Here's a YouTube video of WhiteGirlRevert who decided to take off her hijab:

enter image description here

She says:

...not all Muslims are going to be very nice about this. ... I really am not in the mood for, like, paragraphs on how I'm going to hell and stuff.

In Islam, we're meant to value our ummah. The reactions of our ummah matter, and for a Muslim woman in particular, the reactions of her sisters.

Question: If a Muslim woman abandons hijab, how would other Muslim women typically react?

I'm looking for a succinct overview (e.g. "typical experiences are X, Y and Z, as documented in [something, maybe a support group information sheet, or psychology paper, or even just a collection of links giving examples]", or "having done this myself, my experiences were A, B and C"). I found a few random experiences described online; this is the flavour of what I'm looking for, but I'm after something stronger than "a few random Google hits" (perhaps even supported by actual experience):

Some of my friends broke contact with me because of my decision. -- Honest Reflections on Hijab from an Ex-Hijabi

I was shunned from the Muslim community for not abiding by what they thought hijab should be... -- Ex-Hijabis Reflect on Decision to Remove Veil

At least 80 percent of the hijabis or non-hijabis take it off and put it on in transitions of their lives. For me and I am sure others, it has become normal. -- Ex-Hijabis Reflect on Decision to Remove Veil

  • 2
    It feels a bit off topic, how muslims would react; "Questions on Muslim culture or behaviour unrelated to the teachings of Islam"... If you do understand some Arabic, I'd encourage you listening to the video of Adnan Ibrahim when he speaks of the hijab, he is not saying it is not obligatory, but he do say that there is a possibility, without drawing conclusions, that it might not be obligatory according to time, place and culture. He adds that the verses speaking about the jalbab or khimar are mo'allal (based on reason) not faith.
    – Kilise
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 11:06
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    This is primarily opinion-based. I don't see this question as a good fit for the site
    – Zaid
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 14:35
  • 1
    I would have to agree this is quite off-topic but still a good question.
    – Casanova
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:34
  • 3
    I cannot find any references for posting an answer to your question therefore I comment only. If you would abandon hijab and change your profile picture accordingly I honestly would be shocked and disappointed as I would regard it as a step backwards. As you said you are aware that hijab is obligatory. So why give it up because of a feeling? Hope you don't understand this as criticism my dear sister.
    – Noor
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 18:02
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    I have no idea how to answer this in a matter that would interpret the question in an on-topic fashion without talking about your motivations; a sociological answer would be off-topic, and your motivation for doing this would be doctrinally relevant. Then there's the issue that this is not a peer support forum. Can you rework this question somehow to make it suitable here?
    – G. Bach
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


Answering my own question with my experiences:

  1. One hijabi woman "reminded" me each time I went into the halal cafeteria. It got to the point where I would eat at non-halal places to avoid getting into trouble. I didn't enjoy this.

  2. One of my friends (who's a good hijabi, and a good Muslim in general) continued being friends with me, and she seemed baffled that I might think she'd be disappointed. When I went back to covering, she encouraged it.

  3. One of my non-hijabi Muslim friend's jaw seemed to drop, seemingly amazed at my hair (which I had covered for a year).

  4. Hijabi Muslim women on Facebook seemed to not "like" my uncovered photos, but "like" my subsequent covered ones.

Most Muslim women in my area (China) do not wear headscarf, and they didn't react much.

In short, the bad things that happened to others didn't happen in my experience. I don't feel I lost any friends. Nowadays, I'm back to covering (mostly).


Firstly, you are asking for the reaction of other people when you should be asking about the reaction of Allah. The reaction of other people is insignificant and should play no role in your decision, as you are valuing other people more in your decision than Allah himself.

To answer your question:-

  • A hijabi muslimah will gently remind you to wear it like she must do (9:112).

  • A non-hijabi muslimah may remind you to wear it but mostly not as it would be hypocritical.

  • A hijabi 'cultural' muslimah will not mind, but she will not encourage it

  • 'Cultural Muslims' won't care.

This is all pretty logical, and except for a few exceptions those three statements should hold. But, if you live in a highly Muslim area, things change:

  • A hijabi muslimah will remind you to wear it like she must do (9:112), and might avoid you
  • A non-hijabi muslimah may remind you to wear it but mostly not as it would be hypocritical.

  • A hijabi 'cultural' muslimah might remind you to wear it, and might avoid you

  • 'Cultural Muslims' won't care.

All in all, there will not be a terrible reaction unless you live in a muslim majority place. But, I will advise you to value Allah's opinion over everyone else's and whatever you do, do not lose your Salah. Without Salah, everything (of the deen) will start falling apart.

Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and maintain the prayer. Indeed the prayer prevents indecencies and wrongs, and the remembrance of Allah is surely greater. And Allah knows whatever [deeds] you do. (29:45)

Salah is like the walls of a fortress. When it falls, many indecencies and wrongs will start coming in and more pillars of faith will fall in time.

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