Saturday, January 9, 2010

Niqab Part 1

((I lost the draft for my work, and now I have no idea about the conclusion of what I’ve written (I like to twist the whole story until it melts and wriggles in pain). Also, instead of figuring the whole matter (by asking simple questions and try to break the mystery myself) here I was, updating my blog…You can definitely tell that I’ve been slacking off this month. Not a good start for new year huh? =.=))

Anyway, I went out just now, and somehow I was inspired to write this.

As you probably know, one of the rules for women in KSA is to wear their long, black cloak called abaya, and cover the head with a piece of scarf called hijab. The rule applies to everyone, including non-Muslim, and if you were caught not wearing one, big chance the police will drag you to the police station and throw you into the jail.

I’m not kidding.

Niqab however, is not compulsory in Saudi's law.

I has the chocolat eyezzz 8D

You can roam the big cities, namely Jeddah, without covering your face, and you’ll be fine. That being said, the other states in KSA are probably not as open-minded—you’ll feel uncomfortable if you happened to walk around baring your face. They will stare at you, in remorse, in disgust, perhaps oddly as well, so it’s better to blend in and not stand out as much. Save your makeup and trendy abayas for Jeddah instead.

To the eyes of Saudi—according to the imam—the most respectable woman is the one who covers her face, and wears clothes like those women from Prophet Muhammad’s time. Thus, the reason for the implementation of long cloak and niqab in their lives.

But from what I’ve learned, the women, namely Prophet Muhammad’s wives, or precisely, Aisha r.a., didn’t wear these kind of niqabs (veil with hole for eyes) either. She wore a thin veil in front of her face.

Narrated Aisha: The woman is to bring down her hijab from over her head and then place it upon her face. {Bukhari:6:60:282}, {Sunnan Abu Dawud 32:4091}

But according to Mazhab Shafie, you can’t cover your face and hands while praying, not even when performing Umrah or Hajj.

However, I saw those women praying while wearing their niqabs, even when there were no men in sight.

I conclude that they follow different mazhabs then.

But it still bugged me, so I decided to ask my teacher.

She answered, “You can’t cover your face while performing Hajj. But if you must, then wear a thin veil, not a niqab that tightly cover your face.”

Narrated Aisha: The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allah in ihrām. When they came near, each of us would lower her hijab from her head over her face, and when they passed by we would uncover our faces. (Sunnan Abu Dawud 1:1833)

I certainly didn’t see that among the Arabian women. They wore the niqab 24/7. Okay maybe not.

But certainly, niqab is not compulsory in Islamic law?

Narrated Abu Dawood, said Aisha: " Asma'a the daughter of Abu Bakr came to see the Messenger of Allah, wearing a thin dress. So Allah's Messenger turned away from her and said: "0 Asma'a, once a woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen but this -and he pointed to his face and hands."

If anything, this shows that your face is not part of the aurat, yes?

So, as long as you wear modest clothing and cover your aurat while in the presence of men, it’s fine I suppose.

BUT. I like wearing niqab.

1. People won’t recognize me, and thus, reduce the chances of them badmouthing me.
2. FREEDOM! Yes I’m sure some people would find this odd. But it’s like walking around without having a face, and you needn’t worry about anything.
3. Sand won’t get into your eyes or nose…awesome!
4. People would take your opinion seriously. They won’t get distracted—okay, maybe if the eyes are pretty enough then they will get distracted—but the point is, your opinion will be heard.
5. People treat us equally, because obviously everyone didn’t know if she’s rich or poor. So that’s a plus.
6. Can’t think anymore.

And you’re probably wondering, if the women in Saudi cover their faces, then how are they going to find their soulmates?

Well apparently the mother of the groom will visit the potential bride, and if she likes her, then they will tie the knot.

Oh, and the groom apparently, can only see the bride a week before marriage. Or so I was told.

What if the bride was ugly, huh? Well, at least her inside was beautiful. Uncorrupted by the world, untouched by the mortals, unseen by the eyes of unrelated men…doesn’t it feel special to know that your wife's face has only been seen by you?

That being said…

Meh. All Arab girls are beautiful.

A friend of mine commented that Arab girls aren’t cute, only beautiful. We Asians are cute.


That’s good to know. >.>


((click here for Niqab Part 2))

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