Why I Wore Hijab Then Niqab

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By Tara Gregory
27 May 2008

Three years after becoming Muslim, I finally succumbed to the fact that hijab was obligatory. I had been wearing hijab for three years when I compiled “Why I Wear Hijab Not Niqab”. If anyone had told me that I’d wear niqab a year after I wrote that article, I wouldn’t have believed them. *See footnote*

It all started in Ibri, Oman. A dear friend, Khadija Oum Abdul-Aziz, invited me to stay with her and her family at their village. I readily accepted and left Muscat for this conservative little town in the northeast region of the country. On the bus ride to Ibri, I sat in the front seat to the right of the bus driver for safety because I was alone and without a mahram. Despite my fears of being harassed, nobody ever bothered me alhamdulillah.

Khadija picked me up and took me back to her house. While chatting with Khadija, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that her
driver kept looking at me in the rear-view mirror. He was probably having a field day seeing the unveiled face of a non-mahram woman. Even though he was an older brother, I still felt uncomfortable.

This was one of the first of many instances of feeling uncomfortable when out and about in Ibri. Whenever I accompanied Khadija around town, most of the men would stare unabashedly at me. It wasn’t that I was gorgeous, I do alright, but I think it was my light skin and uncovered face that attracted so much attention. I have never liked to draw attention to myself and was constantly embarrassed. I also stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the veiled women and was very conscious of the fact that I looked like a foreigner.

I yearned to wear niqab. I wanted to hide behind its anonymity from the prying eyes of those men who lacked the willpower to stop gazing at my face. I realized that being more modest could help bring me closer to the pleasure of Allah. The man who would later become my husband desired that I wear niqab. I viewed satisfying his request as another way to please Allah.

From time to time, Khadija and I discussed wearing niqab. She instilled courage in me and was an ideal role model being a niqabi herself. One day she gave me an extra niqab which I still have to this day, barakAllahu feehaa ameen. I was excited and waited until I could try it on in private. Flipping back the top layers, I was stunned by the reflection in the mirror. A mysterious woman looked back at me as I admired her in her niqab masha’Allah. Was this woman really me?

I liked it alhamdulillah! The material was Saudi cotton gauze which made it easier to breathe, a plus in hot weather. Now I was incognito, nobody I didn’t know could recognize me. I blended in with the local women and strangers spoke to me in Arabic, not realizing that I was (gasp) American! Niqab covered my blemishes when I was having a bad face day. I was empowered, nobody could see my face without my permission. What a blessing not to have my face on display for those men who couldn’t or wouldn’t lower their gaze. You can’t see me, nananana boo boo.

I liked it so much I continued to wear it when I moved to Bahrain 2 months later. For those who know, Bahrain is very modern Muslim country. Not too many women wear niqab. For those who do, there is a suspicion that they might be prostitutes. Some prostitutes are known for doing business while using the niqab as a disguise to trick the police. I was chased by men although I was covered from head
to toe in black, with the exception of my eyes and hands. This mostly happened whenever I walked in public alone. Unfortunately, I had to take my niqab off while working in a mixed gender international school. I worked there during my last three months in Bahrain and wore it off and on.

Back in the US, my iman was not high enough to wear the niqab so I kept it off. I didn’t feel brave enough to wear it in a non-Muslim country. Shallow excuses, I know. I felt guilty not wearing it and strived to be like the few niqabis I saw in Missouri. They looked so beautiful and confident masha’Allah. It seemed that nothing prevented them from donning what they had the freedom to wear. Even though I constantly strived to wear niqab, I cared too much about what my family and strangers would think of me and not enough of what Allah thought of me. I worried that I would bring harm to myself from Muslim haters when I should have trusted in Allah that He would protect me.

Now that I’m in Saudi Arabia, I feel that Allah has given me a second chance. I couldn’t imagine not wearing niqab here. And if I ever return to the US, I hope that I can wear my niqab with pride while fearing Allah and not His creation.

