Smile, Allah is With You


Guest writer TheSisterWhoSmiles describes how a few moments of boredom put to good use actually changed her life.

I’m a British-Pakistani teenage Muslimah Hijabi – living in England.

Naturally, there are many obstacles that I face every single day. I’m going to narrate some of them which have made me stronger, and which I hope you may be able to relate to.

When I started…

My “start hijab” story is rather odd. It was the Summer Holidays after an eventful and downright horrid year at school. I was exposed to some of the nasty things of the world. Bullying, racism, backbiting, lies, deceit… I did many wrong things, wanting to be like my supposed “friends”… but by the end of the academic year, I realised I had to stop. But I couldn’t. Well, that’s what I thought…

One morning during the holidays, I woke up and I was bored. So I did what any teenager would do when it rains for half your Summer – [welcome to Britain] – I went on the internet.

After wasting many hours trying to beat my own high score on a number of flash games, I had a sudden urge to click the “home” button and arrive at Google.

I sighed and typed in the first thing which entered my mind. “Muslim”. After I had typed it in, I must admit I was a bit shocked, as this would be the last thing to consciously enter my mind at that point in my life.

Nevertheless, I clicked and read, and clicked and read. As I sat in my Dad’s home office clicking away on the laptop, I looked to my left and stared out the window. It had finally stopped raining, which made me smile, and I could hear the beautiful chirping of birds in the distance. For the first time in a while, I appreciated the beauty of the world around me, and the blessings I had. I looked back at the screen and I saw some words which will stay with me forever and ever, insha’Allah: “Verily, with Hardship is Relief…” [94:5]

It was perfect for the moment and my life at the time.

The previous months of my life had been full of tears and shivers. My family didn’t have a clue of what was going on, and I was drifting from them… and more unfortunately, from my faith… Those five words: “Verily, with hardship is relief’ made me think and realise something. This sudden epiphany of realisation made me make good use of my day.

I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down what type of person I was. On the other side, I wrote down what I wanted to become. I then wrote down my priorities in life.

ISLAM kept coming up at the top of the list.

I had to change my lifestyle and become who I really was. A Muslim.

Through all this, I hadn’t thought about Hijab at all. I’d always thought Hijab was not obligatory, and none of my family did it, so I didn’t think I should.

I spent the whole day sitting in that large brown leather chair researching how others had changed, reading revert stories and learning about the lives of many, many great Muslims around the world.

The thought of Hijab hadn’t entered my mind until I had another urge to click on Google.

I googled HIJAB.

I read many Hijab stories and advice from sisters. I watched loads of videos on YouTube about how to style your Hijab. By this time I had industriously been taking notes. I had written a list: advantages if I theoretically started wearing hijab, and disadvantages. Everything I thought of came into the first column, and then I knew. I wanted to wear HIJAB.

I knew that it would be huge, and that everyone would be so curious, but I decided that I was never alone, Allah was always with me.

This may sound silly, but I felt like I reverted that day. I was born a Muslim, but I felt like a true, true Muslim that day. It was amazing, masha’Allah!

With that thought in mind, I went to my room and looked in the mirror. Hair caressing my shoulders. I tied it up and draped a shawl around me. For the first time in ages, I felt safe and secure and… happy.

I texted my best friend telling her the good news. Once I pressed the send button, I knew this was it. No going back. But I wasn’t scared. Not one bit. I was just filling up with light every second. I told my parents my decision, and at first they were pleased, but surprised… I had never been that religious, but now…I felt that it was what I needed. I went to sleep that night praying and thanking my Lord for showing me the beautiful light that is… HIJAB…

Consequently, the first day of my wearing my hijab, we received a knock on the door. A policeman stood in his bright yellow jacket. He told us to evacuate the house, as all other people on the street were being told to do the same. There was a suspected car bomb in a car down our street. As I wore my veil, I was confident in my appearance, and I knew deep down that I wasn’t alone. However, the stares I got that day as the neighbourhood saw me in my bright pink hijab, whilst everyone was talking about bombs… it was a little intimidating, but I got through the day.

The next day was the first day back at school. The first day of Year 9. I had thought of all the possible situations I might find myself in at school, and I had thought of the answers I would give to curious minds. When asked about why I started hijab, I would say: “So that people see me for who I am, rather than what I look like.”

I walked through the doors and was greeted by my friends. They were surprised to see me in my veil, but were smiling nevertheless.

The only time my heart sunk was when I was waiting outside History, on my first day, second lesson. I was waiting outside the classroom with some of my classmates whom I don’t speak to much. One of the boys saw me and sniggered. He nudged his mate who also smiled. The girls in their group caught sight of me and stared and sniggered, too. I felt like telling them that, no, I had not been betrothed to a camel owner in Syria and I had not been forced into wearing this cloth on my head. But I simply walked up to them and said. ‘Hi, Sirs, late again…’ I didn’t speak to these people much, but I still felt I had to approach them and prove to them that hijabis don’t alienate people.

I think Muslims sometimes forget that we must strive, even if it means we strive more than others. We need to be ambassadors of our faith and make a good example of it.

As the months went by, I continued wearing my hijab wherever I went. I enjoyed mixing and matching the colours of my hat and scarf. I also went and bought some plain long-sleeved tops to wear under my t-shirts, bright cardigans to wear over, and some beautiful long skirts.

I was so much more confident, and when I looked in the mirror after getting ready to go out, I felt beautiful… something I hadn’t felt for a while.

I also got into the habit of praying my Salah. I didn’t mix with non-mehram men, although sometimes I thought about maybe getting some male attention. I didn’t, though. Because I knew what was more important. However, this paid off. A classmate told me something which pleased me and makes me smile even now. He said: “You know, you’ve gained a lot of respect among us guys.” I had gained respect, not sexual attention.


The best thing of all is I had made a great decision in my life, and I had done it for my Lord. It made everything in my life good. Honestly.

Hijab is an amazing amazing thing.

Since I started Hijab (one year and 7 months ago, nearly) I have become a new person, who I am so happy to be.

I am smiling.

I smile at everything.

I love it.

I feel that I am a Muslim from my heart.

Verily, with hardship is relief.

So true. So, so, so true, sisters and brothers.

Since I “reverted,” I have met some amazing people who helped me in loads of ways; and groups like this give me courage and hope all the time.

Remember, you’re never alone, sisters and brothers… Allah is always with you, so never lose hope…

And smile.