The Beauty of Niqab

21 Jun

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum or as I say to my Somalis, As-salama Calaikum.
I have a secret. I wear the niqab (face cover). It’s a progression of my hijab journey, not a digression from it, or an exaggeration of the Islamic principle of haya (modesty).  I have encountered numerous sisters who foster a desire to wear the niqab, but who don’t know where to start. As this is a blog supporting the mujahabah (women who cover Islamically), I felt pressed to explain what drove me to begin wearing the niqab. 
I don’t know what happened but one day I was consultng Sheikh Google (lol) and I put in “niqab.” There were images and articles, just a heaping pile of web info. Of course, I scanned the images first and then I read a few articles, skimmed some fataawa (Rulings by Islamic scholars). What I found was not that the niqab was some Extremist propaganda but rather, that it was a way to connect a woman to  what’s important in herself and in her life. I left the sheikh with a feeling, a curiosity. I wanted to know more.
I was going through a rough patch and from experience, we all know that rough patches are rougher when you are not leaning on Allah swt (subhana wa ta’ala, glorified and Exalted be He). I needed something to strengthen my iman (faith), something to help reconnect me to my religion. I had read that many sisters found that niqab did that for them. But, my iman and my wardrobe were not prepared just yet. I talked to my sisters Nadia and Naima about it. I got two very different opinions! Nadia felt that it was just plain unnecessary but that she’d support me because it’s haraam not to! Naima felt that it was the step all Muslimahs should respect and aim for in life and she was proud I was even considering it. I hadn’t told my parents I wanted to wear it or my little sister. Somehow my mother just knew and told me she approved of it and she’d have to get used to not seeing my smile. My dad, who accepts hijab because it reduces fitnah (unIslamic contact between the sexes) was not happy about my interest in niqab though. He felt that it would bring too much attention and cause me to lose some really good contacts. I told him plainly, “If my friends cannot accept me this way, they were never my friends.”
I was certain at this point, that wearing niqab was something I was gonig to do, one day. I was afraid to wear it on campus because Georgia Southern is in South Georgia, filled with racists and anti-Islam tea party members. I did not want to put myself in any danger. So to garner some support from niqabis, one day I joined a Yahoo group for women interested in the Niqab. I met a sister there, named Amatullah Zawj. She was nice and sent me encouraging emails filled with the most wonderful advice. During one IM session with her, I started getting a weird feeling, She told me my voice was my awrah (what should not be exposed in front of men you can marry) and that I should avoid having any kafr (Non-Muslim, disbeliver) touch me so I should wear gloves. She said I should learn to tie a niqab with a regular scarf because I wanted to start wearing one but I could not find a store to fit me one personally. So she asked that I turn on my webcam and told me her daughter had broken hers so she could not turn on her own cam. I was trusting so I did not question her. I turned on my web cam and she continued to tell me how to tie the niqab and I was pleased. But, the next day on facebook, there was a link. It was video showing how these men were posing as niqabis because they had niqab fetishes! Amatullah was a man! He had seen me! Audhubillah!!! (I seek refuge in Allah swt). 
That day, I prayed harder, I cried harder, and I felt more overwhelmed with sorrow than ever before. I was hurt that someone would do that, I was ashamed for being so gullible. However, I felt that no man should ever see of me, what I do not want them to see. I did not want “Amatullah the man” to see me as he had managed to and I had no clue who else may have been in that room with him. I felt used. I knew that I would wear the niqab from then on. I wanted to be in control of who saw my face. I wanted to show that I was dignified in covering myself and saving the most beautiful parts of me for those Allah swt gave permission to see it.
I had not put it on just yet though. If I had, I’d be wearing it for the wrong reason. I knew that in order to earn any reward for wearing the niqab, I’d have to wear it for Allah alone. So, I started praying more about it, asking for purer intentions. One morning, Jummu’ah, I was going to the Somali masjid. I pulled in and there were men everywhere! I made dua’a that Allah swt allow me to reach the sisters building with ease and I covered my face with my hijab. As I walked past them, they all said Salaams and praised Allah swt for me covering my face. I was filled with pride, astaghfirullah (Allah forgive me). But it felt good knowing that these brothers knew the value of niqab. I prayed istikhara (Prayer for guidance) and I was filled with peace. 
I read up on the ahadith (Traditions of Prophet saws) about niqab. It seemed to me that wearing niqab was a common practice of the women during that time and that it was something the Prophet saws encouraged us to do. I read that Allah swt loved those who did extra for him. I realized then that if I could not be the perfect worshipper, I could do something else to win favor in the eyes of Allah swt. I could do more good deeds. I could be nicer. I could pray nafl (extra) salat (prayers). I could wear the niqab. 
In May, alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah swt) I went on a test run. I wore the affixed niqab to Jummu’ah. In the car, it was hard to see so I took it off, but I wore it inside the masjid. I have never taken it off since. The true test will be to see if I can uphold it back on campus in August! Make dua’a for me insha’Allah (God willing)!
Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah), I feel that I am now wearing this niqab for three reasons:
1. To copy the most pious women of Islam, the wives of the Prophet saws, as Allah swt said that they are the best women to copy for their iman in Him.
2. To reduce fitnah and keep myself pure (Allah swt loves those who keep themselves pure)
3. To properly cover myself as interpreted by some of the scholars of Islam (Allah swt loves those who are modest and follow his commands).
Insha’Allah, my tale makes sense! May Allah swt give us all the strength to do what our hearts desire ONLY for the sake of Him!
~ Essence Jones
Read more about Essence here