I’d like to conclude this article by reminding other sisters that no matter how we decide to cover, we all have one thing in common and that is being a Muslimah in this glorious Din al-Islam (Religion of Islam.) Amongst us Muslim women there is the one who doesn’t cover at all because she doesn’t think it is obligatory; the one who doesn’t cover and is striving to; the hijabi who covers everything except her face and hands; the hijabi who is striving for niqaab; the niqaabi that believes covering everything is wajib and the niqaabi who believes it is only encouraged. Who is the best? The one that is the most pious. Which one is the most pious? Allah Knows Best!

*13 August 2011 update: My current views on niqab is that it is mustahabb and wajib in some circumstances. I have deleted the contents of the article, “Why I Wear Hijab Not Niqab” because I do not wish to be associated with it any longer. There is a webmaster of a website called, Islam For Today, who still has my old article up but I can’t reach him through the email address he lists on the website. His name is Hussein Abdulwaheed Amin so if anyone knows current contact details for him please email me. If you find it on other websites/blogs, please alert me at taraummomar at gmail dot com so that I can request it be taken down insha’Allah. JazakumAllahu khair, Tara Umm Omar

This article was mentioned at BintMokhtar, I Love Hijab


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Family historian of Broussard, Gregory, Sledge and Williams family tree

28 thoughts on “Why I Wore Hijab Then Niqab”

  1. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
    May Allah Bless you and make it easy for you to continue to wear the niqaab, ameen. I had read your other article and I have read this one too. I have met never you sister but I some how feel a real change in character and subhanAllah I would say it is maturing in Islam – mashaAllah tabarakAllah. Your manner of presenting your ideas also have changed.
    I enjoy your articles and have gathered a lot of knowledge from them alhamdulillah. May Allah reward you for your efforts, ameen. You are right sister Only Allah sees our Hearts, and we can keep trying to improving on what we are doing. And, surely the step from contemplating on hijaab to actually wearing hijaab, then contemplating on niqaab and accomplishing niqaab – is a big journey indeed.
    Anyway, just to sum it up. I generally don’t write in websites like this, but i was really over joyed by your article, so decided to share my joy. May Allah reward you with the best, ameen.
    fe amanillah
    wassalamu alaikum
    Umm Khadeejah

  2. Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

    Ameen and the same for you ameen.

    Insha’Allah I hope I’m getting wiser as I age. Hardships have certainly changed my perspectives on life and Islam and obviously its reflected in my writing.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog, it means a lot to me. However, all praise goes to Allah!

    May He continue to allow others to get as much benefit and knowledge as you have from this blog ameen.

    FiAmanAllah, Tara Umm Omar

  3. Assalamu Alaikum,

    May Allah bless you and shower you with his mercy for this post sister. Alhamdulillah, Allah gave me the strength to wear hijab even though my own husband told me at first he did not want to be seen with me in it (he got used to it real fast though and now appreciates it). I think about wearing niqab, but I burst into tears sometimes and I am not sure why. I have tried seeking council from another niqabi sister about this, but she is very busy and so has not replied to me yet. Insha’allah, one day I will be able to do niqab…

    Wassalam Alaikum,

  4. Wa alaikum salam

    Ameen. May Allah reward you for your kind compliments ameen.

    There used to be a sister who emailed me stating that her husband was refusing to allow her to wear hijab. I wonder if you are the same sister. If so, alhamdulillah you finally gained the courage to wear hijab.

    Are you afraid of experiencing the same negative attitude from your husband if you start to wear niqab?

    May Allah guide you to have happy thoughts of the niqab ameen.

    FiAmanAllah, Tara Umm Omar

  5. AS,

    I have been reviewing your article above and the other sisters comments.
    I have had alot of discussions on this topic and have not yet found a clear concrete answer.

    Hijaab I believe is compulsary, but i have not come across any evidence to pont that the niqaab is fard.

