning this incident. I myself wear Hijab, and I feel that his silence is a way of agreeing with their actions. Is he obligated to say something to them? Also, I feel that it is our obligation to have the younger sister move in with us so that she may have some support and be able to wear Hijab in accordance with Allah's command. He says that he does not want this. But don't we have a duty toward her? Your response is greatly appreciated, as his whole family will be visiting us soon, Insha Allah, and I would like this situation resolved.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we ask Allah, The Great and Almighty, to grant you success and steadfastness on Islam and to increase your wish for righteousness.

Then, we state that it is obligatory for a pubescent Muslim woman to wear Hijaab. Allah Says (what means): {… and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.} [Quran 24:31]

In the same vein, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) commanded women to wear Hijaab as reported in the Sunan of Abu Daawood that 'Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said: “May Allah have Mercy upon the first women of Muhaajireen since when Allah revealed {and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinnah (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)}, they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them.

'Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him also said: “When (the verse): (they should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms) was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.” [Al-Bukhari]

There is a consensus of opinion among scholars of Islam concerning the obligation of Hijaab, even if there is a difference of opinion on covering the face and hands. In our view, covering the face and hands is the most preponderant opinion, especially at the present time.

So, how could a Muslim father ask his daughter to discard Hijaab; such a behavior is a form of warding off people from the path of Allah.

Allah Says (what means): {It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.} [Quran 33: 36]

Is it possible that the father whose duty is to order his daughter to wear Hijaab, orders her instead to deny and refuse it? Has not he heard and read Allah's saying in the Quran (which means): {O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.} [Quran 66: 6]

It is most wonderful to see the Muslim woman wearing the Hijaab in the West, while she is asked to discard it, although she is a daughter of Muslim parents and from a Muslim country!! Such a state, without a doubt, constitutes a great violation to Allah's Orders; it is a deathblow and a form of alienation and loss of the Muslim personality and even "dissolution" into non-Muslim habits and customs. They, i.e. non-Muslims, suffer the worst forms of pain and moral dissolution in their societies; it is the natural result of nakedness and displaying charms.

Know that it is a duty of all members of the family to fear Allah, to abide by His Orders and to help this girl to wear Hijaab and obey the Divine teachings. Wearing Hijaab is a form of worship, not a national or local habit that one can charge or neglect. It is a Divine Order and a legislation from Allah that people have no right to change or neglect.

Thus, we state that inviting/urging others to be naked constitutes a form of bestiality and life in caves and forests. But, covering one's ‘Awrah is a human disposition upon which Allah has created human beings.

Allah Says (what means): {O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment...} [Quran 7: 26]

Allah also Says about Adam and Eve (what means): {… And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise...} [Quran 7: 22]

Imam Ar-Raazi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “This verse indicates that uncovering the ‘Awrah is a form of abominable actions, which sensible beings and sound disposition censure and denounce since the time of Adam.

Thus, it becomes clear that the invitation to discard Hijaab is against the sound disposition.

For more benefit on the evidence for Hijaab and its conditions, please refer to Fataawa 81554, 83765, 83702, 81494, 354259 and 83033.

Allah knows best.

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