Out of the Ordinary

8

Only those who have actually experienced hijab can tell you what it’s like, as guest writer Iman reflects.

Ask the experienced rather than the learned.” – Arab proverb

I grew up in an “ordinary” family. What is “ordinary,” you may ask? “Ordinary” as in not praying, listening to music, not wearing hijab, and leaving my heart to blacken while distancing myself more and more from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Over the past few years, Allah ta’ala has strengthened my eman and that of my family, and may He continue to strengthen it. Ameen.

Recently, all the females in my family have taken up the hijab, and alhamdulillah, even I, as a high school student living in a confused, frustrating, shameless western society, have started wearing it.

My role model, my older sister, was really the one who influenced me to start. Allah guided me through her. She was always there to tell me the differences between right and wrong, halal and haram.

My sister had her own faults and mistakes before she took up this righteous act, but alhamdulillah, Allah guided her from the path she was on. She went from just a scarf on her head with her regular clothes, to skirts, to abayas, to jilbabs, to the niqaab, masha’Allah. May Allah keep her that way and make her better!

One day, I came home from school wearing jeans with my hijab, and my sister and grandmother, who had just come back from a long trip, were dismayed to see me that way and commented on my attire. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it (after all, I’m just in high school, I told myself), but I went up to my room and contemplated over what they had said.

Later, I felt quite embarrassed and ashamed at myself, not because of how I appeared in front of my family, but rather because of where I stood in front of Allah ta’ala.

I ask Allah to guide all the Muslim sisters who have not yet understood the true meaning of the hijab, and I ask Him to guide those of us who understand it to implement it.

You never realize how important something is until you experience it for yourself, until you get a good dose of reality. For example, when someone passes away, you don’t know how this person’s loved ones really feel until someone close to you passes away. Similarly with hijab: you can read as much about it as you want, but until you adopt it for yourself, you will never experience the real and beautiful essence it can take in the heart.

It is an avenue to get closer to Allah, to feel respected, to be free from harm, and to feel like a Muslimah.

Hijab is a beautiful thing my dear sisters, and may you realize that before it’s too late. Remember not to let shaytan and the heedless people around you influence you and drag you into their pathetic ways. By Allah, you are better than them, inside and out!

Embrace hijab today, it comes with excellent benefits!

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Submitted to I Got It Covered for our May 2010 reader-takeover month.