    I have ben wearing the hijaab since I was 11yrs old and I am happy with my decision. i would like to take the next step and wear the niqaab but i think i am too concious on the reactions from friends and work collegaues. I reside in a western country and working in these recent times with a hijaab is hard enough although alhamdolillah Allah help me through the days. But even if I decided to wear the niqaab i dont think my employers would allow it.

    Can you please give me some advise on whether the niqaab is fard

    thank you

    Fee AmanAllah

  6. Wa alaikum salam Razwana,

    I wish I could give you some concrete advice but I myself am not entirely convinced that niqab is wajib. I do believe its wajib in certain circumstances but mostly mustahabb. Unfortunately, not even the scholars are in agreement. You will have to research it and go with the most strongest and correct opinion from the evidence the scholars present.

    May Allah help make it easy for you ameen.

    FiamanAllah, Tara Umm Omar

  7. Salam Razwana.I live in the west, like you, and am Western. I am wearing niqab now and am so much happier. You should not stop yourself from wearing it. You will understand that it is the truth once you practice it because you will feel at peace in your heart. The Prophet’s wives and the Sahabijjat wore it.They were the best generation and they were so near the Prophet of Allah.They are the example we have to follow if we really want to obey Allah Azza wa Jall.
    If you do not wear it because you are afraid of the people, then know that Allah has the most right to your obedience and your fear. If you fear harm in your worldly goods, then know that Allah is the provider of all. If you do not wear it because of pride, then know that Allah is al-Akbar, He is the Most Sublime, your pride will land you against your Creator.
    Insha’Allah, Allah will lead us all to the truth.Niqab is the hijab of Islam.It’ll protect you and keep you happy.You’ll see. I pray for you to be led aright.Ameen.


    The first thing i would like to tell u is that we must remember to not make anything fard or wajib which the prophet did not command nor did Allah command ,

    “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for final determination.”
    (Al-Qur’an 4:59)

    As mentioned in the verse quoted above, when people in authority, the rulers, leaders, imams and scholars differ amongst themselves, our Creator instructs us to look into the Qur’an and the authentic Ahadith for guidance. The legitimacy, relevance and accuracy of the reasons and evidence provided by these people should be evaluated in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. However, it should be borne in mind that infallibility belongs to Allah alone and a scholar, being a human, can make an error of judgement.

    There is no clear-cut authentic hadith to the effect of making the face veil obligatory. Those scholars, who insist that covering the face is obligatory for Muslim women, interpret ‘al-idnaa’ in the verse of the jilbaab (Al-Qur’an: 33:59) to mean, “covering the face”. This interpretation is erroneous because the basic meaning of the word in Arabic is “to come close”, as the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee mentions in his authoritative dictionary ‘al-Mufradaat’. Some people claim that jilbaab is “a garment which covers the face”. This too is a misinterpretation as it is contrary to the interpretation of the leading scholars of past and present as well, who define jilbaab as a garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar).

    Some people claim that the khimaar (headscarf) in Al-Qur’an 24:31 covers the head and the face, whereas linguistically the word only means a head covering. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said “Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar”.

    (Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 1, hadith No. 641)

    However, no scholar insists on covering the face in Salaah for women based on the hadith quoted above, which further substantiates that khimaar does not mean covering the face. Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee, one of the foremost scholars of recent times has clarified in detail, the errors made by these scholars who insist on the obligatory nature of the face veil in his books ar-Radd al-Mufhim & Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (3rd edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah). Likewise, other scholars like Ibn Muflih al-Hambalee, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad are too of the opinion that covering the face is not obligatory.

    As stated earlier, that there is not a single authentic hadith that makes covering the face obligatory. On the other hand, we find several ahadith which prove that covering the face is not compulsory in Islam. For instance, once while the prophet was admonishing and preaching to a group of women after having admonished the men on the Id day, “…a woman having a dark spot on her cheek stood up…” seeking clarification on the subject the prophet was discussing. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1926)

    It is understood from the above-mentioned hadith that the woman having interaction with the prophet was not covering her face nor did the prophet command her to do so. It is incumbent upon every Muslim to enjoin right and forbid wrong, as Allah instructed us in the Glorious Qur’an. Thus we cannot expect the prophet, on whom the Qur’an was revealed, to let the woman keep her face uncovered after having known the obligation of covering the face.

