My hijab story

26 Jul

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem (In the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the merciful)

Asalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you) everyone.

I really don’t know where to begin with my hijab story so I’m just going to start.

In October of 2009 a friend of mine died after being run over. I had never known she was Muslim and didn’t know until I was told the funeral would be in a mosque.  I had already been researching Islam for some time when this came about but did not know what to expect. I was told by other friends that I should bring something to cover my hair with and thought of all the Muslim women I saw everyday. On the day of the funeral I got a black pashmina out and put it on how I had seen the muslim women do it. I left my room and my mum gasped and told me I looked beautiful but asked why I was wearing it; I lied and said I had to because I was going inside the mosque but the truth was; I wanted to wear it. The funeral was heartbreaking, when we left the mosque my friends (who had quickly draped a scarf over their heads to enter the mosque) uncovered their hair but I didn’t, I wanted to keep it on. I knew then that Islam was something that was going to be a part of my life, but I didn’t know when.

I took the Shahada (declaration of faith when you accept Islam) on 27/03/10 Alhamdulilah (all Praise due to Allah).  I began praying super quickly although it was with a book in my hand to help me with reciting Quran, but I didn’t focus at all on hijab. Over time I started wanting to salaam sisters with hijab in the street but knew they would not be sure I was muslim or not so I never did. I asked my muslim friends how they started wearing hijab and what they did in the beginning as I was finding it hard, one of them told me they tied theirs back in a bun at first which helped them ease into wearing it properly. I decided I would try this out first as I was too scared to wear it fully. My friends and family took it well but it didn’t go down so well at work. When I became muslim I didn’t send around a mass email informing everyone I had reverted to Islam, if people asked I would tell them and of course my few close work friends knew. Being from a black West Indian background which is predominantly Christian I had a few comments from elders of that background who were not pleased with me ‘Why have you got that on your head’? ‘You look nicer with your hair out’. I tried to laugh it off but inside it really hurt. One particular colleague would make a point of shouting ‘ASALAMU ALAIKUM’ loudly across the office whenever she would see me, it really annoyed me but I didn’t say anything, I would just blank her. I wondered why she or anyone else never behaved like this to any of the other Muslims I worked with. One day I was leaving a meeting with my whole team and the same colleague saw us walking passed and did it again ‘ASALAMU ALAIKUM’ at the top of her voice, my friends told me to ignore her so I did but she wouldn’t stop. She started shouting that I was rude and why am I blanking her all the time if I was really a Muslim. I turned around and marched right up to her and asked her ‘Are you muslim’? She replied ‘No’. So I said ‘then a simple hello will suffice, if you cannot manage that then don’t speak to me at all’.I told my manager who was furious and wanted me to make a complaint but I never did and that particular colleague never spoke to me again.

After this my imaan (faith) was at an all time low but Alhamdulilah my first Ramadan was approaching. I did not know the imaan boost I was in for. On 27/07/10 I was getting ready to go to a friends baby shower. I got dressed and as always went to put my hijab (in a bun) on. I had been tying it back for some time now so it had become second nature, I didn’t even need to look in the mirror; when I turned back to look at myself, I had tied it properly- draped over the chest area SUBHANALLAH (glory be to Allah)! I did not know how or why I had subconsciously chosen to put my hijab on properly that day but I knew it was a gift from Allah SWT and there was no way I was going to undo it and put it back in a bun. I was worried as it felt like starting to wear hijab all over again and as that experience hadn’t gone so well even having it back in a bun I wondered how it would be now that it was clear I was muslim. I went down the stairs and told my mum I was leaving, she smiled and said ‘ You look so much nicer with it like that’ , I felt proud. When I arrived at the baby shower my friends were so happy for me and told me how lovely I looked, I smiled the whole day and was well prepared to go to work the following Monday. From that day I have never taken off my hijab Alhamdulilah and even wear my abaya sometimes.

To my sisters who aspire to or have recently started wearing hijab and are facing any of the issues that I did, my advice is make dua to Allah SWT and read websites such as this one to keep reminding yourself that hijab is your protection and beauty and you ARE just as beautiful if not more with it on. Keep in contact with sisters or family members who are willing to encourage you and inshaAllah (God willing) it will get easier for you every day.

Masalaam

~ Munirah Williams

Click here to read more about Munirah

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2 Responses to “My hijab story”

  1. hijab July 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    really it was a touching story..i think if you wear hijab it not only protects you from people who are wicked thinking but also makes you look better..than earlier.

  2. maryam October 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    thank you for sharing this with us i really had tears in my eyes

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