Religion, Religiosity, Islamic families, Muslim families, Marriage, Qualitative research


This article examines the Muslim practice of wearing the hijab—the veiling and covering of a woman’s head and body. More specifically, this study aims to present insiders’ perspectives regarding the personal understandings of the hijab among 20 wives and 20 husbands (n = 40) in religious Shia and Sunni Muslim families living in the United States. Qualitative analysis yielded three emergent themes: (1) The hijab as a symbol of religious commitment; (2) The hijab as a tool of protection, rather than oppression, for women and families; and (3) Two different views of Muslims’ reasoning behind the hijab. These data suggest that, as perceived by “insider” participants, the hijab has perceived benefits for religious Muslim families, although counterexamples and concerns are also expressed.

Original Publication Citation

Alghafli, Z., Marks, L. D., & Hatch, T. G., Rose, A. H. (2017). Veiling in fear or in faith? Meanings of the Hijab to practicing Muslim wives and husbands in USA. Marriage & Family Review, 53, 696-716.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date





Religious Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Adjunct Faculty