Sadaqa box and Motivation

{ Tuesday, February 28, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum :)

I'm going to follow the advice of Sheikh Abdelhakim Murad and start a Sadaqa box!
Basically, what you do is everytime you do something what you consider wrong, you put some money in the Sadaqa box. At the end of the month or so, you can give the amount of money you "raised" to a good cause, inshaAllah. I think it's a great way to transform bad into good. A Sadaqa box doesn't mean that you have to do as many bad deeds as you can, of course, but it's more a way to control yourself, and if you trespass your set boundaries, inshaAllah at least some good will come out of it. 

So here are some offences that will cost me. 

Missing a prayer while at home: 1 euro

Missing Fajr: 2 euro

Missing a prayer while out, but in a position to pray: 50 cents

Starting on my work for uni later than 12 o'clock: 50 cents

Working less than 4 hours a day for uni under normal circumstances: 1 euro

Forgetting to say "bismillah" before and "alhamdulillah" after having food or drinking: 20 cents
(I don't know why, but I always forget!)

Swearing: 20 cents

Being unkind to parents: 50 cents

This might not seem a lot of money, but don't forget that I'm a student with no regular income, so to me it is a lot! ;)


Women, Modesty and Hijab in Islam

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Assalaamu aleykum! :)


Amenakin did an interview with sheikh Abdel Hakim Murad, and asked him some very interesting questions. I very much like his points of view, and I think they are shariah based, with a touch of beauty and spirituality very much lacking in some other sheikh's opinions.
Here are the questions she asked him:


1) What is 'Hijab' and how should it affect us on an inner and outer level?
2) For Muslim women living and working in the West, how do you suggest we can ensure that we are growing spiritually, whilst being surrounded by materialism and often being tempted by it?
3) What advice would you give to sisters (reverts and non-reverts) who are finding it difficult to start wearing hijab?
4) What methods can one use to increase one's eeman? Many people nowadays suffer from having severe "dips" in their faith, and become very distressed upon realising this. Could you suggest some methods that might help to rectify this type of spiritual crisis?
5) Do you have any recommendations of books or articles about the "basics of Islam", for people who are interested in finding out about the foundations of the religion?


6) What is the best way to advise and correct fellow Muslims if you feel as though they are doing something "wrong"?
7). What about if you don't have access to a sufficiently knowledgeable person and wish to seek an opinion on something that hasn't had a fatwa given on it?
8) Is it permissible for Muslim women to wear coloured hijabs or attire?
9) How can Muslim women with 'busy' lives (working, studying, looking after dependents etc) contribute positively to society, whilst representing Islam in the best way possible?
10)  Is it permissible for us Muslim women to shake hands with men, for example, at job interview or formal occasions?
11) Do you have any tips for sisters to maintain the correct intention when wearing hijab, when it's always criticised in some way or another by both Muslims and non-Muslims?
12) When thoughts of taking off her hijab come to a sister, what can she do?
13). Are there any areas of his work where Imam Al-Ghazali mentions the role of Muslim women?


The best way is to watch it with your headphones and your volume turned up ;)



21-Day Positivity Challenge!

{ Monday, February 27, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum,


Like Marie from Diary of a Heart in Transit, I'll  be joining the 21-Day Positivity Challenge, inshaAllah.


Click here for more information.


Love,


Safiyah

Racism in Islam

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You don't have to be a scholar to know that racism has absolutely no basis in Islam. Yet, some Saudi sheikhs seemed to have been ill on the day they discussed this issue in the madrasa, or they simply chose to forget it.


What caused me to write this post? In light of the controversy around the tweets of Hamza Kashgari, a Saudi sheikh called Abdulaziz Abdullatif  stated that it would be considered a "good deed" to insult Hamza's race, which is Uzbek. If you don't know Hamza Kashgari, he wrote some tweets about the Prophet (pbuh), which were considered disrespectful, and now several Saudi's are calling for his death. Nevermind that he has apologized. He's considered an infidel now that needs to be killed.
I really wonder about Saudi Arabia. It's the cradle of Islam, yet it seems they know nothing about it.
So now, they think that the whole Uzbek race is responsible for what Hamza has done, and they deserve to be slandered and insulted. Is it just me, or does the word "Nazi Germany" come up in one's mind when reading this?


One doesn't need to be an expert in Islam to know how wrong all of this is.
First, Shariah law states that an apostate (if Hamza is to be considered as such) has the right to change his mind and become Muslim again. He shouldn't be harmed in that case. I think the ample apologies Hamza wrote are proof enough. Yet, Saudi sheikhs keep on calling for him to be tried in front of a Shariah court (or the Saudi version of it).


"Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surah az-Zumar 39:53) 

And who can forgive sins except Allah? (Surah Ali Imran 3:135)


Then, on insulting Hamza's race.

First, everyone is responsible for their own deeds.


 "Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden…" (Al-Isra',15)


 "Whosoever does righteous good deed it is for (the benefit of) his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves." (Fussilat, 46)


 "And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden, and if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted even though he be near of kin…" (Fatir,18)


Second, it doesn't befit a Muslim to slander another person (Muslim or not), at all.


The Messenger of Allah ﷺ (peace be upon him) said:“A true believer does not taunt or curse or abuse or talk indecently.” (At-Tirmidhi)


“The servants of the Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily and when the ignorant address them harshly, they say words of peace,” (Qur’an, 25:63)


"Be kind, as Allah has been kind to you" (Al Qasas, 28:77)

And do not backbite, would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother; you would surely hate it (so you should likewise hate backbiting) [Al Quran 49:12].


the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: The strong man is not the good wrestler, but the strong man is he who controls himself when he is angry.


the Prophet (peace be upon him), said to one of the Sahabah: ``You have two qualities which Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'alaa) likes and loves: one is mildness and the other is toleration''.


And last, and this counts for more than just one person in Saudi: There is no place for racism in Islam. No, you are not better than Indians, Pakistani's, Asians or whatever race just because you're Saudi. Now would you please get over yourselves, because I don't care which tribe you're from, and neither does God. 

“Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.” (Muslim)


The Prophet (pbuh) said: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”


SubhanAllah, that person calls himself a sheikh, yet it's so easy to prove him wrong. Shame on you! May Allah swt guide all racists like you to the straight path, ameen!





How to find a balance?

{ Sunday, February 26, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum :)


This post is no advise, I'm afraid, because it's something I'm struggling with myself at the moment.
Sometimes I read hadiths and ayaat from the Quran and I think that it's really easy to get into Paradise, as long as you repent and do your best to be a good Muslim. But then I find other verses and hadiths that make it sound so difficult. For example, I heard that everyone who still has a tiny bit of arrogance in their hearts will not enter Paradise. I'm afraid, because I still have arrogance and ego. Not excessively, but it's still there, of course. I think most people have it in some way or the other. 
I'm not complaining, because I know that Allah swt is the Most Wise. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid that all what I do will never be good enough, and it makes me feel bad, to be honest. It makes me feel inadequate. I make mistakes, I am lazy sometimes, and I feel like it's really hard to be the perfect Muslim. 
I think it's not healthy, the way I'm feeling at the moment. Of course it's good to fear God in some way, but now I really have the feeling that whatever I do, I'll still have my bad sides, and still have arrogance, and so it will all lead to nothing. I'm just being honest. 


Do you have any advise? It would be much appreciated! ;)


Much love,


Safiyah



Concerning fasting

{ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum,


SubhanAllah, when I proposed to fast, I totally forgot about my recent kidney problems. The doctor had told me to always drink well, and since I had pain there again very recently, I think it would not be a good idea to withhold fluids from my body at this time.


It's a pity, but I really need to be careful.


Have a nice evening, everyone.



Fasting together: who's in? ;)

{ Sunday, February 19, 2012 }
Narrated Sahl: The Prophet said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” (Bukhari)


Assalaamu aleykum,

I was thinking of fasting this Wednesday, and I wanted to extend an invitation to my dear readers to fast too. Fasting has a lot of benefits and is very loved by Allah swt. Also, it's easier to fast if you know others are fasting too. :) Maybe we can even create a mini-Ramadan feeling by devoting extra time that day to worship. I was also thinking (for those who have a blog) that we could write about our day afterwards to share our experiences and create a feeling of togetherness. Especially converts will know that fasting can be very lonely if we still live with our non-Muslim families. 

Anyway, let me know what you think ;)


A quick reminder

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Assalaamu aleykum :)


I wanted to share a reminder for when we comment on blogs, and of course for every other occasion in life. I have the impression that some Muslims are not familiar with this hadith.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ (peace be upon him) said:
“A true believer does not taunt or curse or abuse or talk indecently.” (At-Tirmidhi)





















How to restore your imaan

{ Friday, February 17, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum :)


As a "low imaan" survivor, I thought I would share with you some things that have helped me to regain my imaan, alhamdulillah.


1. Make it your intention
The most important thing is of course your intention to work on your imaan. I've had my intention for a couple of days while I did nothing, until it finally developed into a seed that pushed me to study my religion again, and to try to live up to its obligations. Make it your intention to find out for yourself, to stop reading criticism on Islam for a while, and to find good sources that will help you in your understanding of this simple yet complex and beautiful religion. 


