>> Friday, December 7, 2012

1.      . Asalaam Aleikum,

My question concerns the Niqab. I have read all of your other posts regarding the topic. For about a month now, I've been seriously considering wearing the niqaab( I've done it a few times except to school and work) and my main issue is not that I'm ready or I'm second guessing but it's more due to my family and other surroundings. I've also always had a issue with being "externally religious" so as not to make others feel uncomfortable, i.e, pausing a conversation to make salat or waking up a sibling/parent/friend to pray. I don't want them to feel as if I'm unrelate-able or on a different level than them, which I've seen happen to other people. I've been wearing the scarf for a couple of years now and that started the same way. I would wear it anywhere I didn't think I'd run into a family/community member but it got to stressful so I just did it all the time and it went well. Then last year, I did the same with my abaya. I wore it to school (I'm a senior in university) and work but now I wear it all the time. People are constantly telling my mum to watch out for who I'm hanging out with etc, etc, because I might become too extreme. She also kind of agrees and thinks that I should just wear "normal" clothes.  A few weeks ago someone who knows my mom saw me in niqab(idk how they knew it was me) and told me mum. Who called me and gave me a mini lecture about not being too extreme. I'm very comfortable in my mode of dress but I begin to dread family functions because someone is bound to make a negative/sarcastic comment and I usually just smile in return but it still makes me sad. Part of the issue I guess is that my family and the majority of my community(especially since we're in America), while they might pray, fast, dhikr, etc, view aspects of the deen especially hijab as a cultural Arab/Desi thing and that's pretty much what I thought while growing up too. I've grown up in this community my entire life, most of the families were friends/relatives from back home so it's hard to just ignore them because even if I do, they still get to my mum. I'd really like to wear niqab because I feel like it makes sense. I mean, if I cover my body, why should I not also cover my face which is the place where most look to in regards of beauty. Besides the family thing, I don't want to be classified as the "extreme" or religious one. Though, I don't think those are bad, the way people say them, invoke negativity. I already get insulted/talked negatively about because of my opinions in regards to gender-interactions, parties, zabiha etc so part of me feels that by not wearing niqab people can still relate to me but once I put it on permanently...I'll always be "that girl" and my opinions will no longer matter because it will always be followed by "well, she wears niqab so she's obviously strict." I am also very involved in the community, i.e running the halaqas for the younger girls and I worry that parents might not let their children attend if they think I'm extreme. I'm actually the only person not married/under 30 at my masjid who wears any form of hijab and people are always quick to use this against me. I've pretty much resulted in not giving my opinion on any matters unless they directly ask me because they tend to twist it in a way that I look bad or uppity. Sorry for the super long message

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu dearest sister in Islam!!! <3 

please, please, please do not apologize for asking such an important question that I know many other sisters are looking for an answer to. Insha’Allah your question will help many other Muslimahs who are struggling with the same issue. I pray that I will be able to give you sound advice to the best of my ability, by the permission of Allah. I sincerley admire your dedication and strength to please Allah and Him alone. In today’s society, many people leave their religion for the worldly life but Masha’Allah you are fighting to hold onto it. May Allah make it easy for you and continue to keep you steadfast and upright on al-Haq al Islam. Ameen!

And get to your question :)

I want to start off with a few Hadith and verses from the Qur’an about the importance of obeying Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. 

"The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allāh (His Words, the Quran) and His Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), to judge between them, is that they say: "We hear and we obey." And such are the successful (who will live forever in Paradise).  And whosoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), fears Allāh, and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones.” [An-Nur, 24: 51-52]

And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). (Ad-Dhariyat 51:56) 

You see, sis, whatever religious duty you do has nothing to do with others. Don't think of the duty in terms of creation, but think of WHO you are doing it for. It's not about being on a different level from a sister, parent or friend. Instead, it is all about YOU and your relationship with Allah. 

And the reality is this: anything from Islam, and the commands of Allah, are NOT to be taken as cultural or traditional practices. 
Islam is a way of life, and our duty as a servant of Allah is to worship Him with no partners, to obey His commands, and to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam.)

 Observing the five pillars of Islam is absolutely obligatory upon us and that is what distinguishes us apart from the non-Muslims. In addition, we are to obey Allah and observe His commands about modesty, carry good character and etiquette and to respect our parents. However, if our parents are discouraging us from practicing something that is obligatory in Islam, or to even abandon something obligatory, we should not obey them. Our love for our parents does not exceed the love we have for Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. Nothing comes before Allah.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4340; Muslim, 1840; Ahmad, 1098.
Not to go on a little rant here, but unfortunately, the society we live in today has become brainwashed by the media where “normal clothes” is considered as tight, skinny denim, fitted hoodies and a hijab that covers the hair with ears and earrings are exposed. The modern women in today's society has become more of a hot commodity, rather than an actual human being with a brain. The modern women of today has designers and producers speaking for them instead of them having a say in anything! These women have become oppressed by the media and they don't even have a clue! 
Modesty is becoming extinct day by day. Masha’Allah dearest sister, I commend you for your courage in adopting the proper Islamic dress despite all the negative reactions you are receiving from your family. It is definitely not easy when you are being treated like a criminal or an “extremist” because of the way you dress. Many Muslim families believe that the hijab is not mandatory and just a “cultural” tradition which their forefathers brought before them, but this is not true as it is mentioned in the Qur’an that hijab for women is mandatory.

