Niqāb in Pluralistic Society: An Islamic Perspective

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue VII, July 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Niqāb in Pluralistic Society: An Islamic Perspective

Seyyath Mohammed Hakeema Beevi1, Ahamed Sarjoon Razick2* and Iqbal Saujan3
1,2 & 3Department of Islamic Studies, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil
*Corresponding Author

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: In Sri Lanka, which is a multi-ethnic nation in religion and cultural aspects, there is an increasing number of campaigns and allegations against Muslim women’s niqāb (face veil). Thus, the study is based on a Qualitative Method with the aim of exploring Islamic guidelines on how Muslim women should dress in their niqāb in a multicultural context, which is under threat. Data was gathered using only a secondary data collection technique. Books, journals, magazines, and websites have been used as data sources. The study concludes that although wearing the niqāb is not an obligatory duty on Muslim women who believe piously, a certain number of Muslim women are found to be fascinated with it. Although there is a law in the country to follow particular religious principles, criticisms of the niqāb (face mask) have arisen for the protection of other people, the proper expression of identification, and the coordination of everyone in the country. It has been found that, in this situation Islam allows a slight evil to be committed to prevent a serious evil in the society, it guides Muslim women to give up nothing obligatory to live in harmony in a multicultural context while adhering to only the most fundamental Islamic principles.

Key words: niqāb, pluralistic society, burqa, Islamic perspective, awrah


Sri Lanka is a developing country with multicultural characteristics. This country is home to ethnic groups such as Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Christians, and Malays. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are among the major faiths practised here. Muslims are the second largest ethnic minority in Sri Lanka after the Tamils. Different identities depend on them in terms of being a community.
The identity of Sri Lankan Muslims is considered diverse and has been reconstructed in line with political, social, and historical changes. From the point of view of researchers, we can see that Muslims uphold religious identity beyond their ethnic identity for certain political and interest’s reasons. As a result, clothing culture is considered the main discourse on the identities of Sri Lankan Muslims today.
There are hundreds of different clothing cultures around the world. Clothing cultures are different according to each region, community, race, culture and habitat.