    Narrated Ata bin Abi Rabah (R.A.)

    Ibn ‘Abbas said to me, “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “This black lady came to the Prophet and said…”

    (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 555 – Dar Al Arabia- Beirut- Lebanon & Sahih Muslim Hadith No. 6571-Darusslam- Arabic)

    The hadith quoted above proves that the ‘woman of the people of the paradise’ was not covering her face when she had visited the prophet nor was she covering it when Ibn ‘Abbas was discussing about her later. Some may argue by saying she could be recognized owing to the dark complexion of her hand and not due to the exposure of her face. However, this argument would carry no weight since she was not the only black woman at the time of the prophet. Moreover, to identify a person, the aspect of exposure of the face is of immense significance.

    The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “…The Muhrima (a woman in the state of Ihram) should not cover her face, or wear gloves.”

    (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 1838)

    With regards to the hadith quoted above, some people say that the commandment of the prophet (pbuh) not to cover the face is specifically for the women in the state of Ihram, thus it cannot be used as an evidence because in Ihram certain rules and regulations change. However, the point to be noted here is that the things that are Mustahab (recommended) can be made Haraam (forbidden), like the cutting of nails, even the things that are Mubah (permissible) or Mustahab (recommended) can be made Fard (obligatory), e.g. wearing two pieces of white unsewn cloth is made Fard for a man, while normally it is Mubah (permissible). But anything that is Haraam in the normal course of life can never be made Fard. Hence, if exposing the face is Haraam for women, then how can it be made Fard in Ihraam?

    During the day of Nahr (10th Dhul-Hijja), when Al-Fadl bin ‘Abbas was riding behind the prophet on his she -camel, “…a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath’am came, asking the verdict of Allah’s Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in order that he should not gaze at her…”

    (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6228)

    In the above-mentioned hadith we find Al-Fadl looking at the lady because her beauty attracted him. Here too, it is understood that the face of the lady was exposed as the hadith says that the woman was beautiful. Obviously, it is the face that plays the most significant role in making a person being perceived as ugly or beautiful. In spite of this, the prophet didn’t instruct the lady to cover her face but instead turned the face of Al-Fadl in order to prevent him from staring at her, further substantiating the verse of the Qur’an from Surah An-Noor, 24:30, which says:

    “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”

    The Qur’an further says in the next verse:

    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 thereof…

    (Al-Qur’an 24:31)

    When Ibne Abbaas (RA), the leading commentator of the Qur’an was asked about the verse mentioned above as to what it meant, he replied, “it refers to the face and hands”.

    (Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf, Vol. 3, p. 540 & 541, hadith no. 16997 & 17012 and al-Bayhaqi in Sunan al- Kubraa. Al-Albaanee ruled in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, pp 59-60, that the isnaad of this statement is saheeh.)

    Some scholars argue that all the ahadith, which speak of women’s faces being seen, are of the time earlier than the revelation of the verses of Al-Qur’an 33:59 & 24:31, which make covering the face compulsory. Firstly, as discussed earlier, these Qur’anic verses do not make covering the face compulsory for women. Secondly, to prove that these verses make the covering of women’s face compulsory, they have to quote an authentic hadith for it, which they don’t. Thirdly most of the ahadith quoted above, are of the time after these Qur’anic verses were revealed.

    Thus, it can be concluded that covering the face is not obligatory for women. However, covering the face was obligatory for the Ummul Mu’mineen, the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) as was Tahajjud obligatory for the Prophet (pbuh). Although Muslims are exempted from its obligation, it is still a highly recommended Sunnah for the Muslims. The scholars unanimously agree that it is preferable for Muslim women to cover their faces. Thus it is not compulsory for Muslim Women to cover their faces but those women who cover their faces may continue to do so if they wish. And Allah knows the best.
    So If u Want to Cover ur Face and Hands upto the Wrist then MashaALLAH ,and If U Dont want to then Also MashaALLAH .

