Did Fatima al-Zahra threaten to take off her Hijab?

Question: Did Fatima al-Zahra threaten to take off her Hijab after the attack on her house?!


What is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s)-without any authentication as the chain of its narrators is not mentioned- is that Lady Fatima (s.a) said:

“Surely if you do not leave him (Ali) alone, I will certainly dishevel my hair and for sure put the shirt of the Messenger of Allah on my head and will certainly cry to the Almighty Allah (in curse them)”

لَئِنْ لَمْ تُخَلُّوا عَنْهُ لَأَنْشُرَنَّ شَعْرِي وَ لَأَضَعَنَّ قَمِيصَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ (ص) عَلَى رَأْسِي وَ لَأَصْرُخَنَّ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَی. (الإحتجاج، ج1 ص86

Disheveling” the hair (opposite of platting it)  in Arabic is a metaphor for the one who is in a great catastrophe and pleads to God. Nowhere in the text it says about her taking off her Hijab, especially the fact that at least Salman (r.a) was very close to her, as mentioned in the story. In fact, it clearly states that part of her threats was ‘to put the shirt of the Prophet (P) on her head’ while this is also a sign of her very close relation to the Messenger of Allah (P), it clearly indicates that she never threatened to take off her Hijab.

Even an ordinary pious woman would never threatens to commit a mortal sin (of taking off her Hijab before non-Mahram) when fighting for justice! Fatima al-Zahra is the one who did not remove her Hijab even before a blind person.

In general, I disagree with sharing such unauthenticated stories especially without a proper explanation. It can be well misunderstood by the general public and could even give a wrong image to our young girls that as if when you want to get out of a trouble you can threaten to take off your Hijab!

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

My friend took off her hijab – how should I deal with the situation?


My friend has recently taken her scarf off. What is the best approach for dealing with this? Should I ignore her to make her feel  isolated (socially) in order to show her that what she done was wrong,or should I remain close to her?


1. It is correct that sometimes as a means of enjoining good and forbidding evil we should somehow show our disagreement with the sinner, starting with our silence, frowned face, opposition, and finally, disconnection.

2. For such people as your friend however, the best thing is to try to understand why she took he scarf off. Often, it is somewhat difficult situations in the lives of people that cause them to mistakenly rebel against God. The Prophet of Islam (P) was like a physician who would go around visiting patients. His main prescriptions were his words (not his sword) and admonition, not rejection and hostility. Perhaps he was the only doctor who was passionately praying to God for his patients (i.e. pagans); even those who would stone him and harm him. He used his surgical knife (i.e. sword) only to save his life and the life of other innocent people.

3. I suggest you to sit with her as a caring friend and first try to find out her motives behind taking off the hijab (female Islamic dress code). You can then suggest to her to check her decision with a learned and wise scholar.

Tell her: you are probably regretting your past (during which you have been practicing hijab), otherwise, you would not have taken it off. What if five years later you again regret your present decision? What are you going to do then? The difference however is that there is no evil consequences in being with hijab, whereas you may not be able to afford the consequences of the other option! Why can’t you check it with a learned person? e.t.c.

May God reward you for your concern and inspire you in your relations with such friends.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Can I shake hands with the opposite gender if I have a pure, work-related intention?


Sheikh, I need your advice on the following issue. Please tell me whether I am deluded, or is this mode of thinking justified:

I live in Australia, and I have recently begun full-time work and I have unfortunately (and willingly) succumbed to shaking hands with female staff – solely restricting it to a ‘professional’ gesture. Between Allah (swt) and myself, my intention has never waivered to lust and neither is this handshake an act of defiance towards Allah (swt). I feel horrible after doing so (simply because of what I know of the ruling) but then I console myself by believing that Allah (swt) will never hold me accountable for such a thing (particularly because of the un-waivered intention).

I also very humbly believe that not shaking hands with someone can be offensive and insulting, even if it is done the correct way, and is by no means an action that attracts one towards Islam.

Sheikh, please share your thoughts and I have made a promise to follow whatever the outcome is.


Thank you for your very honest and heartfelt question. I really feel for you.

Please, consider the following points:

1. A man came to Imam Baqir (a.s) and said that a small mouse was dropped dead in his big pot of food.

The Imam said that all the food has become Najis (ritually impure) and the food must be disposed.

The man said: it was only a small mouse, and I don’t think it is a big deal for God, rather, wasting that much of food seems to be a bigger sin (Satanic justification!).

The Imam replied: “When sinning, don’t look at the small action, look at the Great God whom you disobey, by this small mouse, you belittle the law of your Great God!” (Wasaelu-Shi’a vol.1 p. 206)

2. What is more sinful than a mere sin is justification of the sin. Once our system is used to it, it will expand it to other sins with no limits! It’s always very important not to open any window or gap for our evil self-interest.

3. Comparing a necessary hand touch for medical purposes to hand shaking is yet another analogy of Shaytan. Remember, that’s why Imam Sadiq (a.s) insisted that ‘analogy’ (قیاس) is the act of Shaytan and is denounced in our Fiqh.

4. We should not compromise on a divine law because one ignorant person may be offended by it, rather, we should use our talent to justify it to her. Al-Hamdolellah, it is not difficult to explain the wisdom behind the prohibition of shaking hands with the opposite sex. This is especially the case given that it is only a gesture of greetings. It is very natural that different cultures greet one another differently. As a matter of fact, you should be offended that in multicultural Australia a particular culture is imposed on you. In some Asian cultures greeting is expressed by bowing to each other. Shaking hands is a big offence to them!

5. To counter attack this Satanic justification you can ask yourself: what if my wife were working in a corporate environment that she had to shake hands with her clients, would I accept that, no matter how much she told me she was being professional and did not mean anything?!

