Oct 10, 2009

Why Niqab?

Assalamualaikum, peace and blessings of Allah to all of you.

Today I'm sharing with you one story about why a woman choose to cover her face with a piece of cloth called niqab (purdah).

This is written by a sister who's blog I've been following for quite sometime. What she wrote about her experience in wearing the niqab (purdah) has certain similarities with my own experience. I've decided to share her story here for us to ponder. As all of us know the current news is about the banning of niqab in Egypt and a few days ago it was seemly supported by my own Government. I might write about it later but depends on the true facts and stories behind the newspapers' reports.

Anyway, this is her story:
My Niqab

By: http://ahliajannah.blogspot.com/
Through: http://islam-is-beautiful.blogspot.com/

Quite recently, I've started to put on the niqab. In Malaysia, niqab is not that prevalent. Although most of the muslim women do cover their hair, still... muslim women covering their full aurat is quite sparse. It's quite challenging wearing the niqab. Wherever I go, all eyes are on me (...well anyway that's how I feel) . The worst part is when, sometimes, small kids run away from me because they are scared of me. Look ma...hantu/ghost/zorro/ninja.....Sigh. I really feel bad about this. I do try to smile at them (although they can't see me from behind the veil) hoping that my warm and friendly aura can penetrate thru the niqab. I really don't want to frighten children. I know they do not understand. SubhanALlah, even adults do not understand, then, how can small children be any better?

There are varying reasons why I have decided to put on the niqab. My main belief is that the niqab is a form of sunnah. As much as I feel strongly that eating with my right hand is sunnah, so too, I do believe that covering of my face is sunnah. InsyaAllah, Allah swt has promises that there is success in adhering to Rasulullah saw's sunnah. With each sunnah that a muslim adhere to with istiqamah, Allah swt will grant him/her with 100 rewards of a syahid. Adhering to sunnah is totally alien nowadays. In this world of fasya and mungkar, following the sunnah or the way of rasulullullah saw's life is going against all that everyone else believe in. It is like swimming upstream against the flowing river. In fact, in a hadith, rasullullah saw has prophesized and told his sahabah that there will be a time when following the sunnah is like holding on to a burning wood fire.

Dikeluarkan oleh Abu Hakim daripada Ibnu Mas'ud ra sebagaimana dalam Kanzul Ummal dan Jami'us Saghir Rasulullah saw bersabda mafhumnya " Org yg berpegang kepada sunnahku di zaman perselisihan ummatku adalah seperti org yg menggenggam bara api" (Hayatus Sahabah Jilid 1 versi Melayu)

Truly, what rasulullah saw said applies to our time now. We are the "umat akhir zaman".

Everyday, we can see muslim women wearing skimpy clothing. In fact, in newspaper, magazines and tv, some muslim women wear very little clothing. However, nobody bats an eye at this. I bet no one will run away from these ladies and call them names...Look ma...almost naked lady! In fact, knowing the boys, I bet they will try to inch closer to get a better look at what is on display.

I bear no grudges to these semi-clothed ladies or the public who look down upon people who choose to cover their face. After all, this is my battle...my jihad. I am doing this first and foremost for myself. For my iman. It is said that adhering to sunnah is likened to a shield. A protection for our iman. The more sunnah that we practise in our life, the stronger the shield that you built for your iman.

When i first started to put on the niqab, I was overly conscious. Fearing that all of my actions are under close scrutiny by the misunderstood/misinformed public. I chose to stay indoors. Feeling that my iman is too weak to face any criticism from anyone, I felt that it is best if I stay clear of the general public. Closing myself off from even friends and family. In fact, I barely venture out of my home. Even to step off my front lawn to water the plants or hang my laundry became such a chore. Somehow, I've become pseudo-agoraphobic (is there such a word). My hubby was at his wits end. Suddenly his outdoorsy and independent wife has become sooo timid and introverted. What to do??? I guess I kinda put my hubby through quite a rough couple of months.

