Secret Hijab Rendezvous


An inspiring story about the hopelessness of wearing the hijab in opposition but ultimately finding reliance upon Allah.

She glanced at herself in the mirror, as I stood in the backdrop of fainted light.  “You’re going to have to tell them, you know?” I said.  The school bell bellowed through the hallway and our eyes met in the mirror, as she assuredly replied,  “I know. Someday soon, I’ll have to tell them”. She turned to me and motioned for me to pass her backpack to her. As we walked to class my eyes caught our reflections in the passing windows; our hijabs on, but our struggles seemed a far cry from the same.

Life has taught me at length about the world of secrets. Secrets can sometimes just be an exchange of words. They can be buried deep or hover on the surface of day-to-day life. Secrets can sometimes create a realm of their own and anchor us there to protect the ones we love and even ourselves from disappointment or anger. Her secret did all of the above. I remember her telling me that she didn’t want to upset her parents but this was a matter of displeasing her Lord.  She wanted the title of muhajaba but her parents feared that the title would come accompanied with labels of hatred and misunderstanding.  They imagined that their daughter would never be seen as anything other than the cloth she had chosen to don.

I remember each morning was like clockwork. We would have our hijab rendezvous before our first period class. We would meet at my locker and venture down the hall to the washroom where she would pass me her bag, open it and pull a hijab from it. She would place her pin on the ledge of the sink and meticulously wrap her hijab around her head before fastening it in place. She always did a double take glance in the mirror and a smile would break across her face. I always stood by the door lost in my own thoughts. I admired the bravery of this courageous girl but feelings of worry always managed to grapple me. “Your parents will understand if you just talk to them”, was my oft-repeated advice. Her rebuttal, always the same, “you don’t know them. They don’t want this for me”.

I often thought about why her parents would cause her to keep a secret of this caliber from them. She was consumed in a monsoon of fear and anger and they were unaware of their daughter’s turmoil. I knew they loved their daughter and wanted what was best for her but I couldn’t help but share her sentiments of feeling like we had hit an immovable roadblock.

Days and weeks rolled by and the day finally came when she said she was ready to tell them. I told her I would see her in the morning, God willing, and hopefully we would be basking in the light of her parent’s approval. No such news slipped from her lips the following morning. “They said they don’t want me to make such a big decision at such a young age and without thinking about it first”, she said as her voice broke. “Don’t they know I’ve thought about this!” Another friend and I consoled her as she simply kept asking, “What do I do now?” I was at a loss of words and feared that my all to simple advice may not prove effective in this situation.

I went home that evening in hopes that I could find an answer to help her. I searched the web for lectures on hijab, the struggle associated with the hijab, and even the dilemma of youth and parental disagreements. My words filled the search box on various Islamic websites and each time, no formidable answer arose. Type, backspace, type, backspace and finally, in a last ditch attempt, I typed in “hopelessness”.  The first link read “ayahs from Surat Qaf”, so I continued to click on it and read aloud:

“Do they not see the sky above them  – how We have built and adorned it, with no rifts in it; how We spread out the earth and put solid mountains on it, and caused every kind of joyous plant to grow in it, as a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God; and how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens, the harvest grain, and tall palm trees laden with clusters of dates, as provisions for everyone; how with water We give [new] life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge [from their graves]”
(Qaf: 6-11)


“We created man – we know what his soul whispers to him; We are closer to him than his jugular vein”

My heart shuddered inside my chest at the realization that hopelessness; unseen desperation and ultimately secrets didn’t truly exist. Allah’s knowledge encompasses all things and He knows all that was, all that is and all that will be. Everything is under His ownership and control and He takes what He gives, whenever He wills. He knows us better than we know ourselves and it is our Lord and Master that knows our struggles, intentions and our day-to-day battles of striving for His sake.

As I read the ayahs to her and our other friend the following day, we all cried at the beauty of the words and the renewed hope that our hearts soaked in. She said she would read the ayahs to her parents that night. Later that evening, she instant messaged me. “They said I could try and see how it goes!”, the excitement in her words nearly leaped out of the screen. “Alhamdulillah”, I quickly typed back. “This is such excellent news!” Alhamdulillah, by the mercy and grace of Allah, she has been wearing the hijab ever since. Over the years her parents have grown to be more accepting of their daughter’s religious commitments. Although, some days are harder than others, she tells me that she has never regretted her decision.

I’ve learned that we irrevocably underestimate the beauty and strength of Allah’s words. It is through His words that hearts are opened and mended. The unmatched eloquence of the Qur’an is where all of life’s answers lie, if only we took the time to seek them out.

Through secret hijab rendezvous, I’ve grown to appreciate the strength of so many of our sisters who are fighting for the right to wear their hijab. I’ve taken for granted the days I simply walked out the door with my hijab intact by no one’s voice but my own. May Allah subhana wa ta’la grant us all strength to please Him, to guide us and our family members to actions and deeds that please Him and forgive us and our parents for our mistakes. May He make the Qur’an the light that illuminates the road when we’ve lost our way and may the words set our hearts aglow. Ameen.

“…so remind, with this Qur’an, those who fear my warning”