  9. I completely agree with Sajjad in his statements above. Why are we making something that is halal (showing the face) haram? That is a bigger sin than to wear or not wear the niqab. Additionally, none of the four perfect women of history (Maryam, Khadijah, Fatima, and Asya) are known to have worn the niqab. If these are the perfect role models for women, then how can the niqabis be more righteous than them?

    Lastly, just because stupid non practicing men can’t follow their own religion and lower their gaze like many men in Muslim countries, that doesn’t mean all women should suffer because of it. Some of these men also drink, fornicate and have no taqwa. Does that mean that believing women should lose their identities, their face, their self respect and honor because of them? That is very poor thinking and very counter to raising the status of women. It is why Allah has made so many of these Muslim countries suffer, because of the oppression and hypocrisy. Men get away with HARAM with no punishment and women are imprisoned behind veils and walls and unable to enjoy the halal things Allah has given her. Men are suppose to care for women, not oppress them. These imams that insist on making life hard on women are doing a great disservice to this great deen. And women who follow their opinions blindly equally make it difficult on the regular practicing Muslimas. As the author of the article said, when no one was wearing the niqab, it made it difficult to wear it. That means that men who regularly saw the face of the women also had no need to oodle at hers. She stood out with the niqab on. So if all women just didn’t wear the niqab, there wouldn’t be a need for it and no debate about it. If niqab was such a clear cut fard like “praying”, then it would be spelled out clearly in the Quran “to all believing women, cover your head, your face, your entire body” and don’t show any part of it to anyone anytime anywhere. There is no ayat like that, nor any hadith. So why are Imams putting words into Allah’s and the Prophet’s mouth. That is truly haram. There’s no hadith that even recommends the niqab because when the women came to the Prophet that were not veiled, he didn’t even recommend to them to veil, he just allowed those who did wear it except when on Hajj or in prayers. If he forbid women to wear veils on Hajj, then how can we say it is a recommended act any other time? The Hijab is fard, the niqab is a choice based on the circumstances and allowed based on culture (but there is no clear evidence that it’s even highly recommended, let alone wajib or fard). Therefore, all niqabis should stop making it sound like they are doing something more pleasing to Allah by wearing it. You are causing more pain and suffering to Muslim women around the world who are treated as second class citizens and are seen as someone men can own and abuse and as a fitnah to the world (i.e. the treatment of women by the Taliban and the Saudis) There is nothing wrong with showing your face. Don’t put on the make-up, keep it clean and pure so that everyone can see the noor on your face from your emaan. How can you get the rewards of smiling to another person, if no one sees your smile? How can you show your pride in your deen if all one sees is blackness and darkness where they should see light and happiness. The niqab is depressing, it’s quite oppressive and serves no one except men who think they own their women like a prized possession. She has no identity and no value since you can’t tell one from the other. They are just background ghosts walking about, unrecognizable even to their own sisters. I am sorry to have offended the niqabi sisters, but this article has quite offended me as a practicing hijabi woman who cannot fathom that other Muslim women are helping each other be pulled down rather than be pulled up. I am sorry this sister thinks hiding her face makes her a better Muslim. Allah does not burden us with more than we can handle. He also doesn’t like it that people become extreme in their religion and that they change His words to make something halal, haram, and vice versa. Allah is most kind to His servants and wishes all of us to reach happiness and our highest potential. In the Quran, He uses women who stay at home as an example of people He does not like (people who are inactive in their communities). So then why do we think hiding from society is pleasing to Allah? Women, like men are obligated to work and serve their communities. The niqab just makes it hard to interact with anyone, nor be taken seriously. Why are we making our lives harder than needs be?

  10. Asalamu Alaikum

    I am not a scholar to say whether it is haram or halal. I personally would never wear something like this and if I saw another sister wearing it then I would be offended. The hijab is not supposed to be attractive or draw attention to us Muslimahs.