2. Pray
Even if it's only once a day, do your best to pray. Ask God for guidance, ask Him to make you a better Muslim. Ask for His forgiveness and Mercy. If you start by praying once a day, do your best to increase your prayers slowly but steadily until you are ready to pray five times a day again. Remember, trying to do everything at once is not the best path. Take babysteps. God loves consistency, even if it's in something little. Try to make sure you can keep it up. 


3. Pray the Sunnah prayers
You can pick out a day for yourself where you intend to pray your fard prayers and the Sunnah ones. I have to admit it can be a bit exhausting if you are not used to it, but it does wonders for your imaan. :) What I try to do now, is to pray the sunnah prayer before fajr, until I'm used to that, and then do the sunnah prayer after maghreb until I'm used to that, and I try to build it up until I'm used to praying all my Sunnah prayers every day. This is a goal I've set for myself. The confirmed Sunnah prayers are:


2 raka'at before your Fajr prayer


4 raka'at before your Dhuhr prayer and 2 after


none before or after asr


2 raka'at after your maghreb prayer


2 raka'at after your isha prayer


There are also other forms of Sunnah prayer. You can find a list here (if you scroll down to the 4th post, inshaAllah)


4. Read and listen to Quran
When I started to pray regularly again, I found that my heart was so much more sensitive to the beautiful words of the Quran. If you don't know Arabic, find a translation that is clear, yet tries to preserve some of the beauty of the Quran. A good site is  http://www.quranexplorer.com/Quran/Default.aspx  , where you can listen to your favorite reciter and choose between different translations. 


5. Stop listening to music for a while
Although I'm not convinced that all music is haraam, it can be beneficial to stop listening to music entirely for a week or so, and instead only listen to Quran and anasheed. I found that it heightened my sensitivity to the beauty of Islam a lot. I still listen to classical music and music with "clean" lyrics (unless when I'm forced to listen to my brother's music), but I'm trying to reduce it a little, because listening to Quran should be our priority. 


6. Spend time with your Muslim friends
Unfortunately, I don't see my Muslim friends that much, but when I do, I always get an imaan boost. It really is important to surround ourselves by people who are beneficial to our imaan, even role models, who are further in practising Islam than we are, and who encourage us to improve.
If you don't have any Muslim friends in your direct area, you can always watch podcasts of Muslim scholars, which are very beneficial too. 


7. Set goals for yourself
Always try to improve. Stagnation can be detrimental to our imaan. Congratulate yourself when you have learned a sura, did your five prayers, listened to Quran etc., but don't stop. Always set a new goal for yourself. For example, my goals for the moment are: read the Quran in chronological order, Learn to pray the sunnah prayers every day and learn sura al-mulk by heart. When I've achieved those goals, I will find other ones, inshaAllah. I'm doing my best to not stagnate. 


8. Learn and read about Islam every day
There are so many beneficial books, sites and videos about Islam out there.
One of my favorites at the moment are:







  • Nye's Channel on Youtube
    She and a sister named Rebecca have some really great videos about Islam, with tips on how to pray 5 times a day, how to achieve praying your sunnah prayers every day, how to make dawah in the workplace, what to do when your parents aren't Muslim, how to give advice the Islamic way etc. May Allah swt reward them for their efforts!
I hope this post was beneficial! If you have any other ideas or good sources of information, feel free to post them in the comments section! :)
May Allah swt bless us all and keep us in the best state of Imaan, ameen!


“Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with the supererogatory (nawafil) so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.” (Bukhari)








Belgian regulation concerning hijaab and niqaab

{ Thursday, February 16, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum,


In this post I want to give an overview on the Belgian regulation concerning hijaab and niqaab, and my thoughts on the subject.


Hijaab


Concerning the hijaab, there is no national law banning it. However, schools that teach minors are allowed to ban it, and as a result, most schools have adopted this policy. I think almost all schools, except for a few exceptions, don't allow their teachers to wear hijaab either. However they do make an exception for teachers who teach Islam as a subject.
 I have a friend who teaches with hijaab, but she works at the Lucerna college, which is a schoolsystem that was started by rich Turks to give more chances to children of Turkish immigrants. As far as I know, children from other nationalities and Belgians are also welcome, but these schools are typically more tolerant of Islam. The schools are few however, and definitely not present in every city. 


