One of the most important aspects in Islam is the dress code. Islam teaches that men and women dress modestly.

There are many verses of the Holy Quran and Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) which provide guidance on this.

Many scholars are of the view that the covering of the face for females is part of the Islamic dress code and therefore some females have accepted this view to be the correct one and adopted the Niqab.

This covering of the face is nothing to do with tradition or culture but it is to practice the teaching of Islam.

Without a shadow of doubt, it is the individual choice of the female if she adopts the Niqab.

Females start wearing the Niqab at many different points in their lives. Some start as soon as they reach the age of puberty, some a bit later, many start after the age of 16 and there are those that start wearing the Niqab after performing the Hajj.

Although no Islamic ruling is compulsory on either males or females before the age of puberty, there are many examples in Islamic tradition which clearly indicate that the earlier children are taught how to practice the teachings of Islam, the more it will be easier for them to act upon as they grow up.

The famous example is the offering of the five times prayers (Salaah) where the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) provided guidance that encourages your children to start offering Salaah when they reach the age of 7.

This teaching clearly demonstrates that children should be guided into Islamic practices at an early age.

If girls who have not yet reached the age of puberty start wearing the Niqab, then that is totally their individual choice that should be respected.

Just as other children dress how they want and no one bats an eyelid, then why question the young innocent Muslim girl who wants to start her life in complete accordance to Islamic teachings?.

Article supplied by an Islamic scholar