Your advice please ;-)

{ Monday, June 27, 2011 }
So, I've been "officially" Muslim for almost a year now (I converted beginning of August 2010), but I've been praying, wearing long clothes etc. for a whole while longer. I postponed converting because I first wanted to tell my parents that I would become Muslim. It seemed fairer. But I never had the courage to tell them and ended up converting anyway.  
A few months back, my mother asked me if I converted, and although I didn't say "yes", I didn't deny it and it was obvious that I had. She acted surprised and I thought I could see tears in her eyes (Nope, not out of joy), but she didn't become angry. I think the rest of my family (my father and brother) know too, because I'm always wearing long clothes and my brother's remarks about Muslims and how I'm always "defending them", does suggest that he at least thinks I have an affinity with Islam. 
I don't really have a "talk talk" relationship with my parents. Sure I chat with them about daily things, but when it comes to more emotional or personal things, I don't really like to share, and they don't really like to share either it seems. We are not exactly close knit. 
Coming to the point, I've felt the longing to wear headscarf for quite some time now. I've read different theories about it being compulsory or not, and from my reading I concluded that yes, women should cover their hair and neck. That doesn't mean I don't respect other people's opinions or theories, and whatever happens, I will certainly never look down upon a Muslim woman who doesn't wear headscarf, because faith is in our hearts, and only God can truly see how dedicated we are. 
So, I want to wear headscarf, but I've always told myself "wait, it's too early". I'm starting to feel like I can't wait anymore, but I'm terrified of telling my parents (which would be inevitable in this case lol). I don't know how to bring it up, and I'm sure my parents will disagree with me, and maybe forbid me from doing it. 
Therefore, I want to ask you, my dear reader, about your advice on this matter. Feel free to share whatever you think is useful, and don't be afraid to challenge my views on the headscarf, I'm open to anything, as long as it's said in a respectful way ;-)
Thanks so much! :-)

9 comments:

The Diary of a Muslim said...

Salaam sister

First of all, congratulations on your 'islamaversary', alhamdulillah!
Mashallah, I think it's great you've decided you want to wear the hijab! It's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly ofcourse and I'm sure you've given it a lot of thought. Try talking to your family, I know it won't be easy, but if you sit down with them and fully explain why you're doing it and so on then they might understand. I think often people are too 'scared' or uncomfortable to ask about the hijab, so encourage them to ask you questions, the more they know about it the better they might feel. They might find it difficult to accept or understand at first but persevere and give them time and inshallah they'll soon see this decision for all the goodness that it is.
May Allah help you and give you strength and may He give your family patience and understanding.

P.S. Love the new look :o)

Safiyah said...

@ The Diary of a Muslim: thanks, sister :-) Yes you are right, I should talk with them, but it's hard to find the courage :-/ My mother already told me her views on the headscarf, and they aren't very positive. I also am not really good in convincing people of my point of view, I just tense up and don't know what to say :-/
BarakAllah feeki for your advice! :-)

Muslim Butterfly said...

Ok...I feel like I'm reading my own story of my conversion. I had gone over to my mother's house one day with Hijab and she told me to take it off before coming into her house. I tried to explain it. I told her that around her and the immediate family I could take it off. I asked her opinion on scarves so that way she felt proud of what it was that I wore. That really helped a lot. I asked her opinions on different styles to help me pick one.

About wearing hijab...well I explained that I didn't have to wear it if I didn't want to...but that it was something I chose because I wanted people too look at me and not at my body or see me as a woman, but a human first.

You will get some stares when you are out with her...my mom had to get used to it too. I think you will find that once they get used to it...they will be okay with it all.

CATGIRL !! said...

oh MashALLAH u r a convert..dint know i hav a gem of a blogging friend out there..did u convert from christianity? who brought along ur conversion?
i think u shud write ur parents a silent letter in which u praise them first ..show ur love n then admit ur conversion ...

Safiyah said...

@ Muslim butterfly: I'm happy for you that your family accepts it, alhamdulillah :-) Thanks for your advice!

@ CatGirl: well my parents are christian by name, but they are not really religious, and as a result I wasn't really christian before my conversion. I did participate in some christian rituals that most of the children participate in just for the gifts they get afterwards :p Nobody really brought along my conversion. My interest must have been sparked by something, of course, but I don't really remember lol. It was more something instinctive, something I felt I needed to be part of, but of course I also did my research. Yes, maybe I can try a letter :-) Thanks!

Almost a Muslimah said...

as a non-muslim i don't really have a place in this discussion but i'm gonna give my 3 cents ;-)

1st of all, hijab is a politically charged item right now. given your sensitivity, it is like putting yourself out there as a target.

baaack in time i read an article by a muslim man who said that muslim women well... shouldn't wear hijab in the west. he explained that the purpose of hijab is modesty and not attracting to much attention to yourself. imagine living in saudi and not wearing abaya. you are going to stick out like a sore thumb. conversely, in the west hijab makes you visible and does attract attention (sometimes the wrong kind). so from this perspective, it'd make sense not to wear it.

i guess you could always wear it for a few hours a day and see how you feel about wearing it in public full time. you are a grown up woman, your parents can't forbid you wearing a headscarf but i think you would be taking a lot on yourself.
uhh and letter seems like a good idea :-)

Safiyah said...

@ Almost a Muslimah: Thanks for your comment :-) Yes, you are right, it certainly won't be easy to wear it here. I agree that the headscarf is politically charged, but I guess part of why I'd like to wear it is to fight against discrimination based on being Muslim/wearing the headscarf (I'm a bit of an activist). I don't know if I'll be able to take all the dirty looks, and the comments from my family. I agree that this is an important factor to take into consideration.

MarieHarmony said...

Hi Safiyah,

First of all happy to see your new blog design, love it!
As you know I am not a Muslim but I thought I could share.

I think your decision to wear the hijab is great if you do it for religious reasons, looking at your relation with God and what it gives you, and not for "fight against discrimination" reasons (I am an activist too so I understand your point but sometimes it’s more of a provocation – I see lots of covered women every day, some with a smile on their face, acting normally, still proud of their choice but accepting me as I am, and some with a sharp look, saying something like “look at me, I’m covered, I’m free and I don’t care what you think about me” – One shows me the true face of God, the other wants to prove something. But there’s nothing to prove really).

As for your family, I think you need to sit down with them sooner or later and explain your choice. I know (from experience on another subject) that it is not easy but it will save you worries.

If I just have a final advice to give you, don’t do things because others do it but do things because they mean something for Your life.
Stay well & keeping you in my prayers always.

Safiyah said...

Thanks for your great advice, Marie :-) I wouldn't do it solely to prove a point, of course, but I just meant that I don't want to not wear it just because it's politically charged and I might not "fit in". I would also never look in a sharp way at women who aren't covered, because I respect everyone's personal choices ;-) If it's something I feel right about, then I think I should do it, as you said, because it would mean something to me. Thanks! :-)

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