VEILING IS NOT FAILING
A true life feature stories of Muslimahs in face veil
Our feature guest for today is Hajia Olayiwola Rukayat popularly known as Sugargirl. She’s a beauty therapist, a natural skin and hair care fomulator and beauty consultant. She’s equally an educationist and a Niqabie herbalist.
She was born in Ibadan, Oyo state. Her dad is from Ibadan, Oyo state while her mum is from Tede still under Oyo state.
She was born into the family of Ishi’aq Olayiwola who is the only male child of his mother. Rukayat’s mother’s name is Muslimah Gbadamosi. Both her parents lived in Lagos and her dad is a pharmacist and the P. R. O Lagos State medicine dealer association, Ojo local government.
She attended Patimo Kiddies Varsity, Ibadan for her primary education. She attended Adekile Goodwill Grammar school 2 for her junior secondary education and Adekile Goodwill Grammar school ,senior school Orita aperin Ibadan for her senior secondary school.
After several failed attempts to get into medical school after leaving secondary school, she proceeded to study biology/integrated science at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of education (formerly Lagos State College of education but now Adeniran Ogunsanya university of education) where she spent 2 years then later got a transfer to Federal college of education, Zaria for the completion of her program due to marriage.
She Had her first son before the completion of her program and also went for her teaching practice at Zaid bin Thabit, in which she became their parent staff after the completion of the TP exercise. She was veiled and teaching at this time as well.
The journey to ijab and face veil started While she was in her 2nd year at Aocoed. She participated in some of the religious activities going on in the school. She met awesome sisters and as at then there was only one Full time niqabie sister studying chemistry who was also her class head as at then.
She’d never made up her mind to use niqab but her Ustaza whom she do attend her madrasah then advised and wished she included socks in her dressing which she always give excuse to turn down.
Fast forward to one day at Aocoed, it was a Friday and she went to the college Mosque to observe Jumu’ah prayer, not knowing what came into her, she just proceeded to a place where Islamic wares are always displayed. She bought some black socks and that was when she started wearing socks,up till now. She couldn’t go out of her home even to the front gate without socks (subhanallah). She felt naked without it afterward.
People stared but got over it. Her father had always wanted his 3 girls to be a Munaqabah but she never read meanings to it and was resolute that she won’t use it, no way. But after attending so many programs which talked about how important and rewarding the face veil is, she asked her dad to buy her an English Qur’an.
She started reading mostly on the verses that spoke on the importance and benefits of the face veil. Her dad do tell them that “Its the highest level a woman can attain in islam” so she started reading on mostly verses that talked bout face covering and this Surah struck her: Surah An -Nur verse 31.
Since then she made up her mind to use it not for anyone but for Allah alone and it’s the best decision she’d ever made. Because she’s tasted a lot of sweetness of faith being a niqabite. (Alhamdulilah).
The first day she started wearing niqab was on the morning of her wedding day up till now. She was veiled throughout the program. That was 25th of August, 2013, up till now, maa sha Allah (would be 6years by August, 2019.)
One of the challenges she encountered as a Munaqabah was during the time bomb blast was rampant in the northern part of Nigeria in which the students that were initially allowed to use Niqabs were told to lift it up whenever they are on campus, but Alhamdulilah if there’s a will, there’s a way. She do improvise with the use of medical face mask and face towel then,but Alhamdulilah that phase had passed away.
Now presently in Ghana which is a Christian dominated country, the number of Munaqabahs are few, it’s kind of strange to them, they mainly see it on social media. She got called several names like Robber, Boko Haram, ninja. And many stares whenever she goes out. But all this didn’t bother her. Now some of her neighbors children who do welcome her with “Robber’ now welcome her with “Muslim welcome”. They got used to it already.
Her marriage story took another turn almost few months after nikkah which she had to endure and tried all possible best to make it work. Ranging from the case of domestic violence, to emotional abuse, deprivation, physical abuse and lot more.
After 3 years she decided to call it quit. So she left the north for Lagos in 2016. To keep herself sane and busy from wallowing in self pity and depression, she had to apply for her degree at Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria to further her education studying Biology, But the crisis of her first marriage which produced a five year old son, even after leaving, persisted which cut short the life of her program.
Her journey to being a Niqabie herbalist: She’d always been a fan of herbal products for her sickness back then, she found it difficult to swallow common paracetamol, and she ended up throwing it under the bed or cushions.
Her Grandma and Aunt whom she grew up with (may Allah forgives them and widen their graves) gave her herbal remedy in substitution for tablets. Anyone who knew the likes of 7keys, Easy cure would know how well these herbal medicines works. So it’s her go-to whenever she was sick. So she’s in love with nature.
Fast Forward to 2017, when she came across people that are into natural products, she got fascinated and paid for classes, read, make researches and here she is today.
She officially launched and started her first brand @Sugargirl naturals which deals with natural skin and hair care products in May 2018 wit more than 10 products to the name and few months later she birthed a new brand @nature’s haven which deals with the use of indigenous herbs to help people live a healthy and fruitful life and with 2 well researched and formulated products to its name. The journey has not been easy and would not be that easy but giving up isn’t an option.
She admitted that putting Allah First in whatever she does has been her strength. She’s always organized because she loves to plan her day ahead. She’s an educational instructor. An herbalist and a mother. She doesn’t allow one to affect the other by doing what is right at the right time. She’s agile and productive when she starts her day with adhkar.
She’s an early bird who wakes up early for some ibadah like reading a portion of the Qur’an, morning adhkar and get breakfast ready before 6:30am. She then set out to teach and return home to attend to business duties and others. She also uses her free time at work to attend to business chats.
She’d memorized some portion of the Qur’an, this is a struggle for her and she tried to always open the Quran everyday even if it’s to read just a verse “I pray Allah grant me more understanding of the Quran and Hadith”
The challlenges she encountered when she first started her business was low sales. But since giving up is not an option, she persevered. To wither the storm is to do what your competitors aren’t doing to set you out no matter how small it is. Try to own your field, be specific. don’t be Jack of all trade and master of non.
Her advise for Muslim sisters is to have Tawakkul in Allah. “Just like a bird who goes out in the morning empty and returns full at night. Allah never leaves His sincere slaves. Be steadfast and you’ll surely taste the sweetness of faith. Leave those things that doesn’t serve your purpose. Stand up for the truth and it will set you free. And most importantly be “Conscious of your Maker! Be conscious of your Rabb! “. I want sisters who wishees to embrace the face veil to know that it’s a plus for you and its never an hindrance to achieving whatever you’ve put your mind to do. Stay focus and work towards achieving your goals”
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us. You’re a true example of ‘Trials will visit us, tears will accompany it but Allah promises relief after hardship.
You encountered a lot and you never gave up nor removed the face veil. Instead you became stronger and became an inventor with Allah by your side. Success is the only revenge after all.
Thank you for showing us that the Niqab is neither a sign of backwardness nor ignorance nor mental incompetence but a woman’s duty to her Lord. Keep soaring higher dearest sugergirl! Keep basking in Allah’s rahmah!! Keep winning and keep smiling to success!!! May sweetness be your lot all the days of your life. Jazakillahu khairan for sharing your journey to growth. We’re inspired.