VEILING IS NOT FAILING
A true life feature stories of muslimahs in face veil
Our feature guest for today is Hajia Mariam Omar Mababaya. She hails from Philippines. She was born in 1986 in Dammam city eastern region of Saudi Arabia.
Her beloved parents (Allah yarhamhum. Ameen.) are Dr Omar and Dr Norlain (also named Khadija). Her father (Allah yarhamhu. Ameen.) worked as a business economist at SABIC, one of the largest companies in Riyadh, while her mother was an author of several Islamic books published at Darussalam Islamic Bookstore.
Her mother and her father not only wrote Islamic books but also did Da’wah for Allah’s sake and delivered numerous lectures about Islam in Saudi Arabia, Philippines and Malaysia. They were acquainted with brother Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cats Stevens) and brother Bilal Philips.
Alhamdulillah she studied at different schools back in Riyadh city, from private to public institutions. Because her dear parents (Allah yarhamhum. Ameen.) were strict with regards to her upbringing, they encouraged her to pursue Islamic education through online studies instead of permitting her to major in psychology abroad.
Alhamdulillah she’s grateful to Allah the Almighty for guiding her parents to bring her up strictly as their quality of being overprotective had a positive impact on her overall well-being. Because Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala granted her access to learning more about Islam, Allah helped her transform from a rebellious teenager, reckless troublemaker, bully, fashion enthusiast, and music-addict to a striving niqabi Muslimah who loved studying about Islam and after some time in marriage life became an advocate of polygyny.
Alhamdulillah the first time she wore the hijab was when she was around ten or eleven years old. The niqab was introduced to her as part of a Saudi schools’ dress code when going outdoors, along with the wide abaya worn by a lot of Saudi females on top of the head.
At the beginning she had some doubts wearing the niqab. She used to have this wrong theory about how the niqab is customarily worn only inside Saudi Arabia until she did some extensive research about the rulings of veiling the face for Muslim women.
She also sent several fax letters and e-mail messages to Live-broadcast Fatawa programs on local Saudi channels and Huda TV to feel more reassured and certain that the niqab isn’t just a Saudi custom but a noble good deed that any adult Muslimah can do to get closer to Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala.
After discovering all the information and answers she was looking for concerning the face-veil, Alhamdulillah at around eighteen or nineteen years old she faithfully embraced wearing the niqab even until now while she’s residing in the Philippines, where the number of niqabi sisters is gradually increasing Alhamdulillah.
One of the evidences that wearing the niqab is rewarding, she opined, or even obligatory according to other scholars’ opinions, is the fact that female pilgrims shouldn’t wear the niqab while performing Umrah and Hajj, which clearly indicates how the women are expected to have their faces covered when they’re not doing pilgrimage. Another proof can be found in a narration where a companion was advised by the noble Prophet Muhammad SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam to look at the face of the woman whom he was interested in marrying before he officially proposes to her through her guardians.
This according to Mariam shows that many of the women during the time of the Messenger Muhammad SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam had their faces concealed by a part of their cloak or some sort of veil so much so that a companion in another Hadith described how some of the women walking outside appeared as if they had black crows all over them and their identities weren’t clear due to the way they were modestly dressed from head to toe.
Alhamdulillah the more we want to please Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala, the more we strive to follow His Prophet’s Sunnah while trying our best to copy the positive examples of those who loved the Messenger Muhammad SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam among whom were the Prophet’s noble wives who covered themselves with dignity and proper modesty for Allah’s sake only.
Wearing the niqab, just like any other good deed, came with some challenges and tests. Among the trials she’s encountered as a niqabi were frequent stares of curiosity, offensive remarks from ignorant passersby who were likely uneducated about various customs, and some scornful laughter here and there from people who probably never traveled outside of the Philippines or whose obnoxiously rude manners were designed to make them feel better about their insecure selves.
Difficulties like these are simply signs that Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala loves you, wanting your sins to be expiated so you become purified and ready to be welcome to Jannah and so your level of patience is enhanced thereby strengthening your faith/Imaan and Taqwa (fear of Allah Only).
Alhamdulillah she currently works as the female supervisor at the Islamic school which her dear parents opened with Allah’s Will several years ago. So there is no discrimination against the niqab at her school nor the city she’s in.
Alhamdulillah a majority of the Filipinos around her happen to be very open-minded, understanding and accepting of Muslims and Islamic clothing.
Alhamdulillah she was already a niqabi prior to marrying her cousin who works as a medical doctor. He actually let her know previously that he was okay with her choice of wearing the niqab Maa shaa Allah.
It is also her utmost wish to continue wearing the niqab until Allah the Most Merciful takes her soul back to Him. As she firmly believe that the niqab is one of the things that keep her more connected to Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala.
To her, the niqab is a testimony of her submission to Allah’s Will, preference of what Allah the Most Loving wants over what her nafs desires. And the niqab reminds others that they shouldn’t judge her by how her face looks like but what matters most importantly is who she is on the inside.
Another thing is that the Niqab assures her heart of the belief in Islam and love for Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala, and how she can be distinguished from others through her personality, piety and character instead of her physical appearance, wardrobe and income.
She prays Allah the Most Merciful accept all our good deeds, forgive us always and join us with the believers whom He will allow entry to Jannatul Ferdaus with Allah’s Mercy. Ameen.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us sister Mariam. We are inspired at your zeal of searching for knowledge.
Those who read one of my stories ‘My Mate’ would know I’ve been tapping knowledge from sister Mariam a long time ago. I concluded that story with sister Mariam’s ‘eleven importance of polygyny. Who remember?
You’re such an inspiration and your daily inspirational write up on facebook has been a source of motivation for a lot of people.
I also admire your advocacy for polygyny. You have such a large heart Maa shaa Allah.
May Allah reward your efforts with goodness in this world and the next. Thanks for showing us that the Niqab is not a garment of backwardness, mediocrity and laxity.
Jazakillahu khairan. Love you my Filipina sweetheart.