To Hijab or Not to Hijab

That is the question! I know it’s a simple one, and deep down I know I shouldn’t take off my scarfย  no matter what. It’s just sometimes, it’s not so easy.

With all that is going on in the country, wearing hijab is becoming increasingly difficult. As Muslimah’s we wear our deen on our sleeves (so to speak). It’s out there for the people to see, no one can mistak us for anything else. I’m not saying brothers don’t do that but they don’t stand out as much. When I wear hijab, everyone knows I’m Muslim. This has led to A LOT of staring. Especially these past couple of days.

To add to the pressure, reverts are being called out by the extremist group right now. It’s a big big deal to have reverted to Islam. For some reason the religion you choose to practice is everyone’s business, and everyone except you has a right over it. It’s become increasingly difficult for me to proudly say I’m a revert, or proudly say I am a Sinhalese revert.

On some level I fear for my safety if they found out I was a revert. Would they shout at me? Would they hit me? Would they pull off my hijab (as the extremist group has sworn to do)? Would they get my parents involved? Would they be harassed? Would they do worse? Secondly I fear I will bring proof to their allegations. I know I did this on my own, no one coerced me to do it. I wasn’t promised money, love, happiness or fame. But they don’t care about that, according to what they say, reverts to Islam were all promised something by some Muslim. Would they think “Oh..These Muslims ARE really converting people” when they find out I’m a revert? Would they blame my brothers and sisters for a choice I made? Would it bring problems to my community which is already struggling to safe guard the unity? Would it just make things worse?

These thoughts have been playing in my head for the past week. To top it, (oh yes there is more) I’m the only Muslimah in the whole of my MBA class. Kinda singles me out. I definitely felt like the odd one out at orientation. Then there is the fact that I won’t be able to wear my hijab to graduation since my parents won’t allow that. Is it worth while the weird looks you get when you go from years of hijab to one day without it? Tomorrow’s my first class. I have no idea how people are going to react to me being a Sinhalese Muslim. Would it be so bad if I said I came from a mixed family instead of the long awkward explanation?

I say to myself that it’s Shaithan playing tricks on me. Trying to create doubt and fear. I keep telling myself whatever happens if I stay true to Allah (SWT) no one can harm me. I keep trying to pep myself up, but I can’t help but think it’s better not to wear it. I don’t know what to do…

I had this same play of thoughts the night before orientation and Alhamdulillah I summoned up enough courage (by the mercy of Allah) to just wear it. I’m hoping tomorrow and every day after that will be the same.

I’m hoping my decisions do not burden my community. I’m hoping I don’t get too many awkward questions and stares. I’m hoping Allah (SWT) gives me the strength to fight this battle. I’m hoping I’m not going to be the kid which no one wants to play with.




10 thoughts on “To Hijab or Not to Hijab

  1. Remember that this life is temporary, what if you decide to take it off to make life easier for yourself and Allah takes your life the next day? May Allah protect you from the whispers of the shayateen.

    Know that you will facing much more difficult tests in life, do not fall. Keep faith in Allah and face your trials with trust in Allah and remember your rewards in akhirah.

  2. Just think how proud of yourself you’ll be if you continue to wear it, and how torn you’ll be if you take it off. Those who would judge you would only consider the removal of the hijab further proof that it was never really your choice. Don’t worry about what they think, you’ll never be able to please them. Do you know the story of the father and son who were travelling with a donkey?

    • Yes I have. It’s one I refer to almost everyday. Unfortunately in this situation it’s a bit difficult. I’m not taking it off ๐Ÿ™‚ I might have my moments of doubt but Alhamdulillah I am stubborn enough to wear it! It’s not so much about what people think (I really couldn’t careless what they think of me, only Allah can judge me), its more on what they can do. I fear for my family. Insha’Allah I shall face what ever trouble comes my way with Allah’s help, but I do not want my family to suffer for a choice I have made. It’s an especially delicate situation as they are not the most supportive of my choice right now either. But at the end of the day I trust Allah to guide me through this ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You know, reading your post, I kept thinking of the mas’alah of the person who is told to renounce Islam or die. Usually you are required to do whatever it takes to survive, no matter how haraam, (except for the killing of an innocent, it’s better to die), but in this one instance you have a choice. You may either pretend to renounce Islam, and live; OR you may refuse, and die. The reason both are permitted is that it’s good for the ummah if you remain strong and choose death, (the African American slaves are a good example of what happens when you choose life, their religion was completely decimated), while it’s good for you if you choose life. The question then becomes, how hard are you willing to fight for the iman of your children? Because the more we conceal our religion, the less of it we will be able to pass on to our children, (think communism, and the effects it has had on religion, even after ending).

      • True and I agree that it is better to die as a proud Muslim than to hide your Deen. If I was an individual with no family commitments, I would gladly, but this is a delicate situation where my family and community is also involved in. One thing I refuse to do is burden my family for my choice to revert. It wouldn’t be fair to them. The current anti-Muslim forces in Sri Lanka are brutes (there is no other way to describe them), they harass people who even shop at Muslim establishments. I don’t want my family to be succumb to such harassment just because they label me as a traitor (or what ever else they would like to call me). Even if they kill me for reverting and practising my Deen, I shudder to think what would happen to my family. Secondly, unfortunately it is no longer safe for me to proudly walk the streets calling myself a revert. I often ponder on this because it’s a difficult choice of whether to hide my name. They accuse the Sri Lankan Muslims of a lot of things, including converting people (especially women) with promises of money, promotions, wealthy marriage lives, etc. Since things have some what calmed down (meaning only isolated incidents happening around the country), I don’t know if I want people to think “She is a convert so then it must be true that they are converting our women”. I don’t know if it would aggravate anything. As for my children, Insha’Allah I pray Allah gives me pious children, but for that to happen I must survive this. Muslims must survive this. I think that’s what my community in SL is trying to do, by the grace of Allah, just survive this.

  3. Pingback: To Hijab or Not to Hijab | Voices of Reasoning

    • May Allah make it easy for you all, aameen. (I hope you don’t think I was trying to guilt trip you or anything like that, I wasn’t trying to say which you should choose, just what my thoughts would be if I were in your position, (no idea what I’d actually DO)). Is there anything the rest of the world can do to help?

      • Of course not ๐Ÿ™‚ I know you were only attempting to encourage me. Jazakhallah Khairan. Your duas for all the Muslims in Sri Lanka would be appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚ I know many (especially sisters adorning the niqab and burqa) who are scared to walk outside their house due to the mistreatment some have been given. May Allah protect us all and make it easy on all of us, Ameen!

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