Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A beautiful story . - Anonymous

My story begins when the day I was born.  I was born on 26th of Ramadan, 2003 and I am now 33yrs old.  My birth was the day I wore the hijab.  Like so many, I was living life the wrong way.  Life to me was more about materialism; what I wore and where I hung out identified whom I was.  The soul purpose of living was merrily to graduate, work, get married and have fun in between.  All my life I went to American schools and was brought up to morals and traditions but never to religion.  The word “3eeb” or unethical was used more than the word “haram”.  

The story began when I visited my brother in the States.  He entered Islam in the right meaning approximately a year before I visited and since then educated himself so much in Islam.  He was newly married to a wonderful girl whom wore the hijab. They tried more than once opening the subject of hijab and i more than once changed the subject or just disagreed with all they were saying.  On our way to the airport my brother asked me why I don’t think of wearing the hijab.  I told him im not ready and that its not what I think about doing any time soon, i even gave the excuse that i wont wear it soon cause i have shopped so much!  I told him how I loved the way I dressed, the way I looked and the way I lived and that im not willing to change my life.  He wanted me to listen to Amr Khalids tape about hijab.  At that time Amr Khalid was a new Islamic figure whom talked about Islam directing his lectures especially to young people; many girls I know wore the hijab after hearing his lectures.  So I told my brother that I didn’t want to listen to Amr Khalid, and that if I do listen to him and end up wearing the hijab it would be because of fear of what I heard and an act not coming out from my own will; and if I didn’t wear the hijab after listening to the tape it would mean that I have a tough harsh heart which I didn’t want to find out about myself.  So I took the tape from him and threw it.  

It was the last few days for the month of Ramadan when I returned to Amman.  My friends and I would meet up every day after Iftar to have a good time.  Strangely, we spent a whole week talking about hijab.  To didnt know why our conversations took that shape .  I usually never discussed religion and it was never a topic that me and my friends brought up.  That week was to what I could now explain to myself a preparation for me to what was yet to come.
On the 25th of Ramadan, my friend opened the subject of hijab yet again and at that point I had enough.  I couldn’t hear more about hijab so I asked her to stop talking and to change the subject.  She asked me why i was being so aggressive, i answered that i was sick of this subject and that i will never wear it!! On the 26th of Ramadan, I was invited to one of my friends place for Iftar and the girls decided to go pray the taraweeh and qiyam.  I have never prayed taraweeh or qiyam before.  I did pray but never more than the five prayers a day. 

I remember standing, bending, kneeling, standing, bending kneeling etc. just as a figure, no heart no soul.  I looked around and saw most people crying and touched by the prayer, I felt envious.  I wanted to feel what they felt and to cry like they cried.  At that moment I asked Allah to soften my heart and open my soul.  Towards the end of the prayers, I remember feeling like I was standing alone. Just me.  I saw no one and heard just the voice of the Anse (the female Imam) and my crying.  I cried and cried and cried. All I could think of was the hijab.  I wanted to wear it, I wanted to cover myself, I wanted Allah to be proud of me.  I was crying so much that i could not speak, i turned to my sister who was praying next to me and signaled with my hands that i wanted to wear the hijab. My sister, knowing me well, thought i was crazy and that I was just extremely affected by the prayer.  She tried stopping me.  At that moment I felt ready and took the chance that I knew might never come again. I headed, not wanting anyone to stop me, towards the Anse, whom I've never met before, to tell her that I wanted to wear the hijab. I remember very bleary my sister running after me trying to stop me yet again, trying to convince the Anse that I was just moved by the atmosphere.  The Anse at that point was looking at both of us confused as to whom to listen to.  I was so persistent at that point and so honest, that my sister and the Anse gave in.   I went back home wearing the hijab.   I went home that night with a veil covering my head, feeling like a new born girl.

When I arrived home, I told the news to my parents.  My dad merrily told me that I won't be the first girl whom wore the hijab and took it off later!!
I wont deny that I woke up the next day like waking up from a nightmare.  I was so scared and so fragile.  Although Ive never met the Anse or most of the girls that were at the prayer, and although I could have easily pretended as if my hijab incident never happened or was merely an innocent mistake, I insisted to wear it. I knew that I was strong and like most women, when we put our mind to something we will make it, and if we wanted or needed something we will fight to get it.  
That morning, my dad lectured me about being too young, and that I had my whole life in front of me, that i should not limit myself now with covering myself! He told me I still had to travel, to work, to go out, to marry, to live!  I defended my decision with the point that I can do all these while still wearing the hijab.  I can walk freely and act freely with a clothe covering my head.  I explained neither was i disabled nor paralyzed.  I was merely a new me. A new me with a new meaning.  This is my Jihad!

I had a rough 8 months, I battled with the idea of taking it off, I battled with people that thought I should take it off.  Random people told me that the hijab was not a part of Islam nor was it written in the Quran.  Which was absolutely ridiculous.  A lot of people, i found, were against me and my hijab just so they can keep bottling their conscious.  They didn't want anyone reminding them about Islam and what comes with being a good Muslim.  They were trying to convince themselves more than to convince me about not wearing it.  I battled with my sisters at home.  I sometimes felt left out.  I sometimes felt they didn't  understand the new me.

There was even a guy i liked and was hoping that one day he might propose.  We were becoming good friends.  When i wore the hijab, he was shocked and after 2 weeks told me he would never think of marrying a Hijabi.  To save my pride, i told him i knew that already and knew that his lifestyle would never work with a covered girl.
Amazingly, i wasnt heartbroken at all. It was as if Allah has poured reassurance in me that i need not a guy like him.  Our friendship gradually ended.  I had many suitors proposing, after i put on the Hijab, surprisingly even more than before.  I got married after 4 yrs to a wonderful man who shares the same religious outlook as me.

I went to my weekly Islamic lectures, which helped me stand strong thru my battles. I became a better Muslim.  I read and studied more about Islam.  I cut off many things that I did wrong.  I gained new friends and left many old ones.  In time, my relationship with my sisters became stronger.  They often turn to me for advice.  We go pray Tarawneh together every year.  I felt stronger and became stronger.  I learned not to be afraid to voice out the truth, and to voice out right from wrong.  I gained extra confidence.  My faith grew and my worries lessened.  

I went thru times of weakness and times of strength, but it was all challenges to shape me into a better Muslimah!

Ive told my story to so many people, but for some reason I still cry tears of joy every time I say it…


Sidra Afzal said...

Amazing blog mashallah may Allah bless you please check out mine too

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