Incidents & Niqaab

December 27, 2008 § 27 Comments

I’ve had a fun past two days. Tomorrow is the first of Muharram – the beginning of the Islamic New Year and a holiday – so I had an extended weekend.

Yesterday, I had an interesting incident. I’d gone out with a friend for coffee/dinner to this place where we usually don’t really go. The reason is because its normally frequented by Non-MuslimsΒ  [And Partying drunk Muslims] and alcohol is served openly so you don’t actually see a lot of Hijabis or ‘practicing’ Muslims around. But itsΒ  just a bunch of restaurants put together with a place outside and its set up as a village, so it makes a nice place to sit and relax.

We went there yesterday because we wanted to enjoy the weather and it was close by. Considering it was Christmas I already knew what would be happening but we thought we’d give it a try. It was a nice experience, the atmoshphere and the ambience was simply fab. I love Winters.

Our waiter was Filipino. [They usually are]. I’ve come to the conclusion that Filipinos are the most curious when it comes to some things such as religion. So he came to us, after having seated us and this is how our conversation went.

”So, can I ask you a question Madame?’

‘Yes, go ahead’ I said.

‘I hope you won’t be offended’

To which I said, ‘No, no – we wont’

‘Is it true that all the Women who cover their faces like you do are married?’

At which my friend and I started laughing. I was last thing to being married. I explained to him why Women covered their faces with Niqab, the reasons behind it and how it was an Islamic issue. But I’m glad he asked us, it was a great oppurtunity for dawah.

I had a feeling he was fascinated by us – because later on he I saw him standing up a bit further away whilst we were eating and staring at our table constantly. It made eating difficult.

Anyway this brings me to the issue of Niqaab. I call myself a part-time Niqaabi. And I’ve been one for quite a while – a year maybe. But lately I’ve been feeling guilty about it, I feel as if I should made a firm decision and be steadfast on it. I wear the Niqab here everywhere. But I’m not strict about it – in the sense that I don’t cover my face in front of my brother in law or my male cousins/relatives. I tried, but it’s hard, however – I wear it out wherever I go.

I thought I’d be able to do in Pakistan too when I visited. I had the intention to. But sadly, I didn’t have the strength to do it, too many issues – or maybe I gave up too easily? Karachi is bad for me like that, it weakens my Imaan. But it’s so hard there, I have about 50 or more male cousins who like to swarm my grandmothers house when we visit – not to mention the Aunties and all the events. So I gave up on it – even wearing it to the marketplaces. [I’d thought if I don’t wear it at home, I’d do it outside at least].

Did I feel guilty? Yes – to an extent. I remember I was discussing the Niqaab issue with Falsa when I was in Karachi and we came up with [Or rather I] came up with the [lame] excuse that Men in Pakistan don’t exactly check out Hijabi Women in the first place so the Hijab does actually serve its purpose. And honestly speaking to an extent this is actually true – alhamdulilah.

Wear an Abaya and Hijab in Pakiland and [most] people assume you’re illiterate, backward and extemist. πŸ˜‰ Not that I have issues with it if its acting as a repellant.

It was a lame excuse though, because in the end, it’s not all about Men. It’s to do with my soul, my Imaan and what I feel is best for me and brings me closer to God spiritually.

I know what a lot of people must be thinking – in fact, I’ve heard it quite a few times. ‘Oh, you’re doing the Abaya and Hijab already, it’s enough – Niqab is not even fardh’ – What people don’t understand is that there is never an ‘enough’ in Islam when it comes to doing good deeds and earning reward. There is always the next level – the next step to becoming a better person.

Secondly, this is something I feel strongly about religiously. Even over here, sometimes I get asked why I cover my face – I’m not married and young [Usually the old, married with Kids Auntyish Women wear it] – and sometimes I ask myself that too. Women love looking beautiful, even in Hijab, we still have that nagging though at the back of our head to ‘look good’. But I guess it’s not a ‘Woman’ thing – Men do it too, it’s more of a Human thing. [I’m not saying there is anything wrong with looking presentable though.] Wearing Niqaab is going against the ego, the nafs. But its spiritually pleasing and so satisfying to the soul.

