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Ask a Muslim: Is Wearing a Hijab OK if Not a Muslim?

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Answer by Maimoona Harrington

I have a couple of questions. Is it ok to still wear a hijab if I’m not practicing that religion, and what would happen if I was practicing that religion but someone of the opposite sex sees my hair?

ask a muslim

Head coverings and veils are mostly an integral part of monotheistic religions. When I search for the word “Hijab,” most dictionaries refer to it as a head covering worn in public by some “Muslim women.”

Although this specific term is considered linked to just Muslim women, head coverings are not something that is affiliated to Muslim women or Islam only. Women of nobility dating back to 13th century also wore head coverings.

In my view, head covering is a symbol of modesty related clothing. So, if you chose to wear hijab as part of head covering, it’s fine.

Throughout the Muslim world, from Malaysia to Egypt, head coverings are worn in variant ways and styles. Nowadays, young Muslim fashion designers have reimagined the hijab. Some of those names include Jenahara Nasution, Rabia Z, Hanadi Chehab and Howayda Moussaka.

Now, to answer second part of your question. If you practice Islam as a religion and someone from opposite sex who is not related to you sees your hair, then it all depends on your intention and purpose behind it. If it happens by mistake, it is okay.

To learn more in detail, please click and read my response to a similar question asked by another reader about Hijab.

You can also learn more about the hijab and being a Muslim and my own struggle with whether I should wear one in my article, “To be Hijabi or not to be Hijabi?” on SpokaneFāVS.com.

Disclaimer: I am not a religious scholar. I tried to answer this question with the best of my knowledge and understanding of Islam as a Muslim.

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