6. Surely, in general, shaking hands is one of the challenges of living in a western society, but then again ‘no pain no gain’, and the more you practice it the easier it becomes.

7. And finally, never think of spreading Islam by compromising and sacrificing its rules!

May God protect us all,

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Is duty of wearing hijab stated in Quran?


Regarding the hijab (Muslim woman’s headscarf), some people argue that it’s not Islamic, but rather a Jewish thing, and that it is not actually specified in the Quran that a female must cover her hair.

In addition, they say that the ‘Khimar’ was a cape used back in the old days, rather than it actually referring to something that ‘covers’.

Can you please address these points?


The argument is very simple:

When they say ‘there is no obligation’ do they mean:

1. It is recommended, or

2. It does not exist in Islam at all

Either way what is their proof?

We say its obligatory for the following reasons:

1)   ولیضربن بخمرهن علی جیوبهن “And they shall draw their head scarves all over their necks and chests..” (Holy Quran: Surat Noor, Ayah 31) is an imperative verb and hence it means that it is obligatory.

Khimar ‘بخمرهن ‘ literally means whatever that covers the head; scarf. For example, wine is called ‘Khamr’ in Arabic as it covers and conceals the intellect of a drunk person, due to its effect on the person’s brain.

2)   ولایبدین زینتهن…  “And they shall not show off their beauty…” (Holy Quran: Surat Noor, Ayah 31) is also a strong command.

3. The fact that all practicing Muslim women throughout history have been practicing the act of covering the head – irrespective of their Islamic denomination- confirms that the issue is one of the necessities of Islamic practical laws.

4.  A law that is so directly related to the modesty of the society cannot be optional unless the law-makers wish to suggest that maintaining social modesty is optional. If so, they should not oppose their wives, daughters, and sisters if they do not wish to be modest and chaste. Well, it is optional, not obligatory!

5. In expressing Islamic views we must be fearing God to Whom alone we return, not our immediate personal worldly interests.

For more info. on the Hijab please see here

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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How do I convince my teenage friend not to wear makeup in public?


Sheikh, my teenage cousin has been trying to convince her friend not to wear makeup in public. Alhamdulillah, it seems like she has taken some heed, but she still seems to be wearing some makeup when out in public.

From your experience, what is the best piece of info. that my cousin can share with her friend?


Part of it is naturally related to her age, so we shouldn’t be too picky on her. She’ll move on as she gets older inshAllah.

However, it is best to try make some sense to her as to why it is not permissible for women to wear makeup and perfume in front of non-Mahram:

It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s): “ any woman who wears perfume for other than her husband (i.e. non-Mahram) none of her Salaat (prayers) will be accepted until she performs a Ghosl (ritual wash) to remove its smell, as she performs Ghosl Janabah.” (al-Kaafi, vol. 5 p. 507).

It is also narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s): “ Any woman who wears some makeup and steps out of her house (to appear in public) she will be cursed until she returns home.” (Wasaeul-Shi’a vol. 14 p.112).

The wisdom behind this rule is very obvious. As much as it is an obligation on men to lower their gaze, it is also an obligation on women – especially young girls –  to avoid anything that would provoke men sexually, whether the style of their clothes, the tone of their speech, their makeup, etc. In fact, wearing makeup is the most obvious example of beautification and attraction, and hence the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s), as compassionate and caring guides, loudly and clearly have forbidden women from this sin.

When a young girl wears makeup in public and in front of men, she is exposing herself to illegal relations with impious boys who look at her as an available prey!

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

For more Q&As related to Women please see here

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Can I take off the hijab to work and help my family?


My mother is ill and needs help, I would like to take off my hijab so I can get a job to help her. Can I do this?


Hijab is a major obligation and one cannot ignore it simply to get a job.

In any case, it is possible to have a job while maintaining Hijab. In fact, if you put your trust in God and maintain your Hijab, He will give you success in your endeavours.

May God help you in your situation.

Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Is a woman allowed to pluck her eyebrows?


Is a woman allowed to pluck her eyebrows?


Plucking the eyebrows in sense of just removing the extra hairs is not Haraam. The permission for this rule is taken from the Word of God:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا – “and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof” – [Surah An-Nur : 31]

Because it is not obligatory for a woman to cover her face therefore she does not have to cover her eyebrows that normally requires plucking.


Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Is it makrooh (disliked) for a woman to initiate a greeting to a man?


I have heard that it is makrooh (disliked) for a woman to initiate a greeting (salam) to a man, is there any truth to this statement?


If there is no fear of Fitna ( sexual misinterpretation), then it is okay.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Lady Fatima: ‘the best thing for a woman is not to see men, and not to be seen by men’. How?


Fatima al Zahra[a.s]  said ‘the best thing for a woman is not to see men, and not to be seen by men’. How is this hadith best interpreted? Is it only in a physical sense, because in the West this isn’t practical. Is there a more metaphorical meaning for it, and can the ‘best thing’ still be achieved by someone who takes an active role in society?


Salamun Alaykum,

On a jurisprudential level, yes, a mere seeing and being seen is not Haraam (forbidden) unless there is an evil intention behind it, or she is not dressed modestly. So, this ‘best’ is talking about a Mustahab (recommended) act as a preventing factor. However:

It is mentioned in the biography of the late Sheikh Hasanali Nokhodaki (one of the amazing mystics of the early 20th century) that he was asked of the secret that when he was praying, his prayer would be granted. He said, ‘I don’t know but I tried not to sin all my life. I lived with my sister-in-law in a house for about 40 years and I never saw her face!’.

My friend, our present society is not the best, but what we can do is what Imam Ali said: ‘ you can’t be like me but help me (to intercede you) by endeavouring to piety’.

May God protect all of us.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei