Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin (ra): The Prophet (saaws) said: Allah does not accept the salaah of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar [head covering].
abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi
Some people translate this hadith as “Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil”, which is a problematic translation because prayer in English can mean two things in Arabic (duaa or salaah), and veil in English can mean two things in Arabic (head covering or face covering).
Because of this faulty translation, some people have interpreted this hadith to mean that Allah ta’ala will not accept the duaa of a woman who does not cover her face, or that Allah ta’ala will not count the salaah of a woman who does not cover her face when in front of men.
This hadith means that Allah will not accept the salaah of a woman who reads her salaah without a khimaar on, and a khimaar is any garment which covers the hair, neck, and chest completely. It has nothing to do with what a woman wears outside her home.
Beware anyone who makes rulings from the translations of hadith and not from the actual Arabic, as there is a huge difference between khimaar (head covering) and hijab (Qur’anic Arabic for niqab, yes I know it’s confusing).
Q:I wear niqab, been wearing it for about 5 years now. I've come to realize that I don't like it anymore. I don't want to wear it anymore. People judge me for wearing the niqab and not being a good enough Muslim (because of not praying, cursing, tv shows, movies, etc - BUT no boys and no haraam food/drinks), they judge me for wearing bright hijabs with my niqab, they just judge me for being a bad niqabi. And I've come to hate the niqab. I want to take it off, but can't because when I first (1/2)
wore the niqab, it was against my parent’s wishes. They said if I wear it, then I can never take it off because they’ll get embarrassed in front of their friends. That their daughter wore it, then took it off. Like a “haha, knew she wouldn’t last” sort of way. EVERYONE judges me, I hate it, I judge myself and I hate myself and my imaan is at an all time low. I even fantasize about situations that would help me take it off without it seeming as though it was my choice. Help? What do I do? (2/2)
as salaam alaikum,
I know it is very difficult nowadays to wear hijab because of all the judgments a Muslimah gets by merely wearing it, from both Muslims and non-Muslims. Niqab is even worse.
Your issue, however, is not the niqab, and you have to know that if you take the niqab off you are still going to have the issue you came to me with.
Your issue is worrying about what other people think and also harshly judging yourself.
Now I’m not going to sit here and lecture you about putting other people’s judgments over the judgment of Allah, because I truly believe wearing niqab is optional and not fard, and because I don’t think that sort of lecture would help you at this point.
Instead, I think you need to look at your niyyah. You had a niyyah when you put on your niqab for the first time. If it was a good niyyah, such as wearing niqab for the sake of worshipping Allah ta’ala, then do your best to put aside people’s criticisms and go back to that niyyah. (If it was a bad niyyah, such as wearing niqab to irritate your parents, change your niyyah to a good one.) Remember that anytime someone says anything negative about your choice to wear niqab, that Allah ta’ala is giving you even more rewards because it has become more difficult for you.
While we’re changing perspectives, look at their judgments in a different light. Maybe instead of taking them negatively, you could take them positively. After all, you should be praying, right? It would help strengthen your imaan if you left using foul language. And while you don’t have to completely give up TV and movies in general, wouldn’t being a bit more selective about what you watch also help with your imaan?
(As far as bright colours go I think that’s a bit silly. I mean, I see nothing wrong with wearing colours with hijab or niqab whatsoever. In fact, since most niqabs are black it definitely helps to put a bit of colour somewhere in your outfit in order to break things up.)
Finally, stop judging yourself like that. You’re not going to be able to look at the judgments of others in a realistic light when you’re doing it to yourself. It’s OK to look at yourself with a constructively critical eye, recognising things that should be changed and then implementing that change. But what you’re doing right now is absolutely destructive, and it’s affecting your imaan.
P.S. If you try renewing your niyyah and the situation stays the same or even gets worse after a week or two, take off the niqab inshaa Allah. But either way start reading salaah, as that will inshaa Allah give you a big boost of imaan.
Q:My problem is that I've never wanted to get married, I've never found anyone attractive, and I've never had any desire to have sex. I had my hormones checked and my doctor says I'm fine, and that a lot of women are happy alone. However, I feel so much pressure from the Muslim community where I live to get married, and I know it's half the deen, but I feel that it would be unfair to marry a man I don't feel anything for. Is marriage mandatory?
as salaam alaikum,
Osama recently posted something that speaks to your question.
As far as not desiring sex goes, are you sure this is a permanent state for you or is it something that might change later on? (I’m asking because I don’t know.)
If you feel it’s something permanent, there have got to be Muslim men out there who feel the same way. You might find a good man to get married to who either can’t have sex (due to some problem) or just sees himself as asexual. That doesn’t mean you can’t experience companionship with him and even create a family with him (as fostering children is always an option if everything else doesn’t work out).
Muslims really are supposed to try and get married. We are not supposed to be celibate as a means of worship. Of course, only you can decide what to do in your current situation. But I really think it would help if the entire ummah would stop seeing marriage as halal sex only and instead saw it as companionship and community building.
We’ve really taken the oversexualisation of “modern” society and applied it to our deen in some extremely twisted ways, and that concerns me a lot.
Q:Salaam, I love what you're doing through this blog! Question... there's this brother I've gotten to know, and I've become interested in him. He's very kind, respectful, religious. He gives off strong vibes of interest, too. We're both old enough and in a marriageable state. We've kept it as proper as possible but it's been like this for some time, and I'm starting to sense (awkward) tension between us. Is he not serious about me since he hasn't approached me for marriage? Should I just move on?
wa alaikum us salaam,
Have you tried reading istikhara?
Q:Salam sis. I had a haraam relationship with someone in the past, but he moved and I changed. But the majority of the community knows about it. Should I only consider marrying outside of this community now? I heard that guys never really forget about something like this, and it bothers them if their wife has been with someone else, especially if they know/knew him and she's not even a revert.
wa alaikum us salaam,
I think if someone is in this community where your haraam relationship was known is willing to marry you, and you are agreed, then you should do it inshaa Allah. I say this because if a man knows that you have a past and he is still willing to marry you, then mashallah that is the best situation because you don’t have to worry about him finding out from those in your community who are too ignorant to silence their tongues.