Unintended Bravery


When graduation day came, guest writer Amna A. did what she knew she had to do, without thinking twice about the alternative.

I just graduated from grade eight. I guess what you wear to graduation day is very important because that’s all the girls in my class could talk about.

I didn’t really find it such a big deal – I guess graduating’s a big thing, but they seemed more excited about the clothes and the hair. I was the only Muslim girl in my class (also the only girl who wore hijab), so lots of girls had no clue what I would wear. And in the frenzy of talking about hair and clothes they would accidentally ask me what I was doing with my hair. I would sort of just say, “Remember… hijab?” And they would apologize so much, even though I was okay with it. It was a simple mistake anyone could’ve made. Only my closest friends knew what I was wearing, they even helped me choose. But not from a store (I’m not allowed to go shopping alone), from my closet full of desi clothes. And I wore a dark green chalvar kameez with little sparkly purple stuff on it.

When I got to grad, everyone was wearing their little above-knee-length dresses, and then there was me fully covered. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t feel different at all, in fact I think I got the most compliments. I was so used to being the only one who wore hijab – I also didn’t go to the dance after grad, didn’t go the several grad parties before grad, and wasn’t allowed to go to the mall without my brother – that it felt no different to me.

The funny thing is, in my class I was known as the “scaredy cat.” You know, afraid to go into the dark classroom all alone, afraid of the big dogs that pass by our school yard during recess, afraid to speak too loudly in my own defense. One time my friend even tried teaching me how to be braver, more confident. But when I told other Muslim girls (that did and didn’t wear hijab) what I had worn to grad, they were so surprised they called me brave. I never thought I was doing anything special, anything different from what every other Muslim girl should be doing. And I’m not doing anything special; I’m doing what we were told to do.

This helped me realize that the Muslim girls of today’s time think that to act as a normal Muslim girl should is called doing something brave. If your intention is pure and you know that you are doing it for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then there should be no fear in your heart. I was shocked that what I was doing subconsciously was something that takes “courage” to do. It shouldn’t be difficult though, because if you truly love Allah ta’ala, you would do such things without thinking twice. I was never worried about what others would think about my looks, neither were many Muslim girls I know – and no Muslim girl should be. I even knew a few girls that did exactly what I did.

I always thought that I was scared of everything. But Alhamdullilah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gave me the courage within myself to fight away shaytan, and I hadn’t even realized it. Now that I know, I am so thankful to Him. It goes to show that He is always there helping us, whether we know it or not.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala help give us all the courage we need to do the right thing. Ameen.