A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I've thought alot recently about wearing the niqaab, the reasonings for and against it, etc. I'll be honest, I've always felt very strongly drawn towards it. Maybe because of my early pre-teen warping from reading trashy romance novels where the ladies in the harem were always covered in diphaneous wisps of face veils. :-D However, I'd like to believe it's a bit deeper than that. lol
From the time I first became Muslim I have thought about wearing niqaab. I've grown leaps and bounds in my modesty and haya since I converted almost 5 yrs ago. *Not that I was necessarily WRONG in what I wore in the beginning* but I do personally feel if a sister is drawn towards the niqaab she should be exceedingly modest in her manner of dress as well as her actions.
When I was a new Muslim alhamdulillah I had such a piece-meal, mixed up wardrobe. Wallah I laugh when I see my early pictures from India. Subhanallah!!!! Pleasssse my sisters, picture this (mentally cause I don't have these photos on this laptop): newbie-issue al-amira pull over hijab COMPLETE with lace edging, long green poly-silk kameeze gifted from friend, long peasant-style denim skirt from Wal-Mart (super cute, still have it just a little too snug at the mo'), and dark grey/neon green New Balance shoes.
Oh my aching sides!!!! I still giggle when I see those pics. Oh wait, the coup-de-etat (sp?): I tossed a niqaab on top of that hot mess. Yes my sisters I did. You see, at least where and when I was in India (Mumbai/Maharashtra/Nagpur area, 2006) Muslims sisters ONLY went out of the house in full on, black head-to-toe, abaya/hijab/niqaab ensemble. I kid you not. WITH full clothing on underneath. Ya Rabb, I am sweating just thinkin' about it!!!!! So imagine how I stood out! Warning, another side-splitting description coming up:
White skin, green eyes, southern US accent even in my "a'salaamu alaikum", chubby, dressed to kill (with laughter!), and a smile bigger than Texas permanently on my face. Ya'll, I had just married and was having the adventure of a lifetime. My fashion woes would NOT hold me back. Anyway so all this together *kinda* stand out from the average niqaabi sister floating around oh-so-gracefully. I wore the niqaab to fit in and to please my new husband while in his home country. I do, in my rather weak defense, have to go ahead and say I quickly had more appropriate clothing made and eventually made some of my forays in a lovely black abaya I still own, and my first ever purchased.
OK sorry I got sidetracked. Then when I was in UAE I wore a form of niqaab called a ghashwa (please see post topics on the sidebar for a pic of me decked out in that). By that time (last year) I was very modest in my dress (and alhamdulillah matching!!! lol) and felt it was a much better fit for me.
So where is my problem? Well turns out I got lots of them! I'll just list them for you.
1. My non-Muslim family. Already how I dress makes them uncomfortable sometimes. I am afraid if I wear niqaab it will totally alienate them, especially when I would tell them that it isn't required. Hmmm. I don't want the few times I am able to spend with them to be awkward for them or me.
2. Dawah issues. In the West women in niqaab are somewhat feared I think. Right now I have the opportunity to speak with people, give a smile, make some type of interaction with them which I think isn't as possible with the niqaab. I might be wrong.
3. Perserverance. I am afraid I might start it and then find it too difficult and give it up. I don't like to fail and I don't like to start a thing and not be able to finish it. Except for craft projects, noooo problem with that!
4. Loss of identity. I am not positive I would feel this way but I guess when I think of this, it's mostly in mind that when I am out with Aaminah and she can't see my emotions on my face; my happiness or pride in her.
OK so that pretty much sums up my "Things that make you go 'hmmmm'" list. :-) So why WOULD I want to wear it? Where is the dilemma?
I want to please Allah. I want to have more good deeds than bad on yawma-qiyamat. I want to do more to improve myself, make me feel closer to Allah. I know, it would be better for my soul to pray all my sunnah and nafil prayers or became a hafiza. I can't do those things. I get side-tracked or the kids are crazy or dinner needs cooked. Sometimes I'm just downright lazy. :-( I feel wearing the niqaab, like wearing the hijaab, is an easy way to please Allah. It's as simple as that.
How many of you have flirted with the idea of niqaab? Who used to wear it but removed it and why? Pros, cons, questions of your own... please post them all. :-)