Thursday, January 1, 2009

But, sister... you're not pretty...

Many sisters I know who wear niqaab have encountered these vicious words.

I'm singling out niqaabis in this post because they specifically cover their faces.

One of the first niqaabis I knew went into a well known store a few towns over to purchase her first niqaab. When she asked the store owner if she had any in stock the woman scrunched her brows and scoffed at her. My friend continued to look at her, waiting for an answer. The storeowner brushed her bangs to the side, making sure they stuck out 'properly' from outside her hijab and pressed her red lips together.

"You want niqaab?" the store owner confirmed.


"But you don't have to wear.. I mean.. you're not so pretty..."

Man, if someone were to say that to me it would be a slap in the face. On one hand, every person is attractive in some way. I don't expect every woman to think every other female is drop dead gorgeous, but no one has the right to call someone ugly!!!! And secondly, niqaab is not the mark of a stunningly beautiful woman, rather its the mark of a woman's modesty and her struggling to please her Lord. This is a task she's decided upon and taken up for her betterment and in hopes that Allah will inshaAllah reward her.

This isn't the only time I've heard someone tell a niqaabi sister they weren't pretty enough to wear niqaab. The funny thing is, sometimes these same people try to persuade sisters NOT to wear niqaab because they are so attractive and should show their faces to the world "But you're so beautiful, why are you trying to hide it?" *rolls eyes*

Any muhajjabah and any munaqqabah is beautiful. How can this be if you cannot see their bodies, hair, or face, and sometimes even eyes? They are beautiful because they ignore the disgusting comments from people and they endure hardships all for the sake of Allah and to protect themselves in this life and to help grant them a spot in the hereafter.

A hijabi is no more beautiful than a niqaabi and vice versa. Whenever a niqaabi sister walks into a masjid filled with virtually no niqaabis, I notice a lot of the sisters turn and wait for her to lift her niqaab, as if they expected a Hoor from Jannah to be standing before them!! haha, Come on, she's just another sister, like you!

And while on the subject, it's stupid too that there are some people who feel sisters who aren't that attractive should also cover their faces. Again, stop judging people's beauty. This is something Muslims do not do.

If anything, the niqaab is a mark of faith, and this is all... just like the hijab, just like the abaya, just like the beard, the kufi, the raised pants and the leather socks! And only Allah knows what is behind it all and what the intention is!


Malika said...

Massah Allah Sister! Thank you for this post. There was something in here that I wanted to comment on.

You stated: "Again, stop juding people's beauty. This is something Muslims do not do."

Muslims are still people though and we still have all the natural tendencies of humans! The natural man is an enemy to God while Allah looks upon the heart! I agree with you that every woman is beautiful in her own way.

I bet you have made many people think with your post...good night!

*~Ange~* said...

good post.
i dont know why people think that only the most beautiful sisters wear niqab.
i wouldve slapped that women in the face too!
i cant believe how rude and stupid some people can be.

o0UmmHasan0o said...

Salam Lazeena, what a beautiful post, i could not have put it better myself!! i am in total agreement, about the either you are too pretty or not pretty enough to wear niqab. Just to add to your article a little, many of my husbands family dont wear hijab or niqab until they are married, as they think that it will put off attracting future husbands... shame this is from born muslims... although i am not saying all are like this. As i know of other cousins in his family that always cover..

I love coming to this blog...

Umm Hasan

OhSoMuslim said...

Masha'allah this was a really nice post. I was told by someone that women who wear niqaab actually have low self-esteem! I was so offended by this because I myself wear the niqab and my self-esteem is quite high masha'allah.

People can really be ignorant and rude. Alhamdulilah, this religion is perfect not the people.

Ms.Unique said...

Subhan Allah! I never thought sisters did that .... it's so ridiculous ..... But nicely written Lazeena .....

Lisa/Yasmin said...

Salaam Lazeena,

I'm new to your blog and just want to say that I love the name and this post is so interesting!

I previously wore niqaab and found it to be difficult. Luckily an issue like his never came up, but I do recall many people at stores like Walmart making fun of me. What I saw as a niqaabi was that the ones who were mean were always the most uneducated groups, themselves a loser in life.

I have the upmost respect for all sisters who choose it. That said, I did find that some niqaabi sisters underneath their outer properness, were not even praying Muslims. You must discern who is who and it can be tricky.

I wonder if this evil shopkeeper has had some bad experience with one of these non-praying minority attention-getter niqaabi's? Even so, it is wrong that so many treat these sisters so bad.

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

Malika: You're right, Muslims too are only human and sometimes we do make judgments without even thinking. But the issue here I address is different because instead of keeping these opinions to oneself and asking Allah to forgive us for doing that, these people say to the person, or even worse, tell other people behind the persons back!

