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Author Topic: To niqab? Or not to niqab? That is the question.  (Read 4357 times)
hildebrandt.sara
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« on: Oct 26, 2010 10:10 AM »


So lately I have been thinking a lot about the niqab. I am a hijabi now, but I have come to the conclusion that i want to put on the niqab. I know that it'll be more pleasing to Allah. It's sunnah, the wives of the Prophet pbuh wore niqab and we are supposed to imitate them. Also, where I live people frequently mistake me for anything other than a Muslim (people here are clueless about Islam!) so I want to wear something that is unmistakably Islamic. However, I won't be able to wear it at work, so I'm worried that I"ll be considered a hypocrite if I am only wearing it part time. I'm also worried that the Muslims in my community will think I"m a hypocrite for only wearing it part time (while not at work) or that they'll ostrasize me for wearing it (there are only 2 other niqabis where I live.). Anyway, opinions please. Should I wear it or no?
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 26, 2010 10:51 AM »

Salam,

It's your own personal decision of course. I rather think hijab is difficult enough where we live, and I don't consider niqab a requirement here, Allahu alam. I would suggest you really take your time to think it through and maybe try it once or twice before you actually go all the way. People are somewhat more accepting of hijab than niqab in a non-muslim country, if it causes extreme negative reaction to yourself it might affect your iman in a bad way.

I've seen some sisters want to just jump into a lot of things outwardly but they don't have the strength or preparation you know what I mean so it doesn't work for more than a temporary time. I'd rather they totally strengthen themselves internally and iman wise and then let the outward come naturally.
 
hildebrandt.sara
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 26, 2010 07:14 PM »

I have tried it out a few times and I love it, I'm just so  nervous and undecided about whether or not to wear it all the time. niqabisis
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 26, 2010 08:59 PM »

Assalam alaikom sis,

I understand how you are feeling. I have a fascination with wanting to try it (something new brewing) and I have once and a while. My husband made the comment about the community if I would try it and then take it off. I will share with you my thoughts and opinion. But first... ALLAHU ALAM!

First, this is between you and Allah(swt), no one else! Who cares if the community wants to talk about you and think you are a hypocrite. You are trying to please Allah, what are they doing with thier lives? They need to remember back biting is a sin. You need to remember this is about your desire to feel closer to your Lord. Only you can work on that relationship, not them. They are not with you on judgement day. Allah, sees and knows how you are feeling and what you are doing. He knows your intention. He is closer to you than your jugular. Trust in him and his understanding. Second, with respect to your job. Allah does not want us to place a burden on ourselves. If it comes down to losing your job or putting yourself in danger, use your best judgement. I don't think it makes you a hypocrite. I see it as you are trying and I have no right to say anything about it. I need to look at myself and I know I am not perfect.

May Allah guide you and bless you for such a desire to be close to him. Think about it like Jannah said. Trust your Lord and your heart. Even make istikharah if you feel you need more guidance on the matter.


This quote by Theodore Roosevelt made me think of you Wink I hope it lifts your spirits.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

I believe in Islam like the sun rising, not because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 28, 2010 01:08 AM »

However, I won't be able to wear it at work, so I'm worried that I"ll be considered a hypocrite if I am only wearing it part time. I'm also worried that the Muslims in my community will think I"m a hypocrite for only wearing it part time (while not at work) or that they'll ostrasize me for wearing it




I really understand how you feel coz I have the same thots too, esp since i know i cant wear it to work.
hildebrandt.sara
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 30, 2010 05:49 AM »

There is a sisters get-together on the 12th, i think that inshallah that'll be my debut as a niqabi inshallah! Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 30, 2010 07:40 AM »

i rarely, if ever, venture into pink areas of jannah.

but, can i ask you the following?

1) why do you think that wearing a niqab is more pleasing to Allah, and more Islamic?  the prophet's wives did come out with face veils, but the prophet has explicitly said in numerous hadith that uncovering of the face is totally ok in islam.  there are some people (notably salafis) who say the face veil is not only desirable, but it is important.  but they are a minority, and they are always trying to differentiate themselves by being "more strict" and adhering more "literally" to islamic injunctions, so that people think they are following a "purer" form of islam.  and this of course means that they seem to have an agenda.

2) why is a sister measured by how much she covers?  hijab is a uniform. nothing more, you don't get plus points for covering more -- like covering your face, or your hands or your feet.  you get plus points by giving charity, by helping others, by purifying your heart, by being patient with difficult people, by keeping your temper always under control.  you cannot get those same plus points by simply putting a cloth on your face.

