Niqab Hiccups

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A few months into her journey with niqab (read her story here), guest writer Sharena F. is back with an update.

It’s been three months* since I decided to wear the niqab, a decision that came from my sincere intention to please Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

While the beginning of my journey as a niqabi was smooth sailing, there were still a few niqab hiccups, like the time I tried to take a spoonful of food into my mouth, completely forgetting that I was wearing niqab!

This incident, while incredibly hilarious at the time, just strengthened my conviction that wearing niqab is the best choice for me as a Muslim. The niqab has become so completely assimilated as my identity that I physically forget that there is a piece of cloth covering the lower half of my face.

But I realise that since I started wearing the niqab, I have begun to be more aware of my ‘awra, and more conscious of hayaa’. When I see something that is inappropriate, like the exposed body of a woman or a man (perhaps jogging in shorts), I automatically avert my eyes. When I walk, I keep my eyes downwards, only making direct eye contact with ladies and avoiding the men’s.

I no longer wear my figure hugging jeans, even under a long shirtdress, and only wear jeans and pants under a full abaya. I wear a t-shirt underneath my long sleeve, loose outer shirt, because I worry the outer layer may show my inner garments if I don’t.

While there may be some who think I’m too strict with myself, I know I need to to be strict. Because before I was blessed with the truth and with the correct understanding of Islam, I used to wear bikinis to go swimming and sheer tops to go clubbing.

Subhana’Allah, how Merciful Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is to me for helping me see my true beauty lies in my hayaa’ and covering my ‘awra as a Muslim. In a hadith, Abu Huraira radiya Allahu anhu reported that the Prophet, salla Allah alayhi wasallam, said, “… Hayaa’ (having a sense of shame) is one branch of faith.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Wearing the hijab or niqab should cause us to change and progress towards being stronger Muslims. If it doesn’t, then what a pity that the sweetness and happiness of the hijab is lost to us.

May Allah bless and strengthen you in iman and taqwa. Ameen.

* Written May 8th, 2010.