What is the ruling on wearing shorts for children who are approaching the age of puberty? What should I do if my daughter refuses to wear hijab and the abayah (outer cloak)? What should I do with my husband? He is a very strict man and I suffer a great deal with him. He wants to protect our children from everything that is haram (unlawful), even if he does it himself, and what is the way out in this world where everyone who follows Islam these days is very strict about everything. In light of all that I am facing of problems and difficulties, how can I learn about Islam? They say it is not permissible to disobey the husband. What can I do if I do not trust his knowledge, how can I follow what he tells me? What is the solution?
Ships that cross the ocean and carry people cannot travel without a captain to navigate them so that they will bring their passengers to the safe shore. The Muslim family now is like a ship on a turbulent sea of trials and tribulations and things that may lead to doom. The enemies of Islam have united to weaken the Muslim family and indeed to wipe it out, and they are using all possible means to achieve that. These global conferences that move from one country to another, led by global organisations and leaders, have the sole aim of destroying the Muslim family, severing its bonds, taking away its modesty and killing its chastity. These satellite channels have a bad effect on the Muslim family; these newspapers and magazines and other media are all trying to achieve one goal that is obvious to any observer.
It is through these crashing waves that the ship of the Muslim family must sail, and if it does not have a wise and rational captain, then it will be wrecked.
The head of the family is the captain of that ship. We do not blame any father who fears temptation or corruption for his family and children. These corruptions have become too many and too strong for the head of the family to resist them on his own, so how about if that is compounded by his wife not helping him in that? Indeed, how will it be if she opposes him in his efforts to save the family from these temptations and corruptions?
You should understand that the matter is not trivial and that you have to be the best help to your husband in guiding the members of your family. Even if you are not convinced of his rulings and decisions, you should not oppose him or go against him, especially in front of your children, because that will have an extremely bad effect on the upbringing of your children.
What the father wants from his family members will be something supported and enjoined by an Islamic text or something that he thinks is in the best interests of his children, so he enjoins it because it is in their best interests, or he forbids it because it is detrimental to them. If there is any room for discussion with regard to the latter issue, there is no room for discussion with regard to the former, because sharee‘ah (Islamic law) governs all our actions and we do not have the option of not accepting it and implementing it.
You should understand that Allah, may He be exalted, has commanded you and your husband to protect yourselves against His Fire, and also to protect your children. The matter is not trivial; rather it is extremely serious. Your husband is not the only one who will be asked about his flock; rather you will be asked likewise.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded”
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler of the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for her flock. The slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (853) and Muslim (1829).
You should understand that raising your children should not be done with harshness and cruelty, nor should they be neglected.
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: What is the successful way for parents to raise their children?
They replied: The successful way to raise children is the moderate or middle way, in which there is no excessive strictness or neglect. There should be no violence or harshness, and there should be no neglect or carelessness. The father should raise his children, teach them, direct them and guide them to good characteristics and etiquette, and he should forbid to them every bad characteristic or attitude.
And Allah is the source of strength; may Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 25/290, 291
You should understand that Islam enjoins you to teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and it enjoins you to separate them in their beds when they are ten years old. This is so that they will grow up in the best way and so that they will be righteous in the future. Even if they are not yet accountable – because they have not yet reached puberty – this does not mean that their guardians and families should not instruct them to do that which is in their best interests. The command here is addressed to you, not to them. The matter here is what is good for them and for you.
In this way you can raise them to have a good character and attitude in general, to be modest and especially to be chaste. That also includes instructing them to guard their chastity and not to wear tight or short clothes. On the one hand, this has to do with raising them to be modest and chaste; on the other hand it has to do with preventing provocation of desire and temptation in those who see them, whether they are members of the family or relatives – for example. Islam cannot enjoin you to separate them in their beds and then allow you to let them wear short and tight clothes all the time they are awake! So think about this and beware lest you be the cause of fitnah (temptation) and corruption for which all the water in the sea could not provide sufficient tears and which would lead to great sorrow and regret.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:
We often see in women’s gatherings girls and young girls, around the age of seven years, wearing short or tight clothes, or strange haircuts, or haircuts for small girls that look like haircuts for boys. If we speak to the mothers and try to advise them, they argue that the children are still small. We hope that you can give us clear advice about children’s clothing and haircuts, may Allah bless you.
It is well known that the individual is influenced by things in his childhood and will continue to be affected by them after he grows up. Hence the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined us to instruct our children to pray when they are seven years old, and to smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they reach the age of ten, so that they will get used to it, as the child will follow that which he is used to. If a young girl gets used to wearing short clothes that only come to the knee, and short sleeves that only come to the elbow or shoulder, she will lose all modesty and will want to wear these clothes after she grows up. The same applies with regard to hair; a woman should have a hairstyle that is different from that of men; if she makes the hair like a man’s hair, she will be resembling men and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed women who resemble men.
It should be noted that the family is responsible for these children and their upbringing and education, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock.” So beware of being heedless; the father should be serious about the upbringing of his sons and daughters, and he should care for them, so that Allah will guide them and they will become a delight to him. End quote.
Al-Liqa’ al-Shahri, 66/10
If a girl is brought up from an early age to be modest and chaste and to cover herself, she will be the one who wants to wear the abayah and khimaar (head cover), even before she reaches puberty. But if she grows up not wearing clothes that cover, and her family fell short when she was small, they (now) have to persist in advising and reminding her. If that does not convince her, then harsher measures may be used, sparingly, to prevent her from doing what she wants, so that she will have no room to do whatever she wants with regard to this matter and others, because if they keep quiet about her clothing, because she refuses to wear the abayah or covering clothes, she will dare to do other things. This is a signal that the ship is about to sink! Because decisions are now in the hands of the children. At the beginning, we advocated gentleness and kindness, not despairing of the child being set straight, and not using harsh methods except when the wise captain sees fit.
The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: At what age is a girl obliged to wear hijab (dress code stipulated for mature girls in Islam)? Should we force (female) students to wear it, even though they object?
When a girl reaches puberty, it becomes obligatory for her to wear clothes that will cover her ‘awrah (parts of the body which must be covered), which includes the face, head and hands, whether she is a student or not. Her guardian should instruct her to do that, even if she dislikes it, and he should train her to do that before she reaches puberty, so that she will get used to it, and it will be easy for her to obey.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Qa‘ood
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 17/219, 220
So be the best help to your husband in obeying Allah and raising your children, and beware of following in the footsteps of the enemies of Islam in describing adherence to sharee‘ah as extreme strictness. Whatever your husband falls short in with regard to himself, advise him and exhort him, and remind him to fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; do not take his shortcomings as an excuse for your children’s shortcomings. Seek the help of Allah, your Lord, to fulfil this trust in the best manner. We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to help you to do that which pleases Him.
In the answer to question no. 10016 we have discussed how to raise children to be righteous.
In the answer to question no. 10211 we have discussed the correct way to teach small children and call them to Islam.
And Allah knows best.