You are a Muslim woman who wears the hijab, a veil that covers your hair and chest, as a sign of modesty and faith. You wear the hijab whenever you are in public or in the presence of non-mahram men, who are those with whom marriage is permissible. However, there are some situations when you can take off your hijab without violating the Islamic dress code. These are:

Before puberty

You are not obliged to wear the hijab until you reach puberty, which is the age of accountability in Islam. Puberty is the stage of development when a child becomes physically and sexually mature. It is marked by changes in the body, such as the growth of hair, breasts, and genitals, the onset of menstruation for girls, and ejaculation for boys. Emotional and psychological changes, such as identity development, personality, and interests, accompany it. You can choose to wear the hijab earlier if you want to, but it is not mandatory.

During ablution

Ablution, or wudu, is the ritual washing of the face, hands, arms, head, and feet before performing the daily prayers. It is a way of purifying oneself and preparing for the worship of Allah. You can remove your hijab during the ritual washing (wudu) before prayer. You need to wash your face, head, and ears as part of the ablution, so you can temporarily remove your hijab for this purpose.

While breastfeeding

You can take off your hijab when you breastfeed your child, as long as you are in a private place or among women only. You can also use a nursing cover or a scarf to cover yourself while breastfeeding.

In front of immediate family

You can remove your hijab with your immediate family members, such as your husband, father, brother, son, or nephew. These are your mahram relatives, with whom marriage is forbidden. You can also remove your hijab in front of your mother, sister, daughter, or niece, who are also your mahram.

During an emergency

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to the health, safety, or well-being of a person or a group of people. It may require urgent action or intervention to prevent harm or damage. Examples of emergencies include accidents, injuries, illnesses, fires, floods, earthquakes, wars, etc. You can prioritize your safety and health over your modesty in such circumstances, as Islam allows for exceptions in times of necessity.

During sports or PE

You can take off your hijab when you participate in physical activities, such as sports or physical education, as long as you are in a segregated environment or among women only. You can also wear a sports hijab and a breathable and comfortable headscarf for athletic purposes. Sports and physical education (PE) involve physical exertion, movement, and skill. They benefit the body and mind's health, fitness, and development. They are also a source of enjoyment, recreation, and social interaction.

In the presence of mahram

You can remove your hijab when you are with your mahram or your close male relatives that you cannot marry, such as your husband, father, grandfather, uncle, or son-in-law. Your brother-in-law, your husband's brother, is also your mahram. You can take off your hijab in front of them, as there is no fear of temptation or attraction between you. However, you should still be modest and decent in your dress and behavior and avoid anything that may cause discomfort or embarrassment to them.

Among women

You can remove your hijab when you are in the company of only women, such as at a women-only event, a beauty salon, or a spa. You can have fun and unwind with your fellow Muslim sisters without covering yourself. However, you should still be mindful not to show your body or ornaments to women who may be jealous, harmful, or gossiping. It would help if you also refrained from copying the dress and behavior of non-Muslim women, or women who are sinful or immoral.

In privacy

You can take off your hijab when you are in privacy, such as in your own home, your bedroom, or your bathroom. This allows you to be comfortable and free in your personal space without worrying about anyone seeing you. You can also beautify yourself and adorn yourself for your husband, as this expresses love and strengthens the marital bond. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives. (Tirmidhi)

For medical reasons

You can remove your hijab for medical reasons, such as when you visit a doctor, a dentist, or a therapist. As long as you maintain your dignity and respect, you can expose the necessary parts of your body for examination, diagnosis, or treatment. If possible, you can also request a female doctor or nurse to make you feel more comfortable. If possible, you can also seek permission from your husband or guardian before taking off your hijab for medical reasons.


Hijab is a sign of faith, modesty, and dignity for Muslim women. It is a commandment from Allah and a practice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his wives and daughters. However, the hijab is not meant to restrict or oppress women but to protect and honor them. There are certain situations and circumstances when a woman can take off her hijab, wholly or partially, without violating the Islamic rules of modesty.

مارس 06, 2024 — Rifatun Jannat


MahaM. said:

Your brother in law is NOT your mahram. Please correct this information.

Amina said:

Your husbands brother IS NOT your mahram!

Iman Baig said:

I saw this paragraph on this page ‘’in the presence of mahram’’ talking about when a woman can take off her hijab. And that strictly does not include your brother-in-law (your husband’s brother). Please be clear about that.

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