To wear Niqab ...or not to!

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Asalumalykum fellow muslim sister,
i'm really confused at the moment, recently i have started to respect and follow my deen to its full potential and mashAllah its going great. i have one question? i really want to wear the burka but its not essential is islam. can you please give me advice on what to do. jazakAllah "

Confused Sister

Wa’alykum as salam wa rahamtullah wa barkatoo, Confused Sister,

Ma’shaAllah to you! It’s so very beautiful to hear you say that you have begun to respect your deen and follow it as much as you can. May Allah keep you steadfast.

As for your question, I have to be honest with you. There is difference of opinion on the issue of niqab. You will find well known and extremely respected scholars of Islam who said that it was obligatory. On the other hand, you will also find others who said that it isn’t obligatory. (On the bottom of this post, I’ll provide you with links that show a little bit of the different opinions on the matter because we’ve actually had more than several sisters sending in questions about that. Ma’shaAllah, ta’barakaAllah really @ all these sisters who want to take such a big step)…

But as for now…

If you mean that you follow the opinion that it’s not obligatory, so you’re not sure whether to do it or not, I’ll tell you some advice I’ve heard many daee’s say over and over again…

One thing that happens to many people who ‘re-discover Islam’ is that they ‘go all out’. Whereas they used to pray once a year, suddenly, they’re reading three azjaa a day, fasting every Monday and Thursday, praying all the sunnahs, waking up in the middle of the night and praying, giving half their money as sadaqah, etc.

That’s all wonderful, of course, and ma’shaAllah and completely inspiring…except that, unfortunately what ends up happening to many people is that they crash.

Big Time.

Like if ‘this was a diet change’, they would be in the kitchen with their mouths stuffed with double fudge chocolate cake, and a few cartons of ice-cream already finished.

Yeah. They end up feeling overwhelmed, and unfortunately, many times, ‘retreating back to their old habits’ and abandoning even the obligatory things.

This is why most daee’s give this advice. If you’re going to start ‘hooking up with your deen again’, take it step by step.

(Now, we’re definitely not talking about taking it step by step with haraam things. If you’re doing something haram, you should stop it immediately).

But what we’re saying is first, make absolute sure that you are doing ALL the obligatory things. Then move on to the extra things or nawafil.

This is because Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala said in the hadith:

My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him"

So before you think of niqab:
  •     Are you praying fajr? Isha? All five prayers on time?(which I am sure you are, ma’shaAllah)?
  •       Do you already wear khimar/ abaya (or the very long scarf that covers your chest)?  
  •     Those kinda things…
If you are already doing all that, fantastic, ma’shaAllah.
  •     You can try and move on to [what is generally thought of as the easy] nawafil: are you praying the sunnah prayers?
  •     Do you pray witr?
  •       Do you fast the 3 days of the month? 

If yes, GREAT.

If not…

Here’s the thing. You should be warned that everyone has different experiences with niqab. Your experience with the niqab will depend a lot on your environment (including the familia- fam- mama- baba- that kinda thing) and more importantly on your own faith and trust in Allah. You most likely will get asked a LOT about it. You may find some Muslims who will also ‘accuse you of being extremist/ ruining the image of Islam/etc.” You may find your friends suddenly developing some sort of allergies to you and disappearing. If you’re still studying, you may find that your school/university doesn’t really accept it. If your imaan is still a little bud and hasn’t really blossomed yet, you may verily well end up feeling very alone and taking it off a few weeks later. Even years later, you may wonder if you had rushed into things that you didn’t really have to do… You may wonder why you didn’t just draw closer to Allah using these easier (less noticeable) nawafil (praying sunnah, etc.)…

That’s why I would recommend building your imaan as well as adding extra ibaadat in your daily life as much as possible before deciding to wear niqab. (Actually, this is something we should all do, anyways!)

Like set a goal date—6 months time- 8 months…etc.

Then, decide some actions that you are going to do each month to build up your iman. For example:

This month, I’m going to work on reading at least 10 pages of Qur’an every day…”
Second month: Now, I’m going to continue reading those 10 pages and add 3 more pages each day. I’m also going to start giving sadaqah once a week….
Third month:…..*and so on*

You see,

The Prophet (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) also said,:
 Take from works that which you are able to sustain, for Allah does not tire [of rewarding you] until you tire [of works].

That's why it's really important that you are consistent with what you do. Once you've done all that, try on the niqab. Get in touch with other niqabis around you. Ask them what their advice is. I'm not sure what country you're in which is why I advise you to talk to others actually in your area...Broach the topic with your family. Will they accept it/allow it? Read more and more about it.

The most important thing is understanding exactly what you’re getting into before getting into it, ishaAllah…

I hope inshaAllah that this little helps you and I ask Allah to forgive me if I said anything incorrect!