Allah says in the Qur’an: 

‘[This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember.’ (24:1)

Allah mentions to us that the verses in this Surah are sent down as obligatory acts which must be followed, and this following verse is mentioned in the exact same Surah, which means that adopting hijab and covering our adornments is obligatory upon the believing Muslim.

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:31)

As we can see, proper hijab where a person "covers" their beauty and adornmanets was ordained by Allah.

Does it matter then what the people around us think?

Or does it matter what Allah thinks?

I know it's hard sister, especially because you are not surrounded by sisters or family members who feel the same way about modesty. But the reality, is that you are at a true advantage dear sister. The only ‘trend’ that needs to be set in today’s society is the proper Islamic  dress and that ‘trend’ can only start with those who fear Allah and obey His every command. You are a trend setter, a pioneer, an ambassador calling others to modesty and to what Allah wants. In fact, the fact that you are singled out because of the way you dress and your other opinions on zabiha and so forth is a true sign of iman, inshaAllah (May Allah keep your heart fastened onto His deen! Ameen) and that you are living your life truly for the sake of Allah.

 Remember the true believer in this dunya will always feel out of place and like a stranger but there is nothing wrong with this, in fact, glad tidings are given to the stranger!

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it will revert to its (old position) of being strange. So, glad tidings to the stranger!” [Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
“The world is the believer’s prison and the disbeliever’s Paradise”
 Muslim and Tirmidhi from the narration of Abu Hurayrah and Ahmad from the narration of ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Amru b. Ziyad

Also remember Allah says in the Qur’an to His believing slaves:

 “Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried?” (29:1)

“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments, and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, "When (will come) the Help of Allaah?" Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allaah is near!”  (Al-Baqarah 2:214)

So you see, we will always be faced with difficulties and hurdles in this life when we obey Allah, this is to show Him if our sincerity with the deen is true. What you have to do is continue to remain patient and treat your family and peers with respect and good manners, stay strong with yourself and always say Alhamdulilah for every situation, for "Indeed amazing is the affair of the mu`min (believer). And this is not for anyone except the believer. If he is given something good, he is thankful, and this is good for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, then he is patient, and it is good for him." [Sahih Muslim]:

Now, as to answer your question regarding Niqab, I am not a scholar and it would be very dangerous for me to issue fatwas because I am not qualified to do so. I am just another one of your sisters in Islam who love you for the sake of Allah, so all I can give you is my own opinion based on how I would handle the situation (according to the Qur’an and Sunnah). There are many hadith about modesty, for example:

Mu'adh bin Anas radiallahu anhu reported: Messenger of Allah Sallalahu aleyhi wasselam said, "Whoever gives up wearing elegant and expensive garments out of humbleness, when he can do so, Allah will call him on the Day of Resurrection and before all the creations, He will give him the choice to wear whichever garment of IMAN he would like to wear." (At-Tirmidhi, Chapter 120. #802 pg 666 Riyah us-Saliheen"excellence of giving up elegant clothes for HUMILITY")

Upon the authority of Anas Ibn Maalik – Radhiyallahu ‘anhu – who said that the Messenger of Allah – Sallallahu alaihi Was Salam – Said: “..If a woman from the women of Jannah were to appear in this world, that which is between (the heavens and the earth) would be filled with her (beautiful) fragrance. And they would illuminate that which is between the heavens and the earth. The scarf that is on her head is better than the world and that which is upon it!” (Collected By Tirmidhi (1651) and declared ‘Saheeh’ by Shaikh Al Albaani in Saheeh Sunan At Tirmidhi)

"In later (generations) of my ummah there will be women who will be dressed but naked. On top of their heads (what looks) like camel humps. They will not enter into paradise or (even) get a smell of it." (Muslim)

If they are reluctant to follow the many given proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah then I encourage you to continue to show your family that Islam is a way of life and not just a cultural practice. It is your duty to encourage them to pray on time, and to take modesty seriously. 

If the idea of Niqab overwhelms them and it will result in them kicking you out of the home or disowning you, then perhaps you should seek help through patience and prayer and ask Allah to make things easier for you. Also, to pray Istikharah if it is a good idea for you to adopt the Niqab due to the current situation you are in. Praying Istikharah (consistently) is always my best advice to sisters, mainly because we are human beings, and our knowledge and wisdom is so limited. Allah knows the answers that we do not, and I could give you my opinion and advice but what really matters is our Creator because He knows best. So my wonderful dear sister, I commend you again for your courage and your strong iman masha’Allah ( May Allah preserve it and keep you strong on His deen ) but if the Niqab will cause more problems for you in your current situation, then make Istikharah, asking Allah if it is good for your deen then to make wearing the niqab easier, and if not then He will show you either way.

