Words in My Heart

8

When faced with opposition, as guest writer Dewi was, how do you find the strength to overcome the obstacles and wear hijab anyway?

I would like to share my story about how I came to observe the hijab.

I am an Indonesian woman. I am now thirty-eight years old, married and have three kids.

My story began in November 2007, while my family and I were living in Courbevoie, France. My husband had received an international assignment from the company he worked for in Indonesia, so we moved to France in August of 2004. When we did, all my day-to-day activities changed. I took care of my family without any help, unlike in Indonesia, where I had a helper. My youngest was only four months old at the time. Alhumdulillah, it was a valuable experience for me.

Every two weeks, some Indonesian friends and I would have a gathering to read Qur’an together or to listen to some tawsyiah (naseehah). Despite that, at the time, I never had any intention of wearing the hijab. I never considered changing anything about myself either.

However, after my vacation to Indonesia, things changed. During the trip, I met someone in Indonesia who reminded me about the importance of observing the hijab for Muslim women. I felt that what he was saying was right, but I did not know when I would start wearing the hijab.

Ever since then, his words always remained in my heart. What was strange was whenever I was outside my house after that, I felt as if I was exposing myself because I left my hair uncovered and my outfit was not following the guidelines that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has set out for women. I felt so uncomfortable and this feeling became stronger day after day.

In October 2007, a couple of days after the month of Ramadhan, I told my husband about my intention to wear the hijab. I told him it was not because I considered myself a pious woman, but that it was an act of obedience to Allah’s command. My husband was unhappy with my choice.

As a side note, my husband is a Muslim convert. Alhamdulillah, he became a Muslim several months before we got married in 1995. He was, like myself, not very knowledgeable about Islam, and he was worried about what his colleagues and his boss would think if I were wearing the hijab.

Every time I brought it up, he told me that he would not support my decision to wear the hijab. But my intention remained firm.

In the mean time, I observed seven days of fasting after Ramadhan, or as we know it, syawal fasting (fasting during the month of Shawwal). I prayed Istikharah and prayed that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala would strengthen me.

One morning in the first week of November 2007, I was ready to send my kids to school, as usual, only this time I wore my hijab. My husband prepared himself to go to work and when he saw me, he stared but remained silent. I kept on doing dhikr, remembrance, of Allah and prayed to Him that He would ease the days that followed.

Alhamdulillah, day after day and month after month my husband, did not say a word regarding my hijab. Now, alhumdulillah, he is the one who is always there to support me in wearing my hijab correctly and dressing according to the command of Allah. Alhamdulillah, now he is trying his best to learn about Islam.

I pray that my story will be beneficial to you, and inspire you to take that step closer to Allah.

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

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