I hope and pray you are all well… As you can tell from the title of the post – something a little different but I wanted to update you on how I feel and what has changed with me.
A little bit of info…
Hijab means – veil, barrier, wall, screen
It is there for you to dress modestly so it doesn’t attract unnecessary attention.
It shows that we are Muslims, that everything you do represents Muslims.
We have a duty to keep up appearances and be a good Muslim and represent/ set an example of a Muslim women and our religion.
How it started…
Alhamdulillah – My husband and I travelled last April to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. It was my first time in Makkah, I wish I could explain how I felt just being there but I don’t think I fully can, so I have added some bullet points to maybe give you a rough idea.
– I felt at home
– I felt like we were all one, all Muslims in one places – it made me feel comfortable
– I was in awe every time I stepped foot into the haram
– the whole experience has strengthened mine and my husband’s relationship
– I felt emotional yet at peace all in one go
– I didn’t want to come home and I could have quite happily stayed
– Praying namaz there with the Kabah right infront of you was the craziest of feelings!
We were so blessed with this opportunity! Honestly it has changed us both for the better. Wearing the hijab and abaya there everyday and then coming home and taking it off felt so odd to me, I felt uncovered I felt bare. Everyday since then I have felt guilty.
What happened next?…
In November I started a tafsir course – quranic translation to English course – and it just opened my eyes. I felt like I could see for the first time what our religion is truly about. I had always researched a lot about Islam and I knew a lot from what I was taught through family and the mosque but it wasn’t quite enough. You get told to learn the Quran in Arabic to read it to finish it. But not what it means, not what it says… I guess I am from the generation who questions alot more, who wanted answers. When I started this tafsir class I felt scared, I felt aware and I felt like i found myself a little more. The class is twice a week, but I can only make it once due to work. But I catch up at home, the classes are all online they have split up the Quran into juz (spareh) and we work through the al-huda juz while listening to the recordings and understating the prophets stories that little bit better.
The website is – http://www.farhathashmi.com/english-section/tafsir/
I also have downloaded the app called ‘Quran for all’ which allows me to listen to the recordings on my phone with ease, there are both a brief and a detailed explanations on this app.
The feeling from being in Gods home and finally being able to read the Quran with my eyes open … I felt were signs pushing me guiding me the right way. I felt like I wanted to make a change to better myself. I cleared through my cupboards to keep only modest clothing, I had a few hijabs from umrah but I kept collecting more knowing I wanted to put it on. I had stated to buy pins and I even brought a pin cushion!
I started to tell family, friends, work colleagues I wanted to wear it i needed everyone to know so it wasn’t a complete shock and I also felt like the more people I told the easier it would be for me to put it on. When my husband and I would have our date nights, I would put it on just to see how it would feel, I would trial it out because i want to put it on and keep it on. So off out I would go for dinner and movies and just to trial it out. A few pointers so far on how I felt at the time…
– difficult to look side to side
– without an underscarf there is no way your scarf will just sit nicely
– always keep pins in your bag incase you need them, somehow some just disappear
– be confident
– if you pin too right underneath your chin, you can’t eat properly!
I have had a lot of support from family, the husband, my sisters, friends and it has done the world of difference to me. I wouldn’t know what I would do if I didn’t have that support network.
Oh and also watching lots of YouTube videos of hijab tutorials and ‘my hijab story’ it made me realise a lot of people are going through what I am going through and that I am not alone. The tutorials helped as the hijab wearing world is huge! And there are lots of tips and tricks I needed to know for this new change. I would get ready to go out and before I would leave or when I would come back I would try a hijab on, in a different colour, or style and I can see what it would look like with what I was wearing.
Having my dressing table there with everything within reach made a huge difference. (Have you seen my dressing table? Head over to my previous blog post)
I started wearing the hijab on Monday 1st February 2016!! I had plans already for this day but they got cancelled and I ended up spending some time at home cooking and then at work. With the rest of the week at work as well. However, the Sunday before was a really good day, i spoke to people close to me about my next step and it was the best thing i did! I spoke to my grandad who gave me so much love and support and encouragement. I also spoke to my aunty who was SO happy, she was so excited and told me her story, she was just being very sweet about it all, telling me if I’m doing it for myself then you will persevere and keep it on. Both conversations ended with a emotional end when speaking of my dad, but I think I needed that – sometimes the sadness builds up wishing he was here and it’s just nice when he gets mentioned. Especially when things are changing in life and he isn’t there to see them change.
The first day …
My in laws brought me a beautiful bunch of flowers which said ‘happy first hijab day’ it really made me laugh but it was really really sweet of them 🙂
I work in a healthcare setting, so it isn’t just the staff I would see but also patients. I went into work today and because I had mentioned the hijab beforehand it wasn’t a surprise, everyone was accepting and being really sweet. It was a good first day. But I did feel like patients were looking at me, whereas normally they don’t really acknowledge me. After work I went to mums and they were all really nice and supportive there too 🙂 alhamdulillah … So all in all it was a good first day, oh but I did have a bad headache by the end of the day and my head felt a little sore.
I do have worries still, I’m trying to figure out a way to wear my hijab in the gym, my summer holiday wardrobe and how to cope in the heat but I will post as I figure these little bits out.
But for now I’m a hijabi and proud but I am still learning.
~~~ Sarah ~~~