>> Friday, December 10, 2010
I came across your post “Dear Non-Veiled Wanna Be Veiled Muslimah” and what you wrote seemed very convincing if the person wanted to wear hijab. But my problem is a little different. I am a ‘Veiled Not Wanting to Be Veiled Muslimah”. I’ve never told anybody but my parents never really gave me an option. When it first happened, 2 years ago, I used to go to school and take it off there. But then, slowly, it got embarrassing with putting it on and taking it off, so I got used to it and kept it on.
But many times I do think about taking it off. I do want to dress up like my friends. Most of all though I want- ‘the choice’. I feel like they robbed me of the choice and like I am forced to pretend that I am someone I really am not. I know this must sound horrible to you but I really need to talk to someone about it because I feel that slowly it is driving me away from religion. I see a lot of girls on many websites and blogs talking about their love for hijab and I wish I could feel that way, but I really don’t.
What is your advice for someone like me? What do I do?
Wishing I could love my hijab
Dear "Wishing I could Love My Hijab",
I just want to start off by saying that your honesty really touched me. I also want to say that I do believe that you are not alone. As much as we “Lovers of Hijab” stress that we love it and “it’s our choice”, there are some sisters out there who do find it hard to accept and maybe don’t love it as much.
So I am glad you sent this question in. We’re going to work together on turning those feelings around….
First of all, have you heard the story of Zaynab bint Ghash?
She was the Prophet’s cousin. She was part of the elite, rich class of Quraysh, beautiful and well-desired by the whole community. One day, the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam told her to marry Zaid.
Now just who was Zaid? He was a former slave!
The two basically came from ‘totally different worlds’…
Well, Zaynab in the beginning really didn’t want to marry Zaid, but when she realized that the Prophet was telling her ALLAH’S Command, she succumbed to it. She succumbed to Allah’s decision about her ‘life partner’, even though he was someone she didn’t want to marry.
Why? Why did she agree?
Because she realized that in the end it was an order from Allah, who was Her Creator, Her Master, the One who knew what was best for her, the Most Merciful.
And you know what happened? Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala rewarded her patience, her willingness to put aside her own desires for His sake by letting her marry the Prophet, himself, in the end. Can you imagine? She became one of the Mothers of the Believers!
There’s another story of a beautiful woman whom the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam married to a poor man named Julaybeeb. Before her parents understood that the Prophet wanted her to marry Julaybeeb, they actually thought it was the Prophet, himself, coming to propose to her. When they heard who he wanted her to marry, they were very disappointed. But that woman? She realized right away that the Prophet’s command was Allah’s command, so she agreed right when she heard the proposal. Julaybeeb ended up being a martyr in Islam and the Prophet had this to say of him: “…This (man) is of me and I am of him.”
Okay, so why am I telling you this? Well, it’s my way of giving you an analogy (LOL). Your parents told you to do something that you didn’t want to do…. Just like how the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam told Zaynab to do something she didn’t want to do. But the Prophet and your parents were not giving ‘orders’ from themselves, were they? The Prophet was actually giving her a command from Allah---- just like your parents, right?
That is….in the end, isn’t the hijab Allah’s command?
I know what you’re thinking. “BUT, but, but I wanted the right to have a choice, myself…”
You know, sweetie, I do believe that your parents should have talked to you more. They should have let you listen to some nice lectures/ maybe gone hijab shopping with you/ prepared you about it a few years before you had to do it. It would have been really great if they had enrolled you in like an Islamic school/ Islamic program/ let you meet some friends who wear it/ etc.
But, about choosing it, yourself….
You know, honey, Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala gave us free will. Unlike the angels, we have the ability to decide what we want to do and what we don’t want to do.
But at the same time, we have to understand that we have been created for one single purpose. We have been created to worship Allah. Allah subhanoo Wa’ tala says.
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. (51:56)
So the fact that we have free will and yet are still supposed to worship Allah means that we are actually living a ‘test’. The test is to see if we will obey Allah, if we will follow our Master. Will we do what He has commanded us to do? Will we avoid what He has prohibited us from?
Will we submit entirely to Him?
O you who have believed, enter into Islam [submission] completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy (2:208.)
The problem though is that it’s all too easy for us to forget that and make ‘wrong decisions’.
And these decisions have MAJOR (out of this world) consequences.
