Your Hand Will Be a Witness

19

Although she’d worn the hijab for a long time, guest writer Fatima shares the thoughts and milestones of an important realization.

I’ve been wearing the “hijab” for a long time – for nearly seven years. And what I mean by “hijab” is wearing a khimar, a scarf on my head. Throughout elementary school and middle school, I never even thought about wearing full hijab. I always thought that girls who wore full hijab had a superiority complex about themselves… that just because they wore proper hijab, they assumed they were automatically better. Not to mention they judged girls who wore a khimar with skinny jeans, calling it “half-hijab.”

During grade nine, I started to care a little more about Islam. I tried to learn more Qur’an and I was a little more conscious of Allah, but not by much. I felt horrible for not acting like a Muslim should during the day. I barely prayed, I swore a lot, I cracked dirty jokes, and to top it off, I didn’t even care if I wore hijab or not. But, almost every night, as I was going to bed, I was terrified of dying. I was scared because I knew if I died then, I would be in big trouble. So, I made dua every night to Allah not to let me die then, and to give me a chance to change.

I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t think I had the strength to change it.

By the end of the school year, I did change – not by much, though. I wore more loose-fitting clothing and covered my body most of the time, but I didn’t wear skirts. Why not? Because I hated skirts. I thought they were absolutely constricting. I had no problem with abayas, I just thought they weren’t appropriate for school.

I remember on July 2nd, 2009, my Qur’an teacher was giving a lecture about the lessons Luqman taught his son. He was specifically talking about this ayah:

O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.” [31:17]

At the end, he asked us all if we understood the importance of prayer and forbidding evil and enjoining good, and said that we would have to raise our hands if we did. Naturally, everyone did. He then told us that our hands would be witnesses against us on the Day of Judgement if we didn’t change.

That absolutely terrified me because I realized, then, that if I didn’t start praying I would be doomed in the Hereafter. So during July, I tried my best to pray all my prayers, but my only problem was Fajr. I didn’t have an alarm clock, so I couldn’t wake up to pray Fajr, and no one else in my family bothered to pray it.

I remember a week and a half later, a girl I’d known for a year (but didn’t go to school with) came up to me and asked, “Why don’t you wear the proper hijab?” Thinking she was joking, I said, “I bet you don’t wear it either.” Her face went blank as she said, “I do, and you should too.” Here words shocked me because, normally, she wasn’t a very serious person.

After that exchange, I contemplated the idea of wearing proper hijab. I didn’t mind it, but I still wasn’t sure if I was ready. I thought I would eventually wear it, but probably after high school. It felt as if I was being pulled in two different directions, and I didn’t know what to choose. I wanted to wear the proper hijab, but I thought that I didn’t have the strength to keep it on.

A few weeks later, on August 1st, 2009, I was watching a lecture on YouTube about death that made me reflect. What if I died before I was eighteen? What would I say to Allah? That I was intending to wear hijab in three years, but didn’t because I had died before that? At that moment, I turned to my younger sister and promised that I was going to wear proper hijab from that moment on, and that I’d keep it up during coming school year. Within the same week, my mother bought me an alarm clock so I could pray Fajr and wake up my entire family for it as well.

A year after making that promise, I’ve managed to keep it. I’m a full-hijabi. Not only that, I’m a full hijabi that prays alhamdulillah. My advice to others struggling with their hijab is to start praying first, because as Allah says in the Qur’an:

Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” [29:45]

I also advise you to make lots of dua – dua for Allah to guide you to wearing proper hijab, and to give you the strength to wear it. A piece of adviceI have to sisters who wear hijab (masha’Allah, by the way!): Never judge a Muslimah that doesn’t wear the hijab correctly. Instead, explain to her the importance of wearing the hijab using kind words – it’s much more effective.

And to everyone: Always put your trust in Allah, you’ll never be unsatisfied with the outcome.