Hijaab is also not allowed for civil servants. Although there is no law banning hijaab on the general workfloor, a lot of companies are not willing to hire a woman who wears hijaab, especially if she needs to come into contact with clients/customers. My friend told me that when she was looking for a job, several employers used to be very interested in hiring her, until they found out she donned the hijaab. I already wrote on this blog about a hijabi girl getting fired from a shop after some customers got offended by her wearing it. A couple of days ago I also read about the boss of a chain of shoe-stores here in Belgium saying he is in need of employees, but he refuses to hire girls in hijaab. The flemish (Dutch) part of Belgium is also typically more closed-minded about this. (Guess where I'm from?) 


Belgian, non-Muslim intellectuals also take part in the debate if hijaab is really obliged, being under the impression that they are so much more enlightened about the subject than all Muslim scholars of all ages since the rise of Islam together. 
For readers who understand Dutch, this article is a case in point. The writer, prof. Etienne Vermeersch, writes: "Although the faceveil (niqaab) and later also the headscarf (hijaab) was indisputably seen by progressive Muslimahs as a symbol of oppression, that [view] seems now to be less the case, especially in the West. Because of course, most Muslim women here don't know the history of women in Islam, or more, because of a misguided education they have developed a totally wrong view about the subject." (My translation)
And because in some Muslim countries, Muslim women are obliged to wear hijaab, he writes that "it's clear that being boss over your own head is not an Islamic tradition." Not a Belgian one either, it seems. He also accuses Muslim women in the West of not caring about their poor oppressed Muslim sisters in those Muslim countries where women are not treated well. 
You see, Mr. Vermeersch has it all figured out, he can even read Muslim women's minds! No need for any more Islamic scholars, he has all the answers! 


Belgium has an anti-discrimination law, but in 2005 the Court of Appeal in Antwerp ruled that schools banning the headscarf were not in contradiction with this law. 
The typical excuse that is used is that a school has the right to regulate their school uniform, and that government institutions should remain neutral, therefore no religious symbols should be allowed.  
There is also the strong belief that hijaab is "oppressive" and that a lot of girls are forced to wear it. This belief was a decisive factor in the banning of hijaab from a lot of schools. Banning of miniskirts due to teenage girls feeling forced to wear it to look good for boys has however not yet taken place.


Niqaab


In June 2011 the niqaab was banned by law in the context of prohibiting the face to be mostly or fully covered in public. To be honest, I'm not sure about this one. I can definitely see a security issue in not being able to identify someone, but to really go and hand out fines to women who wear niqaab...I don't know, it doesn't sit well with me. Also, the women in Belgium who wear niqaab are a very small minority, so why were politicians so determined to ban it? I think the sad answer is because of the growing islamophobia here. 


National and International law


Article 19 of the Belgian constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Article 10 and 11 prohibit discrimination on the base of religion. There is an anti-discrimination law (february 2003) that prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion. 
Belgium has signed international treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the international covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR), all of which take precedence over all national legislation and which can be directly (supposedly) enforced by judges in Belgian courts. 


For more information on the subject, you can go to this site


SubhanAllah, there is so much discrimination going on in Belgium against Muslim women who choose to wear the hijaab, and it really angers me. The federal government hasn't come up with a ban of hijaab by law yet because they haven't found an excuse yet to go around all these treaties they signed. But I shudder to think what will happen if they do. I just can't grasp how it's totally acceptable to turn down a woman because she wears hijaab, to laugh at her and insult her, and to try everything to make her take it off. Is this really freedom, equality, democracy? For the right group of people perhaps. 




My thoughts on "Islam and Ego"

{ Wednesday, February 15, 2012 }
Assalaamu aleykum w rahmatullahi w barakaatuhu :)


I watched this really amazing lecture called "Islam and Ego" by Nouman Ali Khan.
It's about how we Muslims often have an ego problem without us even realizing it. When we think Islam needs us, we have an ego problem. When we think we are on the right path and someone else is not, we have an ego problem. When we think someone else should watch this lecture, not us, we have an ego problem. He gives many great examples that made me feel very uneasy at times.


The truth is, we all have an ego. We all get offended by criticism. We all tend to think we are on the right path and others need our advise. We all want praise and to feel like we are good in what we do. But in the end, it's God that deserves our praise. If you are successful, it's thanks to Him. If you are good in what you do, it's thanks to Him. So you should be quick to divert the praise from yourself to God.


Our Intention


As a Muslim, we should always seek to do everything we do for the sake of Allah swt. It's the only way to absolute contentment and inner peace. If we sincerely do something for Allah, no matter how it turns out, we have already succeeded, because we will receive our reward from Him. No matter how few people respond to what we do. It doesn't matter. Your intention was sincere and your effort has not gone to waste.