Umm Hasan: I too have family members who are not practicing Muslims. They won't even wear hijab after they're married... but when they learned I wanted to start niqaab they were in an uproar and they made the same lame excuse, that I wont find a spouse. That's completely wrong, when a woman wears hijab/niqaab before marriage inshaAllah she'll attract someone who also loves these things and therefore wont risk hitting a bump in her marriage later when she decides to start and maybe he says he doesnt like hijab.

Lisa: You're exactly correct! I've met a niqaabi sister who, even though she felt ashamed for it, took of her niqaab and served beer at bars during the night! This is why at the end of my post I said it's all in our intentions. There are truly a lot of phone niqaabis and hijabis out there, and even phoney bearded brothers. There's no telling what's in a persons heart subhanAllah

Shukran everyone for reading and your comments! =)

NiDa said...

Great Post sis -
Allah has made every woman beautiful in her own way - and how can one claim another is ' not beautiful ' when it is so subjective? What is 'beauty' even? a size zero super model who's half made of plastic and implants? Common - what beauty means for one doesn't necesserely mean for the other, and today's standards of 'beauty' are certanly DISGUSTING in my oppinion! KUDDOS to all my niqabis :D mashaAllah

Naimah Umm Khadijah said...

Assalamu 'alaykum sis,

SubhanAllaah there are so many rude people out there, it's unbelievable what people come out with.
As mentioned it's not about being ugly/beautiful it's about the persons intention, the niqab is beautiful in itself masha'Allaah.

Umm Ismail said...

Ya Allah I must say the Store owner must don't think much if her self either. It has nothing to do with Beauty if your Dh Likes it that the better to cover with. Every women is Beautiful not even if she not a Looker. because Allah says "Cover your Adornments "Allah did not say in his book only for the Beautiful. I love Niqab Masha allah It has been a wonderful Expericence Thus Far. And if i get Negative Comments Oh well, what I wear will nto stop them from paying there bills or Eatting.

Umm Ismail said...

Ya Allah I must say the Store owner must don't think much if her self either. It has nothing to do with Beauty if your Dh Likes it that the better to cover with. Every women is Beautiful not even if she not a Looker. because Allah says "Cover your Adornments "Allah did not say in his book only for the Beautiful. I love Niqab Masha allah It has been a wonderful Expericence Thus Far. And if i get Negative Comments Oh well, what I wear will nto stop them from paying there bills or Eatting.

Saima said...

Salaam sis

MashaAllah I enjoyed reading this post. As you and the other sisters have rightly said, niqaab is not a sign of anything but obedience to Allah SWT. Everyone is beautiful and the most beautiful quality of a believing woman is her deen and strong eeman.

JazakAllah khair - am an avid reader but my first comment!


Safiyyah said...

Salaams Sis:

Man, that IS a vicious remark. Some people; I don't understand.

Noshi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kakchik said...

Salam Sis.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I agree with you. Rude Muslim can be found anywhere and the same judgement to wear a niqab is the same too. Why cover when are not that beautiful? Isyk, we can never satisfy them.

Your husband said...

Well said.

desertmonsoon said...

Well written post :)

Anonymous said...

As Salaamu Alaikum
Great post masha Allah I personally have not encountered this either alhumdulilah May Allah protect us all from such comments Ameen. Oh and I LOVE your blog name masha Allah, I find my self saying that alot too LOL is there food on my niqab or now that it's winter time and of the dry sand and stuff on cars I'll say "Is my niqab ashy"

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

Ashy niqaab haha, thats a good one

Anonymous said...

As salamu alaykum,

I've heard that few times and I've always tried my best to explain the real reason for the niqab! great post mash'Allah!

Mona said...

That's a horrible thing for anyone to say. What is wrong with people? Ignorance is rampant.

Mujahida said...

Mashaa Allah, thank you for this post.
There are no limits for human ignorance, astaghfiruAllah.

Doa said...

Wow, subhanAllah.
Once at an event I was wearing niqab and in the bathroom I took it off to fix my hijab and niqab and a sister said.."Oh! you're the niqabi! Masha Allah you need it!" It was a compliment and of course I took no offense to it, she was being sweet masha Allah. But later on a friend of mine who had a daughter said it annoys her when people tell her daughter she's beautiful becuase she doesn't want everything to be about beauty. That's not the measure of a woman's worth. She said, "I want to applaud my daughter when she does a good deed, when she gets a good grade, etc. Not because a dress looks good on her." And that thought was really powerful and stuck with me. So that comment that sister made, even though it was with amazing intentions it kind of has an underlying thought behind it: that it's really pretty girls who should wear niqab. Plus beauty is SO subjective man! And khallas Allah swt made all of us, who is to say who is more beautiful? Only Allah knows because He sees our hearts. May Allah forgive us and grant us hidaya. Jazakillah khair for the post love!

umm khalid said...

salam sister,
i stumbled upon ur site while doing some research, please let me link to ur site. im developing a site for all things hejab. please visit

umm khalid