Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja
Question: My parents are not Muslim, and they didn’t like it at all when I became Muslim. They also have a big problem with me wearing the hijab. They get upset when they see me wear it. It has been the cause of great strife between us. They aren’t comfortable with dress they associate with religious conservatives and extremism. I live with them, so this is difficult. Since I’m required to obey my parents, do I obey them and not wear the hijab even though Islam tells me to wear it?
Answer: As Salam alykum,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
There is no obedience to one’s parents without obedience to God. That said, it is very important parental concerns in matters such as these are handled with sensitivity, gentleness and mercy.
The hijab is a requirement on Muslim women, but can be incorporated into a style of clothing that your parents are comfortable and familiar with. Many sisters maintain a ‘western’ style wardrobe that covers them fully, is dignified and graceful.
As you are not required to hijab in front of your parents, you may be able to wear the hijab when out of their presence, but refrain from doing so within the home. As time progresses, and they see positive shifts in your character God willing, the hijab may become less jarring to them.
Above all you should seek to abide by the laws governing your dress but always approaching your parents with love and gentleness, explaining the importance of hijab to you and the practice of your faith, but never in an argumentative way.
For many watching our loved ones become Muslim is difficult but with time and with love they can come round.
May God make it easy for you and your family inshaAllah, and increase you in love and mercy with one another.
Dr. Bano Murtuja is the Managing Director of SeekersGuidance Toronto, unique learning foundation that connects transformative knowledge and spirituality with actionable community service and social engagement. It is open and welcoming to individuals of all ages, religious beliefs and walks of life, with equally diverse programs and activities offered at no cost.