“[And it will be said], ‘Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.’” (Qur’an,76:22)


But if we are honest with ourselves, we find that we often have a mixed intention. Yes, we want to do a good deed, to do something selfless, but why? Is it for the sake of Allah or because of the praise we will get? Even if your first reaction would be: "for Allah of course!" you should stop and think again. If I think about my intentions when I do something good, then yes, I want to do it for God, but also there is this small hope that people will appreciate it, that people will see what I do. 


We should always take care to check our intentions and our thoughts. If we detect some arrogance, some pride, some ego, we should strive to rid our hearts of it, because only those with sound hearts will be granted Paradise. 


Ask for forgiveness


I think it's very important to contemplate our actions often and to always humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness. 


“O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” (Tirmidhi)


To be conscious of our actions and thoughts is the best way to nip arrogance and hardness of the heart in the bud. If we catch ourselves thinking something bad about a person, we can correct ourselves immediately by saying things like "May God forgive me, and bless the person I thought bad of"


The best cure against hardness of the heart is regular prayer and remembrance of God. In my experience, that's the best way to make you sensitive to the beauty of the Quran. 


I have not much to say that Nouman Ali Khan didn't say in his lecture. I think the message he wants to convey is very important. 


Remain humble, because all praise belongs to Allah Subhanna w Ta'ala. 





How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart

{ Sunday, February 12, 2012 }


Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our iman, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.” The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my Ummah… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is, “Why me?”
We have all heard that we should never despair of Allah’s Mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, but Shaytaan (the Devil) has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of Allah’s mercy. We do not always accept that Allah can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; Allah isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.


For more, please go to http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/withthedivine/how-to-achieve-tranquility-of-the-heart/


It's a really good site! :)

Emma Watson has got style! :)

{ Wednesday, February 8, 2012 }

My Mother Said No

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Assalaamu aleykum :)


A couple of days ago, after a lot of hesitation, I told my mother that I wanted to wear headscarf. I still don't know how I mustered the courage. She has known for a few months now that I am Muslim, but she never really commented on it (hoping it was just a phase I suppose). She didn't really react angry or upset, but she did tell me quite clearly that she didn't want me to wear it, that she didn't think it was necessary and that my father would be devastated if he ever saw me like that. I tried to explain my motives to her, but I'm really not such a good "public" speaker. It didn't convince her. She only saw negatives and she told me to seriously rethink it. She told me to practise my "critical" thinking, and that I should open my mind to other religions too. I guess it went how I expected it would go. I didn't really think my mother would reply: "yes, good idea!". To be honest, I think she just wants to protect me, because there is a lot of discrimination against hijabi's here, and my chances of finding a job will be very much reduced (almost to nothing).
If you don't really believe in God, then that would seem as reason enough to forget about the whole idea.
But isn't there a hadith that says:


The Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam, said:
“Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah replaces it with something better.”



I truly believe that if you do something for God, you will prosper, no matter how dark your situation might look. I am very aware that here in Belgium people don't like the hijaab and are seeking to ban it in more and more places. But I want to wear it for God, to be closer to God. I won't say I don't feel nervous when I think of how my family and environment would react, but I'm willing to face them. 


I don't really know what to do now. Parents are very important in Islam too, and I don't want to hurt them. If it offends them so much, maybe I should be patient and wait until I'm ready to move out. It's not like it's impossible to be a Muslim woman without hijaab. I can still work on my imaan and gain knowledge without it. 


To any converts reading this, how did you address the issue of hijaab to your parents? Were you still living with them or did you already have your own place?


If anyone has some good texts about hijaab and why Muslim women wear it, feel free to post me the link ;)


I wish you all a wonderful day!


fi amaan Allah



I am a Muslim Woman

{ Monday, February 6, 2012 }

Very nice video about misconceptions around Muslim women and hijaab :)



Why I want to wear hijaab

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Assalaamu aleykum :)


Alhamdulillah, my imaan is slowly growing again, after a long period of being very weak. As a result, I feel the desire again to wear hijaab. My practise of Islam is far from perfect, but I feel hijaab will help my imaan a lot, because I'm constantly reminded of the fact that I'm Muslim. I want to wear hijaab because I believe it's obliged in Islam. It pleases God and it's a protection. It liberates women from trying to adhere to unrealistic beauty ideals.  
I don't live in a Muslim country, and I'm the only Muslim in my family, so wearing hijaab would bring a lot of challenges and hardships. My Muslim friends warned me for that. They said I really need to be ready and sure and be convinced that I'll never take my hijaab off again. I have to admit that I feel a knot in my stomach when I think of telling my parents and wearing it to family dinners. It's in my personality to want to please, and hijaab will definitely not be pleasing to them. But I'm not harming anyone or stepping on anyone's rights by wearing hijaab, and if people want to comment negatively on it, then that says more about their personality than mine. 









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