The Face Veil

Since this has been a hot topic in the media world-wide lately, I thought a post about why I choose to cover my face would be appropriate. Hopefully it will help to dispel some of the myths surrounding this form of dress.

 Just a disclaimer, I can’t speak for other Muslim women, only myself. These are my reasons for wearing niqab:

 1. By perfecting my outward appearance I hoped to have an effect on my inward. The minimum requirement for a Muslim woman to cover (in public) is everything but her face and hands. However, it is recommended by the majority of scholars that the face should also be covered.
Islam is very much concerned with the inward state of a person (e.g. intentions are given great importance), and with perfecting one’s character and purifying one’s heart from all diseases (arrogance, envy, greed, hypocrisy etc). There is also a very strong link between the outward and the inward. By outward I mean things like appearance, conduct, acts of worship etc. So, I hoped that by perfecting my dress, it would help improve my inner state by serving as a reminder to conduct myself in the best manner at all times.

 I think that reason needs further clarification, as I’m sure people are wondering why Muslim women need to cover anything at all. The answer lies in the following verse:  

 “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised (as believeing women) and not harassed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.”

 (Qur’an 33:59)

 The hijab is a Muslim woman’s “uniform” when she is out in the public sphere. It enables her to interact and contribute positively to society without being subject to harassment.

 2. All of my role models wore it. These are both women who lived many centuries ago, and women who are alive today. They were some of the greatest wives, mothers, scholars and leaders that this world has ever seen.

3. To protect my privacy. I feel my “beauty” is not something that I want everyone to share in. I think it is my basic right to decide who gets to look at any part of my body, including my face.


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