Can i be completely honest? I didn’t start wearing niqaab ‘to protect my beauty’. I mean, i started wearing it at around 13/14- as some of you may know from personal experience, that is an extremely awkward (i.e. butters) stage in life.
My cheeks were too big for my face, my nose bridge never seemed to have developed since infancy, and i swear, i think i had some 5’o clock shadow going on. Seriously i would show you a picture but i’ll spare you- if u were on my IG then you may have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing that. Anyway the point is- it wasn’t to do with ‘hiding my beauty away’ etc etc. Yet again, something which is so multi-facted, has been reduced to something incredibly superficial.
My main reason for wearing it, was that it was a sunnah of the sahabiyat (may Allah be pleased with them all) and i wanted to get closer to Allah by doing this act. I just realised that is was an honour to wear it; there was a dignity about it that appealed to me, admist all the nakedness around me.
As for currently, i have to say, in addition to that- it’s to do with fitna. It’s to protect me from fitna, because i truly know how weak i am, and how easy it could be for me to fall into it- may Allah protect us. Whether that be comfortably free-mixing, being in an environment we’re better off not being in, beautifying myself for strangers to gaze upon (i’m a makeup fanatic so this would definitely be a fitna for me).Not only does that compromise the manners, hayaa or modesty that is required by Islam, but also it would inevitably effect me from a spiritual perspective, and be a source of distraction. Niqaab is just a great reminder for me.
In a formal environment, i actually don’t have a problem with taking of my niqaab a lot of the time. In a social environment however, i would definitely keep it on- or places that involves me interacting with brothers- because let’s face it- that’s where the fitan lies.
So for me, there is my main reason for wearing niqaab. I know other sisters have a different take on it, and wallah i respect all these sisters so much. That’s another beauty of niqaab- everyone has a different personal take on it, and a different relationship with it.
To be honest, compared to others, i don’t even feel like a proper ‘niqaabi’ a lot of the time.