Niqab for Beginners: Dealing with Prejudice

Guest Post by Zaakirah Kadwa

More in this Series:  Deciding to Wear the Niqab and Steps to Wearing the Niqab

Depending on where you live in the world, often donning the niqab is subjected to a great deal of prejudice and responsibility. The beauty of the niqab and the reason for which is is worn, is often not fully understood by everybody.
Non-Muslims especially and surprisingly many Muslim too…. Both men as well as women – Are often confused about the niqab.

Questions which are often asked:

1. Why do you wear it?

2. Do you wear it at home too? Who is allowed to see your face?

3. How will you get married?

It is advisable that you equip yourself with answers to these type of questions. People will enquire about the niqab and will ask about it from different perspectives. Don’t be stumped or feel undermined, shallow or intimidated. Sometimes people don’t expect a woman in niqab to voice an opinion nor comment. Some people are insulting but don’t let it bother you.  Also, visiting public arenas like the beach and theme parks where you really want to hop onto all the rollercoaster rides may make you abit uncomfortable with the niqab.
None of these places are NIQAB-friendly, but remain steadfast and determined to observe wearing the niqab! Don’t allow criticisms to deter you- be confident and express your love for adorning the niqab! There are many muslim women who wear the niqab happily for the pleasure of Allah SWT

Niqab for Beginners: Steps to wearing the Niqab

Guest post by Zaakirah Kadwa

See our first post:  The Decision to wear the niqab

It is preferable not to rush into wearing the niqab without  aknowledging the responsibility that wearing it entails. It is a means of placing a physical curtain  or screen between you and men, distancing yourself from unwanted attention as well as a manifestation of your spirituality. The benefits are numerous but most essentially you are adopting the niqab, to honour and uphold the islamic practise of segregation between the genders. By concealing your beauty you are protecting yourself from lustful gazes, molestation and being ‘hit on’, to name afew.

Step 1:

Before adopting the NIQAB , begin by embracing hijab in your life. Hijab is more than wearing a scarf, you should attempt to wear long length loose fitting tops which do not reveal your shape and covers your buttocks appropriately long pants accompanied with your beautiful scarf. This criterion should meet your dress style wherever you go be it the mall, library, school, campus. When you are comfortable with this step then move on to step two.

Step 2:

Adopt the HIJAAB completely and attempt to wear a cloak/abaya/other loose fit dress that does not reveal your shape. It is essential that you hair and arms be covered as a pre-requisite to wearing the niqab.

If you have decided to incorprate the abaya/kaftan/cloak into your dressing then Alhumdulillah, there are many beautiful, smart, elegent and stunning cloaks /abayas readily available. Purchase one or two and attempt to wear them whenever you leave the home or wear them for the duration that you are in  public places.  You will form the habit of wearing them and before you know
it this  act of donning the cloak will become a second skin to you. Sometimes it takes a year or more… if you’re lucky, less than a year, to develop a habit which, Insha-Allah, you will take forward with you into the future.

Implementation may differ from person to person, but once you are accustomed to it, it will be easy for you to cover your beauty for the pleasure of Allah SWT.  Remember, your cloaks need not to be drab, old fashioned or granny-like. Cloaks that are smart yet simple are easily available in South Africa. There are many variations that are wallet friendly if you are concerned with affordability. You can be trendy and smart while still in conforming to the laws of the shariah.

The purpose of hijaab should not be defeated. Your cloaks should not be tight enough so show off the contours of your body. Ensure that your hair does not peep through your scarf and no inch of your neck is visible.  Avoid transparent and net/lace scarves. Your arms should also be covered. When you are comfortable with this, you are now prepared for the final step – the NIQAAB!

NB: It is important that you are accustomed to the idea of “covering up” first before embracing the niqab permanently.

Stay tuned for our next post: Dealing with Niqab Prejudice

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