Tag Archives: Way of Life

“I’m just going to call you ‘Lord’ because I don’t know what else to call you” How I came To Islam

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"the day you meet God, He is going to ask you about your sins and not about their sins. You will not be responsible for their actions and they will not be responsible or yours.”

“The day you meet God, He is going to ask you about your sins and not about their sins. You will not be responsible for their actions and they will not be responsible for yours.”

Guest post by: Jessenia Ortiz. She works as an editorial manager for a electronic publishing company. When she is not working she likes to spend time with her family, her 3yr old and her husband. Sister Jessie is pursuing hifdhs and spends most of her time memorizing the Quran. She enjoys traveling, and her last big trip was umrah. 

I read a novel entitled “If I should speak” by Umm Zakiyah. This book contains some ayahs of the Quran and Hadiths woven into the story. That novel led me to read the English translation of the Quran, which eventually led to me taking my shahada.

The author included the hadith that says:

“O evil soul, come out to the wrath and anger of Allaah.’ Then his soul disperses in his body and is dragged out like a skewer being pulled out of wet wool…”

This shook me to my core. For 3 days it was all I kept thinking about. I couldn’t believe my God could do something like that (although I did feel inside myself that it was true). After that, I told myself I have to find out what else is in that book, so started reading the Quran.

My journey towards “finding” Allah (the Arabic word for God) really started early around age 5. That was when my grandmother taught me how to pray.  I did include intermediaries in my prayers but I always wondered why I couldn’t pray to Allah directly. I never understood the 3 in 1 God. (Alhamdulillah).

I grew up going to Catholic school and attending church with my grandmother. I learned about the Prophets, perhaps because we were children we were not taught all the negative things that the Bible says about them. I still remember that when I was little, going to Catholic school, I wanted to grow up and be a nun. They seemed so close to Allah. I use to sit in church asking (God) Allah to help me love that religion, if it was the right one. I always wondered why do we say “Thank you God for your son our lord”; why not worship the one that created the “son”?

The first time I was exposed to Islam was actually in my global studies class in high school. Ironically, it was a Jewish teacher who told us about Islam. Alhamdulilah, he presented it clearly, he said Muslims face the Kabah 5 times a day and pray. He even told us how they prostrated on the floor to pray. I thought to myself, if there is anyway to pray to God that is the best way. Unbeknownst to me, while my teacher was telling us about Islam in school, my older sister was also learning about Islam. She would become Muslim that year; it would take me 13 more years to enter into Islam.

My sister did her best to explain Islam to me and in my mind I couldn’t see the difference from what I believed and what she believed. At that point, I had started praying to Allah directly. I still remember that I would say to Allah “I’m just going to call you ‘Lord’ because I don’t know what else to call you”.

As the years passed my sister and her husband would always try to give me dawah (invitation to Islam) but it always seemed that I would have to stop believing in all the prophets (peace be upon them) and believe in a new prophet–Muhammad (peace be upon him). I just couldn’t give them up. Yet, they tried their best but guidance is in the hands of Allah alone.

After some years my sister and her husband moved to MD and put their children in a school called Al Huda. When I asked them what the name of the school meant they said “guidance to the straight path.” After learning that, I always use to pray “Lord, guide me to the straight path“. It was during one of those visits to MD that I my oldest niece just gave me the new novel written by a sister from their community. She gave me the novel, and a copy of the Quran in English. She didn’t say much except “maybe you’ll find it interesting.” I read the novel and didn’t really feel connected, but when I got to hadith quoted within the story (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) it all changed. While the story was from the imagination of the author, the Hadith and the Quranic ayat were real. In my heart felt “this is the truth” so it led me to read the Quran.

I, then, started reading the English translation of the Quran. It was amazing. I couldn’t put it down. I had tried to read the Bible but every time I tried, I kept falling asleep (literally on the book). As I read the meaning of the Quran it just confirmed what I already believed. The Quran told the stories for all the prophets and told the stories of the most upright men in history including Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them).

