Black Women Don’t Need to Cover?

Black Women Don’t Need to Cover?

a short story

by Umm Zakiyyah

 “Why isn’t the Qur’an and Sunnah sufficient for us?” Faith said, her hands trembling behind her head as she unfastened her niqaab. She tossed the face veil to a nearby tableUZ Short Story Collection and collapsed into the softness of the couch, the cloth of her khimaar loosening itself from where it framed the brown of her face.

Grace smiled as she closed the door to her villa and joined her friend on the couch. Grace reached forward and poured coffee into a small glass cup and handed it to her friend. “Still in culture shock after five years?”

Faith groaned and rolled her eyes as she accepted the coffee, but she held the glass in her hand without drinking it. “You won’t believe what my Saudi friend just told me.”

Grace sighed, but her expression remained pleasant. “What now?”

“That the niqaab isn’t obligatory for black women.”

Grace huffed. “I’m not surprised. I was told I have to cover my face because I’m white.” She shook her head then added, “And my eyes because they’re blue.”

“Where do these people learn their religion?” Faith shook her head. “I thought I was coming to a country where I’d feel better as a Muslim, not worse.”

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  • Idris Posted 2015-05-14 9:45 am

    Assalaam ‘alaykum,

    Nice write-up as usual. Baaraka Allaahu feek wa zaadaka Allaahu khayr.

    I am however still trying to remember if any veritable scholar in real life will infer that niqab is not compulsory on black women because they are ugly. What I know of the scholars that are proponents of niqab being wajib (obligatory) and recommended is that there is no discrimination except for women who have attained old age and have perhaps reached the age of menopause as stated in the following ayah:

    “And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allaah is All‑Hearer, All‑Knower”

    Surah al-Noor (24) verse 60

    Of course you do get some weird opinions not based on texts though. An example comes to mind but would refrain from mentioning name.

    And Allaah knows …

  • Ilm Posted 2015-07-19 8:34 pm


    SubhanAllah, I really agree with this. As someone of marriageable age, my relatives are constantly encouraging me to ‘tone down the hijab’ in order to attract guys. Others say it’s not really fard on me because I have ‘plain looks’. What is this all about?! If I follow the deen, I do it for myself. No one should have the right to say how much or how little I do because of how I look. It’s like what you wrote in your article about covering for men (or rather, not covering for men), it doesn’t matter how much men are attracted to you, wearing the hijab/abaya/niqab should be done solely for Allah’s sake.

  • Iqra Posted 2015-09-10 11:12 pm

    I agree with the above two comments.

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