Alhamdulillah, as days passed by...slowly ALlah swt gave me understanding. It is not important that people around me do not understand the niqab. It is true...tidak kenal maka tidak cinta. Before this, I used to feel the same way about the niqab. I am helpless to change the public's opinion. Only ALlah has power to do this. I am the person who must first change. Granted, I am wearing the niqab as a journey for my iman...but to have peace with my niqab, I must also understand that I should wear my niqab with pride. Not because I feel that I am far better off than the average muslim women...NO...I must feel proud because I have been blessed that Allah swt has shown me to this path. So, it is my duty to wear the niqab in public. To show to the rest of the people that it is not an ugly and fearful clothing. To show that I am just an ordinary person..yet I put on the niqab. Not because I am superior in knowledge or amal. But because it helps me to control my eyes and my attitude. It helps me to be wary (tawajjuh) of ALlah swt. To reinforce in me the idea that ALlah swt is ever watchful of me.

Thus, it is sad but true...I am just an average muslim lady. Battling everyday against my personal weaknesses and devils. My hubby said, we are definitely not the best of people...But everyday, we strive to better ourselves. Sometimes we fault and err but, we try outmost to never give up. After all, we are weak insans covered with much sin. Only ALlah is Most Rahman and Most Rahim. He understands and helps us through the bumps and dips in our journey. Life is too short. Barely seconds compared to the infinite akhirah. Who knows when my number will be up. Hopefully, through this small effort on my part, I pray that I shall obtain ALlah swt's benevolence. Insya ALlah. AMin.

NOTE:

The similarities that I have with her is the one that I've bolded in yellow. As for my own story I'm still thinking of how to present to you because I'm not much of a narrator.

IMHO what she was telling us is what many Muslimah who covers their face has gone through. Maybe not the exactly same experience but still there are similarities.

I hope we can always be free to practice what we believe and I pray to Allah that there won't be any kind of law banning the wearing of niqab in this state or in Malaysia.

19 comments:

ery kumagai said...

salam kak chik,

tht's nice to read and share tht sort of experience. i like the way she put it "we are not a better or the best among all but tht is part of one's jihad".
mashaallah...tho my self not wear niqab but this is really interesting. thanks again for sharing this valuable piece of thoughts.

kakchik said...

wa'alaikummussalam ery kumagai.

i was hoping everyone will see that choosing to wear the niqab is done freely and because of the said reasons.

i'm glad that you find this interesting.

lidey said...

kakchik, kat tempat sy p0n kebanyakan org xphm lagi pasal niqab ni... :( :(

kakchik said...

lidey - sekarang ni makin susahlah kita nak memberi kefahaman kepada orang lain kan?

Nurul said...

Senyum sorang2 tak terkata apa baca entry ni. Terkesima. :)

Ms. R said...

Salam alaikom kakchik :)

The news with regards to the ban of niqaab in universities in Egypt left me fuming. Allah knows best if he had actually articulated those words... and I wish to elaborate more but.. I think not. My only comment is that he certainly does not represent me or the Ummah despite being a scholar =X

Niqaab is indeed a personal jihaad for those who choose to wear it. I tried once and I can fathom the difficulty it can be BUT at the same time, the feeling being under the veil, is priceless. May Allah make it easy for our sisters who are undergoing difficulties with regards to wearing niqaab and the objections they are facing, Aameen.

It is an irony that people keep on emphasizing that "It's a free world, you can do whatever you please but you bear the consequences" thus with reference to this, we can choose to wear whatever we like. But the moment a sister in niqaab walks down the street, she is immediately deemed oppressed and that her clothings are not in conformance to the society's norm thus required to remove the veil. Talk about equality and freedom of choice! subhna Allah!

Reminder: Our lives revolve around the Qu'ran and Sunnah and not in accordance to what the society wish for us to follow.

Jazak Allah khair for sharing these stories! At least sisters who are struggling with niqaab will know that they are not alone in this :)

<3

miss chembeng said...