When I use to read ayat that refer to the disbelievers I use to wonder who those people where. My sister broke the news to me that I was the disbeliever. Finally, I was getting ready to say the shahada but I was still weary. It was a couple years after 9/11 and I just didn’t want to be associated with people who could do something like that. My sister gave me the best advice. She said “the day you meet God, He is going to ask you about your sins and not about their sins. You will not be responsible for their actions and they will not be responsible for yours.”

 I took my shahada on October 3, 2004. It was the same night that Muhammad Alshareef (founder of Al Maghrib Institute) gave his farewell speech at Al Huda school. I still remember him saying “There is only one way towards God. Sometimes you stumble upon the truth. You have a choice you can take it or you can dust yourself off and walk away”. I called my sister after the lecture was over and I took my shahada over the phone with the whole family.

When I look back I think, Subhannallah, Allah is the best of planners. He planned out my path so perfectly. There were and are so many tiny details along the way from before Islam up until now. I always make dua that Allah let keeps me on the straight path and never lets me go astray. Ameen.

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Springtime of My Heart

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I feel I’ve grown distant from a good friend. Many say that friends come and go, that I should just let go of the connection that I once had. I, however, disagree. Because unlike so many friends I’ve had and will have in the future, this one never let me down. In fact quite the opposite, I’m sure. This friend will never let me down and is always there when I am in need. Sitting right above my mircrowave counter in a cupboard in a fancy lace jacket. The Quran.

My Lord, make the Quran the springtime of my heart. that is what the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) use to pray for.  This beautiful prayer makes me reflect. During my life there was a time that I read the Quran very often. So often that I would pick it up every hour or so, and look upon my large green paged book with the fondness of a close, understanding friend.  When I read this prayer of the Prophet (pbuh) I realized that during those times the Quran had become the Springtime of my heart.

Springtime means something different for everyone. For me the very notion of Spring brings to mind one word: Revival. A time of peace and healing after a raging winter. Spring brings life to the world around us. As the sun rises, the plants blossom, the leaves turn bright shades of green, flowers and trees alike stand tall hoping to soak in the golden rays of the sun. The sparkling light of sun fills the day with warmth. The birds are out and about singing praises to The Almighty, and as soon as the sun sets and birds crease to sing, the crickets begin their night show.  The joy the uncontrolable delight of springtime brings hope and happiness to all.

Springtime comes once a year and all year we await the season of blossoming flowers and revival of life itself with deep anticipation. Yet, when the Quran becomes the springtime of one’s heart…then it can be spring anytime of the year. During the dark, cold days of the winter, or during the colorful autumn. In fact, it is a gift of good hope when everything else in our lives have gone awry.

To quote Jawaher Balousha “The Quran is not some dry text void of feeling” or even “a bunch of don’ts, a list of commandments. It is the most faithful friend of our hearts. It warms the coldness of our emotions. It fills our world with light when the clouds overcast. It brings life to deadened sensiblities. When all you know is sadness it gives you hope of happiness. It bears the promise of fruition of lost dreams and wasted effort. It is a place of joy

Yet so much like the passing of seasons the springtime of the Quran can easily pass by unnoticed, unless you reach out and embrace it, and make your connection with it. I hope to regain my year round joy, my year round revival of my soul, my year round hope. I hope to regain a connection with my year round springtime. I hope to regain my connection with the Quran.

Hijab-A Way To Un-cover True Beauty #ProjectHIJAB

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Guest Post by: Dana Barakat. Dana loves poetry and expressing herself through writing. Dana has few hobbies which include piano and sketching. She is an outgoing, social, and smiley person who loves to make a someone’s day. You can read more of Dana’s insightful thoughts on her blog here: http://dana-barakat167.blogspot.com/2012/08/hijab-way-to-un-cover-true-beauty.html 

More than just covering your hair, it creates a ‘mental hijab’.

Because hijab means so much more to me and to women across the globe. Hijab is: strength, confidence, and the un-covering of the true beauty within.

What do pearls and diamonds have in common? They are both astoundingly beautiful and rare, and when found, they are protected and covered. Only the person who finds the precious pearl/diamond can appreciate the outer beauty and inner beauty.

