Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: At college, I saw some Muslim girls with niqabs and I was immediately amazed at their religiosity and enthusiasm. I now long to marry a niqabi, but I am confused as to whether I should make a specific dua like “Ya Allah, please grant me a righteous and beautiful future wife who wears niqab”. Would it be better for me to just generally ask for “a righteous and beautiful future wife”?
Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking counsel.
Alhamdulillah, it is praiseworthy for you to love outward expressions of modesty. I encourage you to learn more about inward expressions of modesty by listening to this excellent podcast: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani Beyond Hijab: Modesty Amongst Women in Islam.
There is a difference of opinion in the ruling behind wearing niqab in the West, especially with the rising tide of Islamphobia. Please reflect on this article: Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School?
I am concerned that if you grow too attached to the idea of a niqabi wife, you risk closing yourself off from a fulfilling marriage to a Muslim woman who wears hijab, and has excellent deen and character.
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” [Bukhari]
What is your intention behind wanting to marry a woman who wears niqab? Please sit down and be honest with yourself. Do you think that a woman who wears niqab automatically is more pious, or will make a better wife for you? Allah alone knows the contents of our hearts, and He knows better than we do.
You are permitted to ask for whatever you wish in dua, but remember to consign the outcome to Allah. Please reflect on this article: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a.
Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night.
Please don’t turn up one day with a niqabi sister and shock your parents. Save yourself future heartache by working with your family’s expectations about a daughter-in-law. From what you have described, it sounds like an uphill battle if you are fixated on marrying a woman who wears niqab, especially if she is not from the same ethnicity as you.
If you are determined to do so, then I encourage you to start discussing that with your parents now. Broach the topic with them by asking them what they expect from you in terms of selecting a wife. Take the time to listen to them with a spirit of genuine concern, not a spirit of dismissing their worries. If they are alarmed about the idea of you wanting your wife to wear niqab, then listen to their concerns, validate them, and offer your perspective. Parents have the wisdom that comes with worshipping Allah longer than their offspring. There is great reward in being kind to parents, especially when it comes to matters you disagree on. Allah will reward you tremendously for giving up what you want for the sake of pleasing them, as long as it is permissible.
Please enroll in this course to give you a clearer understanding of what constitutes an successful Islamic marriage
Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. I pray that this course will give you a better idea of what to look for in your future wife.
If niqab is that important to you, then you must bring it up in the proposal process.
If you do marry someone who wears hijab, then please thank Allah for that tremendous blessing. There is nothing more beloved to Allah than the fulfilment of obligatory acts.
I speak to you from the perspective of a Muslim woman who grew up in the West. I don’t recommend that you insist that your wife wear niqab. Will you feel comfortable wearing traditional clothing while covering your head with a turban? Muslim men who wear ‘regular’ clothes can pass as non-Muslim when they go to work, college, or even grocery shopping. Muslim women in hijab, let alone niqab, cannot.
It takes tremendous courage to wear hijab in the West, and it takes even more courage to wear niqab. A successful marriage takes work, and the toil of daily life can be exhausting enough, especially with small children. Expecting your future wife to brave all that alongside the niqab seems counter to the spirit of mercy and sincere concern.
However, if niqab is something she does wish to observe, on her own, as an expression of her love for Allah and His Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace), then alhamdulilah, may her reward be manifold. Ask yourself what you need to do to be worthy of such a woman.
On that note, if you move to Muslim lands where niqab is more common, then go ahead and encourage that in your wife. Even then, please do not think any less of her if she does not want to.
Please balance your newfound religiosity with a healthy dose of wisdom, especially in relation to maintaining good ties with your parents. I pray that Allah grants you a deep understanding of His Deen, and blesses you with a loving, pious wife who brings you closer to Allah.
The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)
My Parents Prevent Me From Practicing: What Should I Do?
What to Do When My Parents Reject My Choice of Spouse Because of Cultural Reasons?
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi‘i fiqh, Arabic, Sirah, Aqidah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajwid. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.