I have always wanted to wear niqab since I became Muslim. I always saw niqab in new movies like Mummy (i know it's not real niqab now but then I didn't) and old movies where Spaniard Ladies would have their hair covered with a light veil (lace edged of course) and sometimes when the gentleman comes to serenade her she would delicately lift the edge of the veil to cover half her face..... thus he cannot see her blush nor her secretly pleased smile. There was always an aura of mystery about it. You don't know what a niqabi is really thinking. True wearing niqab islamic style has nothing really to do with just culture or just delicate laced modesty. Wearing the niqab for some is a big deal. I'm one of those people.
I feel it is the next natural step in the chain of proper modesty. Niqab can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For some a way to further the idea that they don't need to be judged by their looks but by what they say and do. Others wear it solely for the reward of doing sunnah. Some hate it and don't see why anyone would want to wear something so suffocating. Some view it as mysterious and like to use it as a way to flirt discreetly. Some try it out for a while and leave it others fight hard to keep jobs and wear it. Some wonder if the woman covers her face for extreme beauty or extreme ugliness.
No matter how you view the niqab it IS a part of Islam and many do choose to wear it. I had the opportunity three months before I came to UAE to wear it in Lebanon. I decided khalas this is it! I'm putting it! Iwent to a shop and tried them on and it felt wonderful. A proper niqab. In AZ on a bus sometimes if i felt uncomfortable by the stares of the other passengers i'd flip my hijab's tails to cover my face and surprisingly got less stares and i felt less uncomfortable. So i bought two niqabs and later was given a third by my husband's paternal aunt who has two niqabi daughters. At this time I had newly become pregnant with my second and also my husband and I began having many fights at this time. I was relieved to cover my face when i was angry and didn't want him to see my looks. We grew even further apart though because he couldn't see my rare smiles. He didn't want me to wear niqab since he liked my face and wanted to see it while we were out and about. But he didn't stand in my way and forbid it.
All my Lebanese in-laws had to get used to me being in it and I had to get used to it. It was a little bit harder to get fresh air. It was a struggle to eat anything liquidy like soups or anything messy and not get it all over the inside of the niqab. I wore it beginning in Ramadan and so we had a lot of feast of course and so each meal was very difficult. Also I had to stop being so loud and laughing like a hyena at anything remotely funny. I learned to cast my eyes down more since that is all a man could see of me now. Because I wore glasses I attracted more than a second glance and then people saw the blue eyes behind the glasses and started wondering. Sometimes at the ramadan parties I was shown off a little bit -Oh masha'Allah look at this AMERICAN wearing niqab. Like they had received a better in-law because I wore niqab when many american's don't even wear hijab -in Lebanon.
My daughter got used to it easily. SHe only tried pulling it off a couple of times before she got the hang of it. But unfortionatly it couldn't last. I was getting nauseous from pregnancy and needed more air to breathe properly. SO I took it off with the excuse of the doctor's saying I needed to breath better for the sake of my baby so people wouldn't trash talk me behind my back with the family about me taking it off. Surprisingly my husband and my fights lessened because now he could see my smiles and since he liked looking at my face it calmed him down more. weird effect but ok. SO I was disappointed but still happy I got to try it.
The other day I was looking for a new hijab to wear and was rummaging my hijab bag and ran across my niqabs. I smiled fondly and tentatively held it up to my face. My daughter laughed and wanted to try it on too. I let her and she played with it in the mirror. "Can I wear this to the mall?" She asked. I imagined the looks I'd get for having my 3year old in niqab and laughed. "Maybe you can't wear it." I replied. "But you can?" she asked. I thought about that. True nothing was really stopping me from wearing it now. "Sure!" I told her and ironed a beautiful light blue flower print hijab and my black niqab.
Now some people believe you can't wear bright colored hijabs with niqab but i'm not one of those people. But I did want to test the reactions to it. SO I wore it to the mall. It felt nice and secure and I noticed a lot more people really outright ignored me. I even tried to nod/smile to the other niqabis but they ignored me too. The funniest situation was when i was checking out baby clothes at the BabyShop and this family was carefully avoiding me. I'd move nearer to them and they'd move away. The woman wasn't wearing hijab so I thought maybe she was just unomfortable about it but then I tried an emeratian family some who were wearing niqab and they avoided me too maybe because of my weird fashion sense? Later it was time to meet my husband for dinner and I was apprehensive on two counts, my husband's reaction seeing me in niqab again and eating in niqab again. SO I went to the restrrom and in the stall changed my kids clothes and took them potty and diaper tie and all that then took off the niqab. *GASP* yes i took it off. I didn't want to ruin my night by having a row with my husband. When i got into the elevator I think an emeratian lady recognised my hijab colors and the same two cute little kids that were previously with the niqabi and she began whispering furtively to her friend, obviously about me. I told my husband I wore it and he was like "WHAT? Well I'm glad you took it off." I was disappointed because I do love to wear niqab I just wish i could flip it up for eating and being around my husband.....
I want to wear niqab like only half the time but I know that isn't a good thing to do especially when a lot of people know me at AL-Ain Mall. One day they'd see me in niqab and the other day not....yeah it would be confusing. By the way I do know it's best to wear it only for the sake of Allah. I just hope one day i can wear it all the time. The funniest part though was my son's reaction to it hehehe. He kept lookig into my eyes to make sure it was really me there.