Thursday, 7 May 2009

Like a star, a star, a star...

Dressed in stretch Jbrand jeans and black HandM zip back dress with hair piled high in a messy bun, I sit uninterested. The McQueen-esqe Topshop scarf hangs loosely barely covering my exposed neck and I find myself feeling even more detached from my 11am Monday meeting than usual.

At this point, my head’s full of thoughts and feelings of failure… guilt… and weakness to name but a few. I sit feeling absolutely gutted that I had barely even tried that morning.

I didn't try. In hindsight - I didn't try. At all.

Amidst all the talk of the AW09 collection and Sales plans, I experienced quite a surreal moment. I still can’t quite find the words to explain what I felt and think even if I could? I wouldn't be able to fully describe the moment as I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before.

It was so weird… It was probably the closest thing to an out of body experience... I remember feeling very aware all of a sudden; aware of myself and my surroundings. I found myself sat there, in this meeting that I cared nothing about, in the tightest of denim, exposed neck and hair uncovered when reality hit me. The realization of what I was doing hit me so hard, I froze… I sat bolted to my seat, with baited breath and my heart began sinking even further than it had already done so that morning.

For the first time - I felt such shame! And never before have I felt shame like I had at that moment when I became aware of my Lord was watching down on me, disobeying Him! Disobeying his commands and disobeying what had been ordained on me as a Muslim woman.

Gosh – Chills run through me as I type…

I very quickly became conscious His presence - Taqwa I believe, at that moment in time. I've never felt such failure, disappointment and weakness in myself before.

Monday 23rd February was the day that I was supposed to begin wearing hijab. The rest of the day was spent feeling absolutely horrendous…

See, the thing is, had I worn Hijab that morning, it honestly wouldn’t have been for the right reasons – my decision to go ahead begin wearing Hijab that morning was decided on a whim the Friday prior!

Subhanallah – The Friday was an absolutely beautiful day; it was the blessed day of Jum’aa, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. I felt content and all praise was to Allah subhanahu wa taala.. I felt blessed and was also feeling ‘good’ in the Islamic sense… I'd booked the day off from work and was trialing the Hijab ahead of the Fundamentals of faith seminar I was attending in the evening.

Mash’allah after a truly inspiring lecture taught by Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, I felt much more connected spiritually towards my beautiful deen and left feeling my iman had increased. A conversation with a close friend discussing the lecture and Islam in general soon turned to my dithering in observing hijab.

The same silly excuses rolled off my tongue to be greeted with the same sensible answers from my friend followed by the suggestion of putting the hijab on and just not taking it off... "You’ll be wearing it all weekend, be surrounded by brothers and sisters in the deen, why don't you just get up on Monday and go to work with it on…?"

OMG! The nerves and butterflies I felt! The excitement rushed though my whole body!

Now, I’m very much the type of person who never makes sporadic decisions unless I’ve thought long and hard about them. Depending on the situation, I need to feel ready and certain that I’m making the right choice so this was totally a new prospect to me!

It sounded sooo exciting – It sounded amazing in fact! A new chapter, A new me and an a new way of life sounding fascinating so much so that amidst all my nervous excitement, I found myself thinking "Ok! I’m just gonna do it – No thinking, just do it!!"

I was inundated with beautiful Hadith, Quran verses, Dua and well wishes.

“Tomorrow’s gonna be the start the start to a new phase of your life’’ – To hear those words was amazing! It was the start of a new me... Being a bit of a worrier, the feeling of doing this with no worries... no stresses... no fears felt amazing and so carefree... All those demons that you may have read about in my previous post didnt matter and it all felt so simple and easy..

Things took a slight turn however as throughout the course of the weekend, I’d had time to think about what I was going to do… Shaitan had begun working his ways on me and the doubts, fears, worries and the feelings of not being ready quickly crept back into my mind…

“I don’t have any Hijabs to wear!”
“I don’t know what I’m going to say to people!”
“How are they going to react?”
“Will they be shocked? How will I face all the questions?!”

All these thoughts and questions ran through my mind – it was a rushed decision that I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for...

What was decided on impulse now had me feeling nervous like crazy and found myself going back on my decision... I hadn’t planned it… I wasn’t organized… I hadn’t had the chance to get used to it… I don’t ever do things on impulse as I’m very much a thinker! So all these thing were important for me to have in hand…

Above all else, there was a major factor which influenced my decision to wear (or not wear as the case had been) to wear the hijab that morning...

