Fatwa ID: 03151
Answered by: Alimah Sabrina al-Faarsiyyah
I was asked by a non-Muslim why I wear the niqab/veil. I didn't, however, know how to answer her properly. How would I answer this question in the future? For myself, I know I do it to please Allah سبحانه وتعالى and due to it being wajib, but how will I explain that to her?
In The Name Of Allah, The Most-Merciful, The Most Kind
You need to try to answer this question objectively. Next time someone asks you this question, start by asking them why you being different is being questioned in the first place? Is it because you are not seen as “normal” like the rest of the people? If so, who is the one who decides what is normal? Ultimately, the choices that we make are influenced by the society we live in, by the people we interact with, and by the ideas that are fed to us. All of these impacts and shapes our preferences as well as our dislikes. That being said, in every era, societies change, people’s ideas and preferences change. Every time a ‘normal’ standard were to be set, it would be based on a particular societal bias; what the people of that particular time deemed as right and ‘normal’.
There was a time in history wherein women – even in western countries – would not wear pants, rather only long dresses and skirts. There was a time wherein women would not leave their home without tying a scarf or wearing a big hat with their hair tucked in. There was a time in history where women were not allowed to wear bikinis on the beach. From these examples, we understand that the societal norm keeps changing. So the question arises, who should decide? And whose decision can be trusted? After posing these questions to the questioner, you should then explain that you wear it because you trust God’s decision more than humans’.
Instead of following the dominant trend of society, or the fashion that is being pushed out in movies and shows, tell her that you prefer to set your own default, which is following the Being that can be relied upon: Allah Ta’ala.
Aside from that, there are many advantages of wearing a Hijab or Niqab, some are:
● It awakens the fear of Allah in the hearts of men and women and saves them from falling into evil.
● It teaches men to respect the veiled woman, provide her protection from the curious people and ensures the uplift of the high morals and social values in the society.
● It is an identity of a Muslim woman that distinguishes her; it teaches her that she is in control of her body, who is permitted to see it and who does not.
● It is a protection for Muslim women against the behaviour of the wicked.
● It protects her from being used like a showpiece and a source of enjoyment for viewers.
Only Allāh Ta’ālā knows best
Written by Aalimah Sabrina al-Faarsiyyah
Check and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham