Monday, July 6, 2009

Celebrating Six months of Hijab, Alhamdulillah :)

This is the time (belated) for my favorite topic and newest passion – My hijab. This is not the only thing which I love, possess, or respect but it’s the thing which gives me freedom, sets me carefree, and make me more confident. For people new or unaware with the word, “hijab” basically means a barrier or a veil but in today’s world it is often referred as the headscarf which Muslim girls wear. However it’s just not the scarf but the full set of modest clothing which should be counted under hijab –a long discussion postponed for later, InshaAllah.

But before that it’s time to celebrate. Alhamdulillah, by the Grace of Allah, I have successfully completed my six months of donning the hijab (on 1st July, 2009), :) :) :) in public, everywhere I go :) :) :). It has certainly been the toughest ordeal I have been in. How can a simple scarf or let’s say for that matter, wearing modest clothes be a problem with anyone? Certainly, it’s not a problem for the person wearing it, but surprisingly for the people around such person.

I have been wondering and still wonder why others have to be bothered about what you wear. If it was confined till this thinking also, it was well and good. But people go a step ahead when it is concerning other’s personal/religious matters. You ask if you want to know, you question if you have doubts, you advice if you think something is wrong. I am always more than happy to spread the beautiful logic behind it. But for God sake be away and shut your mouth if you are ignorant, media-fed, unrelated to me and still want to shower me with your “oh, dear why you have to wear it” advices.

I am an independent girl, born in a very liberal family, brought up in a mini-India kind of environment. I always enjoyed the freedom of wearing what I want, voicing my likes and dislikes, I have friends whom I like, I study what I want to, and none of the above choices is affected by parental or social pressure, because I was never into them. So telling me what I should and shouldn’t is the worst try you might be making. And so when you see me in hijab all of a sudden (that’s when you haven’t met me after 31st December, 2008) please refrain from any such advices or looks rather simply ask me the reason of me going hijab-ified :).

It seems like yesterday (lol, sounds like those cheesy flashbacks) when I first took hijab. No one inspired me , I am hardly surrounded by people wearing hijab, even not much in my family, back in village they do it more out of customs than logic and/or religion, in city I have seen only strangers in hijab. No one asked me or compelled me to it, I hardly have Muslim friends, and those selective ones are also very liberal when it comes to compulsion in religion (well they are supposed to…there is no compulsion in religion –Qur’an 2:256). I dint read anything, normally I read a lot, but never it have been on religion.

Given all these facts it seems impossible as how I may be into it, not to mention the way I was before. I wasn’t blind about fashion, I was modest then also (modest as in Indian parents sense ;) ), used to dress good, no revealing clothes, no excessive jewelry. But I was in, in all sense. I was certainly into looking good, I always wanted my hair to be open, flowy and combed. Makeup which will make my color of a lighter tone or will let my features enhanced was always welcome. I avoided meetings after day long of work. So much it was there that I was pointed by my childhood friend that I keep a lot of note of presentation.

But suddenly on the morning of 29th December, Monday I woke up early at 8 (ya that’s early for me, even on a working day :D ) and decided that I will wear hijab. I was not sure why, was not sure from when and certainly not about the degree I was going to cover myself. The only thing I can remember is reading the following verses of Qur’an randomly on net a few days back, not exactly sure when:
Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. (Qur’an 24:30)

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers..(a list of exceptions)..and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. (Qur’an 24:31)

The feeling of going for hijab was so strong in me that I started searching stuff on hijab online, the logic behind it, the Islamic reason, practicality of it in today’s world, the problem faced, the solutions therein and everything starting and ending on hijab; then and there itself. I was afraid but confident in a way which I can’t explain. I was going under a mix of emotions and my mind and heart were battling on something which I wasn’t so sure of. I even felt that those 3 days (29th December – 31st December, 2008) me was not me at all, it was some super-natural force which was there, an inspiration within.

I was certainly not brainwashed, how I can be by these simple two verses of the Qur’an, given I never mentioned and asked anyone about hijab before. Those 3 days was a test for me, I knew not the path I was going to follow but I was somehow sure it was right because it’s in the BOOK. I am a Muslim, always was (I believe everything on earth is Muslim by nature, again a long discussion), believed in one God, Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him); knew about hijab from birth, knew these verses long back, knew the meaning also, but it never clicked me, it never made me think the way I was thinking those three days.

All I can remember is that I mentioned it to some of my closest friends, happen to be non-Muslim and hid it from my parents, Muslim. I know an unexplainable thing but that what I did. I was afraid that my parent will think that I am under someone’s influence, I was afraid that I won’t be able to explain the strong desire and force in me guiding towards hijab. It’s not like they dint wanted me to do it but for sure it would have been more of a shock than pleasant surprise for them. To my luck and by the Grace of God my friends were with me. They supported and encouraged me towards it. Lian, Jaimy, Sangy, Dhir, Shanu I will be always grateful to you guys and words may not explain it. We shopped for full sleeves dresses, abayas and hijab together and the experiences were unique in themselves. Of course not knowing what you want and asking for the same has to be unique. One such memorable thing is the Nisha Model we saw in hijab, in nearly every shop we went and how it became a joke between us.

The real drama started from 1st when I wore it. I told my parents the night before, surprisingly, dad was more cool and believed me and once again trusted me with my freedom, but mom, like always, was a bit worried though a lot happy and proud. :) I felt for the first time I did something extra-ordinary, unexpected but desired by both of them.

When I was seen with hijab obviously a lot of eyebrows were raised, some had the guts to ask, and the others went overboard by their not-so-welcome comments. I was always more than happy to explain that hijab is not subjection, it’s a modest way of dressing, it is prescribed by Allah for both men and women, it is not cultural, it’s the same all over the world, because its Islamic, it’s to keep away the unwanted attention, my mind conveys better than my body, it’s by my will I am wearing it and I was ignorant all these days not to wear it. This should have answered the unending queries, but Alas! Man is never satisfied.

I was handed over a bunch of advices and comments that just made me laugh or look at the person from tip to toe in order to ensure myself if I was speaking to a sane human being only. Strange it may seem, but educated people handed me advices like,

· You are not getting married, are you? Then why wearing it, enjoy your days.

· Are you leaving your studies?

· Do you know that it has reduced your beauty by 60%

· You will leave it; it’s just so not practical.

· Do you have a boyfriend; did he ask you to wear it?

· You parent’s forced you into this, all Muslim parents do that.

· There are people who appear religious but are corrupt inside.

No, I am not getting married, not leaving my studies and certainly not forced into this. I am still enjoying my days and enjoying them better than before, it all depends upon your definition of enjoying. I still dress good but for myself, not for others. I don’t care how much it has reduced my beauty, I am still beautiful, like every other human being, I am beautiful to my parents, to my friends and this all is what matters. Beauty is of mind, of character, not of face, skin color or for body shape. My beauty in its full sense is not for strangers to enjoy. My boyfriend? Oh crap, do you think I will stick to the guy who won’t let me wear what I want to. And how I am inside has nothing to do with how I appear outside. If I don’t appear religious will it make me less corrupt (if at all I am so).

And in all sense it’s practical, I am studying, working and doing every normal thing from past 6 months and it has been practical WITH THE HIJAB. So in short I am an educated, free, independent, modern muslimah proudly wearing my hijab by my will. That’s the reason for this celebration.

Many things happened in past six months but nothing led me to leave my hijab , Alhamdulilalh, I am very short tempered but the confidence and joy of wearing it let me handle every unpleasant remark (like above) with patience and understanding. Hijab has not been just the head covering for me, it is now my identity, it is what made me spiritual by all means, it is what let me understand Islam in its true sense and also it is the thing which let me differentiate between people and their reason of inclination towards me, I did gain a lot of encouragement and a thumbs up but at the same time I have lost friends too. But I believe that it has happened for the good and InshaAllah will continue to happen so. :)

Talking about celebrations, here is one more thing to celebrate; Mc Donalds have finally opened in Chennai. Hers the first (busy) day pic of it, to eat on time you certainly have to wait for 2 hours in the queue. :D

P.S. All the pics, except for the last one are taken from google images.
P.P.S. I was supposed to post this on 1st july, itself but was unable to do so because of reasons uncountable.
P.P.P.S. I am feeling blue from one week, here publicly i say sorry to those who are hurt because of me, this guilt is not going to leave me, i cant mend things but certainly i am sorry. :( I hope things turn better. :(


Arun Kumar said...

I like ur attitude throughout the post.. 'i do what i think is best for me... Dont care what others think'... i wish i cud be like that sometimes.

Anyways congrats on six months of wearing hijab...

Anonymous said...

What Can I say..

I AM SO PROUD TO KNOW YOU GIRL!!! Masha allah.. We should talk!! Add me on gtalk if possible:)


marui said...

are you in India or the US? I do think that 'hijab' in the sense of head covering draws more attention than otherwise. The Indian (sub continental) dress with full clothes and dupatta is very modest anyhow - and if men and women keep their eyes lowered where is the problem with ordinary clothes?

Mr. Mcphisto said...

@gul hey how soon dedkhte dekhte its been 6 months!! i am sure the words here have not completely expressed what you have gone through these times. no empathy with sarkozi but me also had the feeling that burqa/hizab is the sign of supression and male dominance. there are two reason behind it first the media coverages from afgan and Taliban etc where there are a mishap every now and then for women not plying to it. and secondly i didn't find anyone who wore that willingly, as you said most wear it as custom. It also happens that i'm not a fan of religion. i mean i have not chosen a religion yet. i don't know if being born in Hindu family makes me Hindu, it would be like saying being born in coblers family i'd always be a shoemaker not Schumaker. i am born in India so i'm just India. Anyways.... i was surprised that you'd take such decision. and that too all of sudden. Like me it would have been surprise for many others too. but we saw the enthusiasm and passion you had for it. Having lil fear is just natural. And specially when its the fear or loosing people from your life. But as i used to say hizab will be like filter. it wont only protect you front the stray vision but also remove unwanted elements from your life. Really glad that it went so well and you stuck to what you decided. I'm remembering Micheal Jackson at this time ( surprisingly its not U2 :P). The song goes something like "Keep the faith, Don't let nobody turn you around ....Because it's just a matter of time before your confidence will win out "

Also in times like these when we have pen pals and IM inmates, blogging ;), its not necessary to see the body at all. as long as our idea and values match we can get along with anyone. in fact even that is not necessary, we just need to have a soul and heart.

@ maruri yeah you are so right that if men will lower their gaze there will be no probs at all, i dun have any probs with women gazing as such :D Also the head covering certainly draws attention, wondering if anyone went to crescent college :D

Anonymous said...

i don't think it is wrong to wear hijab
and iam happy that u respect ur religion

C R D said...

Hijab is a symbol of freedom???

Well in that case why shouldn't men be modest too? Why should gals have all the fun? :P


Anonymous said...


thanks for stopping by....well men have their part of fun 2 :D

Muslim men too are not spared of observing the Hijab/veil. In fact the Almighty goes to the extent of prescribing hijab first for men and then for women (as explained in the post)

For a deeper insight i ll like to re-quote the verse which issues guidelines for men to observe hijab :

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [Al-Qur’an 24:30]

This come before the verse (24:31) that specifies hijab for women.

This is interpreted by scholars all over the world in their own ways. However the two criteria which are accepted and advised by the Qura'an too are :

1. Lowering gaze by men when they see a women (includes, no passing of comments, no filthy looks)

2. Guarding their body part starting from naval to knee (hell compulsory or else ur namaz is also considered invalid)

The other closely followed and widely advised hijab essential for men, when they are in the presence of gair-marham (not blood related) women includes :

i) covering till their wrist and ankle

ii)Just like women, men should wear loose, long and non-transparent clothing so as not to attract attention from the opposite gender to their physical appearance.

"Less is More" is always the golden rule for Hijab.

It may now be argued that why men are given concession in the essential part of the hijab. Well, Islam is a truly modern and truly universal religion. It sees both sides of the coin before passing a ruling.

Men are required to work in Islam, unlike women, who are given the choice to earn their own income or not and subsequently keep it and use it for herself or the family, purely depends upon her discretion (which law or religion bestows this freedom?). Men are required to support their families financially regardless of their level of education or background.

With this ruling, it is inevitable that most of those who find employment as construction workers, farmers, or in other blue-collar jobs would be men. In some cases, these workers spend most of their time under the hot sun or in extremely dry weather. This provision, the covering of the abdomen to the knee, is the basic requirement that they should observe – this serves as Hijab between themselves.

And i have already stated how they are suppose to cover before women.

Ideally women should not be exposed to harsh terrains in search of employment. Should they be in the presence of the opposite gender while working outdoors, Muslim men should remember to observe the basic Hijab requirement in front of marriageable women, and preferably to cover up more.

However, in a social setting or if both men and women work indoors, the definition of Hijab for men becomes wider to endorse and fortify the concept of modesty.


Anonymous said...

@ chirag...of course its not wrong to wear it..its just like people seem to be pretty uncomfortable with it....and that also when they are not the one wearing

personally i think all should respect their faith....whatever it may be...recognised or unrecognised...a set of moral and basic policies let you enjoy life in its true sense with full satisfaction :)

Anonymous said...

@ dhir..i agree these 6 months have passed in a blink of an eye…the words here of course fail to describe my struggle and the tension then (which continues to be today also..thoda bahut)..but I am happy to be accepted as what I am by the people who love me :)

Sarkozy ki to baat hi nahi karna..and you are not the only one who has this needs TRP and we all know to the extent it can go for it…the greatest living example is Aaj Tak….kher…ya Taliban and Afgan coverage disturbs me too…God knows if those documentaries are correct…f it is so…I am afraid what Islam they follow…

And ya even I had a hard time searching for people who wear it by will…I mean I saw girls removing it in class..What the hell..whats d use of it then???? Sadly, It has become more of a cultural thing than religious..parents fail to teach their children the logic and importance behind it….they follow because their grandparents followed..i feel parents should be liberating like mine…wonder if anyone wil classify them under the category of Muslim parents :D :D :P

I am an Indian too…and a Muslim…and as they say on orkut…no one can take away either if them away from me… am very much complete in the definition of Indian Muslim :) As for the part of Muslim in it..i believe everything on earth is Muslim ..kher I believe I follow Islam because I believe in it…atleast now… ;)

Yes it was a surprise…for all..inclusing moi…and it has made my life better for sure :)…people close to me know this very well….

Lol Michael Jackson found a place in my blog while U2 rests :P though rightly said :)

I agree that face or for that matter body isn’t the thing needed to communicate or walk with the society….and yes we all have to have a heart and soul….that ll make the world full of humans ;)

Crescent collg ? lol wo sab nek ladkiyan hain…I saw some group of collg going gals some days back in hijab..all looked so bright and confident :) Mashaallah :)

Anonymous said...

@ marui

am an Indian (alhamdulillah :) )

hijab does draw attention...agreed...the sight of pious and modest looking girls are so rare these days...anyone ll look at them :D lol

the type of attention hijab draws is certainly not the one which non-hijabified dressing draws..

personally i have felt people respecting me more, taking me more serious, mature and atleast respecting my femininity than keeping my sexuality before the same...

and i am thankful to hijab and Almighty for that...

ofcourse teh Indian subcontinental dress is the most modest of all...i agree with all my heart....all i do is wrap the shawl on head...and that make s me more modest...

come on there are so many ways of un-hijabyfying the Indian subcontinental dress...i mean havent u seen Shilpa Shetty wearing a saari...she titally ruins the purpose of it and not to mention the length of teh salwaar kameez which is getting shorter from both ends day by day...

to escape this we follow a set of rule..which is universal, unique and same for all..

the problem is not much understand that hijab is not just the clothes ....its the cleaning of you inside out....and yes it starts from the eyes...question is how many ll lower their gaze...

so better precaution than cure..


Anonymous said...

@ nusrath....

my pleasure dear :)

have sent you a request ..just check out :)

Anonymous said...

@ Arun

thanx buddy :)

well the attitude came by itself...i think hijab's side-effect :D lol

trust me..when people oppose you tend to build a shield around you to defend's all about that.. :)

and i think every person who writes is blessed with this attitude..we hardly care about others when it comes to our

Mohammad Shahanshah Ansari said...


I guess men are more modest than women these days...aren't they? :D ask yourself... :D

Ilyas Kazi said...

Wonderful. I appreciate the way you have expressed.

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

gulguli.. my darling...
CONGRATULATIONS :) :) :) :) :) :)
Am sooooo happy for you... :)
finally the day has come (oh sorry ... came a few days bak ...) :)
mere ko to treat chaiye... :D :D :D :D
i dint understand the 'nisha model' thing ....kya matlab hus uska???
and seriously... some comments can be so irritating na!!! that shaadi wala comment.. Oh God!! im so totaly fed up of hearing that.... *rolling eyes*
but well...
my gal is a rock-solid person .. :)
keep going darling!!!
love you....
and congrats again :)

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

gulguli darling :) :)
CONGRATULATIONS my little gal...
it seems like yesterday that we spoke bout the hijab.... isnt it???
am so proud of you.. not having Muslim friends around and still managing to pull it thru so well was really grt....
:) :) :)
and ya.. u sure have grt friends there honey.... :)
of course bache...
stupid comments keep coming..
[esp. the 'shaadi' wala comment.. am just so fed up of it].. but remain ur rock-solid self gal...
lots of kisses :*
p.s - sory bout the orkut thingie..
love youuuuuuu

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

bache... mere us post ko kahi pe link kiya hai kya????????????? pura duniya visit kar raha hai us post ko....

Mr. Mcphisto said...

mekko bhi treat chahiye \:D/

Dhir said...

that nesa model is so popular even though she has the same pose and same clothing in every board!!

Mohammad Shahanshah Ansari said...


i guess we are going to celebrate this every 6 months?

m waiting for the party....:D

Anonymous said...

@ilyas...thanks buddy :)

Anonymous said...

@ jalpari

yup was kinda hard...but then i have comforting and supporting soul like u..around me ..always to motivate and support me :) :)

It was really such a co-incidence to meet u with my hijab was just me and you and the hijab bonded us in this bacha-aapi :D :D

even i hate the comments...kabhi kabhi lagta hai saari musalmaan ladkiyon ki saza hi jaise shaadi log samajhte hain shaadi h gayi..ab ye qaid me hai..YUKKKK

treat to tabhi milegi aapi..jab aap yahan chenai ayengi... :) :)

and orkut is a small thing..neva mind :)

nesa model story goes lik and my frnd were so irritated and tired of searching hijab because we never knew kahan milega..but then where ever we saw this nesa model..the only hijab model in Chennai i guess..
we were so sure...dukaan yahin hai..:D :D

and yam a rock strong gal :D :D
*pampering ma self*

Anonymous said...

@ aapi again :D

link nahi kiya tha status pe rakah tah...
nahi pata tha duniya bhar mera status chck karta hai lol :P

Anonymous said...

@ Dhir

treat waala condition doesn apply to Chennai resident :D :D

Nesa model ki ek hi exclusive pic hai..Hijab me beautiful lagna sab ki bat nahi hai :P

meri baat aur hai :D :D

Anonymous said...

@ Shahanshah...

buri baat ladkiyon se party nahi mangte...

be a Gentleman...
mujhe treat do :D :D

6 mahien kya
main ot har mahine celebrate karun..
khush rehne k liye bhi koi reason chahiye kya :)

Yayathy said...

Nice write up mate. Where on chennai that photo was taken????????


Anonymous said...

thanks yayathy...
well the pic is of the famous Mc Donald's branch in Annanagar, roundtana...

Yayathy said...

I asked about the name board of the shop 'Nesa'. Its in adyar right?

Hope to see your comment on my page..


Anonymous said...

The store "Nesa" is in many parts of city...this pic however, i gues, is of Malaysia..of course not in city :P..

Yayathy said...

Not in city? I asked it after looking at the pin code and tamil words there..


Anonymous said...

@ yayathy

oops! my bad :D
i dint notice them..but as far as i can rem'ber the site i took this pic from said that this nesa store is in malaysia..may be they have a branch or something..

and for our city..u can find this store at all muslim populated areas triplicane high road, pursuwalkam etc.

must say..u have a keen eye ;)

Yayathy said...

'Purasaiwalkam has become a muslim area' Nice to hear. Its been so only after the rice of Madhar sha. Still i dont like that shop. Bet, this Nesa should be near Adyar flyover. Let me find it when I travel that side.



Saad Shaikh said...

Alhamdulillah! :)

That's a really engrossing read. I have seen people adopting hijaab and it takes real effort to keep it on. You've been really successful in doing so. May Allah bless you with His choicest blessings in this world and in the Hereafter.

That's how you pull a smile.. awesome writing skills too.. :)

keep writing! :)