Should I Wear the Hijab Despite the Difficulty to Get a Job Wearing It?

Answered by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I want to start wearing the hijab but in three years I will start university and hopefully go to medical school. I hear many people say that it is difficult to get a job if you are wearing the headscarf. What should I do?

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah sister,

I pray this message reaches you in the best of health and iman.

I would stay strong and keep wearing it.

There are a couple reasons for this suggestion:

1) Wearing the hijab is something beloved to Allah Most High and His Messenger. When one performs this action it helps us to become beloved to Allah Most High and His Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him).

2) According to the four schools of Islamic law, the ruling on hijab is that it is obligatory for Muslim women to wear, and sinful to neglect this action.

3) Some related answers on hijab which you may benefit from reading are:

Denying the Obligation of Wearing Hijab

Can You Clarify the Standard Explanation of the Verse of Hijab? [Shafi’i]

What Are the Requirements of Hijab?

4) It may be that Allah Most High will grant you increased success in your studies if you stay strong and do the right thing for His sake. One should have strong internal faith and not allow oneself to be swayed by the faults one finds in others or when corruption becomes commonplace in one’s society.

5) Many muslim patients actually seek out practicing women doctors to become their regular physician and as their go to person for health advice.

6) In our area in Toronto, there are many women doctors who wear hijab and it has not been an issue/ barrier to them in working or getting their degrees. Many places now appreciate ethnic/ cultural diversity in serving the community (and understand that not all people need to look the same to be valued, or to derive benefit from).

7) When people give advice like that (as you were advised), one has to hold the advisor in a good opinion – but only take the good of what they say. In this case you can understand they are concerned about you and your future. In their *opinion* they think you may not be able to find work later on, but that is not necessarily a fact. Allah Most High gives success to whom He wills. Many times in life people do try to advise us, but we need to think for ourselves and realize that some people will give sound advice and others will not. It is important to surround oneself with good beneficial company, and find righteous people/ teachers who can help advise us with sound counsel when we are not sure as to the proper course of action in various circumstances which one faces in life.

8) Hijab also stands for how muslims value modesty (for both men and women) that everyone is expected to wear loose, non-transparent clothing, and interact with other (unrelated) people in a dignified manner.

Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam
[Ustadha] Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar)

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed (Umm Umar) inspires her students as a living example example of what is possible when one is committed to gaining sacred knowledge.  Teacher, student, activist, mother, wife — Umm Umar shows that it is possible to balance worldly responsibilities with the pursuit of knowledge.

Umm Umar was born and raised in Canada, where she graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. During her university studies, she was actively involved in MSA work at the local and national levels. After graduation, she set out to formally pursue sacred knowledge, studying Arabic at the University of Damascus and Islamic studies at Jamia Abi Nour and taking private classes in Qur’anic recitation, Prophetic traditions, Islamic Law (Hanafi) and the Prophetic biography.

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