Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Seeking advice about niqab and compulsion in religion

Niqab is beautiful, but it should be a sister's choice... shouldn't it?

Niqab is beautiful, but it should be a sister's choice... shouldn't it?

Salaam A.K brothers and sisters

I have an question to ask.. If your spouse is forcing you to wear niqab when you don't want to and threatening if you don't wear niqab will divorce you.. It's sad that people force you to do things even if you are not happy as you all know niqab is not fard and there have been scholars' debates on this controversial topic.

Do you think that a women should wear niqab because her spouse wants her to do it or is God gonna judge you based on your intentions. Do you think it's fair to agree on such things from your spouse?

What is your advice people on forcing your spouse to be religious and the other partner doesn't put an effort of learning Islam or being as religious and degrading you because you are not religious as the spouse point of view.

It's so sick to even get through such things in a Muslim relationship where there is competition of husband demanding of pious wife where he himself doesn't act to be one like that. I feel learning islam and embracing islam should be truly from your heart not by force because I feel God is gonna judge you through your intentions on the day of the judgement. Correct me if I am wrong. Because I would love to learn what is right in islam and what is wrong.

Do you think such relationship should be continued with one partner having to force you and threaten you to divorce if you don't wear it.

Please when advising keep in mind that this is about two peoples life one may believe what you tell so advise should be helpful to not just for this question to as well as to all the people who's going through such things.

Jazak Allah Khair .


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14 Responses »

  1. Sister, as salam alaikum

    Allah says in the quran say to the believing men and women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that is hijab, hijab means not wearing abaya and niqab, hijab means men should lover their gaze theynsee non mehram they should not attractive clothes to attract non mehram, for women to cover them from head to legs, they should not wear tight clothes, dont wear clothes from which body will be seen or shape of body will be seen and not attractive clothes to attract non mehram, it is optional to cover face in working place, but in islam even face should be cover.

    It is for women benefit allah has told to maintain hijab, we cannot change rules according to our needs, allah knows what is best for us, sister allah also told in quran beter to be safe than sorry. Its up to you sister to be safe or not.
    You said allah will judge according to intentions, absolutely correct but deeds also important, if you say my intentions are good, i do charity, i do 5 time prayer, and i cant follow sunnat then you will not be complete muslima.

    • Dear Brother, I'm not as good as you are in Islamic knowledge but in ending of first para I want you to correct something.
      You have written " it is optional to cover face in the work place but in Islam fave should be cover"
      Islam is the way of life wether it's home or office Islam guides is to be same. In office our women colleagues are non mehrems so you please correct your sentences. Do yo expect that office staff will hijab from our ladies in today's world?
      Islam is a complete way of life wether it's personal or official.

      • You are right green islam is the way of life every time every where , many scholars say that covering face is optional,

  2. Salaam Sister,

    In my opinion you should follow the advice of your husband.

    Umm Salamah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “Whichever woman dies while her husband is pleased with her, then she enters Paradise.”

    Ibn Hibbaan narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (Ramadaan), guards her chastity and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise from whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 660.

    The main goal and destination of us Muslims is to reach Paradise. The life of this world is very short compared to the Hereafter.

    If you obey the wish of your Husband for the sake of Allah and ask Allah to grant you Paradise in return then Inshallah you will be rewarded accordingly. Seeing that your Husband is not asking you to do any haram, it is advisable to follow his advice and see it as a way to enter Paradise. The way to Paradise is hard and difficult, see this as the difficulty you have to face in order to reach Paradise.

    If your Husband is not as practicing then please make dua for Allah to guide him and keep advising him to become a better Muslim. Inshallah he will try to become better Muslim after he see's you respecting him and trying to please Allah.

    May Allah make it easy for you.

  3. Narrated Thabit ibn Qays (Radhiallaahu Ánhu): A woman called Umm Khallad came to the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) while she was veiled. She was searching for her son who had been killed (in the battle) Some of the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said to her: You have come here asking for your son while veiling your face? She said: If I am afflicted with the loss of my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: You will get the reward of two martyrs for your son. She asked: Why is that so, oh Prophet of Allah? He replied: Because the people of the Book have killed him

    Surah An-Nur, Verses #30 and #31
    ‘And Say to the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)

    Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59
    ‘O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks ("Jalabib") veils all over their bodies (screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way Tafseer Al-Qurtabi) that is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."

    Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin (Radhiallaahu Ánha) "Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said "Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil."

    -There are many more hadiths on the matter.

    -On the contrary no one can force anyone to do anything, even if he is your husband, just like a wife cant force her husband to grow a beard if he doesn't want too.

    -Threatening to divorce someone is taking it too far , the man should educate himself more about Islam, does he not know how disliked divorce is without a valid reason.

    Narrated Muharib: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Allah did not make anything lawful more abominable to Him than divorce.

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Of all the lawful acts the most detestable to Allah is divorce.

    OP:What is your advice people on forcing your spouse to be religious and the other partner doesn't put an effort of learning Islam or being as religious and degrading you because you are not religious as the spouse point of view

    -This seems like hypocrisy, which itself is a serious matter.

    Abdullah bin Amr (RA) narrated that Rasool-Allah (PBUH) said, “Whoever has following 04 characteristics will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has any one of the following characteristics will have characteristics of a hypocrite: 1.) Whenever he/she speaks, he/she speaks a lie. 2.) Whenever he/she makes a covenant, he/she proves to be treacherous (implying that he/she always do khayanah in amanah and/or proves to be dishonest) 3.) Whenever he/she makes a promise, he/she breaks it. 4.) Whenever he/she quarrels, he/she behaves in a very evil and insulting manner.”

    “Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of the Fire (of Hell); no helper will you find for them

    On the authority of Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (sas) said:

    "Four traits whoever possesses them is a hypocrite and whoever possesses some of them has an element of hypocrisy until he leaves it: the one who when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise, when he disputes he transgresses and when he makes an agreement he violates it.

    • Assalamwalekum
      I am a little confused here. The hadees and Quranic verses quoted in the replies make it sound like a veil (niqab-covering of the face) is fard while i always beleived that covering of hair (hijaab) was fard. As a woman struggling with hijaab i am really surprised that veil is considered as much a fard. Can somebody tell me correctly if veiling is fard or not. The ayat qouted above about women covering their bodies ', i always beleived that it was a command to wear loose clothes and cover ones head and dont show your hair. I never took it as instructiong one to cover face as well. Am i wrong to assume that? Infact i think the translation i read also used the word hijab and not niqaab which i take it to be just covering of hair.
      I also dont understand that if veiling was fard then why would Allah instruct us not to veil or cover our faces during umra and haj? What is the reason behind that commandment?
      Also while so much has been quoted why has no one quoted from surah 2:256 -there is no compulsion in religion-. It is a clearly stated ayat.
      While i agree that a woman should strive to please her husband but it becomes null and void if it doesnt come from the heart in my opinion. And it can come from the heart only when it is our choice. You can take pride in things like hijaab and niqaab only when they come out of your own choices. Obeying your husband but cribbing about is not going to get any wife to jannah i think. Allah knows best. If a husband wants his wife to follow something he should patiently explain it to her -if something he wishes is fard then its easier for him to make her see that she would not be a complete muslimah if she doesnt follow through. That is an enough argument in itself. However if its something which is not fard even if its recommended. And which i think veiling falls under then he needs to really patiently exolain why he is asking her to do so. Give her time to do so. Adjust to it. Encourage her. Make her comfortable and make her see the goodness if his request. And then leave it to her. The rest is between her Allah and her. Threatning to divorce her is hardly the right way. Its not just an extreme way i think its an absolutely wrong way.
      And surah 2:44 also mentions that we should demand righteousnessfrom others only after folllowing it ourselves and i am sure none of us- No wife or husband is free of sin and ignorance and mistakes. So i dont think any of us have the right to compel any one to do anything. The surah 17:15 (though i could be wrong in its understanding. Correct me if i have understood the translating incorrectly) states that we all our responsible for own sins.
      I beleive that is the duty of our parents to teach us religion when we are children but later everything should come from the heart and by choice. Being compelled (with dire consequences of divorvce and such )even by a husband is only going to add to frustration and i think the reward will be lost in it.
      Allah knows best

      • Iam not a scholar or a imam your free to interpret it as you please. Its between the person and Allah as you mentioned.

        -When im confused about something or don't understand something , I just do as the Quran or hadith instructs , I don't start questioning things, but that's just me personally.

        This is what surah an nur mentioned:

        " and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) "

        -Keywords here would be: body , face , neck

  4. Assalamualaikum Sister,

    The advice that has already been given to you by the three people above me is great if you are already an ideal muslimah with great amount of taqwa. If you are like the rest of us then do read on.

