Overcoming My Inner-Self



It was 8:45 in the morning as I stood in front of the full-length mirror in my parent’s bedroom – the one mirror perfect for assessing how your entire outfit looks. I was getting ready to go to university, just like any other day, and one of my rituals after changing into my clothes is to traipse down the hall to the master bedroom and see how the outfit looks put-together.

I was wearing one of my favourite hijabs: an off-white pashmina from H&M that has black line detailing down the sides. My shirt was a long black-and-white striped Henley that stopped just above my knees, and my jeans were a beautiful dark blue – a recent purchase. However, it was the fit of the jeans that was making me stand in front of the mirror longer than usual that day, my eyebrows furrowed together in deep consideration.

You see, the jeans were a little bit too tight, and as I stood there in front of the mirror that cloudy Thursday morning, I was having an inner battle with what can be a person’s worst enemy: themselves.

It’s okay… my inner-self told me, your long shirt is modest so it’s okay if your jeans are tight…

But tight-jeans are a no-no! My conscious shot back.

We all know with hijab comes the necessity to dress modestly. It is sometimes thought that once you have worn the hijab, you’ve won your battle against Shaitaan since you’ve defeated the inner whisperings that once held you back from achieving such a great goal. But like it says in the Quran:

“We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities” (47:31).

Thus, with every step we take comes a new test from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.  Shaitaan will try his utmost in attempting to sway a believer in every level of his or her imaan, whether that level is weak or strong, and he gives no special consideration to leave out the Muslim woman: the woman who is on the path to fortify her devotion to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and remain persistent in following His decree for covering her beauty.

So although the issue of whether to wear the hijab or not is long-gone for me, it is now replaced with a struggle to make sure that the rest of my outfit conforms to the commandments of hijab.

A few minutes later, as I still stood in front of the mirror contemplating my decision, my sister called out to tell me to hurry, because she couldn’t be late for class.

I’m ready! I answered back, and with that I turned quickly on my heels, marched to my closet, and yanked out another pair of dark blue jeans – this time, a loose flare.

Shaitaan can whisper to me all he wants; he can attempt to persuade me in wearing tight jeans or short shirts so that I may seem more fashionable and attractive, but my determination to strive on the right path will always outshine his feeble efforts, insha’Allah, and hopefully teach him not to mess with me again.

Changing quickly into the new and ‘haya-approved’ outfit, I grabbed my bag and keys, and with a confident smile and content heart, left for school.