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Assalamu Alaikum,

I'm an 18 year old girl, student with a good life. Alhamdulellah. I love Islam and Allah and I always try my best to follow the rules of it. Some would describe me as a good Muslim, and some would disagree.

I pray 5 times a day, fast, always try to treat people in an Islamic manner. I wear the Hijab and I love it, alhamdulellah. My clothes are mostly modest and do not show skin.

Lately, my dad has been shouting at me because he wants me to wear the Abaya (long black clothing Muslims often wear to look modest), and I understand why he wants me to. He said he would even hit me and be violent for him to force me to wear it. But I can't get myself to wear it, especially now. I want to wear it slowly with time and not any time soon. I want to wear it because of Allah, not my dad. Because of Religion, not tradition. I don't even need to wear one because my clothes are already modest and Islamic.

I just don't want to wear it and I'm not about to. Especially because my 'dad wants me to'. It's my life, my deen.

My question is, does Islam actually allow family members to FORCE their daughters into wearing a certain piece of clothing? Is it not haram? Is voilence acceptable in order for a girl to do something traditional that the father wants?

How can I make my father understand what I mean?

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ•

  • Obey my parents, yes of course. But not when it comes to my own personal matters. – Esraa Al Jul 16 '15 at 15:06
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    Perhaps your clothing is still not suitable - and "show skin" is not the only criterion. Perhaps your parent is noticing something that you can't. Considering that you don't intend to listen to anyone besides your own opinion - google and find out yourself everything a modest Islamic dress for women should entail. – user549 Jul 16 '15 at 19:41
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    Since you want to be very true to Islam, you should also know that it is only when parents ask you to commit a sin that you can defy their orders, while remaining polite. Asking you to wear an abaya is no sin - even though it may be a bit harsh - if (and only if) your dress-code is already acceptable. – user549 Jul 16 '15 at 19:43
  • Yep, it depends on the situation. Like, say in the end times, i.e. the time of Dajjal, the family males are supposed to tie the females up in the homes else they'll run away to the bad guys. So, a sort of 'forcing' is happening. – servant-of-Wiser Jul 17 '15 at 20:09
  • The first thing you need to do to make yourself happy is by making others happy, i.e., leaving aside your arrogant behavior you can politely request your dad until he lets you be how ever you wanna be by convincing that your existing dress code would suffice. If he still persists, then maybe you fail to see the bad world through his eyes. Look again. Also, you might wanna see this. sunnah.com/muslim/1/165 – servant-of-Wiser Jul 17 '15 at 20:25
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My question is, does Islam actually allow family members to FORCE their daughters into wearing a certain piece of clothing? Is it not haram?

No. There is no compulsion in Islam. Parents can suggest things but they should never force it upon their children. This type of behavior is more from culture than from religion. As a Muslim adult you should be able to make your own decisions in life, as it is your responsibility and not your fathers (your father will not be punished for sins you commit given he raised you probably).

In Islam, there is something called بر الوالدين which means being good to your parents. That is something that is Major and anyone who doesn't do it commits a sin, some scholars aligned it with many of the major sins. Allah says:

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...; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. ...

This is shown in many instances of the Quran (just search for the Arabic term والدين)

Allah also orders us to not be disrespectful to them (even by saying "ouff") or becoming angry with them when they become old and weak:

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And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

From this and many Hadiths, it is shown that we should respect out parents, treat them nicely (even if they happen to be non Muslims) and be good to them. However, most Arabic/Muslim cultures somehow associates this with the parents taking total control of the lives of their kids, which is wrong. Most of the Sahaba knew such limitations and you only heard a few stories about parents ordering their children to do things they did not want and they obeyed, this is mostly from culture.

Is voilence acceptable in order for a girl to do something traditional that the father wants?

Violence between Muslims is never an option in Islam (this is a Bidah that happened later down the road after the prophet death). My suggestion to you is to sit down with your parents (both father/mother) and give them the option to stay with them and you do things your way, or you moving out on your own if they can not live with decisions on your life. You still have to respect for them and care for them if the need ever arises, parents become our responsibility to be taken care for when they get old and weak as they have taken care of us when we were young and weak.

