Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.
Many a times, most of us get confused or sometimes even scared when it comes to decision on starting to dress modestly, start wearing hijab or even covering the face (niqab).
Today, as I look at the mirror trying to pin my hijab properly ensuring the safety pin under my throat is safely secured, ( walahi only hijabis will know the struggle I face with safety hijab pins when yawning) I had a random memory which I thought I’ll share with you all.
I remember being advised by my younger brother may Allah reward him with good ameen when I told my family my intention to start wearing hijab. His words were, you can but don’t ever think of taking it off later in future. Like eissh! Was that a threat ? It however motivated me to really think of what I wanted, purify my intention and thought about what my goal and purpose in life really was. It is to get to jannah by the way just like you. I remember taking this decision in Ramadan 2014 but I however, had conditions on when I actually wanted to start wearing it.
- No man will marry me. I should probably just delay it till after marriage.
- What will I wear to my wedding anyway? Perhaps I should start wearing the Hijab when I find a wedding dress that actually looks nice with hijab.
- I will never wear a jilbab and go out.
- I’ll do it but be fashionable.
- I’ll only start wearing it properly if I have the emirati style hijabs.. (shaila scarves with stones)
- I’ll probably do it after I secure that corporate job I set my eyes on. (I’m black, Muslim and wearing hijab to an interview? No chance I’ll be hired with my identity /uniqueness).
Ofcourse with all these questions, one would think I wasn’t ready right? Truth be told, there is no such thing as being ready. We learn from ahadeeth narrated from Safiyyah, daughter of Shaybah, who said that Aisha RA mentioned the women of Ansar, praised them and said good words about them. She then said: When Surat an-Nur came down, they took the curtains, tore them and made head covers (veils) of them. Also, narrated by Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin:
When the verse “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons” was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.
Yes, He knows what’s best for us, He knows what will happen to us in the next few minutes and years while we know not. He created us from a drop of semen and fashioned us into man subhanallah. He loves beauty. He is the most fashionable. Therefore no, the hijab isn’t to oppress us nor is it to make us look ugly.
With Allah SWT’s blessings, I overcame the doubts and questions I had. The ayah of the Qur’an “true success lies in the akhirah” was an ayah I pondered on at the perfect time. Subhanallah! It is an ayah I used to enjoy listening to whenever daddy recited surah Al A’la during congregational prayers although I never knew the meaning. Perhaps that was Allah سبحانه وتعالى blessing by having me ponder on the translation of the ayah linking it to my present situation then. Whatever it was, all I can say is Alhamdullilah!
For some, the motivation to start wearing the hijab could be influence from friends/family, listening to inspirational talks, reading an inspirational book/blog, others could be hardship they went through and then decided to turn their lives to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and I believe some, by just accepting Islam and choosing to submit themselves to the teachings of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.
Although I wouldn’t say wearing the hijab was a huge step from my old lifestyle as I was by then already loving the idea of modesty to avoid encouraging sexual attraction from the opposite sex, it still was out of my comfort zone. I initially started with the turban and I was not ready to stop wearing tight jeans or settle for loose clothing! It happened at a time I bought so many midi dresses and skirts for work. The devil kept whispering in my ears as I was not ready to let go. I mean he tried it but hey! with the influence from my close friends and a whatsapp group sharing Islamic messages where I would occasionally ask questions, I finally let go.
What I found annoying at the time was how people would judge you based on your dresscode without even knowing how far you’ve come or tried to be at the level you are at.
“Sister , your skirt is too short”
was a comment I received from an unknown bearded stranger who tried asking for my number one day after seeing me leave the masajid. (I’ll leave my comments to myself but brother really)? It wasn’t even a skirt but an abaya which reached my ankle. Just have to defend myself there regardless.
Giving advice is one thing but criticising someone is another. I believe the former is highly encouraged. Which makes me remember something I heard Mufti Ismail Menk say in one of his talks on the issue of hijab. “Whatever level you are at, maintain it and try and get yourself on the next level” Having said that, we should aspire to be like the mother of the believers and the women of the Ansar and do our very best to dress appropriately meeting all the 7 conditions of Hijab.
Ramadan 2014 became my turning point and to those that are struggling to keep their hijab or to wear it properly, I’ll say we are human, no one is perfect but maybe by seeking knowledge, making constant du’a asking for guidance and making effort to do things the right way might help overcome your struggles. For Allah knows what lies in the hearts and only He can guide. The beauty of our intention is that it is between us and Allah سبحانه وتعالى. That Ramadan, I prayed that Allah سبحانه وتعالى would accept all good deeds, wipe all our sins without trace, grant us long life to witness the next holy month and keep us steadfast and be true believers for the Qur’an says:
The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful. (Surah An-Nur 24:51)
May we be identified as believers. Ameen
So what’s ur story? Are you struggling or what inspired you to start wearing the hijab? Do share.
Barakallahu feekum and Asalamu 'alaikum Your Sister in Islam (Umm Yusuf / Mina)
Insha allah please find the conditions of Hijab and the link to the ahadeeth quoted above.