3) isn't living islam difficult enough in the West and even the East without the non-obligatory face veil?  if you want extra points with Allah, stick to the things that are the core virtue-generators in islam -- charity, kindness, helpfullness, and inward purity.  if you focus too much on just a piece of cloth, you may make your life a little bit harder and this will draw you away from the things which really do count in islam.  basically life is hard, stick to the good stuff, and ignore the marginal stuff, which are not needed and complicate your life and make it harder to stick to the good stuff.

4) the face veil has a place -- but that is when you want to be anonymous, or you when you feel unsafe.  its not meant to be a badge of honor.  perhaps in the case of stupendously beautiful women, it is something advisable, but for the vast majority of muslim women --- what is the point?

i think you may have received some unbalanced advice.  the vast majority of muslims say it is not necessary, and i think most say it is not even advisable, except in unique conditions.   

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« Reply #7 on: Oct 30, 2010 03:26 PM »

Asalam alaikum

There is a Hadith that provides information about the context in which the full covering was revealed:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 148:
Narrated 'Aisha:
The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night.
'Umar used to say to the Prophet "Let your wives be veiled," but Allah's Apostle did not do so.
One night Sauda bint Zam'a the wife of the Prophet went out at 'Isha' time and she was a tall lady. 'Umar addressed her and said, "I have recognized you, O Sauda." He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allah revealed the verses of "Al-Hijab" (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).

It is important not to misplace the reasoning: to answer the call of nature at night in a vast desert. Allah knows best. Also, think about why you would want to wear niqab to a sisters' gathering.

May Allah Most High give you good health and iman and facilitate any obstacles for you, ameen



The unity of all, perceptible to even bystanders, is the Oneness that inspired it, a sea without shores, subject me to this sea.
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 30, 2010 08:41 PM »

Salams,

Let's stay away from the Fiqhi aspects of Niqab as it's a banned topic bc there is a difference of opinion among scholars.


I think is what we're discussing is the case of someone who thinks it's optional and is pondering over wearing it. In this case I think there's a lot to take into account. And just like hijab in some respects people don't think about these things and aren't prepared so unfortunately their imaan just gets decimated and they take it off very soon after, never to put it on again.

Of course not talking about the original poster, but I know some sisters who wore niqab for perhaps the wrong reasons ie their husbands wanted them to so they agreed (even though they could have not and it would have been fine), they had some psychological issues, they wanted to retreat from society, they felt like they were doing nothing else, so might as well do that, they were very focused on the outward, they were new muslims who were really into going the whole 'hog'. Honestly I've rarely found someone who has no issues, has studied and really wants to wear it as a step up in their iman although there are many I'm sure.

Secondly I think I mentioned before how even Sh. Qaradawi talked about the negative affects of women wearing head to toe black Niqab in a non-Muslim society. When you wear Niqab you've really withdrawn from society, even other Muslim women feel like you're part of some other group. The same type of circles you were in before will not be open to you. It's just natural reaction from others, rightly or wrongly.

I was thinking why isn't this a problem in Muslim societies and I think it's because there society is totally built for niqab. Women wear it outside but mosques, women's gathering, halaqas, even malls and things are separated so that the woman in niqab is part of life. In the US or in the West all spaces are integrated, schools, the street, even mosques, muslim wedding halls, events, etc are not designed for women in niqab. To be able to do any type of dawah in the West becomes extremely difficult, and one must be ready for extremely negative reactions from others.

Don't want to scare anyone, but just want people to think and be prepared before anything.
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 31, 2010 12:45 AM »

Asalam alaikum,

Just to add - there are a few niqabi sisters living in my city and when I asked them why they wear it they said they feel a greater sense of modesty.

But they also experience stares and questions about the niqab.

So they do not leave the house much and they do not work. They homeschool their children and basically stay inside. Their husbands do the shopping and the driving.

Their plan is to leave North America and live in Saudi Arabia - where niqab is a social norm. They would want to stay inside and try to be safe as possible anyways -- their laws and rights are not the same as north america or europe,

You can be a modest, practicing Muslim without having to cover your face to feel that way. Some of us identify more with Khadeeja (RA) - she had her own business and managed her employees - and look how that worked out for her Smiley Her legacy is her character, her generosity in taking care of orphans and her iman - as the first person to embrace Islam after our noble Prophet, (SAS).

Allah knows best. Pray for guidance and may Allah Most High facilitate your endeavours, ameen

The unity of all, perceptible to even bystanders, is the Oneness that inspired it, a sea without shores, subject me to this sea.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 31, 2010 07:35 AM »

1) why do you think that wearing a niqab is more pleasing to Allah, and more Islamic?  the prophet's wives did come out with face veils, but the prophet has explicitly said in numerous hadith that uncovering of the face is totally ok in islam.  there are some people (notably salafis) who say the face veil is not only desirable, but it is important.  but they are a minority, and they are always trying to differentiate themselves by being "more strict" and adhering more "literally" to islamic injunctions, so that people think they are following a "purer" form of islam.  and this of course means that they seem to have an agenda.

