Now you see me now you don’t, me and my niqaab.

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So it seems people are rather confused as to how I wear my niqaab. So the following is an attempt to help people understand.

I believe wearing the niqaab is a sunnah, just like some people pray more, fast more, I cover more.

I understand in certain situations the niqaab looses its function or purpose. For example, if I was teaching I feel people maybe distracted by my choice to cover my face, I therefore do not wear it so my objective for people to learn from me can still be achieved.

Another example I also feel, is that in a room full of people that don’t cover their faces, me wearing a face veil would only make me stand out, this would therefore totally transform the dynamics involved in achieving the purpose of the niqaab which is to practice the highest level of modesty.

In addition to this, it is also important to consider that those around me in certain areas may choose to express their discomfort to the veil by becoming aggressive, which means wearing the veil could become more of a harm for me than a good. Bearing this in mind, when I attend certain areas or travel I choose to unveil.

And finally I’d like to share with you what wearing the veil means to me. Like a monk that goes into the mountains, I believe the niqaab enables me to achieve spiritual preservation.
We are living in a world where boxes matter, and if they didn’t then why would we have equal opportunities? This way of thinking is definitely one that becomes very sticky to explain without hurting other peoples feelings.

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4 responses »

    • I had a look at the article and I understand where you are coming from. Ultimately I can only relay to you that I once had an opinion of those who wished to veil when my lifestyle quite the opposite with reference to how I dressed. However my opinion only extended to my own mutters of disapproval. I appreciate that by you sending me this link you are giving me insight into how you view the importance of showing one’s face and whilst I respect that I hope you can appreciate that I have also relied on the unification of spiritual and a scientific pretence that continues to give me my stance on covering my face when I see it is fit too.

      The following link demonstrates this. I would love to get your thoughts on this, and can only add that I’m Muslim because no one has been able to challenge my belief.

      http://www.islam-guide.com/
      Please check out The Scientific Miracles in the Holy Quran

      Look forward to your reply 🙂

  1. Dear Shalina, I came across your website while researching a writing assignment for my writing club. It is about how women dress around the world, and what is perceived as ‘acceptable’ in different cultures. I have been living in Muslim-dominated communities from Turkey to Malaysia during the past eight years as I travel (very slowly) around the world.

    I used a quote of yours from a National Geographic article (“Wow! This is liberating. He is having to listen to my words, not judge me by my clothes or my face…”) and wanted to find out more about you. So I found your blog, which I have enjoyed reading, and wondered if you would be happy for me to use that same quote — or even let me into any of your other thoughts on this interesting matter — for an article I am writing for my new, online travel magazine?

    I was saddened by the BBC interview you did with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I thought her inflexible and judgemental attitude was extraordinary, and all too illustrative of the ignorance shown by many people in the UK towards what they perceive as ‘foreign’. Travelling has widened my experience of other cultures and communities to the extent that I cannot understand why there is such a furore about wearing the veil, or any kind of ‘Muslim’ dress in Europe. I am, I must explain, an atheist, but with a respect for all religions and a belief in tolerance at all levels of society.

    You are a busy woman, I can tell, but I have left my email address in the hope you may have time to drop me a line. I can send you a copy of the original essay, if you like.

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