  11. I wear hijab, but I don’t believe that niqab is mandated anywhere in the Quran and in hadith for Muslim women. Modesty is obviously an important part of our faith, but not to the point that it comprises the equality and dignity of women. By wearing the niqab, you are validating men’s right and ability to look at women and freely associate as they wish. Women have eyes too, so shouldn’t men then cover their faces?I personally don’t see the niqab as being confident as the author says, because you’re not confident that showing your face is your right and you’re allowing men to continue living their lives without altering their conduct.

    Humans are not animals, we have consciousness and respect and self control. Once abiding by the rules of modesty, it is up to each Muslim to lower their gaze and treat each person with respect. We are putting too much focus on being spiritual by our clothing instead of our deeds.

    We all have a responsibility to dress and behave modestly,so don’t allow slight feelings of discomfort to make you feel like you have to concede to men’s glances. If they do something wrong, it’s called sexual harrassment and you have a right to do something about it.

    Innovating further practices, bi’dah, is a very dangerous thing to do and this to me seems to be that. Just because the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him)wore it, doesn’t mean we are required to.
    Allah said ‘God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship’ (2:185);
    ‘O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things Allah has made lawful to you. But commit no excess, for Allah does not like those given to excess. Eat of the things which Allah has provided you, lawful and good, but fear Allah, in whom you believe’ (4: 86-88)

    Islam is a moderate religion;we take the middle road. That is why I believe that although your intentions are to please Allah, you can still fulfill that while simply wearing hijab, which is not inferior at all.

  12. Assalamu alaykum,
    I really relate to your story about your journey to wearing the niqab inspite of all your research into trying to prove that it is not fard.
    I also don’t think the niqab is fard but while I was living in saudi arabia, i didnt give it a second thought before adorning it. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
    I know you stated that you are still not entirely convinced it is fard but I was just wondering, by dissociating yourself from the previously written article, does this mean you no longer hold those views or is just about the title of the article?

  13. Umm Sulaym- Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. Jazaki’Allahu khair for bringing it to my attention that I did not elaborate on my current view of niqab. I believe that it is mustahabb and even wajib in some circumstances. Therefore I do not wish to be associated anymore with the former research I did. I will be amending this post to reflect these statements shortly insha’Allah.

  14. Bismillah.

    AsalamAlaikum Warahamtullahi Wabarakatu.

    Sister, Mashallah. This is such a *sighh* mashallah piece. Living in Canada, I know that many sisters, including myself, have debated within themselves whether or not the niqab is an obligation or whether it’s recommended and not necessarily wajib. Sometimes I say to myself and my family, “Inshallah when I get married and start a family, I’m SO moving to an Islamic country where I can wear the niqab, bi ithnillahi ta3ala, without any arguements.” So, May Allah give you the strength to wear it even in the United States. And May He reward you for such an amazing article, Ameen. It’s truly inspirational.

    Your sister in Islam
    Bint Mohammed.

  15. Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh Bint Mohammed- Welcome to Islamic Articles and thank you for commenting. Jazaki’Allahu khair for your encouraging words and compliments on the article. Alhamdulillah you derived some benefit from it. At this point, I still do not feel that I’d have enough courage to wear niqab in the US. This is one of the things that I appreciate about living in an Islamic country (that accepts Muslimahs wearing niqab). As you know, there are so called Islamic (secular) countries that are totally against the niqab so make your decision well. May Allah grant you a pious brother to marry and facilitate your hijrah to an Islamic country where you can freely wear niqab ameen. FiAmanAllah, Tara Umm Omar

  16. muslimah wearing niqab?? I find it so offensive as it entirely blocked us hearing impaired who read lips at all times. it makes me so sad for those who wears the face coverage. some refused to understand that.

  17. Diane- My friends accommodate me by lifting up the part of their niqab so I can see their mouth and read their lips alhamdulillah. We have to respect their choice whether we like it or not. And if they don’t want to lift their niqab for you then at least you know this is not a sister you would want to hang out with regularly, especially in public. Meeting a niqabi in her home would be a different matter of course.

