Ya Ummi: She Won’t Understand

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One of our sisters is struggling, striving to come closer to Allah. Please share your insights, advice and encouragement below. Our sister writes:

Ya Ummi,

I belong to a cultural Muslim family, and about a month ago I decided to wear the hijab. When I started, my father was pleased with my decision but my mother didn’t take it too well. At first she would politely tell me how the hijab is not compulsory and how religion is something personal. I would remain quiet and never argued back. As the days passed and she saw how serious I was, her attempts at stopping me from wearing it became harsher. Her words became more hurtful. One or more times the situation blew out of proportion; I was called extremist, backward, how no one would marry me, how I embarrassed my mother. She even refused to go out and be seen with me.

I was always quiet, however. I knew she meant the best for me or at least what she thought was the best for me. I would forgive and forget and would tell her how much I loved her. But the guilt ate me alive. My mother is not a very healthy person. She has suffered from a lot of health conditions. I knew I was causing her pain –and my own pain was too much to bear.  I tried to brighten up my hijab,  show her that Islam is not extreme; it’s the moderate path. But to no avail.

I went weak; I took it off. Things are normal with my mother now, but its not the same. I feel like I failed Allah; like I am not good enough a Muslim. I lack courage to go against my mother again. I know that is wrong. Please sisters help me. What should I do to get that courage back ? How do I make her accept my Hijab ?

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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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