(Was working on this post for a while, but here is my disclaimer: these are my own thoughts and hopefully I will not offend anyone. Let’s keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if the opinion may suck or is stupid hehehe. I hope through sharing this, it gives someone some comfort as how it has given me comfort to piece my thoughts together and the courage to share this with you.)
I would start off the post by saying that I have not been donning the hijab for so long. I would say it’s just been a little over the year and have written about why I started wearing it last year. To put it lightly, I gained this next level of appreciation of God after my pregnancy and c-section and how He was always there for me and provided me with so much more blessings than I thought I deserved. I have friends who also guided me and while I was worried about my decision at first, having gone through it and reaching where I am now, I have to say that it has brought me all the more appreciation as to what beauty really means. What I initially did for Him has brought me a lot of returns for myself too.
Contrary to what may be popular belief, hijab is not just in the headscarf. As how people of some cultures in the yesteryears may have prayed to statues and stones, it was not because they were praying to the stones itself, it was more of what they represented. They believed in something, be it their ancestors or their versions of a higher power and the statues and stones were a representation of those beings. The concept is somewhat aligned to the concept of hijab in the sense it is not all or just about the headscarf, but also what it represents.
The concept of hijab is more of modesty and as how we should be moderate/modest in the way we choose to live our lives the muslim way, this moderation should be applied to the way we dress. Which would explain the loose clothing and covering of most parts of the body, not just the headscarf per se. I am not one to preach and neither do I feel like I am better than others especially in the area of religion, but this concept of modesty proved to be a journey that was far better being experienced than from just watching or judging from the other side of the looking glass. I had my own share of stereotypes of ladies who wore the hijab, so I suppose it’s best to explain how my own experience has been thus far.
From my own experience wearing the hijab, I have been feeling more at ease with myself and I suppose it reinforces the concept of modesty since there is the action of wearing the hijab daily. Though I first worried about my pins and scarf falling all over the place, I do feel much more at ease when I wear loose clothing and walk about as I feel there is less scrutinising from people of the way I look and dress. Internally, I have accepted myself more and realise that my values and thoughts have more of a bearing on my identity rather than the way I dress. The need for physicality is ingrained in human beings and when you have your actions aligned through the physicality of doing or saying something consistently, the impact of your actions and thoughts become all the more stronger.
I am thankful for the curiosity and the countless times I played the decision in my head and for the support of those I love when I decided to start the journey. I am also thankful that Mr Grumpy has been as patient with me as he has during the times I wavered or doubted myself. Alhamdulillah, all those steps have made me more sure of what I am doing and a stronger belief in general.
Sure, I have days AK yanks on my headscarf and I look like I have been dragged through the bushes, the bad hijab days, the fashion boo-boos and the usual confusion as to what to wear or pair together but overall it was not all that drastic a change that I had to make. I suppose the action itself has helped my spirituality and helps me sometimes practice more self-restraint (particularly when I would like to flip my special finger at some “special” individuals on the road). It always is an ongoing journey, a choice you make daily and Alhamdulillah, I am able to grow every day. In an indirect way, the simple action of donning the hijab has helped me rationalise things better and try to get into the good practice of having a good or at least logical basis for all the actions or thoughts I take part in. I somehow have also become less hot-headed and more patient, which my loved ones can attest to haha! Though this may be because of both praying more consistently and the hijab.
When you become more self assured, what people think and say means lesser to you. There is Islamophobia and yes the rash judgments some people may make of you but I believe that for every one who may be intimidated or scared by your choices, there are also those who simply do not mind it and also those who will be rooting for you. Everyone has certain chapters of their life they may not be proud of, but at least for me, this is a chapter I can be proud of because I can see how this small act has brought rippling effects in many aspects of my life. You are not alone, no matter how circumstances may portray as such. I am not alone in my journey and it is something incredibly meaningful to me.
InsyaAllah we will always have the resilience to pull through in our pursuits and also the courage to at least try, to at least take some baby steps even through difficult and challenging times. And may we always be guided in our journeys, no matter what chapters of our lives we may be in.