So, who am I? I’m Dana Barakat and I recently put on hijab. No I’m not 16 or 18. I’m 22 years old. I graduated from college and I am continuing my Master’s insha’Allah. I’m also a person who thought that I’d never wear hijab, due to my personal preference, my love for my hair (literally, I was obsessed) and the thoughts that my parents would completely disapprove.

So how did I decide to put on hijab? I was thinking about it for some time, since January of this year. I wavered back and forth but I couldn’t bring myself to, as NIke says “Just DO It”. I was having a really rough and stressful time during May after graduation, and things were not going as planned. I was getting upset as well as how my faith and iman was also wavering. I wanted to improve, I wanted to become better. And so that is exactly what I asked  for. I made wuduu’, prayed two rak’aat, and then made a long and sincere duaa’ to Allah (swt). The exact words at the end that I said were “Ya Allah, help me to let me do an action that will benefit me, that will make me a better and stronger person. Let me do an action that will help me, that will guide me more towards You ya Allah!”

What happened next? Literally the next morning, on May 29th, 2012, I decided to buy a few hijabs from Nordstrom’s BP. I really had no hijabs at the time. I put it on in my carright after buying them, then went to the nearby park district, and sat down and thought long and hard about hijab. From that moment on, I knew I wasn’t just trying it on, I was going to keep on wearing it until the day I return to Him, insha’Allah.

But why wear hijab? Why didn’t I do this before? To wear hijab means to be a confident and strong women. You are then able to fully rely on your intellect and instead of depending on your outward appearance and how you look and what not, you start to rather use the inner beauty that you possess. So why now, why at 22? I believe I finally became ready and Allah (swt) was able to guide me to hijab, Alhamdullilah.

Hijab is more than covering your hair, as I mentioned. What is a mental hijab? A mental hijab is basically guarding yourself from things that are haram. Because you wear hijab, and I’m serious about this statement, you are reminded each day of Islam and that you ARE a Muslimah and that you have an obligation to do good each day. You never forget Islam the minute the hijab is put on and covering your hair. You become Noor (light) and others are attracted to it, if you are doing this for the sake of Allah (swt) alone and have pure intentions. A mental hijab is lowering your gaze, saying and only doing good, showing the world that Islam is about manners and righteous actions and not about anything else. A mental hijab is thinking and being in remembrance of Allah (swt) so often that you everything becomes so much more appreciated in life.

Hijab is beautiful. People may question, people may criticize, but in the end they come to respect you. When they talk to you, they are actually talking TO YOU. Not at your physicality. They understand that you are guarded only so that you can reveal what is important, and that is intellect and what is in the heart.

I didn’t do this alone, this was all by Allah’s will. Without Him, this post would not exist. And so now, as I am typing this, I thank You ya Allah for the blessings and mercy you have bestowed upon me. Make it easier for other girls/women who are thinking about hijab and let them understand what hijab means and its beauty. Ameen.

And to be completely honest, putting on the hijab was so easy that I was almost in disbelief. When you do this for His sake and His sake alone, you become unstoppable and confident and Alhamdullilah things become easier.

When you wear hijab, understand your duty to represent Islam. Understand how beautiful you are within and let that emanate from you. Understand that this is definitely a sacrifice worth doing. And last but not least, understand that there’s nothing but good that comes out of wearing hijab. Hijab is beauty, hijab is light and guidance, and hijab is a reminder. Alhamdullilah 3ala na3mayt 3al Islam and hijab.

My Life’s Greatest Teacher #ProjectHIJAB

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Guest post by: Sabina. Sabina is a university student with a lovely and engaging personality. Her interests include reading Islamic literature, volunteering at community centers and making people smile. She is very articulate and has a passion for words.

My hijab was the result of a clash between the conservative attitude of the Islamic school I attended and the not so conservative attitude at home. I say not so conservative, and not liberal, because my family is very adherent of all Islamic principles and beliefs, but they seem to make an exception only for the hijab. I believe it to be more of a cultural decision, where those who wear hijab are considered to be unable to acclimate. I attended that Islamic school from the age of five to eighteen. The hijab was around me constantly, but in those thirteen years, it did not capture my mind and heart until toward the very end.

