My name is Batool, and this is my story…
The hijab is something that I have been adhering and striving to perfect for more than about 10 years (since the age of 9). An attachment that has grown to become an integral part of my existence – the hijab is my true identity. My love and appreciation for it has intensified over the years, as the desire to sincerely worship Allah swt alone (not people/shaytaan/my own ego) has been my main focus and realisation in reaching the ultimate destination (that is Allah). How can I ever expect to linquish a strong link with the divine, if I cannot look past my burning desires and obsessive ‘wants’? How do I weaken my egoistic spirit that has been the cause of all self-borne miseries? Adhering to Allah (swt) commands and consistently praying that He opens the senses of my heart, allowing me to love what he loves, and hate what He hates is the true path to salvation and eternal happiness.
Ultimately, observing the hijab implies I’m subconsciously saying to myself that there is no price for my soul except paradise, and I won’t sell it for anything less, because this dunya is but a train journey that will lead us to our final, ever lasting abode. Forget that Allah (swt) has prepared for His sincere and practicing servants an eternity which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and that which the greatest minds could never imagine, but in this world, which will inevitably pass by like the blink of the eye, nothing will seem to bother them, or make them feel sad.
There’s a beautiful hadith where Allah swt says:
My servant endears himself to me with prayers until I love him. Once I love him, I become the hearing in which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his tongue with which he speaks, his hands with which he acts, and his foot with which he walks. When he calls me I answer him, and when he asks me I grant him.’ (hadith qudsi)
Allah swt is telling us that when we stick to his path and make him the focus of our life, He will become intertwined in us, to the point where we will be able to overcome anything that comes in our way and feel utmost safety and contentment. Hijab awakens the realisation that my pathway is towards Allah (swt) and no one can walk it for me, it is my duty to uphold the values of the religion and act as his true Khalifa (vicegerant) on His earth.
On another note, I simply cannot thank Allah (swt) enough for specifically choosing to guide me towards His light, that in itself means that He sees so much potential in my soul and wants to direct me to His never ending mercy. But at the end of it all, what’s more beautiful than having the creators of the heaven and earth by your side? Having Allah by your side means that He will find a way out for you in every troublesome circumstance – that is a fact. I’ve experienced it, and it has shocked me in some circumstances. He mentions in the Quran:
Those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will make a way out for them
It is not just your relationship with Allah (swt) that will improve significantly, but with his creation also. It’s known that if someone improves their relationship with Allah (swt), He will most definitely improve the person’s relationship with people; he will gain the utmost respect from them.
It therefore stands to reason that when Allah (swt) issues us a command, not obeying it will only cause us self destruction and harm. Allah swt is independent of his creation and is not in need of anything or anyone. Whether we understand the benefits of what He has decreed or not is another matter, and we should strive to use our knowledge and reasoning to reach a logical conclusion.
It is out of Allah’s (swt) supreme justice and equality that He has ordained believers to observe the hijab. Man has been gifted both an intellect and soul; out of respect to both entities, the instincts of man should be excluded when the intellect of the male and female are resonating, this ensures and upholds respect and equality for the female.
Imam Khomeini (ra) famously quotes, ‘If a woman knew how a man perceives her, she would cover herself with an iron armor.’ It therefore stands to reason that the hijab shields and protects women from men who incline themselves to lust and unlawful desires. Through adhering to the right hijab, the female isn’t giving the man any excuse to lust over her physical appearance, and the clothing itself should serve as a sign that the female has no interest in engaging with the opposite sex in an unlawful manner. This puts the woman in control of the strangers’ reaction to her. Allah (swt) has blessed us with the way we look, but that is something which is not in our hands and unfortunately, in our societies today much emphasis is put on the exterior. Our actions on the other hand is what determines who we are as people, as it is something that we can decide for ourselves.
Islam has come to free woman from the shackles of society, where there is the pressure of constantly placing attention on ones physical self. It has come to allow women to focus on their sole purpose of existene: acquiring knowledge and contributing to the betterment of human society. Productivity should be our drive through life, and not adhering to the right hijab only hinders that and feeds our natural instincts in an unlawful way. All forms of hijab are important- a pure heart, the language and attitude maintained, the headscarf, clothes and makeup. Any slack in one or the other will weaken its foundation and a weakness will only leave room for others to form and expand, if not treated. Subhanallah, Allah (swt) on top of all these benefits in this life, rewards us endlessly in the hereafter.
It may be hard to submit yourself to it, wholeheartedly and the battle varies from person to person. But just know – know that every second of your life that you’re walking outside and hijab is being observed, Allah (swt) is showering his rewards on you. Rewards upon rewards upon rewards. Unimaginable. You are now working with Allah (swt), a team, and you have chosen what He wants over what people/shaytan/the ego craves. And because of that, He will make your needs come true through your duaas. Know that when you walk into a room and you’re the only one wearing the hijab, Allah creates a light that illuminates from you, upto the seventh heaven, and He mentions you to his angels, saying to them look at my beloved creation, knowing all the struggles that you’re facing, yet you still chose to follow his path. The Prophet mentioned it, saying ‘The light of a believer illuminates for the dwellers of the heavens the way the stars of the heavens illuminate for the dwellers of the earth.’
Trust Allah (swt) fully, and just see what wonders He will do for you. The key is to trust and not doubt in His power to change things. He created this universe, not a single leaf falls before He knows it, and the only way you can change your destiny is through praying to Him that He will strengthen you on His righteous path, the path which ensures triumph both in this life and the hereafter.