Muslim convert Tara Dahane relates how she came to wear hijab.
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim
I want to share my story about my journey to wear hijab in the hope that some aspiring sister will glean strength from it, insha'allah. Sisters, you can do it! Just keep in mind that you need to please Allah (swt) before you please anybody.
I converted to Islam May 1996 after having been reading about it for almost 6 years. I have never regretted it only wish that I had took shahada sooner. I did not wear hijab at first, only to wear to the mosque and during prayer times. I was aware that the condition of being a Muslimah required covering modestly yet I couldn't act on it because of my fear of other people. I was afraid of how they would treat me such as looking upon me in pity, in utter disgust, or just plain hatred. Actually my first bad encounter with hijab happened with my sister. She picked me up from the mosque one day and when I got inside the car she told me to "take that "s***" off my head" I am soooo glad that the people standing out in front of the mosque and especially my hubby did NOT hear what she said. Needless to say, I refused to take off my hijab until I got home.
Over the next three years my iman [faith] would increase gradually as I pursued knowledge in Islam more. In 1999 my iman was even stronger than the preceding years so much so that the hijab issue began to trouble me. It worried me so much because I actually thought of myself as "sinning" I had a choice to make, who was I supposed to be afraid of Allah or other people? Of course Allah is number one so my next step was the issue between head covering and face covering. I researched the Quran, ahadith, articles, spoke with other muslimahs who wore hijab, even to the brothers. My conclusion was based on the fact that yes hijab is obligatory based on two ayat in the Quran, Al-Ahzab 33:59 and An-Nur 24:30-31, as well as the hadith of Asmaa (RA) the daughter of Abu Bakr came to the Rasulullah (SAW) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: "O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this." And he pointed to the face and hands. I believe face veiling is optional as you are striving to emulate the Mothers of the Believers who by the way were special and no one can ever be like them. I believe that there is no sin for not wearing the face veil but rather it is a symbol of more modesty and a higher reward, insha'allah.
Armed with this I planned to wear my hijab in to work the first day of Ramadan. I had even layed out my veil and pins the night before so I didn't have the excuse of "forgetting" to wear it. Once I arrived at work I became more nervous because there were people looking at me in the parking lot already! With each step I got closer and closer to the building where I worked and strangely more and more calm. Until I was on the elevator and in my office in no time. I breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn't ran into anyone in the halls though. And my did I have a surprise waiting for me. Each co-worker that passed me by just treated me like they always did on a normal day. One even remarked that my veil was beautiful and at least two asked me if it was a special occasion (I had to laugh at that one) At the end of the day I couldn't believe that I had worked myself up about nothing all of these years!
It was truly a success to wear hijab and I feel beautiful because I am doing a thing that pleases Allah (swt) I even get more respect when I am out. I don't care what people think anymore. If I find them staring at me I look back and smile. I am more often than not surprised to see them smiling back at me. For the ones that consider me a source of amusement, the feeling is mutual!
I recommend this book on hijab: "Dearest sister: why not cover your modesty" by Abdul Hameed Al-Balali translated by Wael F Tabba.
That's all folks! FiAmanAllah,
Monday, June 16, 2008