Disclaimer: This answer comes from a person who doesn't think a hijab is mandatory in Islam anymore.

  • You have to take the following Hadith in account before saying parents have no such right: Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 495 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and enforce (beat) them for it (if they refuse to pray) when they become ten years old. – user14305 Feb 7 '16 at 9:41
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Shouldn't any good Muslim (and for that matter any good Jew or Christian) obey their parents -- especially their father... especially if you live under his roof?

If isn't willing to listen and hear your arguments, I can't see you've much other choice than to obey... or move out (which probably is out of the question). Perhaps you could get someone else to talk to him on your behalf (a relative or an Imam)?

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Wa alaikum salam sister,

First let me say that I sympathize with your situation and I pray to Allah (swt) that He makes this condition easier for you and that He guides both you and your father.

Second I personally think that the attitude of your father, with all due respect being given to him, is wrong. I don't think it is right for any father to force his daughter to do anything and even worse is to threaten violence. I cannot ever see how such could be pleasing to our most Loving Creator. I am a father of two daughters and I pray I would never do such a thing.

Third it is my opinion that in Islam it is obligatory on you to cover your hair and your general figure. So it doesn't have to be an Abaya but you cannot show your hair or body shape to men who are not mahram for you. That is what I believe Allah (swt) wants from you (based on my limited understanding of the text). I see nothing wrong with a loose fitting blouse, a long skirt and a simple head scarf.

Fourthly Allah (swt) has told you to be the best to your parents, now this doesn't mean they can control you or impose their will on you, but it does mean that whatever you can show them of kindness, patience, respect and obedience will be greatly rewarded.

Based on this try to come to some compromise with your father as to your dress while you live in his house. You may want to look beautiful for the people, but isn't it better to look beautiful for Allah (swt)? If you can realize this then that is the essence of Iman.

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My question is, does Islam actually allow family members to FORCE their daughters into wearing a certain piece of clothing? Is it not haram? Is voilence acceptable in order for a girl to do something traditional that the father wants?

I think you are mixing up western, hot-button sensitivities with the question of the basic authority of a parent in laying out din and I guess here you are mistaken because the answer to your question is much simpler and not as loaded as it may aim to imply.

As someone else mentioned, you can only disobey your parents when their actions lead you to sin. You can not disobey them when they lead you to more discipline in pursuing life and social ideals.

When your parents want you to do your school work - when they get argumentative about it even - you can not ignore them and play on the gaming console while they are in the room with you. If your parents want you to be more social and get in contact with more people, you can not ignore them and spend your entire time on the computer or at the tv. The same goes for being more on-time with salat, doing chores, making a habit of controlling your sleep schedule etc.

The only thing you can do is discuss with them. Tell them that you do not do your homework because you are often tense and you fall into a gaming habit because school does not motivate you. Tell them you do not socialize because you are trying to become an expert programmer or because you believe for reasons a, b, c, d that being on the internet is more important at this stage than gaining social experiences with real people. Discuss, discuss, discuss. As a child, you have almost an innate responsibility to discuss as much as there is to discuss.

As far as authority goes, my parents have both had different approaches. My mother used to close up on things with a tremendous fervor in a way that made me dislike certain things about her. Her parental style was was usually neither related nor appropriate to the context. My father on the other hand only ever considered any form of ultima ratio a few times in my life. And every single time I thanked him for it. Because I was going bad places with my life and not even I agreed with what I was doing, and his discipline put me in control over my own life. So to answer your question about 'forcing' children to do x: a good parent will never upset a straying child unless they know, beyond reasonable doubt, that the child agrees with the family principles. And the family principles only grow and grow on them with discussion.

In the end, our families are of the same fabric as the world itself is, sadly or fortunately. And we have no other fabric to clothe ourselves with.

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