*Dedicated to any sister out there struggling to abide by the Islamic guideline for dress code, read the story of a sister who was once in your shoes. She narrates how she overcame her ‘old’ lifestyle and shares how she adapted to the Islamic dress code. Enjoy reading …
Hey there, I’m Eesha. I’d love you to read my story on how I got to start dressing modestly.
This is a continuous journey and I pray to continuously improve with my character as well.
Dressing in line with Islam was not something I was brought up with. Reminiscing on my childhood and teen years I could remember how many skirts I had – barely one. I never cared that much because I never knew that much. I would still wear the Hijab amidst this. My tops could be short-handed and I was fine with it. What was important for me then was covering my hair. I never acknowledged that the hijab was more than a head covering and did what I was doing telling myself after all I am better than so and so… I cover my hair. Anyone who sees me would know I am a Muslim, and that it is my identity! As, I grew older I got exposed to life, saw people dressing modestly and was wondering how they managed to do it.
There was a time I was determined to change. I purchased skirt of different types, but never felt comfortable wearing them. Then I went back… never clear as to my why and not having a good support system (there is always someone to blame, so sad)
Environments are very important in life and this changed me greatly. I changed my environment which made me appreciate the modest dressing obligated upon us. Though, not a fully Islamic environment but it was one I needed to kick start my dressing journey. I saw people adorning the abayas, the skirt flowing and felt I could be like this. I would go to the Masjid wearing my trousers and before entering I would put on my abaya (this was not ideal) I would be in Uni and once it’s prayer time I would be looking for something to tie around my waist down… This was not good. I began to realise and acknowledge I needed to do something about it.
I started getting convinced on the need to dress modestly as I would feel like a hypocrite when I dressed modestly and removed it. I started making dua 🤲🏼… my environment was affecting me positively. My new friend started donning the Hijab in couple of days and I used this to motivate myself.
I remember when I started, I kept it secret. I never told anyone except my new friend. I went back to Uni so I was alone, away from families, no pressure that I wanted.
I purchased different long skirts and began to wear them gradually. Sometimes, I felt uncomfortable, feeling unable to rock the way I wanted. But because I knew the reason why I was dressing modestly, I was able to maintain wearing it. I felt different to the people around me most most of the time. Had some issues with self-esteem (Alhamdulillah, I’ve worked on that). It was difficult sometimes and tbh I cried many times. Dua, dua dua was all I had, and listening to reminders which emphasised the importance of modest dressing… and that was how it all started, one step at a time. I began to feel comfortable in dressing modestly, added some abayas to my wardrobe… began to wear socks, and cover my awrah… There were sometimes I would feel hot, but I reminded myself of the purpose of covering up and it keeps me going Alhamdulillah.
Forward to now, I feel comfortable, liberated, able to define which party of my body is visible.
PURPOSE OF SHARING THIS STORY
Women love fashion and there is nothing wrong in adorning yourself with beautification as long as it is done in the right space.🌸 “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty”. Dressing modestly is important when you are in front of your non-mahram (and some mahrams too). In the public domain we should be conscious of the kind of attention we are bringing upon us, it may be intended or unintended.
The journey to dressing modestly is a veryyyyyy personal one. Almost every sister can relate because they have gone through this phase in one form or the other. Islam has prescribed certain guidelines on how a female should dress. Undeniably, the society we live in has continuously made it challenging. The media has flooded images of how a female should look like and this is contrary to the conditions of Hijab. It is not easy when they make us judge our values and we have to change the narrative. It is up to we Muslims to stand up to our religion, reclaim this right, support, and encourage one another. To any female in this phase, it is worth speaking to someone who will assist you in this journey, with sincerity, conviction, dua and supportive friends. In Sha Allah you will go through the phase successfully. Though, not everyone struggles but it is not an understatement to say majority of the sisters struggle with getting to terms on dressing the correct way. It is easy to avoid many pressures by simply saying and living as a Muslim. If you choose to live as a Muslim, you will be free from consumerism and commodification. Feel comfortable in dressing to please Allah and not having to worry too much about looks!
Here are 3 lessons I extracted from Eesha’s story
KEEP ALLAH عَزَّ وَجَلَّ AS YOUR #NUMBER1.
It is important that we know why we are wearing the Hijab. It is more than a piece of cloth to be draped over the head. The main reason why females wear the Hijab is because it is a command from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. A command from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ is an obligation and should not be taken lightly. I am not downplaying the difficulties females face wearing the Hijab, but we need to know that Allah knows what is best for us than our own selves. If you are living in a place where it is difficult to abide by the Hijab, wear it to the best of your ability and know that Almighty Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ will reward you for it. “Be mindful of Allah and he will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find him before you. If you ask, ask from Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah…” (Tirmidhi) To anyone struggling, be mindful of Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ, supplicate to Him, seek His help, Ask Him to strengthen you to begin to don the Hijab and by His will you will find it easy. The way we appear is a fraction of Islam, whether we accept it or not. We all represent Islam; we are all vicegerent of Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ on earth. People see us and see Islam in us, so we should be good ambassadors of Islam by following the tenets of our religion.
Knowledge gets rid of ignorance. Islam has placed so much emphasis on seeking knowledge as it is the foundation of good actions. The Prophet ﷺ tells us: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”(Ibn Mājah) and “Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise.” (Muslim). Knowledge must be combined with action upon learning. Know that it is not all about intentions as actions justify intentions. Do not wait until you feel you have reached a certain level of taqwa (piety). There is no perfect moment to begin to fulfill the obligation, my dear sisters! Start donning your Hijab and it will assist you to reach a higher level of piety, adding to your conviction. We all know that there are certain conditions to be met before praying Salah – females cannot pray Salah without a proper head and body covering. The awrah must be properly covered to pray, whether you are in the Masjid or in your home. Is it not then somewhat contradictory to dress to pray in a certain way and to go out in a different way? We are all on a journey to dressing and improving ourselves and we should keep trying.
HAVE GOOD COMPANY.
Surround yourself with good, practicing Muslims of your sex and gender. Human like companionship and we want to feel supported when we are making changes. Control your circle of friends, who you surround yourself with, as we see a reflection of ourselves in them. The Prophet tells us: “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” (Tirmidhi) Having good friends who you can count on will make you feel more comfortable and take continuous steps to improve yourself. No one is saying you should change your friends 360ο but start gradually, if you feel you need to. You are the only one who knows whether you need to change some of your company. Get closer to people who you feel are doing well in the deen, make dua that Almighty Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ brings and surround you with righteous friends. (Good company include online friends). I once heard from a podcast where the speaker mentioned that he wanted to be close with a person and he made dua to have that friend in his life – this is something you can do to! Know that by changing your company you change your environment too – giving you a conducive environment where you feel supported.
Let me know what you’ve learnt in the comment section below
POINT OF REFLECTION: Surprisingly, I can’t pinpoint out something for reflection. Let me know what stuck out to you from reading this story👇🏽
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*This story is a new addition to the blog. #TrueLifeStories.. Read about its purpose here and a previous story published – DUA OF AN OPPRESSED. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to share your story to inspire others. Contact us via Instagram
I’ll leave you here with a poem I wrote on the Hijab – Click here to read – MY HIJAB
Till next time Fi Ammanillah! 👋🏽
Read more about the Hijab – Understanding the muslim dress code. Modesty for men and the Hijab for women – Abu Khadeejah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ
Hijab of the Muslim Woman and its conditions – Abu Khadeejah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ
Women should not wear tight fitting clothes outside the home – Abu Khadeejah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