Ups and Downs

9

Guest writer Muslimah Learner shares her personal story of how Allah guided her to the proper hijab.

Image courtesy of minidan49

My journey to hijab was a roller coaster ride, having a lot of ups and downs. When I was in college, it was “in fashion” or “cool” to wear hijab amongst girls my age. So I too would wrap a piece of cloth on my head without knowing the true purpose of that  “piece of cloth.” I felt the girls around me looked so pretty with hijab covering their heads and so pretty much the majority of the crowd was wearing it meaninglessly, like I was.

I was born in a house where the male members would occasionally pray the Salah while it was mainly my mother’s duty to pray — a cultural myth of my country– as a mother’s prayers are looked at as a source of blessing for the children. I too was not regular in my prayers, and would pray whenever I felt like it. I was “seasonal Muslim.” It often gave me guilt that I would only pray when I needed something, like ease in my exams or some wish of mine; but I was influenced by shaytan so much that I often left praying altogether instead of protecting  my 5.

Shaytan often whispered to me things like: ‘you are a hypocrite;  you are praying to show off your love for Allah but in reality you just need some goodies from Him.’  This sense of guilt often took away from my already weak and broken prayers (I seek Allah’s protection from that).

As time progressed, my prayers kept getting further and further away from me, and so did my hijab. This valuable piece of cloth became lost somewhere dark enough that I even forgot about it. I started to wear the cultural “duppata” to cover my head, instead of hijab; no Salah, no hayaa, no understanding of Islam, and I was only covering my head for some sort of mental satisfaction.

Then after a long gap where I had gotten busy with my practical life, one day I accidentally bumped across some Islamic material while surfing online. I came across some videos which inspired me to know about Islam. The things attributed to religion that I had going on around me were merely self-made.  But these videos seemed to portray Islam in its true sense. I initially overlooked them and tried to ignore them as it was difficult for me to accept. But my curiosity inside me was pushing me to find out if they were true.

I started looking into some free Islamic material and blogs. I watched videos by famous Islamic figures like Dr. Zakir Naik (may Allah bless them with good in both worlds), which became a big motivation for me. I eventually dedicated my online time to Islamic reading, and I came across many things that continued to boost my Iman. It became my hobby to search the Islamic point of view on certain things, but later I got hungrier for knowledge.

Alhamdulillah, I started praying again (yes I got my 5 back!) As I would try to keep khushu’ in my prayers, I often had thoughts about the hijab. I reflected over how I had started in the past and it eventually got lost over time. I felt ashamed.

One day I decided to explore my closet again and rediscover my long lost friend. I found my hijab, put it on, and covered myself modestly. My iman was at its peak; I was highly motivated, and for the first time I felt worthy of the HIJAB.  Since then I am still a hijabi, alhamdulillah.

It was not that easy at first. My own family who loved me so much and who never discouraged me about things –was the first resistance I faced. Firstly, everyone took it as another seasonal fad for the hijab, but when they realized it was more than that, I faced a lot of heated arguments. Sometimes I would get angry myself and things would get out of hand. They never liked it as it seemed to them as a backward practice and a lot of people would ask them, “why do you force your daughter to hide herself in a scarf? She is still young, let her live. She can do all this when she grows older.” Despite all the resistance, I was firm with my decision. My siblings ridiculed me as “terrorist”  and other things, and sometimes it would hurt me badly but Allah gave me strength to ignore my family’s comments.

My journey from hijab to jilbab was not long after that. After some months I realized that something was missing. I was praying my salah regularly, reading and learning about Islam, quitting music, trying to get away from any evil around me –but what next? I would read a lot of articles on IGIC which gave me more motivation. Stories of our dear sisters made me stronger. So finally, I started to wear the jilbab to please Allah and gain more of His love, and so I could be closer to my Creator. SubhaAllah, what an experience it was! For the first time in my life, I felt fully covered, safe and secure. I felt like a pearl, a gem. I felt precious, a true Muslimah –the way my Rabb wants me to be, alhamdulillah!

Again it was not easy for me. Hijab was difficult to digest to begin with by the men in my family (as my mother was neutral about it; her thoughts were ‘let her play with the hijab, and when she will feel like she will leave it’) — so imagine how the reaction was to the  jilbab!  The fact is though, that when you start to walk on the path of Allah, people will try to stop you or make things difficult for you; however Allah makes it easy for you. With all the bad words and criticism you face patiently, the more reward you get, inshaAllah.

From that day on, I am a trying to be a better Muslimah. Day by day I face many things that increase my faith more and more. I haven’t taken off my jilbab or my hijab. My family has accepted my changes alhamdulillah, and I always pray that Allah gives them hidayah ameen. I also got married to a righteous spouse alhamdulillah, and he is very supportive in following the Deen –may Allah bless him with high ranks in Jannah  allow us to be  together in jannah ameen.

He has completed half my Deen and we are on the path of Allah together with the mercy of Allah. May Allah bless us with a righteous child and may he or she follow the path of Allah till the Day comes. Ameen.

Regards,
Muslimah Learner

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