Taking off Hijab to Pursue Education

In the beginning, we want to make it clear that Hijab is an obligation ordained by Allah. Every Muslim should be ready to face the difficulties and hindrances that are likely to stand in his/her way to fulfil Allah’s Commands. A woman’s commitment to Hijab and her struggle to fulfil Allah’s command is a form of Jihad and no Muslim should give up this form of Jihad bearing in mind that he is preserving an Islamic ritual against the schemes and plots of the enemies of Islam. It is noteworthy that succumbing to the demand of taking off Hijab will lead to other aggressive measures against Islam. Resistance, however, will serve as a deterrent to such schemes.

Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states: “It is really painful to hear that some governments in Muslim countries treat the issue of Hijab in a more aggressive way, making it worse than the case in Western countries. Before giving an answer to your question, I’d like, first of all, to advice these governments to fear Allah and respect the religion of the Muslim nation as well as people’s feelings otherwise they will incur Allah’s wrath and that of their subjects. Elaborating on the proper conduct of a Muslim woman when her commitment to Hijab is brought to test, Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Fadl-Allah, the well-known Jurist, states: “First, we expect from every Muslim sister to safeguard her religious commitment. The issue may be clarified in light of the following two guidelines:

1- A Muslim woman should stick to the teachings of Islam and never show any compromise as regards her Muslim dress, especially wearing the Hijab, which is a religious obligation ordained by Allah.

2- In facing those who leave no stone unturned in trying to put an end to Islam and Muslims, it’s required of every Muslim (whether a male or a female) not to show weakness or complacency.”

Prof. Abdul Fattah `Ashour, professor of Qur’anic Studies and Exegesis at Al Azhar Univ, adds: “As we know, Hijab is a religious obligation ordained by Allah, and it’s not allowed for any female Muslim to disregard such obligation. But there may exist certain severe circumstances, where comes into play the juristic rule “Necessity knows no law” but necessity should be construed in a narrower sense. Therefore, if it’s possible for a female Muslim to endure difficulties and keep wearing Hijab, she should do that and consider her faith in Allah being put to test. Allah says in this regard: “Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction? Lo! We tested those who were before you. Thus Allah knoweth those who are sincere, and knoweth those who feign.” (Al-`Ankabut: 2-3)

In the light of the above-mentioned verse, we appeal to our sisters in Islam facing this ordeal to show perseverance and steadfastness, assuring them of Allah’s unfailing promise of protection. However, if the matter gets worse and unbearable, to the extent of halting the normal course of life, then they can change a bit from wearing complete Hijab to a partial one; i.e. they can wear something to cover their head and neck. But this should not be taken as a pretext to drop wearing Hijab altogether. So my advice to our sisters in Islam is to keep guard against devilish scheme to drive them away from Islam.”