First off I am a Muslim. Not a very good one, but I am trying to be. Life is a struggle. Especially if you are a Muslim in a Western society. It’s filled with temptations, failure, disappointment and tests. But the thing is, it’s meant to be that way. It’s how we respond to challenges that let us keep on living with our lives.
It has been a year since I had started wearing the hijab. And what an interesting journey it has been. I have learnt a lot about myself and who I really am. I realised that I’m a girl with confidence, a girl who always follows her heart, a girl who always tries to do things with love and sincerity and a girl who has values and principles.
Fundamentally, wearing the hijab does not make you a better person. It doesn’t have that power. It’s literally just a piece of cloth that sits on top of your head. Rather, it’s your intentions, your actions, what you say and what is in your heart that makes you a better person.
No one really knows what is in your heart except for yourself and God.
Mufti Ismail Menk (an Islamic Scholar) had once said:
“When you see a female dressed in a manner that is unacceptable Islamically, do not for a moment think that she is lower than you spiritually. If you do that, you are lower than her. Believe me, that is the teaching of your religion. She might have a link with her creator that you do not know about. She might have a heart that is a lot better than yours. She might have one weakness that is outward, and you have 50 weaknesses that are hidden.”
A couple of weeks ago, I put up an old picture of myself on Instagram saying that I felt like I was more religious when I wasn’t wearing the hijab. I still think that it is true and I think I got it to my head. Just because I looked religious, I wasn’t as religious as I wanted or used to be. Before wearing the hijab I would always do extra prayers, fast every Monday and Thursday, gave more to charity, read and watched or listened to religious books or videos and podcasts and I constantly did dhikr (remembrance of God) but slowly I would do less of them until I rarely do them anymore. Maybe it really did get to my head, that wearing the hijab was enough and that it compensated for the things that I had stopped doing.
I am not saying that this is the experience for everybody who wears the hijab but this is my own individual experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I love God and I am proud to be a Muslim and I love how the hijab liberates me from the norms and beauty ideals of the western society. But I do not love how I don’t feel sincere wearing it anymore. And I want to be sincere with everything I do.
It is definitely not because I want to get attention or flaunt my beauty. I just want to be real with all of you guys and myself. I would rather please God with my actions, character and pure heart, rather than please Him or other people with what I look like.
Although it was an extremely hard decision, I am confident that this is the right thing to do for now as I have really thought about it for the last couple of weeks.
I am very sorry to disappoint anyone and I know that I will but I have come to the decision to stop wearing the hijab. I know that people might talk and they can say whatever they want to say but I know in my heart that now is not the time. I can promise that it won’t be forever but I can’t promise to when I will start wearing it properly again. Maybe it will be in a couple of weeks or months or even years. Only God knows.
Hopefully, I don’t come across as a hypocrite; everything I have said in my blogs in the past was all genuine and all of my words are sincere to this day. I am still the ‘Girl in the Wine Red Scarf’ and I still hold all the values and principles that I have. That girl is still here and she is not going anywhere.