Salam Dear Sister,
I am really surprised and I am re-thinking again and again before advising you. I was a bit surprised at many of the details you have provided here.
Whenever I think of a suggestion to help you, I find that, somehow, you have had it cross your mind!
He Cannot Force You
Well, to cut it short, my dear, my practical punitive advice, at your age and experience, is: do NOT do what your husband is imposing on you.
You are still very young. You are still at the very start of your marriage. No kids in the marriage.
The man promised you before marriage that he will not force you to wear it. Then, why would you want to start your life by teaching him that he can always change his word by “punishing” you whenever he wants to get away with what he wants?!
From what I can see from your words, the only commitment which you have for this marriage is some feelings that you have for him. I respect these feelings and I appreciate them.
The bond of marriage is also highly respected by all laws of Islamic and moral ethics. But, both of you should abide by these codes of ethics.
Think of the Future
Your husband, at a certain stage of time when he was not yet your husband, wanted to become your husband and to have you as a wife. At that point of time, he gave you a promise.
Then, now, today, when you are his, he completely forgets about that promise and imposes on you his desire by all means.
He tries to convince you and emotionally tries to affect you. Your husband even religiously tries to convince you by giving you videos and scholarly opinions. Then, he decides to punish you by staying away from you for three months!
What kind of marital dialogue is this?! This is his attitude and “policy” in solving a marital conflict after being “recently married”.
Ask yourself, how will he reach his goals after nine years of marriage? How will he resolve any of your conflicts when your opinions differ in relation to which school you take the kids to, for example?
Let me be clear, though: my previous words are not to advise you whether to wear the niqab or not. I am advising you to look carefully at your marriage and how you would like it to continue, if you are continuing in it.
Love is not and never the main pillar of marriage my dear. Love is the flame and essence that gives the body the spirit to survive, live and nourish. But the real pillar, the body, is the tolerance, understanding, acceptance and decent commitments to words of honor.
Keep Your Intentions Pure
As for the niqab, which is highly respected, it has to be a move that you do for the sake of Allah, and only for the sake of Allah.
The issue of niqab is actually controversial between scholars. Some agree that it obligatory, some agree that it is preferred. But, some see that it is simply cultural and has nothing to do with religion.
In this answer, I will not provide you a fatwa whether it is obligatory or not. This issue has been long discussed between great scholars and you can make your own research.
My point here is that any act that you do with the intention of worship, it has to be for the sake of Allah only.
It is important to note that you are sticking to all Islamic obligations (faraaid) and doing your best to be a good wife who pleases her husband and satisfies him, in accordance to all his emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs.
Being a good wife means that you aim to succeed in making him happy.
But, being a good wife does not mean that he imposes on you what he promised he would not.
There are endless ways to satisfy and please him. Try them all.
Let him know that you love and respect him. Keep your feelings, love, smile and respect for him. Talk to him softly and ask him to keep his promise.
Tell him how heavy you feel this step is for you now and promise him to be more conservative with strangers.
Tell him that you love him and that you want to continue your life with him, but that you don’t see that you will be a faithful Muslim if you wear niqab just for him.
Promise him to read and study more about niqab. And do that. If you are ever convinced, then wear it for the sake of Allah. If you are not, then never do it.
Now, if your husband ever takes it to the edge, saying that you will have to choose between him and niqab on one side, or letting go completely on the other side, then it will be your choice. Try never to take it that far.
But if it is ever there, then think carefully if you really want to continue life with a man who solves marital conflicts through this attitude.
My answer might be a bit harsh my sister. But, I am giving you an indirect message, that sums up the experience of endless marriages I have seen broken after a while, where everything starts rosy and emotional and no one sticks to any promise or word, but these marriages ended where I hope never to see your marriage end.
Hope my answer is helpful. Please let us know if you need any more advice.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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