  18. Hi Tara,

    I am not a follower of Islam but I very much enjoyed your article.
    I strongly disagree with the proposals in some countries to outlaw the niqab (or in fairness, to ban any clothing which conceals the identity).

    It does seem to me that you changed your opinion when pressured to do so by men who were not used to seeing women wihout the niqab – but for whatever reason you choose to wear it, it should be an individual’s decision.

    I hadn’t thought that in some circumstances it is a very brave thing to do, and in others very defensive.

    Thanks again for presenting a well writen, interesting and informative article.

  19. Sam- Thank you for visiting Islamic Articles and for your gracious compliments. I didn’t feel pressured or even forced but felt it was the natural thing to do if I didn’t want men to stare at my face. It is like I put up a wall between them and myself, signaling to them that I did not want them to look at my face. Everyone should have the freedom of choice to do that. I think it is unislamic for Muslim countries to outlaw it and undemocratic for non-Muslim countries to outlaw it.

  20. When I was young and attractive, I had many unwanted advances from men. Now the same thing is happening to my grand daughter. I now understand that the hijab can be a useful thing to wear to promote modesty and to keep mens straying eyes to themselves. Men should also dress in modesty but they dont. they Flaunt their muscles and good looks trying to attract women so they can satisfy their sexual urges. Men need to curb themselves more than women.
    Watching ” Little Mosque On The Prairie” has shown me how nice the jihab can be and when the lady was engaged but not married yet and her fiance wanted to see her hair, she was shocked and said you are not my husband yet. He kept pressuring her but in the end she did not marry him. One of my grand daughters mother is converting to Islam and she show me her jihab the other day and I thought it was very nice on her and she liked it so as to not get unwanted attention from men.

  21. Merilyn- I am so happy to read a non-Muslim perspective on the hijab. It shows that women are not a sexual object and it demands respect. When I was in the US, I felt that the non-Muslim men respected me more and averted their eyes. They would even hold doors open for me. Its a truly liberating feeling. If you have any other questions about hijab and Islam, it would be my pleasure to help you understand. Thank you for not being judgmental of your grand-daughter’s mother and for supporting her transition to becoming a Muslim.

  22. Merilyn- When a Muslim woman travels, she should travel with a male relative for her safety. Hajj is not obligatory on the woman that has no male relative to accompany her. If she has a male relative to go with her and he is financially capable of paying for the trip but he refuses to take her without a valid excuse, then that is a big no no. Maybe he has a valid excuse, we don’t know. Everybody has different circumstances in their lives.

    I remember my Christian mother would complain about the hypocrisy she saw in other Christians’ actions. She would say that they go to church and act like Christians only on Sunday when they should be Christians every day of the week. Hypocrisy is universal, it affects Muslims too. Keep reading about Islam!

  23. Subhaan Allah!! i must say its a mockery of hijab as it does nt fill the right purpose of protecting oneslf n others from fitnah…hijab should not be worn to make oneself more attractive,colorful n decorous but to make one self more pious,modest, dignified n beloved in the sight of Allah…Hijab should be worn to please n obey Allah as its the most important commandment of Allah…May Allah save us from every kind of fitnah leading to hell fire n grant us jannah!! Ameeen!!

  24. Irfana- Asalamu Alaikum, welcome to Islamic Articles and thanks for commenting. Ameen to your du’a. I couldn’t agree more, it defeats the purpose of why we are supposed to wear hijab in the first place. We are advised to hide our beauty, not accent it or enhance it.

  25. I have worn Niqab, but lately it is to prevent certain other Muslims from knowing I am there. Mostly I wear Hijab, or no covering at all. In America, a woman who wears Niqab will be mistreated a lot.

  26. So you just wear niqab or hijab or nothing according to how convenient it is for you and not because you believe it is either wajib (hijab) or mustahabb (niqab)? Aren’t you afraid that would be seen outwardly as a characteristic of hypocrisy?

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