My thoughts beautifully summarised by Megan Wyatt!! I really like this woman, she is just mashaAllah brilliant!
“To be really frank, I didn’t truly change for many years to come. I did the right things on the outside, but it took me a long time to be integrated as a person.
When I wore hijab, it was quite simply because I wanted to fit in, I wanted to do what the “pious girls” did from other countries. I didn’t think I counted as pious, and was a far stretch from being a truly practicing Muslimah the time I decided to take my Shahadah. In fact, it was during a dark period in my life that I decided Islam made irrefutable sense, may Allah reward those who gave me the first glimpses into Islam.
I bought my first hijab from a little Arabic halal store near my college campus from a random rack somewhere between spices and pita bread. It was a white cotton triangle. The day I wore it I got out the only long dress I think I had ever owned, an ankle length dress from my highschool graduation, and put it on, found something with long sleeves, and tied the scarf on. I watched myself as I waked by the windows in the city. I hardly knew who the girl looking back at me was – but it was me.
I felt beautiful, and amazing.
To all my sisters not yet covering – I think what I say here will echo the thoughts of many where their voices have failed you.
We all know about covering in order to conceal our sexual nature and beauty, but we often forget the beautiful verse from the Qur’an which states that we cover so that we would be known and recognized as believing women.
No, not perfect women, not women who never make mistakes, not women who are supposed to be someone else’s billboard for Islam.
Just believing women…. and what an honor there is in being known for and as a woman who believes in the Merciful One who made us?
From where I stand, I see covering as a total upgraded way of living and being.
No, you are right, there are plenty of women who cover that backbite and gossip, sin behind closed doors, and do haram things.
But you see, one cannot decide how they will obey their Lord based on the ways others decide to disobey Him.
Covering the way Allah asks is not meant to make you lesser than a man, an invisible being who has no voice, no choice, barred from a life that is rich, beautiful, and full of joy.
It’s not meant to be a man’s way of controlling you, or your way of controlling him.
To cover is an act of worship – and before anything else, we all need to bring the conversation back to it’s rightful place.
Wudu is an act of worship, Salah is an act of worship, giving sadaqa(charity) is an act of worship, and thus, adorning the body with haya (modesty) is also an act of worship.
If you see others being stingy, please, still give sadaqa.
If you find others neglecting their Salah, please still pray.
And if you see others covering but failing to be a good sister to you, please, still cover.
Look into your heart and know that the One who matters is much greater, and He has made no mistake in His book.
You see, Allah knows you were going to live in 2012, and live perhaps in a place where you would be the minority, where people might look at your funny, where covering sets you apart from the rest, and indeed, this is a test.
But not because He wants you to fail, to feel isolated, rejected, and subjugated to harsh treatment.
Allah chose you, sister, and me to live in these times where they say we are free, but mentally, we are imprisoned to believe that to be equal, and live life, we can’t live with modesty.
Allah chose you. Allah chose you. Allah chose you. And He did not make a mistake.
What is waiting for you in this act of worship?
Yes, people might stare, they might gawk, they might even say something mean. But that’s because they afraid, afraid of losing their own sense of normalcy, security, and freedom.
I will not let their ignorance stop me from obeying Allah, but I ask Allah to allow me to be that person who gives their heart a glimpse at mercy.
Yes, it’s true, you don’t get the same attention and validation from men for covering up, and in this world, it’s hard to cover up when we are taught is the only way to finally be loved. Attract a man, get his hand, and finally it’s happily married after all.
But I can tell you that marriage and love will bring joy in your life, but alone, even that cannot fulfill you. On the other side of that love are other tests, tests that run deep, and will bring you even faster to your knees seeking help from Allah.
Not because Allah wants you to cry, not because marriage is miserable, but because all of life is a test, and in our most intimate spaces are some of our most challenging tests.
I can promise you that anything gained through the disobedience of Allah cannot even COMPARE to something gained through the obedience of Allah.
Maybe you are afraid to obey Allah in covering because then you have to become perfect. You don’t want to be a hypocrite. That is a sincere thought, but I fear that it is wrong.
Don’t worry about trying to be perfect, or what people will think and say. Focus again, on Allah, the One who your soul departs to one day. There is a moment when you and I will not awake, and we’re going to be far far away from the eyes of “those people” whoever they are in your mind.
And I would guess those people have names and faces don’t they? Your friends, maybe even your best friend, or your mother and aunt, or even your own husband.
Worship is for Allah…. never let anyone else’s insecurities, fears, and uncertainties stop YOU from following that which Allah prescribed.
And a final thought is that when you do come to the masjid, the house of Allah, or come to an Islamic event, then use this as a chance to practice covering.
It’s not more hypocritical to put something on and then take it off. It is a sign of respecting not just the houses of Allah, but His slaves and servants.
When we sit in a gathering of knowledge, or a place where we have come for His sake, then it is a higher standard for all of us to practice our best manners, clean our hearts, create intentions for Allah alone, and dress and act according to Islam.
The more we practice a behavior, the more it becomes a part of us.
Finally.. I have to remember for myself that the very first person who died because of Islam was a woman. A woman, a mother, a daughter…. a woman. She was tortured and stabbed to death left to bleed and die in agony.
Allah loved her, and she is the first to be a martyr for Islam. She was hated for being Muslim, she was hated for practicing Islam, but she never let anyone take her faith away. She died, can you imagine? She died, and here we sit on Facebook over a thousand years later wondering what it means to be a Muslim woman in Islam, why do we have to have it so hard…why can’t it be easier. Most of us have it so easy.
Aisha and Fatima nearly starved to death, and Khadijah, she died in a valley, suffering with the others who were thrown out of Mecca living in a narrow barren valley. The children starved there, and the women cried, and .the agony could be heard for miles away
The Prophet, saw, wept at the passing of Khadijah, and never ever forgot her. Ever.
Look deeper into what it means to be a Muslim woman, deeper than the cloth, but do not disregard it either. Let us not belittle what Allah, the Creator every human, flower, tree, cloud, planet, and solar system and beyond has said was asked of us .
Just begin with submission to Him, and ask Him to guide you, ask Him to show you what you need to see, read, learn, or know for this act of worship to be a part of you. Allah is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful, and He loves those who repent, those who seek His help.
If you ever wanted to be loved, and be certain, than a moment of true taubah, of turning around, is it! And what more do we humans ever want than to find love in our darkest moments when we want to climb up again out of the dark hole we have slipped into.
Pretty much my journey towards the hijab too..I wore the piece of fabric but never really understood its value until a couple of years back, almost felt like a revert..someone who had just entered Islam, even though I was a born Muslim..subhanAllah..
Indeed, Allah swt guides whom He wants!