I wouldn’t have done it as I felt ready to do it, or cos I felt the love to do it, or even cos really wanted to do it… If i had worn hijab that morning, it would have been due to not wanting to dissapoint my friend who had invested so much time in me, encouraged me and was so, so pleased to hear of my decision...

I felt this immense pressure and expectation that was put on me to do this. I honestly felt had I gone through with it, it would have been to please someone in this life rather than for the sake of the one being that this should truly be for and matters the most - Allah subhanau wa taala.

Anything I do for the deen - for me, needs to be for the right reasons... My actions for my deen are not to please people or seek their approval or gratification... I do these things as I want to do them to please my creator. Allah is the only one that I aim to please, and no one else.
So in wearing the hijab, I didn’t want to feel pressured to wear it... I didn’t want to wear it cos someone else wanted me to – it had to be for ME. I wanted to want to wear it, and I wanted to feel ready to wear it. I didn’t want to look back in years to come and feel that I had been indirectly 'pushed' into wearing it... Astagfirullah I feared that should I ever feel this, I would not only end up resenting someone for it but also resent wearing the hijab also.. I didnt want to feel that... Allhumdulillah - Ive never felt any resntment before for anyhting but can only but imagine what this could do to a person...

I felt quite strongly that had to be of my own accord as it was for my beautiful cousins and it would be when I was ready (or as ready as I could ever be) to wear it…

In my heart, it just didn’t feel right - thats it...

With all this in mind – Subconsciously or not, I had already made up my mind about wearing it on Monday… my decision was, that I wouldn’t. Although I told friends that I would try – deep down in the subconscious I guess I knew I wouldn’t.

10am Monday morning I drafted the below email and sent it in the hope of finding reassurance; Someone to say that it was a small setback and it would be ok maybe.. a few further words of encouragement perhaps…Anything – I just needed to hear it was ok and to stop feeling so guilty about it…

Seeing these emails again have actually been quite hard for me to read actually, I guess as everything I went throught hat mornign comes flooding back... Anyways...

“Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

I feel sick with disappointment.. I’m sitting here and feel so bad that I couldn’t do it, I didn’t even make an effort to do so this morning.

I woke up got ready as usual and then gave it a few moments thoughts and just couldn’t do it...

My way into work was spent thinking how would I feel on the train wearing Hijab? Ok
How would I feel on the tube wearing Hijab Ok?
How would I feel walking into work in Hijab - mmm not sure
Sitting at my desk now thinking how would I feel wearing Hijab - self conscious.... wondering what everyone’s thinking...

its also just dawned on me that I don’t like to draw attention to myself and know in wearing Hijab that will happen - all eyes really will be on me...

I can’t even begin to tell you what I’m feeling..

I have this horrible sinking feeling inside...
Does this make me a weak person? I feel it.”

I was greeted with a short terse response; which was the last thing I needed… I already felt horrendous and I didn’t need to be made to feel any worse than I already did.

I remember feeling like I had no one! I remember feeling like my friend who had been sooo supportive had now turned away from me and had left me to my own devices...

Melodramaatic maybe - but thats how I felt!

I guess it’s if you spend so much time, helping someone and are over the moon when progress has been made, but then to see that person go back a step, it must be super frustrating. Maybe even make you want to give up almost and would possibly make you feel why you ever bothered – and all your efforts had been wasted...?

8 or 9 months ago, I was a lost shallow little soul whose be all and end all was fashion, gym, Facebook and that’s pretty much it… Yeah I prayed and stuff but my deen wasn’t the priority in my life. I wanted to do more for my deen and iman, but being a procrastinator never usually got anywhere fast… My friend had been such a positive influence in my life, had it not be for this its quite likely that I’d still be plodding along not really having given the hijab or anything else any serious thought…

The rest of that week was the toughest.

But you know what? It was a blessing in disguise as it made me stronger and even more determined to do this… if at first you don’t succeed…

I decided to give myself a bit of time.. a week, and would take the plunge…
All I needed was a week- just one week to prepare cos I was soooo going to do this! And you know what else? I was going to do it on my own!

I didn’t need anyone else as truly Allah was sufficient. Don’t get me wrong all the support and the love from friends helps very much but it was down to the Qadar of Allah if this was going to happen.

