The art of donning the hijab personally spoke to me when I watched a series called “The Arrivals,” a Joint Production by truth-seekers Noreagaaa and Achernahr. This series explores the revelations in world religions regarding the arrivals of the Antichrist Dajjal, Imam Al-Mahdi and the second coming of Christ. A work inspired by Hashemsfilms and words of the Noble Qur’an, The Holy Bible and The Torah. This was not the reason why I started to wear hijab although was a huge turning point to give me that extra push to do what I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I’ve always told myself that I would wear the hijab when I got married, but when I got married it still didn’t eventuate. My husband encouraged me but never forced me to wear hijab as he knew I would when the time was right. I thought I’d don the hijab when I had my first child, though again, it wasn’t the right time. Hijab was always in the back of my mind, but I wanted to wear it for the right reasons and not for the wrong.
I did grow up wearring hijab for several years though came to a point where I took it off. I wore it but didn’t understand it thoroughly and this lead to me not wearing hijab for a few years. When I finally came to terms with what this dunya was truly about, “The Arrivals” pushed me that little further to come to a realisation that I was really, truly seeking Him. That I wanted to better myself and cover myself for Him, to please Him and to be more me. I found myself again, the real me underneath all that was materialistic, I found my true self. It is hard to explain, hijab was always a part of me and made me feel whole. No longer was I interested in this world’s mirage, the shiny things and items which held no weight in the bigger picture. I was seeking Him and yearned for His mercy and His Jannah (Paradise.)
I finally donned the hijab again a year into Motherhood and this time for the right reasons, although I struggled with the idea of trading my closet items for items which were loose, flowy and not figure hugging. I spent years of trying to refine and rectify the overall hijab look for myself, not just putting on a scarf with the current closet items I already possessed. It took me a long while to adjust my wardrobe to remove the tight, figure hugging clothing that I used to wear with hijab. However dressing modestly does not define hijab. It has taken me a long while to get to where I am today. I have still not yet perfected the art of the overall dress but I am slowly gaining more understanding and confidence to dress the way I do and perfecting it the way it should be with everyday that comes.
It’s a personal journey that can only be learnt by oneself through time, perseverance and patience.
Yes, I’ve learnt the hard way. There were times I slipped, times I fell, times I misjudged and was misguided. Hijab is not just about covering your head. The biggest lesson that I learnt was my adaab or behaviour played a huge part of what made hijab. I was representing the whole religion of Islam. I was a walking icon that people inadvertently associated Islam with. If I was rude, people would see Islam as rude. If I was a loud mouth, people would see Islam as loud mouths. If I was arrogant, people would see Islam as arrogant.
Even though Muslims are not always a true representation of Islam, we are still looked at and considered Islam because that’s how others identify Islam. So not only did I become easily identifiable, I was a walking representation of Islam. I needed to rectify my adaab/behaviour. I needed to constantly be conscientious of the way I brought myself, of my actions; what I did, what I thought and what I said. Just because I wore a scarf also did not mean I was better than my sisters or anyone else.
What some need to understand is that the journey of hijab can only be taken by the one who is travelling the journey. For me, it was also about understanding that hijab does not just entail the way one dresses but also their behaviour and manner intended to avoid indecency and impropriety. It doesn’t help ones journey when religious critiques really scrutinise a way one dresses, neither does it help when similar critique comes from the other tip of the scale, from a non religious direction. Again, finding that balance is what makes it hard for the person who is finding themselves in this ever changing climate. What I think is most important for us Muslimah women though is not forgetting the very essence of why we wear hijab – that is the yearning to please Allah SWT and strengthening our iman whilst doing so. In the end, we are passing through this life and with everyday we are blessed with, we need to better ourselves and not lose sight of the real intent behind hijab. I am still at the stage where I am perfecting my hijab and iman, at the same time finding new ways to style hijab in a modest and fashionable manner. I don’t think the journey will ever end, we will keep learning new ways to do things and better the way we dress as well as bettering ourselves as a whole.
One can always better oneself and it needs to come from a place where it is true to you.
As Ramadhan has finally arrived, whether you personally know me or haven’t yet met me but are following my journey, I ask you all who to forgive me. Please forgive me for anything I’ve said or done in the past that may have hurt you are caused you harm or grief. May Allah SWT look after you and your family during this blessed month and shower you with rizq and baraqah for the dunya (this world) and the akhirah (hereafter). Amin…
All my love,