I started wearing a scarf when I was ten years old. From that point on, there was always a scarf on my head. I did not start dressing according to Islamic guidelines until I was fourteen though. Yes, I loved my t-shirts. And yes, I was one of those girls who you see, and just stare at, because she is wearing a scarf with a t-shirt. This should be noted, however, as was written in the introductory post of the hijab project, everyone has their own struggles, and it is not of Muslim character to judge those that are struggling to please Allah. Funny thing is, I was really particular about my hair showing. Hijab was something I did because everyone around me did it. I did not understand it. I did not know why people wore it. All I knew was that we wore hijab because we were Muslim. And at the time, that was enough justification. I believe I became a true hijabi at the age of sixteen, when my hijab was in my heart, not on my head.

I started wearing hijab because my cousin, who was seventeen at the time, had decided to try it out. And, for the first time, I saw that aspect of my two worlds meshing together.  Unconsciously, it drove me to pursue whatever it would take to not live two lives; a life at school, where I looked like the perfect Muslim, but did not feel like myself, and a life at home, where I tried my best to be the perfect Muslim, but did not really look the part. Unfortunately, my cousin decided the hijab was not for her, and chose to stop wearing it. Which left me in a bind; what did that mean for me?

I chose to continue wearing my hijab, despite my family’s concerns about the Islamophobic era we lived in. My hijab allowed my two worlds to come together, and I went from a very introverted and insecure adolescent, to a strong Muslimah. My hijab became so much more when I realized the hijab means to care for yourself, to love yourself. The hijab is a personality that exudes confidence in oneself, but more importantly, confidence in the goodness Allah has bestowed within us. And, no one needs a piece of cloth on their head to allow others to feel that. I know so many sisters that do not wear a scarf, but they are much more the banner of Islam than hijabis. And, seeing as how I wore the hijab on more of a whim, than after careful research and reflection, I can see how that happens. I can see how the hijab is a way of identifying with Islam more than acceptance of oneself. But I also know that wearing the hijab, for me, was a learning process. My hijab taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined, and it became one of my life’s greatest teachers.

I believe I only realized what my hijab truly was when I was around nonMuslims. When I was with other girls who wore hijab, it became just a piece of cloth. I would forget the Islamic etiquette of interacting with people because I did not need to represent in front of those just like me. It did not stop me from making regrettable decisions, and acting like a complete fool. It was then, I realized, that if my hijab was not protecting my heart’s goodness, than it was not hijab at all. If my heart was only aware of my hijab when I was with nonMuslims, and turned on my “perfect Muslim mode” because I wanted them to love Islam, I was not representing Islam at all. I was trying to impress nonMuslims with an image of Islam, not the beautiful way of life I live. That was when I understood that hijab is nothing but Islam. Hijab is living life according to the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is about protecting and enriching the goodness Allah has given us all.

And this, I believe, is the most important piece of advice I could ever give to anyone. Hijab is protecting your personal goodness, from all sources of doubt and fear. Hijab is not wearing a scarf, or wearing long and loose clothing, or being the salaah police, or going to Islamic lectures. Hijab is not about being the perfect Muslim, or always doing the right thing. Once you attain that love for yourself and importance for that sacred goodness, hijab becomes about becoming closer to Allah. And simply putting a scarf on your head, after conquering yourself, seems simple.

Wearing Hijab is Exactly Like Being a Superhero #ProjectHIJAB

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Guest Post By: Nadia Chaudhry. Nadia is an aspiring multi-passionate entrepreneur. She wants the world to know about digital entrepreneurship and exactly how you can live a lifestyle that is completely location-independent with the ability to turn any place with an internet connection into your office. She talks about this mobile lifestyle and more on her blog: http://www.nadiachaudhry.com

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When I wake up in the morning, I put on my superhero outfit. It’s my cloak, my mask, my secret weapon, all wrapped into one. A superhero’s identity is hidden, but when you see their garb, you know exactly what they stand for. It’s a proclamation of their beliefs. It doesn’t necessarily hide them from view and may even seem to point them out deliberately. However, this gives them unimaginable power, the power of an idea, which cannot be destroyed. It’s my hijab, the scarf I choose to wrap around my head because I am a Muslim.

