Ya Ummi: Help Me Recommit

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Because your advice was so golden last time, we turn to you, our readers, again with a request for help. One of our sisters is struggling, striving to come closer to Allah. Please share your insights, advice and encouragement below. Our sister writes:

I wore the hijab for several years, I can’t say faithfully. At times I would take out the garbage without it, or even answer the door without regard to whether it was a muharam or not (unless of course I was made aware of visitors coming ahead of time). But aside from home, I wore it ritually. I was oblivious to passersby and whether they disliked it or not. I didn’t really care to notice. I made myself fit in whenever needed. Muslim and non-Muslim people often warmed up to me once they got past the outer shell of my hijab. I am myself. Very well balanced and secure with who I am. We all have our flaws, but the hijab was one thing I never let weigh me down nor stop me from living.

Sadly, at the request of my spouse I took it off. I don’t need to go into detail, but it happened. May Allah forgive me. It’s been about ten months. At first I felt bare, and ashamed without it. I was constantly hit by pangs of remorse and regret. Guilt would be the best word to describe what I was feeling. Slowly the guilt began to fade, but not to the point where it left my subconcious. With the removal of my hijab followed a disconcern for modest clothing. No, I didn’t go from no hijab to bikini, and I would say that I’ve kept myself slightly modest. T-shirts and jeans was as far as it went.

Now when I see girls covered I feel a sense of inadequacy and a need to return. My husband is also requesting that I put it back on. He’s content with the idea and wishes that he never requested otherwise. But this time it’s me. With the removal of my hijab, I also relinquished the bubble that I built around myself. I forfeited all thoughts of not caring what people think. I lost that security somewhere in the middle of materialism and comfort. I am too comfortable. I don’t stand out. I don’t grab negative attention. But I can’t help but feel it’s wrong. It’s so simple to just put the scarf back on, yet I am having trouble doing so. I look at past pictures of when I was wearing the hijab and find that they have a beautiful glow. It’s the contrary for the newer pictures. May Allah strengthen me and restore the ideals I once had.

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“Ya Ummi” is an IGIC column for asking and giving advice, so named because the person we often turn to when we don’t know what to do next is our mother. If you would like to submit your own “Ya Ummi” post, you can do so via the Contact form. Please note that this is not a place to seek fatwas, but rather a place to seek advice from others who may have gone through similar experiences. If you would like answers to fiqh issues, you can visit IslamQA.com or contact your local imam.

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