By Humna Salman – Hiba magazine team writer
It is just a piece of cloth. It is just a piece of cloth. It is just a piece of cloth.
Hafsa repeated those words to herself like a mantra. Her car pulled up to the school gate, and she felt as though her heart would leap out of her chest. She reminded herself again that the scarf wrapped around her head was just a piece of cloth and that it would all be okay.
Truth is – the first day of wearing the Hijab is daunting. There is no knowing the reactions people will give. Fear of being judged, both outwardly and silently, creeps in. It is also natural to become ultra conscious of one’s own appearance – after all, it is in a woman’s innate nature (Fitrah) to want to dress up and look presentable and pretty.
However, it is important to realize that people are just people – they should not scare you. If we start chasing after everything that we think will make them pleased with us, we will be signing ourselves up for mere misery, because it is impossible to please everyone.
Fear of people’s opinions should not hold us back from obeying Allah (swt), because we might not be looking beautiful to people, but we look beautiful to Allah (swt). We are rewarded for every second that we spend outdoors with Hijab on our heads. We are constantly in a state of obedience and submission to Allah (swt). When negative thoughts creep in, comfort yourself with the knowledge that Allah (swt) is pleased with you.
Having said that, sometimes, people do give harsh reactions that can be disheartening. Shaitan tries to dissuade us from fulfilling this obligation through other people. A comment made in passing, or a joke here and there, and suddenly, our resolve crumbles. We begin to feel as though we are social outcasts.
The good news? Even Allah’s (swt) prophets were treated the same. They were mocked by society. The people of Nuh (as) would put fingers in their ears every time Nuh (as) walked by. Our Holy Prophet (sa) was called names. Yaqub (as) was taunted constantly by his own sons and their wives for years. Society tends to make you feel bothered, when you practice religion.
There is a beautiful Hadeeth to comfort you when you feel ostracized due to Hijab. Abu Hurairah (rtam) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “Islam began as something strange, and will go back to being strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.” (Ibn Majah)
Every time, you feel like the odd one out while wearing Hijab, remember, not only are you not alone in that feeling, but the Prophet (sa) gave good news to those, who are made to feel this way.
Allah’s (swt) plans are perfect and seamless in every way. Nothing in the universe happens by chance or coincidence. If Allah (swt) decided for you to be a part of this society, where wearing Hijab is becoming difficult, it is because He knows you are strong enough to overcome the present-day challenges and fulfill your duties.
If you did not have the ability to fight the mental blocks that have come with Hijab, you would have been born maybe a hundred years ago, when it was a common practice that women covered their heads outdoors. The fact that you live at a time, when it is not easy, proves your resilience and also guarantees for you a higher reward from Allah (swt).
Remember the beautiful Dua made by Aisha (rtaf): “Hasbunallahu Wa Nimal Wakeel” (Allah is sufficient for us, He is the Disposer of our Affairs). Our mission in life is to obey Allah (swt) – the rest He will handle. He will take care of us. Make this Dua every time, when you are in difficulties, so as to remind yourself that you are never alone; Allah (swt) is always with you. Insha’Allah, things will fall into place!