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'Becoming A Proper Hijaabi'


Sister Maha

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

My name is Maha, and I am 13 years old. Alhamdulillah I am also a young sister who wears proper hijaab when outside my house. My real home is in Lebanon but for now I am staying with my parents in England as my father has work here .

As my mother died when I was a baby, I was brought up by my grandmother when I was very young. In her house all ladies veil properly but I was too young then. About when I was six my father married again to a Muslimah who did not up to then veil fully. But she decided to adopt proper hijaab before she wed my father and has always covered fully since marriage.

After being married, my new mother suggested to me I might wear simple hijaab which was anyhow what I wanted even then. I think I thought it was very grown-up and liked it. It was simple with a little scarf and wearing decent dresses to cover my legs and arms. Most of my friends did the same at school and I never noticed it as being anyway strange.

I was also used to see my new mother always covered up properly when going outside. I thought she was wise and I asked why she did that. She showed me the daleels and proofs for fully veiling herself and said when I was older I would need to choose if I cover properly. May be that when I was nine or ten I did not see anything necessary about veiling the face but I think that I grew up a lot later. When I was twelve I talked to my grandmother and my mother about veiling again. Now I was coming to more fully understand the words of the Quran on my own and I wished to please Allah (swt) in all I did. I asked my mother if she thought I was old enough to wear proper hijaab, and she said that was for MY conscience to say.

I thought that veiling the face was Mustahab. But I wanted to please Allah (swt) and to please my parents and family as well. So I said I wanted to wear proper hijaab. My mother said, "Wait two weeks. Think about it some more." I did that and then went back and said I still thought I should cover my face. So she bought me a half niqab and since then I have covered my face way from home when there are non mahram.

I have friends who start to wear proper hijaab at that age, and some who do not. I think I was old enough then to know what I should do. I had the example of my mother who covers herself completely. (She has written articles here as Sister Sameera. You can read then in sections on 'How to veil Properly' and 'Helping the New proper hijaabi'.) Also as I said before the ladies in my father's family all veil fully.

I think it was very important that I was allowed to make up my mind about veiling. If my father had told me to cover my face when I was 12 I would have done that; I try to always obey him like a good daughter. But I think it is best for me to decide for myself. I am convinced that I need to conceal my face to avoid fitna, and I know how bad men can look even at young girls. So veiling would be right even if it was not Mustahab or fard..

My mother veils fully and I think that is right. I have just started to wear head band niqab which has the eye opening covered with mesh. I had thought it might be hard like that but I was surprised. I find it is good and easy to wear and more comfortable than the half niqab I wore. And I see all I need to when I wear that veil outside my house. My mother wears much thicker eye veils than me and very long khimar always and gloves also. I do not think that I am ready for that but insha'Allah one day when I am older I hope to be like her as I see it to be fard to be dressed as she is when a bit older than I am now.

I think I was once not sure about proper hijaab. Now I am old enough to read and understand the daleel and the references in the Quran and Hadith, so I think full veiling is right. I think Sisters like me may be 12 or 13 are old enough to veil as they are becoming woman and can cause fitna in weak men. I have talked to some sisters who are frightened of veiling. May be once I felt like that. Now that I do veil I know there is nothing to be afraid of. It is to obey the words of the Quran and to please Allah (swt) that I am so happy to do this. Insha'Allah more young Muslimahs will veil properly as well.