By A Revert Muslim Sister who
One of the most difficult decisions many Muslim sisters face is the
decision to start wearing hijab. This is certainly true for reverts, but
may also be true for sisters whose families or even whose cultures are not
particularly observant. As a revert myself, I have been through the whole
thing. I would like to offer some advice that I hope inshallah will be
helpful to sisters who are considering wearing hijab but find that
something is holding them back.
The first step is to learn about hijab. There is so much information out
there. Many Muslim sisters who will assist you in this regard.
Deciding to wear Hijab
This is where the difficulties usually come in. For many sisters, it truly
is a jihad. I remember very vividly how scared I was the first day I put
on the headscarf and went out into public. As long as you are just wearing
the modest clothes, nobody has to know that you are a Muslim. Once you
complete your hijab with the headscarf, you are suddenly announcing to
everyone who sees you that "I am a Muslim". Here is some advice based on
my own experiences.
Wear it for the sake of Allah SWT
Various statements are made about why you should wear hijab, such as for
modesty or for protection, but the real reason that we wear hijab is that
Allah SWT has commanded it. Whenever anyone asks you, why do you dress
like that, that's the only answer you need to give them.
Allah SWT is the source of everything we have, our existence, our life,
our capability, even our goodness. If He ever stopped sustaining us, we
would vanish in that instant. If He ever took away what he gives us, we
would never have even a speck of it. If we worked for millions of years,
we could never repay Him for all that He has given us. And yet He does
give it to us, and all He asks in return is that we do our best to obey
what He has commanded us. Surely wearing hijab is a very small thing that
you can do for Him compared to what He does for you!
Wear it for the hope of Jannah
Allah SWT makes tests for us in this world. He makes things difficult for
us. He wants to see if we will remember Him, if we will have faith in Him,
and if we will trust in Him. These qualities are what is meant by "sabr".
Allah SWT does not lose the work of anyone, ever (see Surah Ali Imran ayah
195). Even if it seems like nobody is paying attention to you or notices
or appreciates good things that you do, Allah SWT has seen them, and He
will not forget them. Even when it seems like the whole world is against
you, Allah SWT is always there for you when you turn to Him. Remember
Allah SWT always wants the best for us and in His wisdom He knows why each
thing that happens to us is in fact best for us. When it seems like
everything is going wrong and life is just one disaster after another, it
is easy to forget this and to become bitter and skeptical. Yet we must
remember always to have faith that Allah SWT knows best why He has willed
this for us, and we must always ask Him only "Make me pleased with what
You have willed for me".
This world we live in, although it seems at times to be the only real
thing, is actually fleeting compared to the Hereafter, which is better and
more abiding. The trials of this world will seem as fleeting as a
nightmare when seen from the Hereafter, and the pleasures of this world
will also seem as fleeting as a dream when seen from the Hereafter. It's
our happiness in the Hereafter that we should be most worried about
attaining, because it is what will last forever; and it's our suffering in
the Hereafter that we should be most worried about avoiding, because it
also will last forever.
Allah SWT has promised Jannah to those who remain steadfast in their faith
in Him and who trust in Him. The more difficult it is for you to have sabr,
the greater the reward for it. So what will it be? Ease in this world, and
perhaps the eternal sufferings in Hell? Or difficulty in this world, and
inshallah the eternal bliss of Jannah? Let's face it, the old cliches are
true: there's no such thing as a free lunch and you can almost never have
your cake and eat it too. We've all got to face difficulties some time.
Better by far that they be in the world than in the Hereafter.
So that's what you should set your mind to. Yes, it's difficult to wear
hijab. You may be rejected by your family or your friends, you may face
harassment and persecution or be fired from your job. These are very scary
thoughts. But if you have sabr and keep trusting in Allah SWT, I swear to
you sister, this is the path to Jannah, and when you look back on the Day
of Qiyamah you will know that it was worth it and have no regrets.
