I am often asked by young Muslim women if wearing the hijab (head scarf) is obligatory. Through most of the history of Islam this question would never have arisen; but many Muslim women today have been subjected to the Western social/political belief and propaganda that tells them the hijab is a powerful symbol of women’s oppression and servitude. This is nonsense. The wearing of modest clothing by Muslim women is done in obedience to Allah and out of love for Him; it has nothing to do with submissiveness to men.
When I see a Muslim woman wearing hijab I always feel most pleased. A Muslim (man or woman) should always dress in a manner that distinguishes them from the non-Muslims. The wearing of the hijab is a way a Muslim woman may say to the world, “I am a Muslim who dearly loves Allah. You can expect me to act rightly as a Muslim should, and I expect you to treat me with all the respect due a Muslim woman.” A Muslim woman wearing the hijab is a proud, brave jihad warrior publicly striving in the Way of Allah.
I say to you my dear Muslim sisters; know you are not wearing the hijab out of obligation, but that you are wearing the hijab out of pride in your great Islamic heritage and because of your love for Allah.