Monday, August 16, 2010

Behind the Veil; I'm Loving It!

As salaamu alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

I gave a speech in college about wearing niqaab. I was the only niqaabi there, so it seemed appropriate. Here's what I said.

"It's a controvertial issue; all you can see are my eyes. Wearing the face veil is my personal choice. I’m not oppressed; I’m just doing my thing.

Islam mandates that Muslim women cover everything but their hands and faces from non-relative, marriageable men. Here is why some of us choose to cover our faces as well.

I became Muslim over 20 years ago and only decided to cover my face 5 years ago while living here in the United States. In fact, in the 6 years I’ve been living here and my previous time in England I learned that the majority of women who cover their faces are native to the country they live in so most of them here are American and most in England are British.

The three main reasons I, and women like me cover our faces are:

1) To protect ourselves.
a. Wearing the veil not only identifies us as Muslim women, it serves as a barrier between the outside world and us. Without a face to focus on, men don’t usually approach us for friendly social interaction.
b. 1 in 6 women are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime here in the USA. We don’t present anything that might attract or incite those men who cannot control themselves.
c. Serial killers are notorious for targeting certain types of women with specific physical attributes; we don’t allow them that knowledge.

2) To safeguard our family life.
a. We save our beauty, make-up, henna, perfume and little black dresses for our husbands. They are his exclusively, not for the eyes or enjoyment of any other man. We never hear the question, “Who are you getting all dressed up for?” or “Where are you going dressed like that?” because we only dress up for our husbands and ourselves. There is no fear that we are trying to attract other men, which builds a very trusting relationship.

3) To protect and respect the rest of society.
a. We don’t want to attract a man away from his wife, family.
b. We don’t want to present to any other woman’s partner something he might prefer over her.
c. We don’t want to cause any insecurities to other women.
d. We don’t want to entice men who are unmarried and don’t have an outlet for their desires.

Each one of us acts according to what he or she believes is good and right. Hopefully now when you see someone covered as I am, you can understand that we are happily behind the veil. "


  1. Alhumdulilah I like this. I was always told niqab was wajib, even a sister told me it was a fard? I have not had as easy a transitions into the veil because initially it was forced on me and I did feel, oppressed. I really can't think negatively about the veil if it is something I'm going to continue to do. My mindset needs to change, so I can see all the beauty in it. This helps. Thank you for sharing Mai.

  2. Although there are some scholars who say it is fard/wajib, the widespread and safest opinions I have found are that it is mustahab - praiseworthy.

    I think much of the beauty lies in us knowing that it is loved by Allah. All the other points, facts, benefits, etc. are practical reasons for wearing it, but doing something because Allah loves it and it is what was worn by the best of women (radhi Allahu anhunna), the wives of the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) is what gives it the most beauty.

    You are fortunate to have a husband who loves you enough to insist on you wearing it. It may sound strange me saying that, but he clearly wants you in Jennah, mashaa'Allah. He understands the protection it is for you, but more than that, he wants you to be of the best of women and the most pleasing to Allah in your modesty. May Allah increase your love and appreciation for each other - ameen.

  3. Ameen Mai thank you for your dua, lol yeah and that did make me smile. I know he's said before he feels it's a protection for me, but I think I could do it so much easier if it wasn't such an "issue". He's very uncomfortable with brothers looking at me, and in his words he wants to conceal what's valueable to him. So Inshallah I hope to do it someday for the right reasons.

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