Just like a superhero, it makes you stronger. 

Let me tell you why I wear it: It makes me a stronger Muslim. Do you think a superhero would be as powerful without the costume? The costume makes the superhero. Superman. Batman. Spiderman. The first image to your head was their costume, wasn’t it? When Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, or Peter Parker puts on that outfit, do you think those moments mean nothing to them. You can just imagine that as they put on those clothes, they are mentally preparing themselves for what they’re about to do.  Heck, in the movies, they have whole scenes where they’re just putting on their outfit. Aren’t those powerful scenes? When Bruce Wayne becomes Batman: we see the costume in its glass case, we see the bat symbol on his chest, he puts on the suit, he tugs on his gloves, pulls down his mask, and you see the ripple of the cloak. It is the moment where his beliefs, values, and identity truly becomes manifest. When I put on my scarf, I go through the same mental preparation every day, whether I realize it or not.

Every day the hijab reminds me of who I am and what I believe in. Let me tell you the most powerful thing it does: it protects me from me. It reminds me of what I stand for, which gives me that extra push to do the right thing and be the right person. It helps to prevent me from temptation because it compels me to be stronger. My faith is attached to this tangible object that symbolically wraps my mind in a certain attitude. The hijab is much more than a scarf.

Just like a superhero, wearing it comes with responsibilities. 

With great power, comes great responsibility. I am a symbol. Wearing the hijab means you have to live your life a certain way, at least, you’re supposed to. When you wear the hijab, you represent Islam, just like a superhero represents justice. Everything you do will show the world that this is what a Muslim does. You have the responsibility to show the true image of Islam.

Just like a superhero, certain evils run from you while others are drawn to you. 

You know the blessings of wearing it, just as well as the consequences. It’s no easy thing to walk out your door with it on. It keeps certain evils away from me, evils that would otherwise tempt me. It invites the right people to me. Other Muslims easily approach me and say “salaam.” It’s a powerful, underestimated initiator for sisterhood. In many instances, I am welcomed as a sister or as a daughter. I remember last year in Ramadan, a Muslim man with his family paid for all the ice cream my friends and I bought. He left before we even knew and we couldn’t thank him. May Allah reward him for his kindness.

Yet, at the same time, the hijab can draw other evils. Just like a superhero, some bad guys run at first glimpse, but others want the fight. Mainly, I am talking about the people who are drawn to us by hate. I have never personally been caught in a situation too extreme, but we’ve all heard the stories. Some girls are ridiculed and harassed (Hint: Just like a superhero). In those moments, we need to be strong and have a good support system around us that encourages us to keep going.

It’s true, donning this outfit can be hard, but there are much greater blessings and rewards. So, don’t be afraid to be a superhero.

So You Wanna Do Hijab?

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My friend recently read my blog and suggested I do a post on hijab. While I’ve been planning on sharing my experience with hijab, she specifically requested a post that might be insightful for potential hijabis, especially during Ramadan. So this post is directed to you, “So, you’ve been thinking about Hijab?”

First of all, I want to congratulate you. You may not realize this, but even the very thought of (potentially) wearing hijab has been written down for you as a good deed with great enormity. And more importantly you are inspired by Allah (SWT) in your heart to begin this journey. That in itself is something to smile about, I’m serious!

Now, where to begin? If you’re inspired to begin to wear hijab—the natural place to begin is your heart. It’s gotten you this far already. The heart is where you make your niyahh (intention). Every act for a muslim should begin with an intention, because we are not just rewarded for our actions but for our intentions as well. Our intentions lead to our actions and are manifested in the outcome of our actions. Maybe you are afraid of being “That hijabi” the one that wears hijab one day and not the next, or “the bangjabi” who covers her hair part way, or the “tight-clothes-hijabi” put your fears aside! You’ll make your mistakes (it happens to the best of us!) but your intentions will keep you on track.