Assalamualaikum kak chik
i was practically in tears while reading this article.it was so touching.we are now living in a world where practising sunnah seems so foreign and it takes a lot of courage to do so.make us wonder why we are being scrutinized for whatever things that we are doing right, when the ones who are doing it wrongly,seem to have a place in the hearts of our community.let's just hope and pray we are among the strong ghuraba and each of our deeds is with His blessings.insyaAllah..
may i copy paste this article in my blog?would love to share it with the others.thank u...

Hajar said...

Assalamualaikum Kak Chik,

And it seems more and more places are speculating on imposing a ban on the niqab. Honestly, if it is not against the Al-Quran and Sunnah, we should have freewill to practice whatever.

I can understand the raising concern about guys adorning the niqab to conduct some mischief but surely, we can devise some other ways to solve this matter.

Anyway, lately, I've been seeing quite a number of people adorning the niqab in KL.

kakchik said...

Nurul - senyum faham-faham ajelah...

kakchik said...

Ms. R - Wa'alaikummussalam sis. Thank you for the comment and I know what you are feeling sis because I'm going through it too. This uncomfortable feeling inside me is going to get out of control soon if what happen in Egypt happens here too. I wish all the news in the local newspaper is only a bluff for political reasons. I pray to Allah that more and more Muslimah adorn the veil after this. Because they understand the feeling and values behind it.

kakchik said...

miss chembeng - Wa'alaikummussalam dear sister. I heart you sis. In this we are together insyaallah. whatever bias actions are being done on us Muslimah who try to be closer to Allah by wearing a sunnah style clothing, may Allah grant us strong iman and heart.
yes, you can copy it because i wish more people will read it.

kakchik said...

Hajar - Wa'alaikummussalam dear sis. Really agree with your 2nd sentence. Our religious clerics should have study more into this matter. Their action is very unpopular among us who wear niqab.

Chloe Inga Designs said...

Thank you for posting, thats such a beautiful story :) InshaAllah we are all guided to remain strong in our hijab, especially when the world seems to be telling us to take it off

teachernur said...

i dont quiet understand. would you comment on this article here? http://bl00mer.multiply.com/journal/item/30/About_Niqab....

Sarah Plain And Short said...

Salam aleikom Kakchick, jazakallah khair for posting this. I am wanting to wear niqab but i have several obstacles before I can do so. You are a great inspiration for me mashAllah :)

flavia1951 said...

Assalamualaikum.As I am writing this, I am wearing niqab for the first time. My certainties before this were actually the uncertainties of those around me but I have enough knowledge to know that when one receives guidance, it is not from one's one self but a Mercy from Allah. Who am I to turn away from what has been given to me by my Lord..? Allahu'alam I know deep in my heart, without doubt, that I want to wear niqab for Allah's sake alone. No other reason. May Allah accept my niyaah and strengthen me in patience and knowledge to stay with my decision. Ameen. Thank you for sharing, sister.

زينب Zainab said...

salaam

Thanks for posting this. There is a lot of controversy here in the UK about whether to ban all full face veils which includes the niqab and the burqa according to the English.

I blogged about this and still need to do another blog - can niqabis use the law to defend their right to wear the niqab in Britain (something to that extent I will blog about in part 2).

It is always good to hear from niqabis why they chose to wear the niqab. I was hoping I could share a personal story like this one when I did the first blog post on it, but couldn't find any or no one to volunteer their story to share...

Azzahra said...

Assalamua'laikum Kakchik,
I wud like to ask why Rasulullah's wife wore the niqab? One of my frenz asks me...& yaa.. i never wondering of that...personally i think maybe to cover their faces from being seen by men especially to non-mahram and women's beauty cud lead 2 'fitnah ' right?

Syasya Amani said...

salam kak chik,
if you don't mind, may I have your email please.
Here's mine: syasyaamani2101@gmail.com
Jazakillahu khair..

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