Sometimes, I know, so many things would be easier if I just gave up on Niqaab completely – but would my heart and soul and my spiritual self be satisfied? No. In some things, I’ve come to rely on that feeling in my heart, we can never please people enough, but we can please Allah.

Sigh. Lifes a struggle.

So for now, I’m still a ‘Part-Time Niqaabi’ – I hope Allah [SWT] give me strength to wear it everywhere, regardless of Country or people and makes me stronger in it.


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§ 27 Responses to Incidents & Niqaab

  • farooqk says:

    lol if your ‘cat’ was there hed prolly beat the shit outta the filipino for staring, no?? πŸ˜€

  • karachiwali says:

    pakistani men do check out hijabi women but you dont have to feel bad for being a part time niqabi cuz you are at least trying! you cant just change your lifestyle completely over night. It takes time. And you seriously dont have to give up so easily. People will always have something to say so if you’l decide not to take the niqab, they’l have something else to criticize.

  • Farooq; haha if my cat was there i think he’d be too busy eating πŸ˜›

    KW: Lol, I know, I guess to an extent they do [there are exceptions in all cases]. I experienced that while I was in Pak and thats why I said the excuse was lame… i guess thats what it was – an excuse. But in general though, thats the opinion about us. πŸ˜›

    Thats what keeps me going… that atleast I’m trying, something is better then nothing.

    hehe, no inshallah, i wont give up on it completely, its something I just cant do, ive become very comfortable with it. And you’re right about the people bit, they’ll definetely say stuff if I wear it or dont wear it.

    I just feel, ive been going it long enough that i should’ve become much more ‘permanent’ with it… if that makes sense. :s

  • falsa says:

    I have to talk to you about this in detail myself. One of these days:)
    Life is a struggle yes. Sometimes you just want to curl up and wait for everything to stop. Even your breathing. But that’s not what a Muslim is.

  • Sigh, sure is.

    Lol, get internet connection in your room Woman! So we can talk properly without your brother throwing you off the net. πŸ˜›

  • Pinky says:

    i can relate to this as well…i feel quite at ease in my black chadar and part-time niqab…but i do experience cognitive dissonance when i hang out with my cousins..and at mixed gatherings…
    n KW is right nothing can stop (majority of) pakistani men frm staring…so what if u are in naqab, they will sing odes to ur eyes n complexion….
    but yes the men who know u better, respect u more (for observing pardah)

  • farooqk says:

    lol bohot mota hai kia?? cuddly cuddly hoga phir to! muahaha πŸ˜›

  • pinky – its just, i do practice proper hijab even infront of my cousins, but its the niqab that becomes a hassle. lol @ pakistani men, complex lot they are!

    faoorq: hahaha actually he is. πŸ˜› And its winter, so his furr has grown out a bit more, hes half persian/half angora. very cute mashallah.

  • I was once at a marketplace in karachi long time ago [zainab market], and i wasnt a hijabi then. It was morning and I kept on constantly yawning.

    These group of guys passed by, and one of them says, ‘Bhaut neend arahi hai’.

    It was so utterly stupid and out of the blue! Its like, they love commenting no matter what. But this isnt just with Men, over there, Women do it too. :SS

  • farooqk says:

    lol hes persian?? i thought he was a paki??? youve found yourself a pretty rare catch, hang on tight, you know how the other girls are… πŸ˜›

  • farooqk says:

    lol β€˜Bhaut neend arahi hai’ is not that big a deal really, comedy kar raha hoga bichara…

  • karachiwali says:

    well yea, that comment wasnt really that big a deal…i have heard worse comments being passed by some losers

  • SAWJ says:

    Why don’t you try a shuttle-cork burqa? But then people might mistake you for Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi. πŸ˜›

  • Farooq, chup karo!!

    haha, kw, I know. I’ve heard of uh pretty retarded comments too. I was just pointing out the stupidity of it all though.

    SAWJ: Why dont you do us the honours of trying it out… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

    I kid… in all seriousness though, I think the only time id wear a shuttle cock burqa is when Im in Afghanistan. Its always best to blend in.

