#NiqabChallenge- The Experience
I've completed the challenge, Alhamdulillah!! At the end of each day, I briefly documented my thoughts to share with you guys...
For those unaware, I tasked myself to wear the niqab (face veil) for 6 days. You can read all about why in the previous post.
Day 1 -
Taking myself to Whitechapel with my bro. Test driving the new look. So far my biggest challenge is the wind and the constant feeling of suffocating 🙈. However the first half n hour hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. Couple glances, no stares, #NinjaLifeAintThatBad #MaybeIllWearSomeColourTomorrow
Today was good! Still haven't been able to go out alone. But I'm getting used to the odd glances. Today's weather was rainy. The Niqaab blocked the funky London smell. That's a plus. But my breath makes my face hot, it's like I'm breathing back into my face. That gets annoying. These are all minor things I'm assuming I'd get used to. My most major issue was being accepted in society, but Alhamdulillah I live in London, a multi cultural city. It's common to walk past a "ninja" lol.
Today I felt beautiful. I can't explain it, I looked in the mirror and just felt beautiful. Covered and all. I dunno if it was Allah removing the need for self validation and my insecurities. Tbh I believe it was. I believe I prayed for him to make this easy, and he answered. What other way to make something easy for someone by making them feel beautiful and comfortable. I only walked to the corner shop today. It wasn't a major journey, but it was my first alone. I didn't feel the Niqab much, like yeah my face was hot, I had trouble breathing. But I didn't feel its presence in society, like oh yh people can't see you. I don't think they cared. I also wore a pretty abaya. I felt like dressing up a little. A girl gotta have some glam. Day 3 had me considering permanency. I dunno yet. I'm trusting in Allah and letting Him guide me.
Day 4 -
I'm not going out today lol. I'm resting lol. I'm also reflecting. Everyone keeps asking why I'm doingthis? What am I trying to gain? For non-Muslims I'm like "oh just Tryna understand what it's like to be a niqabi" but you know that's not enough for Muslims... My mums like "I'm not commenting, I'm just watching you change." (In a good way). I ask myself everyday, why am I doing this... And this is what I've come up with. I'm giving up what I love for the sake of Allah. I hated the idea of covering my face. Last year I'd have blown up at you if you suggested it to me, like Naah b, I'm not down, fall back.
But after several long hard looks in the mirror, I'm swallowing my pride, and doing something purely for my Lord. I'm humbling myself the best way I know how. Trust me, pride had me like "you're gonna look a fool, you made such a fuss and now look at you. Just forget it."
I've been trying to take strides towards my Lord, a lot of things I was down for, I don't do anymore. I was having trouble explaining it to my friends. I was even allowing some things because I felt "one last time and never again. Next time Ima be like No". But with a niqab, I don't have to explain why I'm not down, everyone just understands, I'm tryna focus on my deen.
Day 5 was different, I actually went out of my borough lol. But then I had a small crisis of conscience, facing people I know with a Niqaab. I felt like "well they already know what I look like so there's no point"... However I decided to keep it on. It was hard!! Because shaytaan was like, "look girl it wouldn't make a difference." Although I'd known the brothers for several years, my brain had to be reminded that they weren't mahrams, and although it's "just my face" they're not allowed to see it. That was hard to grasp. It's easier to dissociate from strangers, but people you know (although quite supportive) it feels like a barriers in place. I don't know if niqab is something I can maintain. Because I'm quite friendly and interactive (when I want to be). Putting it all in prayer though.
So my first interaction with non-mahrams had me hiding for a bit yesterday. However once I was over the urge to take it off and just chill, my flipping (the Niqab up and down) became on point lol. I spent day 6 with my beautiful sisters and another niqabi. I was able to pick her mind and had a refreshing deen discussion. It was good to hear I wasn't the only one who thought "I'd never wear the Niqab". We even went for a likkle drive.
I've noticed the niqab does help me in policing myself. It doesn't hinder from my day to day, and it's a nice little reminder that Allah is close. Whenever I can't breathe and I'm secretly cussing myself, I quickly remember I'm doing this for my Lord.
Plus there's safety in knowing ain't noborry know its me. So all them people lining up to fight me, come find me nuh *hits chest*
(Lol I joke, we straight. I forgive you. If I offended you, I forgive you too. 😫😚)
Ima keep on wearing it, till I either can't, or it becomes a limb. Alhamdulillah my parents are supportive of whatever I do, I have the means, and Alhamdulillah Allah has provided me with the strength, so I can't think of a reason to stop.
I've decided to become a "situational niqabi"... What's that I hear you ask? Well I'll wear it everywhere except where I can't. So a niqabi depending on the situation. In the UK it's extremely difficult to find a job where you can where a niqab, so AT work I wont wear it, but i'll wear it TO work. Pretty much the only situation I can think of where I wont wear it. May Allah make it easy.
Funnily, I still don't see myself as a niqabi, it's weird. I think my brain has been programmed on "nah, b" for so long that it's struggling to accept. I just see myself as "real badman, triple OG, can't test me NBJ" and she definitely doesn't fit in my "yes sah/no sah, good girl, halo, deen on fleek" box of what a niqabi is.
So when people ask "are you a niqabi?" My response is always "No, I'm just doing it till I can't" 😐
May Allah make that "can't" death... And ya Allah do not take my life till I've earned the closeness to your throne that my heart desires
I have to share this benefit, and my biggest motivation. I've found that when I call on Allah, he answers.
No, not because I'm wearing the niqab, it's not some quick fix secret to getting your du'as answered lol. It's because I took a step towards Him. I decided I didn't want to be complacent in my deen, so I looked for easy sunnahs I could adopt. I started small, e.g 3 quls after every salah, memorising additional du'as to make in sujuud...and went from there.
I increased my du'a making dramatically!! I noticed every time Mufti Menk would say something of good he'd follow with "ya Allah grant us that good" too. For example if he said a sahaba was patient he'd follow with "May Allah make us amongst the patient". I realised he turned everything into du'a, so I tried to emulate that.
Eventually, the more I saw my du'as being answered the more I wanted to please my Lord. However it's not just du'as that make me want to please him, it's my change in mind and soul. I'm content, I'm happy, I feel safe and stable. I realised when you abide by the rules of Islam, life gets so much easier.
Obviously you still get a few trials et such, but it's reassuring knowing it's a means of cleansing and attaining Jannah.
I've set my eyes on Firdaws, and I don't want to ever forget my goal, not even for a second
My advice to everyone is make one small change for the sake of your Lord, and when that change becomes a habit, make another. Never stop striving.
I pray Allah grants us our hearts desires and gives us the best of this life and the best of the hereafter. I pray we find ourselves amongst the 70,000 who will avoid reckoning on the day of judgement ✨
(Sidenote- my one vice in this life is Afrobeats, I can do a mean shoulder roll. And my oyinbo neighbours are blazing some bangers. So much fitnah! Oh ma days! My shoulderrr! What surah do I counter with?)