How Can I Convince My Parents to Let Me Wear Hijab?

Amina asked:

Q: How can I convince my parents to let me wear hijab?

Since I was 10, I’ve wanted to wear hijab. I’ve always been more mature than the students in my class. I’m going to seventh grade and taking two high school classes and one 8th grade. Last year after doing tons of research I asked my parents if I could wear hijab. My father’s answer was “You’re too young.” I then (embarrassingly) said “You should wear it when you hit puberty.” The rest of our conversation was on armpit hair (go ahead and laugh now). My mother, who dresses more revealingly by the second, said I should wear it in university. I don’t want to bring it up again because I know it won’t make a difference, but eventually I’ll have to. Again, I researched hijab for about a year before asking. And I know what I would be taking on. I’ve just got my period in June and I really want to put it on even more. Please help, you guys are my last hope. I don’t want to show my body anymore. I’m doing this for myself and most importantly Allah (SWT).

P.S. Please don’t treat this question differently because I’m twelve; like I’ve said I’ve researched this for some time now.

Salaam, Sister Amina! Let me begin by expressing my respect and admiration for you. You strive in the way of Allah (SWT) in a way many of us find difficult to do. You have been blessed with a strong heart and soul, masha’Allah.

You should also take comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. Many Muslim women struggle with this situation, and this struggle is, in and of itself, a high form of worship. You do not have to feel as if you are drawing away from Allah (SWT) as you work to convince your parents, or that the sincerity of your faith is somehow in jeopardy; Allah (SWT) is with you in the struggle and He showers you with mercy and kindness. I hope this knowledge will help bring you some peace. I know how difficult it can be to argue with parents, how stressful and wearying it is, especially when such arguments reveal our parents’ shortcomings. It can take a lot out of person, and so it is important to remember that you are not fighting this battle on your own. As Allah (SWT) says:

“If Allah is your helper, none can overcome you. And if He abandons you, then, who is there to help you after that? In Allah the believers should place their trust.”
        -(Al-Imran 3:160).

With all of this in mind, let’s move on to the matter at hand. Obedience to our parents is one of the core tenets of Islam, but this rule has a prerequisite: That whatever your parents are commanding of you, it should be in agreement with Islam. Allah (SWT) says:

“And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents; but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do.”
        -(Al-‘Ankaboot 29:8)

Our obedience must first be to Allah (SWT), and then to our parents, in every matter. If what our parents enjoin us to do is acceptable in Islam, then we are duty-bound to obey. If it is not, then we are duty-bound to follow Allah’s (SWT) rules. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator.”
        -(Muslim, 1840)

You have a right to wear the hijab. While you may be disobeying your parents in doing so, you are blameless and sinless in this situation. You are working to become a better Muslim, to improve your worship, and to grow close to Allah (SWT). Therefore, as far as wearing the hijab is concerned, if you want to wear it, and are happy wearing it, then you should wear it. There is no need to ask permission from your parents.

Of course, living with disappointed and upset parents is not easy, so I understand why you would rather have their blessing. Sit your parents down (or write them a letter — I find that easier sometimes), and ask them why they do not want you to wear hijab until you are older. Try to alleviate their concerns. Are they afraid that you will get harassed or teased? If so, let them know that everyone deals with harassment and teasing at some point, and that you believe you will be able to handle it just fine. Show them your research. Tell them what you know. Make sure that they do not change the subject or derail the conversation. Tell them, “Mom, Dad — this is important to me and we need to talk about it seriously.” If everything else fails, let them know that you will be wearing the hijab with or without their permission, but that you would much rather have their blessing. Tell them you love and respect them, and do not want to upset them. All you are asking for is respect in return — respect for your choice, your individuality, and your right to follow Islam in the way you see fit.

I hope this helps and that Allah (SWT) helps your dreams and wishes come true.

Disclaimer: I do not consider myself a scholar or an authority where Islam and Islamic jurisprudence are concerned. The responses to the questions are formulated after much reading and research. If there are any glaring errors in the logic, or in the factual accuracy of the sources, please do not hesitate to point them out.

Dear MuslimGirl is our weekly advice column, published every Wednesday. If you have questions on Islam, faith, or need some lifestyle advice: Email!