  • UTP says:

    I wouldnt say I can relate to that cos I cant but your post does give insight on the problems a woman faces…

    I guess thats what the test is all about…now isnt it?

  • definitely! But life is full of tests.

  • farooqk says:

    main kyon chup karoon?? 😦

    and yess life is full of tests,and reports, and final papers too, mujhsay poocho πŸ˜€

  • Zeenat says:

    Good show!!

    I recently started a blog of mine. I would love it if you would add me to your blog roll and vice verse.

  • Ash says:

    Interesting read!. I am from Karachi although I have lived there in nearly five years (sigh!!! I miss my karachi). About niqaab and all well you are right that one should do as much as they like but they must hit the minimum points of Hijaab/Niqaab and these days its hard for girls to do it because everyone is judging them over niqaab. In some lands Niqaab/Hijaab have become like a fashion statement and whenever I see girls doing that I get really annoyed. For example, one of my colleagues wears a head scarf but on the other end wears short sleve shirts, quite a significant neck line and her shalwar way way higher than a a maulvi’s over this she sits and preaches Islam. I dont get the point of this. Cover your head and put everything else on display….Things like these raise the question towards the credibility of Muslim’s and its not helping at all in these days…
    Khair, you are doing it which is great. No one in the whole world should judge you because you are only answerable to Allah. Chaddar, Hijaab, Niqaab whatever we should all always repect women πŸ™‚

  • Awais karim says:

    u have taken the first step…there will be a time when u will take a second step till then hold on to first one

  • Farooq: Having fun giving papers? πŸ˜‰

    Ash, I’m glad I point the ‘inside’ POV when it comes to the veil. πŸ™‚

    Yep, it happens that sometimes Women tend to wear Hijab as a fashion statement. But also, society is to blame to an extent for that. Hijab/Niqaab, when does with the right intention and pure heart, in its full essence are the way forward. However, if someone is trying and not doing it properly, i dont discourage them because firstly, who am I to talk or judge a person? And seconly, atleast, in my opinion I think they’re doing *something* and maybe they’ll go forward with what they’re doing to become better people.

    About the colleague, well I would be annoyed too. I always believe people should practice what they preach. Especially when it comes to Islam. Sigh.

    Awais: thanks πŸ™‚ I just feel that I should be moving on the with the second step soon enough.

  • Hira S says:

    Sigh. Purp, at least you’re trying. STOP being so hard on yourself. You’ll move onto the second step when you’re ready. You think you’re being slow about it, but honestly, maybe you’re doing the right thing by taking your time. The last thing one should do is take something up in a fit of enthusiasm and discard it when it gets too tough. You’re better than this, and you know it.
    And about men in Pakistan not eyeing hijaabis- that WAS a lame excuse :P. Men in Pakistan will eye anything that moves.

  • farooqk says:

    ‘Men in Pakistan will eye anything that moves.’

    and so does hira! πŸ˜‰

  • PurpleDrifter says:

    Hira, thanks hun. For some reason your comments are very encouraging and always give me a boost. πŸ˜›

    Yep, thats why I *usually* do things at a time, especially religious things. And when people come to me for advice, i tell them the same thing, don’t be in a hurry, because I know people who’ve done things in a hurry [like quitting music all of a sudden] and gone back to it.

    And maybe you need to wack farooq next time you see him. πŸ˜›

  • farooqk says:

    lil girls are shit scared of me… πŸ˜€

  • muzna says:

    nice post girl

    im here with reference to false….we are childhood buddies Alhamdulillah…btw i wanted to paste a smiley but by keyboard key is jammed hehe

    anyways i will jst say tht u will move a step forward inshaAllah..the important thing is to remain firm on ur stance and never to move back..frm wht ure already doin….be slow but steady in moving forward…and ure already doin tht mashaAllah.

  • lol, welcome to the blog! πŸ™‚ Any friend of falsa, is a friend of mine. πŸ˜›

    Its okay, the hehe will do instead of the smiley.

    Jazakallah khair for the advice and encouragement. To all those who’ve I’ve gone to for advice said the same thing, to at least stick to what im doing, and inshaAllah work my way up from there.

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