The Beginning.

3 Jun

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

(In the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful)

I was 16, and on one of my many “extracurricular excursions” from school. That is to say, I was truanting/wagging/jigging. Again. On this particular occasion, it was a Friday, and I decided it would be far more productive for me to attend jumuah (Friday) prayer than my English class. I had never attended Jumuah (Friday prayers) at a proper masjid before. I was with a friend who wore hijab. She had a spare with her, so I put it on and we were set to enter the mosque.

The khutbah (sermon), thankfully, was in English. But I don’t remember anything the Imam spoke about that day. I only remember what he said at the end, just before everyone was about to get up and leave. And even that I can’t quote verbatim.
It was something along the lines of, if you are to die tomorrow, remember that you will be questioned about everything that is fardh (obligatory) upon you at this time.
I was 16, and alhamdulillah, I prayed. I fasted Ramadan. I had no savings, so I didn’t pay zakaat. Haj was a bit of a hazy concept that I didn’t think too much of, but knew would eventually occur. I tried to do what I could to be a good Muslimah, and to uphold the rights of others.
But there was hijab. Something I knew was compulsory, but brushed aside with thoughts like, “But no one in my family wears it,” and “As long as you pray, you’ll be right.”
I was wearing it there. It felt so comfortable on my head. I had this sense of contentment on that day, a feeling I have since come to associate with conforming to Allah’s Will and Command.
So as we left the masjid, I decided to leave it on. I asked my friend if I could borrow it. She was overjoyed, and told me to keep it.
I went home in hijab that day. My family gave me some strange looks, but didn’t comment.
The next morning, I was getting dressed for school, and I looked at that simple piece of material, and thought, “Do I really want to do this?”
The answer was a simple, “Yes.”
It took me many years to understand what hijab truly meant. But that was stage one of my journey, complete.
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