I supplicated my heart out that Allah would make it easy and give me the strength and courage to go through with it…and you know what He really did. All those things I was most worried about and feared? – They all seemed to have taken care of themselves…

Gosh – here come the chills again..

Honestly – thinking back that week was lovely as I was so immersed in doing this and being ready for it..

I sent texts round so friends who were wearing hijab already and asked where they buy Hijabs and spoke to friends who had made the change also.

Allhumdulillah, upon telling everyone how I felt so disappointed in myself – they were all so great and shared their experiences and thoughts. Everyone was sooo supportive and were so lovely.. even the sisters I saw in the prayer room at work – honestly i felt truly blesses to have these people to speak to, to make me feel better and to know that they were there for me..

It’s always easier knowing someone’s gone though what you have and to see, that they’re doing ok so insh’Allah I will be too!

I went shopping in my lunch hour and after work in search of Hijabs everyday for a week! I traipsed up and down Oxford Street, made trips to Green street and even rummaged thought old Shalwaar Kameez in search for beautiful Dupattas to add to my new wardrobe of Hijabs!

I researched to death reasons for wearing hijab, I must have printed out like 30 pages worth of Information on reasons, experiences, Hadiths, Punishments, Benefits - everything and anything relating to hijab… I spent my hour long commute into work reading highlighting and thinking about hijab and the beauty of observing it not only to understand it for myself further but also to be able to explain it when faced with questions…

The final thing that needed addressing and the BIGGEST reason why I hadn’t already started wearing the hijab – work! I decided to avoid the limelight that was to ensue, the below was needed… Again, to avoid a big song and dance about it, i sent out a discreet email to my immediate team..

“Hi ladies,
Almost time for the weekend!

Ok rather than making a big announcement I just thought it'd be easier if I just sent an email...

From next week (hopefully!), I plan to start wearing the Hijab on a permanent basis (Hijab is the Islamic dress, so basically just covering my hair...)
Being Muslim, it’s something I've been thinking about for a while and I've now finally decided to just do it...

It’s quite a big change for me - eeeek!
I just wanted to let you all know beforehand so it’s doesn't come as a surprise when you see me looking a bit different come Monday morning!

That's all...!

I was like a woman possessed that week – I was on autopilot! Every spare moent was spent thinking about the following Monday and my first day as a Hijabi, only this time positively and more motivated, determined and excited than ever!

And that was it!

All done and no more excuses!

Everything had been dealt with and I was ready to go…

Monday 2nd March? BRING IT!!!

Gosh it seems like forever ago now and it’s actually been quite tough reliving this post – It was such a hard week for me but Allhumdulillah I came out shining...

Like a star in fact!
= D


  1. How long have you been Muslim? I hope that you will be able to wear hijab and be a positive inspiration to those around you.

  2. Aslaamu alaikum Stacy..

    Thanks for your comment lady, that's very sweet... I hope so too insh'allah!

    I was born Muslim Stacy, I've always known and practiced the deem but at times more so as I was told I should by my parents-I was never really aware of the reasons and benefits why we do somethings, for example the benefits of salah, or sawn, hijab-subhanallah!

    It's only over the last year, and more so over the last 8/9 months my deen has become the priority in my life-allhumdulillah!

    Take care lovey,
    Jumaa Mubarak, hope it's full of much love and blessing for you Sis

  3. salam hope that you are well, i left a comment a few days a go an here but it just would not let me post it!!!! anyway here i am trying a gain, loved your post, i really admire the way you have come to hijaab, totally from the heart and for the right reasons, good on you girl. I have to ask you something because i just dont get google mail, i replied to your recent email but i cant be sure whether it got sent to you, please let me know!hope all is well hun.

  4. Asalaamu alaikum Queenie

    Allhimdulillah im very well lady! Hope you are too insh'allah.

    Yeah i did get your email but again wanted to reply properly.. I was so touched after i finished reading I sat on the prayer mat after my Isha salah with my heart in my mouth!

    Inshallah I hope to reply to you very soon sweetie.

    Love you and stay blessed honey

  5. Wow, I could really feel you in your post. congradulations on making it through. I'm always around incase you need a chat

    love and blessings,

  6. Awww JazakAllah Khair Sis!

    Awww, Insh'allah I will be sure to drop you a line if ever I need to, thats so lovely of you sweetie - Aw, the beauty of the Sisterhood right?

    Much Love Sis