Still Waiting

4

Self-evaluation goes a long way in figuring out what delays us from that which is ultimately beneficial for us.

There are some sisters that truly recognize the beauty of hijab despite not shrouding themselves in it. They may practice hijab internally if not by wrapping a fabric around their heads and over their chests. And still, there are others who are completely or partially oblivious to the essence of hijab. I can still recall one sister opening her mouth in awe when she learned the true meaning of hijab and the many ways it could help her.

“You should try it one day,” I ventured, internally hoping that it would boost her confidence and excited at the possibility of her becoming a hijabi.

Her eyes averted my face and she bit her lip. “I don’t think I’m ready.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Hijab is certainly not an easy transition phase—a change in attire and attitude, adjustment to how people perceive you and not to mention the array of explanations you must give to both the curious and shocked acquaintances of yours.

But, besides the heavy weight of change, what is it that prevents a sister to be ready for hijab? After all, this is not some organic chemistry test that no matter how hard we study for it, we still do not quite feel ready to take it. Rather, even if we haven’t mastered the material, we do not have a choice to opt out of taking the test—unless if we want to fail the course, that is.

“I need this moment—an inspiring moment that just tells me it’s the right time to begin. I’m still waiting for it.”

I did agree with this sister partially. Inspiration is something that we seek daily in our lives and it beautifully weaves in when we aren’t even looking for it. But I couldn’t help thinking also—was this simply an excuse to delay wearing hijab? Reluctance is natural, hesitation instinctual. But can it also be Shaytan playing with natural emotions to hinder you from obeying your Lord?

In attempting to wait for the right moment to start wearing hijab, our lives could be over. And what constitutes as an inspirational moment? Can it be something as simple as a sudden realization while conversing with another about hijab or does it have to be as complex as a life-threatening situation?

So to the sisters who are brushing on the border, calmly waiting—what is it exactly, dear sister, that you are waiting for? If you have the understanding and even an ounce of desire to start wearing the hijab, why prolong embarking on this beautiful journey? As you can already attest, time proceeds without any empathy towards our needs. We are struggling to please others while countless become victims of terrible crimes. We aspire to become better individuals and Muslims while unconsciously back-tracking to bad habits. If anything, we need some more iman in our dunya-focused lives.

So it’s time to battle those internal dialogues. You may want to start wearing hijab, but you don’t feel ready.

Ask yourself, what steps do I need to take to become better equipped? A friend to confide in, perhaps? A closer reading of the Qur’an to be inspired once again. A shopping trip to buy some beautifully patterned scarves. A prayer to your Lord to make it easy for you to make this transition.

Give a time period, a deadline if you will. This Monday, in addition to cramming for that exam and going on that lunch date with friends, you’re also going to start wearing hijab. Maybe it won’t be perfect the first time around but it’s surely a start. Gradually, you’ll become better at it, you’ll adjust, and be confident.

I know I make it sound much easier than it really is. But the reality is that the longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Contemplate for a moment: what inspiration is better needed than the desire to please our Creator? If you knew of an enriching way to become a more cohesive Muslim, why would you leave it for the future? Insha’Allah, you will find the ability and confidence to stop waiting, and to start wearing.

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