I want to wear niqab because the wives of the prophet (pbuh) wore it. Also, I noticed that when I started wearing hijab, I became a better Muslim. It was a constant reminder of Allah and his laws and that reminder helped me to stop (or at least try to stop) a lot of bad habits (some of which I"m still trying to work on) and I think that if I am wearing a niqab, it's just that much more of a reminder and so inshallah I will be an even better Muslim. Also, I want people to know that i"m a Muslim! I live in a small town where I am literally the only Muslim. There's another small, college town with about 100 Muslims a half hour away (that's the Muslim  community I usually identify myself with even though I"m technically not part of the community there). In that town, people are used to seeing Muslims so they know what's going on when they see a hijabi, but in my town, people assume i"m all bundled up cause i'm cold. I'm seriously tired of being mistaken for someone who's "cold" so I want to wear something that is unmistakably Islamic. Sounds silly, I know, but whatever. I just don't want to be mistaken for a kaffir anymore.
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 31, 2010 05:09 PM »

1) may allah protect you and give you strength

2) the flip side of standing out so much is that your not so great side also stands out.  if you lose you temper in super islamic garb, folks ending up blaming the whole religion instead of your personality faults

3) don't have such disdain for "kaffir." everybody is God's creation,  some are luckier than others with respect to the faith they were born into.  islam is a gift, a favor, not something to feel entitled about

4) if it makes you a better muslim, then great.  but, if it becomes an impediment, maybe its something to save for the future, if anything.

5) be balanced in what you try to root out of your life.  for example, there are many different opinions about music.  and for some people (like one of my sisters) it simply makes them happy.  remember, the vast majority of things in life are halal, and allowed.  the few that are discouraged or forbidden, are the ones that are really bad for you.

i hope all goes well with you...
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 31, 2010 06:23 PM »

salam


Been reading this with interest.

I personally could not adopt the niqab because it would stop me from functioning on a daily basis. I'd prolly become unemployable actually, at least commercially, I could possibly work for pennies at the local Islamic/Muslim whatever but not on a basis which would allow me to continue to earn a living.

It's of course completely and utterly up to you.

However, I'm rather surprised people assume your hijab is to keep you warm, really? What kind of hijab do you wear, what material? If it's a wooly hat with a pompom on the end I can fully understand the assumptions! Have you actually considered that this is an opening for you to do Dawah, you can laugh and smile and explain the reason you are wearing your head covering, its a conversation starter....

I've never been mistaken as anything but a 'mozlem', sometimes good, very rarely bad, but mostly people are indifferent.

I must say, I've also never ever had to rely on my clothing to remind me I'm a Muslim, that I must behave in a certain way. I try to ensure my behaviour is almost reflexive, I dont need to stop and consider how to behave in an Islamic manner because it is ingrained, regardless of whether I'm wearing a scarf or not.

Personally for me, I would not be able to handle the utter isolation of wearing a niqab. So unless I was to live in an Islamic country, or have someone in the house who went out and earned the money, allowing me to go and do community work, then yeah I'd actually do it. Otherwise non.
Mainly tho I live amongst muslim women who wear niqab all the time and I would not stick out, I prefer to blend into the background, I prefer to pass by utterly unnoticed by anyone.....It makes life a quieter palce to be!


Having said that I really honestly do wish you the best of luck, I admire your courage and conviction, may Allah make it easy on you inshallah.



Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 31, 2010 06:33 PM »

Asalam alaikum,

I came across a good article about some sisters who wear niqab in the US. I looked for it - not wanting to double post. Here it is - and my apologies in advance should it be somewhere else on here. It is a fairly recent article and adds to this discussion about some of the joys and some of the challenges.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/fashion/13veil.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=style


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hildebrandt.sara
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 10, 2010 08:49 AM »

Thanks, I've read that article a few times and love it Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 13, 2010 05:47 PM »

As-salaamu alaykum, Sara,

Whether it's fardh or not, it's your right to wear it, and I also admire your conviction.

However, I tend to side with Sh. Qaradawi on the issue.  purplehijabisis
It's sooo much easier in a Muslim country (most, at least!).

May Allah (swt) protect and reward you.

-sofia


"My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (Qur'aan 20.114)
"Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (23:109)
"And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves..."(3:10)
umyasin
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 22, 2010 10:56 PM »

Niqab solution for all sisters who living in france or in another coutry that prohibit niqabs.  niqabisis

Elle retire son niqab!!
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