Wear it today and trust in Allah SWT for tomorrow
What do I mean by that? What I mean is that you should take it one day at
a time, or even one outing at a time. Sometimes the future seems to
stretch on forever and ever and you don't think you can make it that long.
You want to give up before you even begin.
So sometimes the best thing to do is to keep you mind focused on what is
immediately at hand. Allah SWT will take care of the future. If you have
to go out to the market, then concentrate on being able to wear hijab just
for this activity and on getting through it. If you do get through it and
nothing bad happened, then give thanks to Allah SWT for making it easy for
you, and turn your mind to your next outing.
Or if you have to go out to school or work, then concentrate on being able
to wear hijab just for this one day and on getting through it. And give
thanks to Allah SWT when you have made it, and turn your mind to the next
Eventually the outings will turn into days and the days into weeks, and
the weeks into months. One day you will realize that you have been wearing
hijab for quite a long time and it isn't really as bad as you feared, and
Allah SWT helped you get through it. Don't be ashamed. Sometimes it is
like this. The most important thing is to have sabr and keep your trust in
Allah SWT always.
Wear it and spite the shaytan
My dear sister, the worries and fears in your mind are the whisperings of
the shaytan. He wants to talk you out of obeying Allah SWT.
It is very easy to keep going around in circles in your mind and to dwell
on all the things that could go wrong. I know that I myself have a
tendency to do this, I put it off and I dither and I wait for "the perfect
time". If I let myself, I would never do anything at all!
So the thing you have to remember is that you do not need to be perfect in
iman to wear hijab. If perfection were a qualification, where is the
sister who could wear it??
You must also not fall into the trap of thinking that you should wait
until all your worries and fears have disappeared. They never will! Trust
me on this, sister.
True courage is going ahead to do what's right even though you are still
nervous and scared. So don't listen to the shaytan. Ignore the worries and
fears he whispers into your mind. Tell him that you will not let him keep
you from obeying Allah SWT and you will not let him rule your life.
Make the decision to wear it
Once you have come to know in your heart that you must wear hijab, then
you have to set a day and
JUST DO IT !!
This is the only way. Set a day and when that day comes, you have to do
it. Don't back down. Don't give up. Do it.
Offer salat al-istikhara. Make du'a. Make lots of du'a. Do not stop making
du'a. Ask Allah SWT to give you strength. Ask Him to make it easy for you.
Ask Him to help you. He will, I swear it to you. He is always there for
you when you turn to Him. Remember how much He has given you, how
everything that you have, even your very existence, is due to Him.
Remember that He deserves this from you. Remember the promise of Jannah.
Remember that remaining patient and faithful through difficulty now may
lead to Jannah, inshallah. Even if bad things happen, keep these thoughts
in your mind. Don't worry about tomorrow. Just concentrate on getting
through today, and leave tomorrow to Allah SWT until it gets here.
That's how you do it.
Final Words of Encouragement
I have been wearing hijab since September 1999. I do not regret it. I have
never for one instant regretted it. I do not regret it even one iota.
Inshallah, you will discover that you feel the same. Even within a few
months I came to feel that I would not be properly dressed if I went out
not wearing hijab. This is when you know that you have made it!
Never feel that you are alone, or that you are the only one who is scared
and worried and nervous. Just about every other sister who has travelled
down this road has gone through the same things. I know I have. Your
sisters are here for you. We have been where you are. We are encouraging
you and cheering you on. We know what it takes because we had to find that
in ourselves too. We are praying for your success just as we prayed for
Come and join us.
Allah does not burden a soul except what it can bear. For it is what it
has earned, and upon it is what it has made due. "Our Lord and Sustainer,
do not condemn us if we forget or do wrong. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not
put a burden on us like the burden You put on those who were before us.
Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us that we cannot endure.
And blot out (our sins) and forgive us, and be gentle to us. You are our
Protector. So help us against the rejectors." (Surah al-Baqarat ayah 286)
Source Reference: Al-Muhajabah
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