How? Well think about why girls get ‘off track’ with their hijabs? It’s not because they are “bad”. It just depends on their niyyah. Sometimes we can forget our original intention and it is recommend to recall why we are doing the things we do consistently. In fact, the sahabahs would remind themselves of their niyyahs daily! Ask yourself WHO you’re wearing hijab for and more importantly WHY? If the answer is Allah (SWT) and to please & obey Him then you are not going to get off track, and if/when you do, you simply need to recall your intention. Allah (SWT) is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem, don’t ever forget that! Even if you mess up, you simply repent whole heartedly (without arrogance!). REALLY ask for change. Don’t be knowingly ignorant of your situation (as in you have some idea that you’re in the wrong and are possibly in sin, but would rather not know what it is you’re doing wrong thus making you knowingly ignorant).

Now that you have made the intention to wear hijab is the actual action of wearing it. Covering your hair, what does that mean for you? I want to say something about strength. It is important that once you make your niyah that you pray that Allah (SWT) strengthen your heart so that when you wear hijab it is made easy upon you. I’m not saying this to scare anyone, I am saying this because, Alhumdulilah since I began hijab-I have never felt it a difficult burden. And I know many girls who look at it from the outside feel like it is a difficult feat. While it is a big deal, Allah (SWT) makes the difficult very easy for his believers. I’ll share with you an example of the well known story of Prophet Ibrahim (A). Ibrahim (A) was thrown in a fire when his people grew angry with him and his preaching, but Allah (SWT) cooled the fire and it was the most peaceful feeling for him. Similarly when Ali (R) was asked by Prophet Muhammad (S) to stay in his bed the night the Quraish planned to ambush him in his sleep, he recounts the night to be the night he experienced the most peaceful sleep! SubhanAllah, when you take one step toward Allah (SWT) with the right intentions He makes the most difficult tasks become the easiest. Just keep that in your intentions and you will find it to be rewarding.

Now, let’s get down to business. There’s society, family, relatives, boys, friends, media, OH MY! So how do you navigate hijab with all this? First off, talk to your family. Tell them you’ve been thinking about hijab. You can get two reactions: ideally your family would be your support system. They will know your dedication to Allah (SWT) and (a few jokes or concerns aside) they will support and encourage you. If you have a family who is supportive of your choice, say Alhumdulilah and don’t worry about the rest. However, there is a chance that your family may not be supportive of your decision, particularly your parents who are worried about you causing ‘unnecessary trouble’ upon yourself. This will be your first test, but remember Allah (SWT) only tests those whom He loves! You may recall the story of Mustab ibn Umair-better known as the “player” of Makkah. Mustab (R) was rich, wealthy, good-looking and well cared for by his family. When he accepted Islam his mother opposed it so incredibly that she began to starve herself in hopes of shaking his faith. But he stayed firm to the religion of Allah (SWT). Our job is not to please everyone, but to please Allah (SWT) through obedience to Him. And disobideance to your parents when it comes to obeying Allah (SWT) is allowed all the while being respectful towards them. 

Now, there is a society that will look at you completely differently. Without a doubt wearing hijab in western society will make you standout. You are a beacon of Islam. When people see you they will see Islam, there will be questions as well as confusion and there may sometimes be fear. People fear that which they can’t understand. And you will receive a myriad of questions, whole groups of people who maybe didn’t notice you before will open up to you! A host of questions that almost every hijabi gets include: “Are you hot in that?”, “Who makes you wear that—your husband?”, “Why did you decide to wear that?”, “Do you shower with it on” and it goes on. None of these questions threaten you in anyway and chances are you’ll meet new people who are curious about Islam—who have heard about it on the news media but want to know a Muslim first hand.

