>> Friday, December 9, 2011
Asalamu 'Alaikum Sisters :)
I love this blog, I can relate to majority of the things posted on here, but this time the problem I'm having isn't really on here, I think.
Alhamdulillah. I've been wearing hijab my entire life, I've been wearing an abaya & jilbab for a while now, and I think I'm ready for niqab, the problem is with my family... they seem to think that the only reason why I cover up so much is because I'm over weight, and it's really starting to get to me, especially since that's not the case, I am a bit chubby, but tall, so it isn't really obvious, and I'm trying so hard to look after myself, and the fact that my family assumes my modest clothing is because of the fact that I'm ashamed of my weight really hurts me and discourages me, to continue in anything... I'd really appreciate if you could help me with any advice you have, so I can continue on without having my motives questioned. Jazakulah Khairun in advance
wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo!
awww, sis. Let me offer you a real big hug! I'm really proud of you for choosing to wear jilbab, and even thinking of niqab :)
As for your question, you know, for a real long time, I was in that same boat. (You might even find my signature on it, if you look really hard..I was on it for that long, LOL.)
You see, certain members of my family were convinced that I wore the niqab because I was living in the Gulf. So, a lot of them would talk to me like it was some kind of phase that I was going through, (LOL).
Yeah, that sure was annoying and frustrating....
But you know what? You have to understand what the real issue is.
The real issue here is not your new wardrobe (jilbab). What your family is really struggling to accept is this 'new side of you'. They are having trouble coming to terms with this 'side' of you that sees' 'religion' a little differently from them.
Think about it.
Your parents/family/siblings have known you since you were itty bitty. It's hard for them to realize that maybe they don't 100% know you.
There's another aspect to it, too.
Unfortunately, a lot of our families have pre-conceived notions/ stereotypes about jilbabis/niqabois. They think that 'they're backwards/ won't find husbands/whatever'....
When you willingly go and dress like that...well, they just can't understand that. To them, it's like you decided to go outside with unmatching and rumpled clothes. It just doesn't make sense to them.
So..what to do?
1. Ask yourself why are you doing it?
Sit down for a few moments and think about it.
If it's for Allah's pleasure, then, it doesn't matter what other people think you are doing it for, does it?
I mean, let's imagine someone entered the bathroom when you doing wudu and saw you washing your feet.
Non-Muslims would probably be like "Okay. She must have like some seriously dirty feet/ no water/something."
But would their confusion/ not understanding why you do something, stop you from praying?
(It sure as heck shouldn't!).
It's the same thing here.
You're wearing the jilbab is an act of worship meant for Allah, and not anyone else.
Once you've made certain that this is sincerely for Allah, think of this as a test of your sincerity. It's hard when you feel like no one is 'on your side' and like nobody's encouraging you to go on, but just remind yourself that means even more that your action is only for Allah. Nobody has forced you or even encouraged you- this is an action solely done for the sake of Allah alone. That's rare! So hold on to it. It could even be your ticket to paradise.
They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. (7) And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, (8) [Saying], "We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude. (9) Indeed, We fear from our Lord a Day austere and distressful." (10) So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness (11) And will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments]. (12) (Sura 76)
Remind yourself of Bilal, under the rock, saying, "Ahud, Ahud". That is what your jilbab is proclaiming. There is One Lord, alone, and He alone is worhty of your worship.
2. Invite their Questioning.
I know, you're fed up of their questions, but you have to accept the fact they are going to ask you questions or else they are going to keep assuming they know the reason why you're wearing it. You can make things easier, by 'inviting' questions.
One way I found helpful is that I would seize Fridays as my 'dress up days'. I would make sure to look extra nice- wear some jewlrey- a nice outfit- maybe a touch of lip gloss...
If your family is anything like my family, they'll be like "Who are you?!!" Just kidding.
They'd be like "Wow, you look great. Why don't you go out like that? It's such a shame no one sees your pretty clothes."
That's when you pounce! :P You seize the chance to talk about how you are wearing the jilbab for the sake of Allah and that you find it to be the most modest hijab out fit/ and how you hope that Allah will appreciate your covering yourself up for His sake and reward you with something so much better. You tell them clearly that you're wearing it because you do not want to be prioritizing this temporary world over the Hereafter. Tell them something like "For me, the jilbab is a constant reminder of my Creator and my purpose in life. The jilbab draws the line for me and helps keep me in check."
In fact, don't just stop at the 'jilbab'. You should think of their questioning as a dawah opportunity. Why not talk more to them about Allah? Paradise? The companions and their struggles? Your jilbab can become a means to bring people closer to Islam, inshaAllah. Share with them what inspires you to worship Allah and what you love about Islam! Putting up simple reminders and lectures for your siblings on facebook, sharing with your family a nice hadith, etc. are also ways that might help.
Another way to invite their questioning-- if you're seriously thinking of wearing niqab, is to throw a little 'niqab party'. Really. When I began to wear niqab, I had a little get-together with my friends. IF you show your family that you are celebrating your ability to take this step (jilbab/ niqab/ whatever), they'll understand that you are not doing it out of shame.
And besides, it will probably boost your mood :) Have some friends over, talk about what you're going to do, why you decided to do it, try it on, get used to it....have friends that have already worn it, talk about their best and most inspiring moments...
4. It's an Attitude
Remember, that your 'modesty' should also be reflected in your behavior and not just your clothes. (Something I need to be reminded of!). When your family sees you remembering Allah in everything, what you talk about, what you watch, what you do, they'll realize that your clothing is also another part of your striving to be more God conscious, inshaAllah.
Another way you can do this is by asking your family to help you become a better Muslimah. Explain that you want your whole family- all of you- to be in jannah together, 'so why don't we work together?"
5. Stock up on motivational lectures that encourage you to keep going! Also, be sure to read the hadiths the sister posted in the last post (the game). :)
6. You can also put up a target picture/goal that you want to reach (weightwise)....and have that girl wearing jilbab! Then they'll realize that you're deadly serious. (LOL) But seriously, you can even talk about healthier meals that you want to make, go walking with them, etc. and again tie in the fact that our bodies are a trust from Allah and that is actually a motivating factor for you to become healthier.
And finally, keep this somewhere you can see it, often, inshaAllah :)
"Say: Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, (all) for Allah, The Lord of the Worlds". ( Quran: Chapter 6:Verse:162)
Well, sis, I hope that inshaAllah your family will come to accept it and that each day is easier for you than the last.
May Allah reward you enormously!