Niqaab. There are different opinions about niqaab – about whether it’s compulsory or voluntary; about whether it’s something that can survive in this modern world of ours; if it’s oppressive even.
Here’s my opinion – no one should be forced or shamed into niqaab. No one should be forced or shamed out of it either. Personally, I love the niqaab. I have been wanting to wear it for just over a year and I just bought one for myself. At the time of writing this, I am not wearing niqaab full-time, I have just worn it a few times to see what it feels like.
I have been familiarizing myself with the niqaab and the experiences of women who wear the niqaab for a while now. There are a lot of different reactions – there are people who don’t understand the motivations for wearing niqaab. There are also people who think it’s creepy or strange. But then, there are people who think it’s interesting, who like to ask questions and learn.
I like the privacy that comes with wearing niqaab. I like the fact that it’s easy to see I’m a Muslim woman – that’s something that happens with hijab as well. People realize that I’m a Muslim woman and they feel far more comfortable asking questions about Islam. I’m sure there are other benefits to niqaab that I haven’t discovered yet.
Of course, there are also some drawbacks. Some people are afraid and react negatively to seeing someone wearing hijab or niqaab. Some places will not offer a job to someone wearing niqaab. I know several people who caution against wearing niqaab because there are people who are Islamophobic, people who will avoid speaking with a woman in niqaab, people who will be offended by the sight of it.
None of these drawbacks are enough to convince me to just put my niqaab away – or to remove my hijab. I hope and pray that I will be wearing niqaab full-time soon.