I have read on Sistani’s website that it’s impermissible to wear niqab if it’s disliked by the general public. However, I’ve also read that the face should be covered if non-mahram have made comments regarding your appearance. I wanted to wear niqab in honour of Hazrat Fatima (sa) and to better my modesty, but I’m worried about it being haram due to living in North America, where niqab is generally disliked. I personally like the niqab but I am also aware it attracts attention in not so great ways. What would you recommend doing? Would wearing a face mask even suffice with my intentions? Although I’m worried constantly wearing it may cause similar reactions?

Indeed, Sayyid Sistani says that it cannot be worn if it becomes a source of fitna or general disapproval. This is certainly a possibility, and maybe even likely, in the West. Thus, wearing a face mask, if done with the intention of not allowing people to see your face, or at least to the extent of hiding the parts that are attractive and being stared at, should suffice – Sayyid Sistani says it must be covered and does not mention the niqab. Yet, remember that this is situational and does not constitute a continuous requirement