Two years ago, if someone were to inform me that I would soon be wearing the hijab, transforming into a practising Muslim who submerged herself in the search of understanding the deen, I would have been filled with perplexity. But of course, Allah (SWT), the All-Wise, is the turner of hearts. Yet, at times, I would still find myself grappling with the challenges that arise.
Transitioning from being a non-hijabi to a hijabi is not difficult. Rather, it is the aftermath of sacrifices—the steadfastness, the temptation and manipulation from shaytan, and the fear of missing out on societal standards—are the real challenges.
Striving to maintain my devotion to religion in the midst of daily temptations can be challenging.
But instead of succumbing to the murmurs of my nafs, I choose to find solace in strengthening my relationship with my hijab—taking proactive steps to elevate my faith and overcome any challenges that come my way.
To my fellow hijabi sisters who face ongoing challenges in navigating the complexities of hijabs in this modern era, know that you are not alone. We’re together on this. Just remember the profound message from our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as narrated by Anas Ibn Malik: ‘’There will come upon the people a time when holding onto the religion will be like holding onto hot coal.’’ [Tirmidhi].
I choose to find solace in strengthening my relationship with my hijab.
Understand the purpose of hijab
Let’s get this clear: wearing hijab is not a ‘fashion statement’. The cloth on our heads is not a mere accessory for being trendy. It is a symbol of our submission to Allah (SWT). Either you take it seriously or you don't. Yes, we are all struggling—but as long as you understand that the purpose of hijab is a sign of obedience and responsibility to Allah as a believing woman, then that is the sole aspect that holds significance.
Islam celebrates seeking knowledge as a virtue. The more knowledge we attain, the more humble and virtuous we become. Knowledge is absolutely crucial for modern-day Muslims to maintain our steadfastness. Without delving into and implementing Islamic understanding, it is highly impossible for us to tackle the challenges that arise.
I personally prefer listening to Islamic lectures or podcasts first thing in the morning while clearing out my inbox and replying to emails. It helps to set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
Surround yourself with good people
It is absolutely important that you surround yourself with individuals who have your best interests at heart and share your religious beliefs. As a hijabi, if you find yourself experiencing discomfort and exclusion within your current social circle, I strongly recommend seeking out a new group of friends.
Setting clear boundaries: Online and offline
Which leads to my next point. Unfollow, mute (and if needed, block) those individuals who hinder your path in wearing hijab and or dressing modestly. They simply do not deserve your valuable time and energy. Establish firm boundaries and ask yourself, "Does befriending or following this person contribute to my growth as a better practicing Muslim, or the other way around?’’. If the answer is the latter, then you know what to do. Your mental peace and dedication to your religion should always take precedence over anything else.
Find consistent habit(s) and apply
I remember one scholar said that it is unrealistic for one to embrace an immediate transformation. Humans are fallible beings. However, as long as we take conscious steps to draw closer to Allah, then He is Al-Baseer, the All-Seeing. Allah sees your effort. So try to establish small habits like memorizing Quranic duas and adhkaar and recite them daily. As long as your attention is pure, trust that He will open the floodgates of goodness and blessings for you.