Let me be a little blunt about it. If we choose to ‘ignore’ Allah’s commandment, we are actually choosing for ourselves punishment and difficulty.
So why am I telling you all this? Your parents most likely didn’t give you a choice because they were concerned about you. They asked you to wear it because they were scared about your Hereafter. I know that your parents didn’t really get you to wear hijab in the best way possible, but can you understand that maybe they did it in the only way they ‘knew’? Doesn’t their love count as something?
I’m going to guess that ‘you’re not really convinced here”…Let’s imagine for a moment you were talking about something other than your hijab’. Like ‘going to school’. How many days have you woken up thinking “Gee, I sure as heck do not want to go to school, today?” But you went because your parents (having your best interest in mind) gave you the option to either
a) go to school b) go to school….
(Another example that comes to mind is- what about wearing a seatbelt.)
Do you see what I am saying? I seriously hope you do because I myself got a little lost here, lol...:P
(OH and there is one other part we can’t really forget. On the Day of Judgment, Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala will ask your parents why they did/ didn’t teach you about hijab. I think your parents know that/ took that aspect very seriously (and took you as ‘a trust from Allah’ seriously) but unfortunately were clueless as to how to get you to like it/ prepare you for it.)
So now, what are we going to do?
1. Realize that the hijab is not your parents and it’s not your parent’s pressure. Try to differentiate between the two and ‘let go of the pressure’ from your parents. Think of it as its own ‘thing’. Then, ask yourself
“What is it that I do not like about the hijab, itself?”
2. Once you are able to do that- you have to ask yourself some even more tough(erer) questions….
- Is the hijab an order from Allah?
- If I were to wear the hijab for Allah’s sake, would Allah ever forget about my deed? Would He not reward me? No way! Not EVER. He would never let a good deed go ‘unrewarded’.
…Indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of the doers of good (9:120)- Okay, well, what would I get for obeying Allah? What’s the reward that He promised me?
I. How about Allah’s Love? His Protection?
(Hadith Qudsi 25)
….My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.
2. How about an amazing place in Paradise?
Whosoever obeys Allah, and the Messenger, they are with those whom Allah has favored, the Prophets, the sincere, the martyrs and the righteous, and these are the best company (4:69)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Ahead of you are days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal. The one who does good deeds then will have a reward like that of fifty people who do such deeds.” And, someone else added, they said: O Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of them? He said: “The reward of fifty of you (Companions)!” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidh).
- Then, ask yourself: What would I get for not obeying Him?
- How many things can I name that I do every day solely for His sake?
- What do I honestly believe the people in the graves wish they could do? IF today was my last day here, what would I do? What would my decision be?
- Can I imagine standing in front of Allah and not having done what He has commanded? What would my excuse be?
But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, (40) Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. (41) (Surat Al Na’ziat or Chapter79)
Besides asking yourself these questions, try thinking about something you do ‘appreciate about your hijab’.
- Has it helped keep you in check? Has it helped you remember that Allah is there?
Also, about your ‘friends’-
- Ask yourself this tough question: is there really something wrong with your hijab or something wrong with your choice in friends? (The aunties here aren’t saying that your friends are bad people- but if you feel that you can’t wear hijab with them or that they won’t accept it/ maybe you need to reevaluate your friendships).
- And finally: does wearing the hijab really mean that I can no longer dress up? Here, let me give you a hint on that. No, of course not! You can still have girls only parties/ invite your friends over/ etc. and dress up.
Finally, ask yourself what is it that you are ‘telling others about you’ when you waer the hijab? I know you said that you feel like you are telling others that you are someone different, but the reality is that when you wear the hijab, the biggest message that you are telling people is that you are a Muslimah. Isn't that what you are? Aren't you a Muslim? You aren’t saying that you are ‘perfect’/ ‘an angel/ ‘etc.’ only that you are trying to obey this particular command.
So what do you think?
Can you do that? Can you obey this command?
Can you go out and decide that you are wearing the hijab, even if you don’t entirely like it, ONLY because Allah told you to.
And tell Him:
O, Allah, I’m wearing it/doing this because You told me, too, and even if I don’t understand your Wisdom, I know you will reward me tremendously for obeying you…”
Decide today that your intention is for His sake…nobody else’s.
Nobody can take your intention away from you…
Lots of love,