    First of all you have not clarified if you already wear hijab and your husband is insisting on you wearing the niqab. I know in some circles people consider the niqab to be compliant of Islamic commandments for the muslim females and hijab without the face covering as falling short of Islamic commandment. If this is the case then you will have to educate yourself and ask your husband to educate himself on why some scholars say that the face covering is recommend but not required. There are lot of scholars who think face covering is not compulsory (there is no compromise on the rest of the hijab).

    If your husband has a sense of humor then you can have a lot of fun getting on his nerves by wearing the niqab but start making excuses. I will leave the excuse making to your imagination. This should ease a bit of resentment that you have against him for threatening you with divorce. If he doesn't have a sense of humor then whenever you guys go out to eat in public make a mess on your niqab and get him to buy a few more. It will definitely annoy him but he will not be able to blame you 🙂

    On the other hand if you do not observe the hijab then you should immediately educate yourself with the importance of hijab.

    His method of getting you to wear hijab/niqab leaves a lot to be desired. There is no compulsion in Islam but if you try to argue with him on this point you are mostly going to antagonize him. Its not as if he is asking you to do something wrong, its just that his method of asking you is not really perfect. The following are a few suggestions that you can adopt to diffuse the situation. (The way he has asked you and is forcing you is going to create some inner resentment and I would like to offer some advice on how to ease the situation.)

    1) As a husband, it makes me very happy when my wife is very careful with her hijab. I am not the jealous type yet when my wife is careless with her hijab it bothers me a lot. There probably are several reasons but most importantly I think is that I feel pride in the fact that she is dressed modestly in public. The point of discussing my personal example is that you should discuss with your husband if it bothers him that you are not in hijab when in public.

    If it bothers him then I think you should be proud that Allah has blessed you with a husband who gets bothered. On the other hand if he claims that it doesn't really bother him whether you wear hijab or not but he is just ordering you because its Allah's commandment then get him to do something for the sake of Allah in return as well. Get him to grow a beard if he doesn't have one, or wake him every morning in fajar and tell him to go to the mosque to pray or make him give some bad habit that you don't like.

    After sometime has passed when you are comfortable with hijab then you can revisit the fact that he threatened to divorce you. You can discuss with him directly or through some elder to let him know that his method were too strict and Allah likes people who are strict with themselves but are easy with others in the matter of religion.

    May Allah make it easy for you.

  5. as-salaamu 'alaikum wa-rahmatullah,

    MashAllah, good reply from brother/sister(?) demise.

    It is clear from the sunnah, and especially Ibn Kathir's tafsir that women would wear the niqab during the time of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam, after the ayah about hijab was revealed...
    And it was because 'Umar (radhiAllahu 'an) complained to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam saying that he wished that the Prophet's wives would cover completely so as they were not even recognised... and then the ayah about the hijab was revealed 🙂

    After the death of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wassalam, 'Umar would be proud to say that Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala revealed 4(?) ayahs because of him! 🙂

    There's another (very long) hadith about Aisha (radhiAllahu anha) wearing the niqab in the desert heat - it's the hadith concerning when she lost her necklace.

    We also learn from Ibn Kathir's tafsir of the ayahs as mentioned by "demise", that the women would walk on the outer path of the road, so much so, that their clothes would scrape along the mud-walls of the homes, and they would be completely covered and not recognised.

    Anyway, that might seem extreme, but it would appear that was the norm - but subhanAllah, their imaan was so high, unlike anything we will find today.

    And it also seems clear from the opinion of most of the salaf and imaams who followed them, including Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (hanbali madhab), and Imaam Maalik (maliki madhab), and Ibn Taymiyyah, etc, that the niqaab is obligatory.


    However, dear sister "unknownme": saying all of that, it also depends where you live?
    If you live in the middle east or the eastern parts, particularly among other Muslims and some of the other women around you also cover, then perhaps you could also try it some days and see how you feel about it? You might actually even find yourself loving it, because you don't need to prepare so much before leaving the home - simply put on the abaya and niqab, and no one will recognise you 🙂
    And on the days when you don't wear it, then alhamdulillah, no one will be the wiser.
    You will also notice how (men especially) will treat you differently when you wear niqab, and when you don't - i.e. they will talk to you with equality when wearing it, and you may find (ignorant) men looking at you with lust when you don't.

