Fatawa: Can Muslim Parents Force Hijab on Daughters?
Dear scholars, As-Salamu Alaykum. Some Western thinkers claim that Muslim parents force their daughters to wear hijab. My question is: Do Muslim parents have the right to force their daughter to wear hijab if she refuses to wear it? Jazakum Allah khayran.
Walaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
Hijab is a duty Allah Almighty prescribed for the Muslim woman, and she has to comply with that order and show her sincere faith in Allah, for He says: “And it becometh not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say in their affair.” (Al-Ahzab: 36)
Muslim parents should bring up their children according to the teachings of Islam. Parents have to make their children get used to doing the obligatory duties and avoiding haram (unlawful) things before puberty, so that it will not be too hard for them to adhere to Islamic rules after they reach puberty. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Train your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds” (Reported by Abu Dawud).
From an early age, daughters should be taught that hijab is an ordinance from Allah to protect their chastity. When a girl reaches puberty she is obliged to do all the obligatory duties and to avoid all haram things. One of the obligatory duties is wearing hijab.
Here, we would like to cite the fatwas issued by some prominent Muslim scholars regarding the question in point:
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Shinqiti, director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas, states: “They [Muslim parents] should try their best to convince her to wear hijab and she should know that she is not to refuse something that has been ordained by Allah in the first place and that was also ordained by her parents, who deserve her obedience.”
Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah, professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar University adds: “What those writers say about forcing hijab on Muslim women is a false allegation put forward by some Westerners against Islam and the Muslim woman. The main objective behind such allegation is to encourage the Muslim woman to break the laws of the Muslim family and disobey her parents. It is not a call for liberation or giving Muslim women their rights.
Allah Almighty has entrusted parents with their children. Parents bear the responsibility to raise up their children in the Islamic way. If they do that, they will be blessed in this life and in the Hereafter, and if they don’t, they will get bad result during their life and in the Hereafter. In Islam, parents are not to force their children to do anything that is considered against the law of the Shari`ah. That is why Islam has ordered parents to take care of their children and to bring them up according to the Islamic manners.
Hijab is an obligation from Allah on Muslim women. The obligation is referred to in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The Muslim woman must wear it and the Muslim parents should encourage their daughters to wear it.”
Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azhar scholar, adds: “What those thinkers say about forcing hijab on women is a false allegation. Many Europeans know well that hijab is an obligation from Allah and they are all aware of the fact that when a non-Muslim woman embraces Islam, she must wear hijab.
The father, as the guardian of his family, may stress that his daughter should wear hijab in case she refuses to wear it out of disobedience to the obligation of Allah.
Here, I would seize the opportunity to give a piece of advice to Muslim parents. Fathers and mothers should note that they are responsible before Allah for the affairs of their daughters that have been entrusted to them; they should raise their daughters according to the Islamic manners. So if a girl is approaching puberty, there is the fear that her not wearing hijab may cause young men to be tempted by her or her by them. Hence in this situation her parent or guardian has to make her wear hijab so as to prevent means that may lead to evil or immorality.”
Fatawa Issuing Body : Islam-online
Author/Scholar : Group of Muftis