Q: Assalamu Alaykum,
Can a sister wear any colored hijab as long as it covers her properly?
Another sister and I were discussing this and she says it is not allowed.
Time: Saturday August 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm
A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
The concept of hijab (scarf-that which covers the hair/head) over the centuries underwent multiple layers of development. The idea of it always remained for it to cover and maintain the dignity of a believing woman. The best scarf represents that which conceals what needs to be concealed in a respectable manner. The scarf-type must represent the dignity of a Muslim woman. It can also represent the environment she is part of without making her a target of hostility. Likewise, the color of hijab (head covering) in the west remains an important component in how she would be perceived with regards to her safety when she walks out of her home.
In noting the aspect of color as it refers to the scarf, although a direct prohibition does not exist for a woman to wear a colorful garment, we recommend that she should wear her hijab in a manner that would not gain her religiously unsanctioned attention. For example, in parts of the Far East and Africa, women wear some bright colors. For such environments this is normal and sanctioned by their scholars of that environment. It is so normal that people do not even given the color a second look. Likewise, in certain parts of the world, if she wore black she would be deemed as a shia, whereas in other areas she may be viewed as being from the middle east, by contrast, in some parts of the world wearing white would indicate she is sunni. Thus, environment plays a role with respects to color (and safety.)
In an environment wherein all are wearing black, one should try and fit in by wearing black so as to avoid becoming a walking target, likewise, in an environment wherein colorations are worn, one can opt for colors (turkey, India, parts of Africa, etc.)
In Salt Lake City, the colors range from blue, black, pink, green, yellow with multiple shares, etc. A single color has been established. The diversity of backgrounds also do not allow for one color to be dominant.
Ruling: To say colorful hijab is not allowed (haram/forbidden) would be incorrect. Ones hijab should be simple when worn in public; in privacy and between religious friends of the same gender and family (father, brother, uncles) one can be more expressive regarding its coloration. Hijab should never trespass its original purpose.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.