And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. – Surah Al Noor (24:31)
Sometimes taking the step to wear hijab can cause anxiety and conflict within a person; knowing it is a compulsory act to observe but being worried about the reactions you may face can lead to great confusion. Though this is not the case for everybody. Some may have family or cultural constraints while others may struggle with the concept of wearing different clothing. Everyone has a unique struggle when it comes to observing a religious commandment however the words of Allah apply to all, giving us all clarity, hope and direction in our lives:
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned.” (2:286)
A Muslim woman is a gem. What Allah has sent down for us to do is the best path, even if we do not fully see that in this moment in time. This is an ayah to hold onto strongly when you find yourself struggling to have the confidence in any practise you are struggling with.
With the topic of hijab in mind, here are some ideas for you to ponder and think about. Wearing hijab is a decision you should make for yourself with only Allah in mind and for the correct reasons.
1. Make du’a
By far, the most important factor in any difficulty. Turn to Allah and ask Him to give you the confidence, strength and resilience to follow through with wearing hijab and feeling happy in it. Whether the struggle is to wear the hijab or comprehend the idea of it, it is through Allah that our lives lead to new paths. This month is the perfect time to spend some time focusing on your du’a and asking for assistance.
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
(Yā Muqallibal-qulūb, thabbit qalbī `alā dīnik).
“O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion” (Tirmidhi 3522)
2. Research and understand the topic
While you may know vaguely that the hijab is a compulsory act, do your research. Understand the commandment and how the women from the time of the Prophet adhered to hijab. This will give you a strong foundation because on days when you feel the struggle is hard, knowing the key facts will give you that extra bit of support. This also makes it easier to explain your choice to anyone who asks because you have a real understanding for why you are doing it.
3. Take it at your pace
This is a really important point. When you start to wear the hijab, take it as a journey. Some sisters are able to go from not being covered up to being in hijab and abayaa (Mash’Allah) however this may prove to be too difficult for some sisters, because of their personal circumstances and situations. Take it at the pace that suits you and that helps you love the attire that you are wearing. That being said, we should strive to continue to grow. You may start by wearing a scarf perhaps not covering your chest, the aim should be that this is temporary and you want to continue to push yourself to reach a stage that is appropriate inshaa Allah.
4. Explain to close family and friends
Those closest to us can sometimes be the route of much worry and anxiety. We often stress about the reactions of others. Perhaps try to explain to family and friends what you plan to do, before you do. This will help reduce the shock they may feel and the consequences that may arise after. Explain your reasons, both religious and personal. Try to understand their concerns, if they have any but at the same time be firm in your decision. Remember to continuously make du’a that those around you understand.
5. Continue your internal growth
Wearing the hijab is not the end goal of any Muslim woman. It is a pathway to attain our ultimate goals – the love of Allah and a place in Jannah. We all have areas of our practise of our faith, aspects of character and way of living that we are weak in. Find the areas that you need to work on and focus on these. Reaching the stage to wear hijab and to feel confident in doing so is great however continue on your path of self-development. The more you learn about the deen, the stronger your relationship gets with Allah, the easier wearing hijab becomes.
6. Be confident – Allah is by your side.
Finally, hold your confidence in your hand. One of the problems in today’s society is we allow ourselves to rely on others to make us feel happy, content and proud of ourselves. Take control over your mind set and use Allah as your focus to gain confidence in yourself.
Aishah is a medical doctor, weight loss coach and personal trainer. She has a keen interest in promoting a healthier lifestyle for Muslim women and blogs regularly on health, fitness and personal development. Aishah provides as unique service, both online and face-to-face , offering coaching to Muslim women all over the world. Visit her blog www.grainsandgains.com and follow on social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.