I have made quite good friends with a Sister whose daughter is in Little Lady’s class. One day she invited me to her home and I went along with my children in tow. She was great company and very hospital, bringing out endless trays of food. Whilst there I met another Sister whose daughter was also in Little Lady’s class and we all got chatting.
At one point the other Sister rebuked me, asking why I don’t make my daughter wear hijab when both the other Sisters did make their daughters wear it. This meant their daughters were questioning why if Little Lady was Muslim and didn’t have to wear it, they did. I was speechless for about a minute before I explained that I was not going to force my child to do anything she didn’t want to. The Sister was not convinced by my reply.
This exchange bothered me. I didn’t agree with the Sisters decision to make their daughters wear hijab, but I could see their reasoning for it. They didn’t expect that once their daughters reached puberty and hijab became obligatory that they would suddenly wear it, they believed that the child had to be strongly encouraged from the start.
For myself, I believe that Allah (SWT) only wants the best for us. I believe that he has commanded us to take up hijab when we reach puberty, so I worry that Little Lady will not want to and that this will displease Allah in relation to both of us. I can imagine many people saying that I am wrong to want this for my daughter, that there are more important things to worry about or want for her, that it is not for me to push her towards hijab. However I still worry, tarbiyyah (or good upbringing) doesn’t begin at puberty, but at birth by setting a good example and formally at seven years of age. Encouraging modesty is part of that tarbiyyah.
What do other sisters think and what do they suggest?