    However, if you live in the west, especially in areas where majority are non-Muslim, and most Muslim women around you don't wear niqab, then it might not be safe to wear it 🙁
    My ex-brother in law's wife, while wearing niqab used to get things thrown at her, and being sworn at on the streets and from cars, and she would suffer other abuse as a result (even while with her baby child)! 🙁
    So wearing the niqab in the west, especially in majority non-Muslim areas, will attract even more attention.
    So you may want to discuss this with your husband.

    Another thing you guys could try is to compromise?
    So perhaps you might feel more comfortable wearing niqab (as would he?) when going out together with your husband? And especially when going to the masjid, so that his friends (and other people from the masjid) don't see you.

    Also dear sister, you're absolutely right, it should be the choice of the wife if she wants to wear it also, and it's best when it's from the heart and after you feel ready with imaan and true conviction.
    And as "demise" mentioned, if your husband isn't religious, doesn't have a beard, and doesn't practice, then subhanAllah, seems like hypocrisy!

    Perhaps you could ask your husband, especially if you live in the west, to go out wearing the head cap, with his (fist-long) beard, and wearing the thawb, to see how he feels?

    I also agree with brother "mohammed" above: you should also remind your husband of the ayah in the Qur'aan that the hijab is for the men FIRST, and the hijab of the men is that he lowers his gaze.

    But having said all of this, I also agree with brother "Asif" above:
    Because of the status of your husband in Islam, you should try to listen to him and respect his decision regardless of whether he's right or wrong - although of course, try to advise him in a gentle and loving manor inshAllah.
    Your ultimate goal is Jannah, not this temporary life of hardship, so be patient with your husband inshAllah, even after advising him fails, and so strive to wear niqab (slowly slowly) when going out.

    You may also want to read the following two fataawa: -
    1. This questioner asks a very similar question to you, and she's also being threatened with divorce as a result of not wearing niqaab.
    2. Detailed evidences from the Qur'aan and Sunnah and the salaf as-saalih about wearing the niqaab.

    Take care sister,
    and may Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala, al-hadi ur-rahmaan make it easy upon you, and increase the love and affection and care between you and your husband, ameen ya-rabb!

    was-salaamu 'alaikum wa-rahmatullah.

    • OP: You will also notice how (men especially) will treat you differently when you wear niqab, and when you don't - i.e. they will talk to you with equality when wearing it, and you may find (ignorant) men looking at you with lust when you don't.

      Why Muslim men treat women wearing niqab or burqa differently then women who don't wear niqab or burqa?

  6. OP: Do you think that a women should wear niqab because her spouse wants her to do it or is God gonna judge you based on your intentions. Do you think it's fair to agree on such things from your spouse?

    Just curious does your husband lower's his gaze when he sees a sister out on the street.

  7. Assalaamualaikam

    My personal view is that it isn't right to bully someone into doing something they don't want to do or don't feel ready for.

    There's a reason we talk about faith as the straight path. Faith is a journey we take, and needs to be a personal endeavour. What steps you take need to be your decision, not forced upon you. The Quran and ahadith say that there should be no compulsion in religion. While it would be appropriate for us all to support and encourage each other to practise fully, forcing someone risks causing them to feel resentment not just towards the person making them do something, but also potentially towards their faith.

    The general consensus among the scholars I've read has been that hijab is obligatory, but niqab is optional. Like so many aspects of practice, people may approach this in different ways - some sisters may feel that they are fulfilling their obligation by wearing modest clothing and a scarf, or wearing an abaya, or wearing niqab... and there may be many reasons for a sister's views on what constitutes hijab. Rather than passing judgement on other people, we should look to our own practice and try to understand and empathise with others.

    From how you've described your husband, I wonder if his keenness for an outward appearance of being "religious" enough, might in fact be due to insecurity with his own internal practice and knowledge of Islam. It might benefit the two of you to study more about Islam together, to go to the mosque and study groups and strengthen your relationship with Islam. That could inshaAllah help the two of you to feel happier together as well, as this could be a journey to take together. If, along the way, you feel that you want to wear niqab for yourself and Allah, then Alhamdulillah.

    If you feel that your husband is treating you unfairly or putting undue pressure on you, it may also be worth speaking with a trusted family member (maybe your mother or your mother-in-law). They could then look into how the family can support you and help you resolve the difficulties in your marriage.

    Midnightmoon editor

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