Another important aspect of hijab is respect. They say respect is earned, not given. SubhanAllah, once you wear hijab—you’ve earned a lot of respect. I’m not saying that there is not the occasional snide comment/hate/predjuice (which I’ll discuss later) but there is a great deal of respect from both men and women. The beauty of hijab is that it can get a point across without you ever having to say anything at all. Hijab in our country is constantly advertised as “oppression” but when you actually meet people in your daily life they see it for what it is and what it shows— strength, determination, and purity. These are all conveyed when you wear hijab. You have the strength to show society that you can exercise your freedom of religion in a country without obligation. You show society you have the strength to stand up to social media that is constantly telling women how they should dress and what they should look like—no one has the right to tell you that except God. You show determination that by covering your beauty you are not an object, but a being with intellect. And you show purity—which is by all means almost nonexistent in a society that encourages multiple partners before marriage. All these are attributes of hijab that speak for themselves when you wear hijab.

Sisterhood. I think one of the best parts of hijab is a global sisterhood. The best example of this is the current 2012 London Olympics. You don’t have to hijabi to feel pride for you Muslims sister from team USA and sisters from the many countries in the world, standing up and competing in the games while wearing hijab. It is a big deal and it is enormously unifying for the entire ummah. You don’t have to wear a hijab to feel this way! But when you do wear a hijab you contribute to the ummah. Your achievements are yours but they also make the entire ummah proud, look good, and feel good! A friend recently met with the President of the United States. While we all have our personal political opinions, we can all truly say that we’re proud to see our muslim sister accomplishing big goals while remember and representing her faith, Islam.

A final word about prejudices and judgment, because it is important to understand how to handle this. If you experience something like this-rude comments, unfair treatment, please, please remember you can share it with friends. We have almost all been there at one point, you are NOT alone! Also please, please, please don’t take it personally. When Muhammad (S) would give dawah to Quraish we can’t even begin to imagine his ill treatment—but we are advised not to take it personally. No one is attacking you; chances are they don’t even know you! They’re attacking Islam and Allah (SWT) is their judge, so leave it to Him.

Also, as you do not want to be judged, don’t judge others who are trying out hijab! Wearing hijab is fard that is best done whole heartedly. We all make mistakes, but inshAllah Allah (SWT) will guide us to that which is better and pleasing to Him. I started out hijab very early age before it was fard for me and made a lot of clothing mistakes then. I didn’t fully understand how to wear hijab or what it meant-but I learned it on the way! It’s harder if you make mistakes when you’re older because people assume you are doing it on purpose. Just as a refresher here’s some clothing advice: wear loose clothing. It’s an oxymoron if you wear hijab and tight clothes. Why cover your hair when you’re showing your body? It is not logical. Hijab is not just the head covering, but covering of the body as well! The best way that this had been explained to me was by Ustadh Wisam Sharieff who said Allah (SWT) had created us as insaan (human beings) and created the animals as animals. We are told to dress as individuals with a higher level of intellect. Animals wear their clothes (their furs) close and tight to their skin. If Human beings do so, they degrade themselves to the level of animals by dressing in tight clothes (not just women but men as well).

This doesn’t mean you can’t dress well. There are a lot of well dressed women in hijab, it’s just more of a shopping challenge but some people have it down to an art. And remember the reward and ajar for your struggles is with Allah (SWT) and is better than anything the world can offer you. It’s a struggle but you’ll get there, inshAllah!

You don’t have to be perfect to wear hijab-we are people and are created with imperfections. If we were supposed to be perfect we would have been created as Angels. This is a fact. Don’t let the fear of “creating a bad impression” on Islam stop you from obeying Allah (SWT) the best that you can. If you’re waiting to become a better muslim-well, aren’t we all? It’s like thinking that if you are not physically fit; working out a little each day won’t make a difference, so you don’t do anything at all. It makes a difference, slowly you’ll become stronger, and you just need to trust yourself and Allah (SWT) to take the first step.

I hope that you find this article useful in your journey to hijab, inshAllah. If you are seriously considering it then you are most definitely in my duas (prayers). Just to keep you supported this Ramadan, I’ll post guest posts from individuals with their personal stories about how they came to hijab that will be up one each week, inshAllah. So please share the khayr with any sisters taking this step inshAllah!

Just received word from a friend Haute Hijab is giving all new hijabis a free hijab! Just follow the link: http://www.hautehijab.com/blogs/hijab-fashion/6306366-ramadan-mubarak-first-time-hijabis-receive-a-free-hijab