Maybe you just started wearing hijab. Maybe you have been wearing hijab since you were younger. Maybe many women in your family wear it or maybe you are the only one. Maybe you're struggling with hijab or maybe you don't wear it. Maybe you are wondering. How does one go from not wearing hijab to wearing it full time? Yes. It is a different story for each sister. And yes, it is personal for each one. The maybe's are many, but the goal is the same. So let's talk about it.
A New Beginning
Firstly, it is put in your heart by our creator. Whether it is an instant switch or a gradual change, it is one that comes with a wave of emotions. Some being excitement, nerves, contentment, comfort, etc. One thing that stands out to me is part of this ayah from the Quran, "...God does not change the condition of a people unless they change what is in themselves." [13:11] This is so resonating as a convert and I'd like to share my journey to hijab as a means to inspire.
A Shared Experience
Social media was a big outlet for me. I looked toward hijabi bloggers that I felt I could relate to. In my case, married Muslim women that were American, Latina, into modest fashion, etc. If you have no one to speak with, find a sister online. Islamic sisterhood is one of genuine kindness even online. I knew hardly anything about modest wear and these sisters provided me with some hope. I can still feel beautiful dressing modestly. I can still be me dressing differently. So I began playing around with some scarves I had at home and snapped some phone pics to check it out.
I started wearing long sleeve shirts more. Hats, sweater with hoodies were my way of discreetly covering up until it began to feel more natural outdoors. The first time I wore hijab properly was at home. The maintenance crew was coming over to fix something in my home and I was so nervous to wear it. But my nerves came more from what those people would think of me. What would other people think of me now? The more you study Islam, the more you realize that is least of your worries. But we all start somewhere. I kept in mind that social media can be a tool or a distraction. So eventually, I filtered out my social media to just family, close friends and bloggers that shared my same interest.
Why Different is Okay
Trying something new and different for the first time can be scary. It can be hard like anything else. But it is well known with things in general, the more you practice the better you get, the more comfortable you feel. I started with turbans, exposed necklines, shorter shirts. With knowledge, positive encouragement, prayer and plain experience, hijab can evolve to the form that most comfortable to you and most pleasing to Allah.
While the decision to wear hijab can feel like a ripple in water affecting everyone around you, it's all about you. Family members may get upset. Friends may distance themselves. Strangers may even treat you differently. But ultimately, you are not doing it to please any of them. Over time, relationships change. People grow and experiences will speak for themselves. People will see your character. So yes, wearing hijab may make you stand out depending on your situation. But your smile, your warmth, your kindness, your generosity, your strength, your perseverance speak loudly. So loudly that though people will most likely notice your hijab first, your character can leave a lasting impression. So stand with confidence because you are trying to please Allah. Stand with confidence because you are representing beautiful Islam. Stand with confidence because you are a walking form of dawah.
A Quranic Verse to Reflect On
"And tell believing women that they should lower their glances, guard their private parts, and not display their charms beyond what [it is acceptable] to reveal; they should let their head-scarves fall to cover their “necklines and not reveal their charms except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their womenfolk, their slaves, such men as attend them who have no sexual desire, or children who are not yet aware of women’s nakedness; they should not stamp their feet so as to draw attention to any hidden charms. Believers, all of you, turn to God so that you may prosper.” [24:31]"