OH, you can also try reading this advice we posted earlier—Niqabi who needs a little boost

AND Hopefully also our other niqabi readers can share their experience and tips—tell us what do you advise her to do?

(And finally- for the differences of opinion on niqab: check out the link below)

P.s. Here's our story why we chose to wear niqab: For a limited time only :)

12 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  January 12, 2011 at 5:09 PM  

Salam Alaikum,

I am following the opinion of niqab is mustahab, not obligatory (just for information). ;)
In reality, I live in Indonesia, I never saw niqabis except maybe for 3 times in my life from far away.
But recently, one of an Indonesian writer decided to wear niqab. What makes me wonder is, why.. When usually people don't look at her, now everyone will see and talk about her.
specially when a niqabi, with over-makeups on their eyes, and colorful contact lens.. I mean why? What's the point?
Hijab is to prevent ourselves from being molested. Wear loose clothes, dont show the contour of our bodies, dont dress like a man,and make your hijab to cover your chest. Dont use make up too much.
This is what hijabi tends to forget, make ups.
Just study why Allah sent down the reason behind the hijab and let's act upon it.

wallahu alam

Little Auntie January 15, 2011 at 2:09 AM  

I know what you mean Ria. There are some niqabis who wear a little bit too much make-up, etc.

BUT, I have to disagree with 'the attention' that Indonesian writer will now be getting. Even though she will be drawing attention to her, it's not the kind of attention that she would be getting if she was uncovered <---that is the kind of attention, we have to avoid.

If she can wear niqab, and doesn't get bothered by these looks, why not? Each one of us has something we find easier to do :)

At the end of day, we're each racing to jannah with the little that we can do =)

Lovin your help to all these people though, ma'sahAllah, Jazaki Allah AUNTIE ria!

Sabirah January 15, 2011 at 7:26 PM  

Great post, Masha'Allah. I love reading your advice. It makes me feel so connected with other Muslimahs out there. When I first began hijab and started getting back into the flow of my deen...I went through a similar struggle. I began taking classes and seeing many niqabis and thinking I wasn't doing something right. You are right Little Aunti, Masha'Allah. After being hijabi for about six years now...and no I'm not a niqabi...I did start with taking on too much at first and almots crashing. Alhamdulillah, never falling apart to the extent that I didn't put the pieces back together...but that's always a possibility. Islam is all about consistency and gradual increase...Subhanallah. There is mercy in that!

Little Auntie January 16, 2011 at 3:39 AM  

awww, Sabirah, Jazaki Allah koli khair. You said exactly what I wanted dear little auntie to be-- a community, a sisterhood. <3 I'm glad it helps you connect with other Muslims <3 Alhamdillah.

alahdmillah that you didn't crash and you are so right in saying 'consistency and gradual increase' :)

Anonymous,  January 19, 2011 at 6:57 AM  

Assalam alaik Sissss dear aunty (wait, there are 3 aunties on this blog yea?) hehe..

I like how you're witty when giving advices hehe. Agree with almost everything mentioned here! When I was contemplating to wear niqaab before, I realised there were so many things I *should* correct/improve about myself first before proceeding on. Establish the fardh first, and then the Sunnahs like you mentioned before taking the next step. Of course, it's just my opinion.. I think niqaab is a big step for those who grew up wearing jeans and shorts (like me!) I stopped wearing jeans for good and then tried on baggy clothes and later abayas.. make transitions, instead of transforming overnight. Believe me, I'm still making some changes in my life and have yet to wear niqaab daily after 2 years. subhan Allah.. slow and steady ok sisters insha Allah? :)

Little Auntie January 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM  

Hehe, yup, Ummkhaleel! We've got three aunties but we post in different usernames (to lessen the confusion a bit :P) Anyways, I love your comment!! Ma'shaAllah and Jazakillah koli khair :)

Anonymous,  March 17, 2011 at 8:41 AM  

Sister you are doing a wonderful job and I would like to let you know that Sunni Path is not a good website : May Allah forgive me if I am unintentionally misleading you.

Little Auntie March 17, 2011 at 9:03 AM  

On the contrary, Anon, thank YOU for telling me that. To be honest, my preferred site is Islam Q&A- unfortunately it is completely blocked here in KSA, so I sometimes resort to those sites. However, since you mentioned that, I will edit my post now :) Jazakillah koli khair.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM  

Your welcome sister, I am glad you took action so immediately. I just had to say because before I found out that it was not good I used to love reading through the fatwas...
Much love.

Marium Jamil,  March 24, 2011 at 11:31 PM  

Umm Dear Little Aunite, can you please give the link for that niqab story that you mention at the end of this blog post? If, if, if it is possible.
JazakAllah, much love. =)

Little Auntie March 28, 2011 at 3:07 AM  

Sure, Marium. I edited the post and added the link :) It's pretty long though!

Marium Jamil,  March 28, 2011 at 6:34 AM  

Jazakillah lil auntie :D

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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