11 Responses to “The Beauty of Niqab”

  1. azlana noorain July 22, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    inshallah sister u will surely make it in the campus also……

  2. gadija October 22, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Assalaamu alaikum… My beloved sister/s in Islam. I have been having this emotion on regards to start wearing the Niqab since ramadaan…. I have a very inspiring sister/friend who also wears niqab and I truelly admire her. I’ve put aside my feelings towards wearing the niqab as my husband embraSsed Islam and has no knowledge regards 2 my desire… How do I explain or most of all make him want me to wear the niqab???? I have even so far dreamt that I wear this beautiful garment….. In sha allah, I believe that Allah swt give knowledge 2 whom he chooses and when he chooses too…. I hope my letter makes sense in sha allah!!!!! Wa alaikum salaam

  3. zaynab September 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    oh sister so beautiful to tell us your experience, yours is also mine, I am encourage by you. I make dua that you are strong enough on campus, and your story make me feel not so cowardly because I have same obstables.

  4. Yasmine Yusuf October 23, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    Wa alakium assalam,

    Jazakallah khair sis… I know Im super late but ive just come across your blog, beautifully written I myself one day Insha’ Allah will wear the niqab , I make dua that one day i gain the same strength as you and just do it, the same way it was when i put hibab on for the first time, that in it self was a miracle…Alhamdulillah. Reading about that disgustne man actually made my blood boil,, how revolting, but you pulled through sis by the will of Allah(swt) and words of wisom would be much appreciated.

    Assalam Alakium

  5. Isah yusuf(abu anwar) November 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Alhamdulillah! Sis. May Allah uphold and strengthen u in faith. it’s time our lovely sisters in islam start telling the western world and fashion that ‘we love ALLAH more’.

  6. Mina February 21, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    The good side is that you will decrese the possibility of the evil eye!You will be modest and not inspire men and provoke jealousy in other sisters so you also impact and protect society to lead them towards modesty! You also avoid sexual exploatation of yourself and falling into sins.Because many women use their beauty to get what they want in life ,which is not why Allah gave it to us.We are adornment to our husbands and only for them.I really like to wear niqab one day and I will be proud too and not have any complex of myself ,knowing i give the least fitna possible to others and also protecting myself from evil!I admire sisters who have the courage to do it ,breaking the stereo type and also when we don’t use our beauty for illigal purposes like getting ahead in life and getting people’s attention and trying to gain any benefits from our beauty is like we push ourself to study ,use our brain and be smart ,and intelligent ,we push ourselves to go ahead in life thanks to our own effort not to appereance like in many places.So I put my thumbs up that sociaty has to return to the modest way of life!

  7. marwa March 13, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    may allaah swt reward to those who wearing niqab 🙂

  8. marwa March 13, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    subhanallaah when i was start wearing niqab i feel to my self the words “PEACE” alhamdulillaah 🙂

  9. helnbak March 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Thank you. I was really interested to read your piece. I am not a Muslim woman and I am against people telling others what they should or shouldn’t wear. In this country (UK), there has been debate recently as to whether women should be allowed by law to cover their faces in public wearing a niqab. I think it’s interesting and sad that it is acceptable in society for women to pose naked in newspapers (like the Sun which is a daily paper in the UK and has women showing their breast on page 3 every day), but not to cover their faces!
    However, I have a column in a magazine called the Big Issue, and I was thinking as an experiment to wear a niqab for a week to see what it feels like and how other people interact with me. What do you think of this? Would you find it offensive in any way for a non-Muslim woman to wear a niqab for this reason? I want to know what a Muslim woman might think before I go ahead with this.
    Your blog is really interesting, thank you.

    • delicatescarlet April 30, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

      It wouldn’t be offensive (to most people) but you know, you could just ask those of us who do wear it! 🙂 But if you do try this experiment, ask someone who wears them to recommend one to you. I’ve heard all these people turned off wearing it because they can’t need to spend the money on a good one and you’ll forget you have it on! 🙂

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