The Great Niqab Debate

What is the niqab? For our non-Muslim readers, it is most commonly known as the face veil. And what i bet you didnt know is that a great debate rages within Muslim communities about whether or not it is Fard (required), Mustahaab (loved, a good thing to do - but not required) ...all the way down the line to a cultural practice that is not Islamic. Blog wars get started over this topic! It is important to note that the majority of the Muslim scholars have agreed that the niqab in general is Mustahaab. It is a choice that Muslim women make, just like they choose to wear hijab. But the hijab however, is required Islamically speaking. Do all Muslim women choose to wear hijab? No, some don't. It is a personal decision that every Muslim woman makes. This is between her and her Creator.

Anyhow, the niqab has stirred up so much attention in Western soceties because it is automatically associated with oppression of women, and loss of their human rights. Unfortunately, many people over here never get to actually talk to a woman who wears it. So i thought i'd post this two-part video where a saudi women who wears niqab and journalist for an English paper, allows cameras into her home and answers all those questions that my non-Muslim friends have brought up. Enjoy!

The videos are in English :)


  1. This is really interestng. I never knew that women chose to wear the niqab...i thought it was something that their husbands or fathers forced them to do.

    keep up the good work!

  2. There aren't any more videos in this series, are there? I find the glimpse of Saudi life so fascinating. I never would have guessed that Rasin Bran boxes in Saudi Arabia say "Rasin Bran" on them.

    Here's a quick question, and I hope it isn't ignorant. How does one recognise their friends and family when all are wearing niqab? I find it hard enough to recognise people who are wearing Western fashion!

  3. Jessica: thats not an ignorant question at all! :) if you live in the West, so few ladies wear niqab that its pretty easy to pick out your friends that do. there are so many styles of niqab that each sister sort of has her own niqabi look.

    When it comes to countries like Saudi or yemen, i think people are used to it - the way we are used to shorts and tee shirts that they easily recongnize their friends, again by the way they wear the veil. Im sure there are times where so many people looking similar can cause a slight identity crisis, lol. At that point, i think people rely on the voice and other mannerisms to tell eachother apart!

    Great question! :)


Salaam All,

Please feel free to let us know what you think. Add your ideas about hijab styles, scarf tieing suggestions and life as Al Muhajaba El Aniqa (the one who wears hijab with pride and style)!