 As for the halaqah issue, will you be holding them with your niqab on? Or will be there be a women's only section? If there will be a women's only section, you don't actually have to wear your niqab in front of the children (unless you fear that non-mahram will see you). And even if you do have to for some reason, that doesn't mean that the parents will refuse to let their children attend with you. Just having friendly attitude is bound to win them over. Also, you can make a brochure with what you are hoping to cover in the halaqahs and invite the moms to see.

As much as possible, use this opportunity to your advantage for this will be a great chance for you to share the beauty of Islam through your akhlaq, and through the beautiful teaching of Rasulullah (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam), and to teach the younger children about modesty and why it is important in a society like today. 

The future starts with our youth, and if you can set a good example for them in a gentle, well-mannered way, insha'Allah it will also make the elders understand as well the importance of modesty and the beauty of Islam! Continue to stay patient and make plenty of duaa and continue to lead by example through good manners and kind treatment towards your family and friends. Insha’Allah they will come through slowly and maybe they will even adopt the niqab one day!

Always stay positive and enthusiastic, and remember Allah does not burden us with more than we can bear! Allahu Akbar! If you ever want to give your opinion on a subject (to family, or friends etc) make sure you have proof from the Qur'an and Sunnah with you, so if anyone ever twists your words or puts words in your mouth, you will have proof to back up your claim. Nothing in Islam is forced upon anyone, and remember Islam is made to be easy for us and we should always be moderate with everything and never be too excessive as mentioned in this Hadith:
145. Narrated by Abu Hurayra (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet ,may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The deen is easy. Anyone who makes the deen too hard on himself will find it becomes too much for him. So aim for what is right, follow a middle path, accept the good news of the reward for right action, and seek help [to reach your goal by being constant in worshipping] in the morning, evening and some of the night."[al-Bukhari] 
Also remember, nobody will save us on the day of Judgement except Allah and His mercy ! Our family and friends will not intercede on behalf of us, so we must always remember to focus on earning rewards for the Akhirah and not the dunya! The opinions of others will not matter on The Day of Judgement so we should not focus too much on what others think about us while we are in this dunya! Here are some chilling reminders about The Last Day: 

"O mankind, fear your Lord and fear a Day when no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver." (31:33)

 "And no burdened soul will carry another soul’s burden; and if a burdened soul calls another to share the burden, no one will carry any part of it, even if he is a close relative; O dear Prophet (Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him), your warning only benefits those who fear their Lord without seeing and who keep the prayer established; and whoever cleansed himself, has cleansed for his own benefit; and towards Allah only is the return." [35:18]

"At last, when the deafening blast is sounded, that Day will man flee from his brother and his mother and his father and his wife and his children. Each one of them, on that Day, will have enough to occupy him so as to make him heedless of others. Some faces on that Day shall be shining, rejoicing and joyful. And some faces on that Day shall be dusty, and darkness shall be covering them. These will be the disbelievers and the sinners." (80: 33-42)
So continue to be obedient to Allah and excel in your deen and always strive to attain more knowledge from our pious predecessors so that you may educate yourself and put into practice what you learn, and insha'Allah your good actions will reflect upon others around you. I also wanted to extend out my support to you and if you need to talk to someone privately you can alwayas e-mail me at ! May Allah keep us all steadfast upon al-haq al- Islam and may He give us the taufiq to revive the Sunnah a day at a time, for His sake and His alone. AMEEN! <3<3<3

6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  December 7, 2012 at 7:36 PM  

Mashallah sis

Anonymous,  December 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM  


Anonymous,  December 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM  

Assalamu alaikum,

I can so relate to you. I'm the girl that people sometimes think of as an "extremist." I don't consider it to be extreme, but you just have to ignore it. Trust me, learning how to ignore it takes time, but don't worry, insha'Allah it will happen. Allah is on your side <3

As far as the niqab goes, here is a website that a sister has created that shows her extensive research of the issue. masha'Allah tabarkAllah. Ameen.

Lastly, I love you my sister. Hang in there and insha'Allah it will be ok. If you don't think the niqab is obligatory, try to be patient and think things through. Like sister OneLovely said, pray istikhara. Allah will take care of you if you do, no matter what the outcome is.

Anonymous,  December 19, 2012 at 8:05 PM  

JazakAllah Khairun for the helpful and detailed post! I love this blog! I recommend it to almost anyone who is dealing with an issue and needs good, objective advise. You literraly cover everything from salat, to iman to gender interactions!

khadijah December 22, 2012 at 9:17 AM  

<3 Thank you dear Anonymous for your kind words !! <3
One Chinese Auntie!

Anonymous,  March 7, 2013 at 4:31 AM  

Assalaamu alaykum. I read this post now(3 month passed since it was written). I feel as if myself wrote this... even though the questioner is teaching children and more sincerely making efforts than me.
I feel ashamed to see the questioner and the sister who answered the question.(I know she is a revert muslimah like me)
Actually I got very saddened and felt such a pain, after reading somebody saying'...such people only stay at corners and do nothing out of afraid that they might commit any sin.'
I don't think we are extreme either... May Allah make things easier for us. I pray for you two sisters.

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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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