Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Hijab Experience


I was at one point, not sure of whether I should update this post at the current moment. but then I realized, I could give myself a thousand-and-one reasons not to or delay it. but in the end i know that since i’ve been sharing a lot of my other thoughts with the world, it shouldn’t be any different with this one.

It all started when I was in class in my new school. Previously I was from an all-girl school, so due to better grades, i’ve shifted to a different one where it is a co-ed school. There, nearly every girl was wearing a headscarf (tudung) as part of their school uniform. and there I was in my pinafore. So, to cut the long story short, I would be subjected to all kinds of hints, be it good or bad ones, but mostly bad vibes, from either the teacher or student, male to female, that I somehow am not accepted there unless I wear a headscarf. Note here, they are not referring to a ‘hijab’ where the meaning is totally different, more specific and accurate. I just have to wear the headscarf and only then will i be accepted in kindness by some of them. Sure, I’m exaggerating if I tell you that I was isolated in school and that every single one of them wore the headscarf. Sure there were non-muslims in the school right? right. But of course, they are treated as a non-muslim and all the attention and treatment given to them were not the same, and they are accepted as who they are. Unless, yes, I decided to join the other group who doesn’t give a damn to the continuous stares and indirect sneers faced. In fact, these girls would snap back right at ya!! so now you would have the idea of what type of girls they would be categorize in school. yes. the bitchy ones. although, i’m sure if i have gotten the courage to get pass the gruesome group, they might not be that bad after all! i know what it’s like to be misunderstood.

So there it was, during those times, i admit, it dawned upon me that i MUST wear the headscarf. to school and even elsewhere. MUST here at the time was more of wanting to be treated nicely more than doing it because.... well... I MUST! for God! so yes. i wore it without fully understanding the need and reason. and like all things done without proper of correct understanding, it was short-lived. I then entered university and i still had my headscarf on. noticed i didn’t use the word hijab. simply because i didn’t live up to conditions of wearing a hijab. it’s like a t-shirt worn inside out, or putting a dress on wrongly. that was me when i so-called ‘covered’ myself. how? well, you can see some of them done now. as you walk in that crowded fave mall you go to. or even in public mosques. They, and I, at the time, looked something like this:

ok.. I didn’t reallllly look like those in the 3 pics lar. but I did wear a tight t-shirt with a headscarf and yes, I’ve had my fair share of hip-hugging, body-flattering jeans or kebaya moments that delineates my body WITH the headscarf. yes. super stupid and embarrassing. and as expected, I ended up defaulting my own course towards betterment. funny how it works tho, that when I do, so called in my defense, indirectly ‘exposed’ myself, I denied the whole thing as wanting to attract the opposite sex. I remembered recalling myself said a hundred times, that I do this because I like to look good and that I like how the clothes looks pretty on me. I don’t like ‘selekeh’ness. but due to ignorance back then, I now know that you don’t have to look ‘selekeh’ with a hijab. Again, it is how you wear it. Properly. If you don’t do it properly, then it will end up ‘selekeh’ as the women in the pics have so proudly pointed out. And then, I would also be annoyed and even disgusted at times, when guys make passes at me for what I’m wearing. I mean, it’s gotta be how I look because my face alone won’t be so alluring if I just have something ugly put on. And this apparently bothered me!! I guess that is where the term ‘blinded’ comes in and it is best suited for situations such as this. Again. The word ‘Ignorance’ plays a prominent role.

So finally, God being the most Merciful that He is, I got married. And to a great guy. He too admits that I was ravishing to him when we met. And as the new-age gentleman, he was patient with my oblivious reactions to his numerous persuasions and advice on wearing the hijab. I remembered the first incident was when we were window-shopping around KLCC and we passed a store that sells beautiful headscarfs of all types. It is called Arzu. He ushered me into the store. And the shop assistants were crowding up to me tempting me to try one of the silk scarves. So when they did put it on me, hubby’s reaction was just priceless. He was genuinely thrilled to see me in it. He even bought me some as motivation. In which I was at some point! But sadly, being a weak human being, I let the matter slipped away from my mind and dismissed it as something unimportant. and continued my way. It wasn’t until nearly a year we got married, that he decided to put his right foot forward and be stern about his role as a responsible husband. I was told to wear the hijab. No more compromising. Except that he too had to promised to quit smoking. Both of which are very common vices pertaining to both sexes. 

It was in the holy month of Ramadhan, that i wore my headscarf again. and this time I intend to wear it correctly. He has given me references on how to do so. and honestly, being someone who is passionate about fashion and looking presentable, it is not easy. Nearly more than half of my clothes had to be put aside or given away for it is not suitable to be worn in public anymore. Plus, it is against what God has ordained us to do. To think that He has outlined a guide for us to dress sensibly for our own good here and the hereafter, is one among many blessed gifts that He has given to us as a sign that He is the most caring. He knows what is good for us, therefore I’m sure nobody can argue that when this command was put forth, it is only for the best. Unless, you think His plans are wrong lar. I find this summary on the guide on correct muslim womenswear very helpful:

This picture is taken from ustaz zaharuddin’s blog and i suggest reading his post on Aurat wanita: apa sudah jadi?

If you ask me on what benefits have I gained from wearing the hijab, well as a newbie, I’ve actually gained quite a lot. I might not have the big, emotional-shattering ones just yet, but the ones I have are very relatable to me at the moment. For example, I hardly get disturbed by men in vulgar ways now, but instead replaced with respect and polite gestures. That itself is enough to ease my paranoid mind that any guy can be a potential rapist! Another benefit that I am truly grateful wearing the hijab is that it helps me counter the chills I get when being in a cold, air-conditioned place for too long. So covering up has made it a lot easier for me to stay cozy and warm in the cinemas or conferences for instance. ♡

Apart from other benefits, I actually do feel comfortable wearing it and literally feels ‘naked’ without them! Plus, it has now given me another new opportunity to shop for more clothes and motivates me to come up with different styles of my own! I mean, who says you can’t wear Zara or Jaspal like you used to? If at all, I’m a tad more creative at styling them up so that I could still shop at my fave stores and look fashionable yet presentable in the eyes of God. And you get extra pahala for doing it some more!! *yeay!* Who knows, I might want to start my own clothing line for muslim women that is within the sharia of Islam!!! Wouldn’t that be something!! ;P

I guess that’s all I have to share with you for today. InsyaAllah, I would love to update more of my good experiences of the hijab with all of you. And you have my sincere prayers that this good act will eventually sparks an interest in your womanly hearts to lovingly wear it one fine day. 

May God be with all of us to guide us in what we do. and that we too include Him all the time in our lives.

I leave you with this eye-opening video, which i find is very true as being one of the biggest challenges and tribulations faced by modern muslim women on the hijab. Sharing is caring, or so i’ve heard. ;)

Till then.

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