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Agony Aunt: Unsure About Starting Hijab

by in Culture & Lifestyle on 2nd June, 2024

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Salaams Aunt Maya. Recently, I have started thinking about the idea of wearing the hijab. It’s something I have thought about but I am unsure and worried about committing to it and how people might react if I decide to take it off later. I don’t want to hold back just because I’m scared of what others might think, but at the same time, I don’t want to deal with potential judgment. Am I overthinking this? What would you suggest I do?

Maya Areem responds:

Salam Alaykum,

Your contemplation on the decision to wear the hijab is indeed a significant and personal journey.

Wearing the hijab is not an easy decision, and for some people there are many struggles that come with the decision. So, I’ll first invite you to consider your intention (niyyah) behind this decision. It should be for the sake of Allah, as an act of obedience to Him alone. With this in mind, take the time to learn about its significance as this will strengthen your conviction and increase your confidence.

Allah also reassures us in Surah al-Ankabut (29:69), “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” It is reassuring to know that Allah is with you every step of the way. 

Consider taking gradual steps towards your hijab journey which may look like incorporating it slowly into your daily life. Here are a few ways you can go about it:

1. Start in Familiar Settings: Begin with wearing it in comfortable and familiar settings before extending it to more public spaces. This approach can allow you to adjust at your own pace.

2. Overcoming the Fear of Judgment: In the beginning days of wearing it more frequently, especially in public spaces, it’s understandable that you might feel worried about others’ judgment. At times like this, remind yourself of your sincere intentions. I also understand that you fear people’s reactions if you choose to take your hijab off later, but that is a bridge to cross later, if you ever come to it. Lean into your current intentions to wear it and pray that Allah keeps you firm on your decision for His sake alone.

However, should you ever change your mind, remember you do not need to discuss this with anyone you are not comfortable with and you can simply say that you are working on your relationship with the hijab and you are thankful for their concern. 

Allah (SWT) says: “Whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him running.” [Bukhari]

For now, focus on the step you are taking to be closer to Allah and perhaps one plus to come out of this will be a stronger ability to put other people’s judgment secondary, and the pleasure of Allah (SWT) first and foremost.

3. Surround Yourself with Supportive Individuals: Surrounding yourself with individuals who understand the significance of personal spiritual development can be instrumental. The Prophet ﷺ said, “A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

Seek role models by looking at Muslim women who inspire you through their commitment to wearing the hijab. Their experiences and insights can provide valuable guidance and encouragement.

4. Build a Supportive Network: This can provide encouragement and a sense of community. Find local or online halaqahs (study circles) where you can share your journey with others who may have similar experiences. Hang out with friends who share similar values.

5. Seek Guidance and Support: If you encounter doubts or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them openly with trusted friends, family, or mentors. Open communication can provide valuable perspectives and reassurance.

6. Reflect and Journal: Regularly assess your feelings and experiences as you embrace the hijab. Journaling your thoughts and reflections can serve as a personal record of your growth and commitment.

7. Make Du’a: Last but certainly not the least, make fervent du’as and seek help from Allah SWT to grant you steadfastness upon your decision and bring you closer to Him. 

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْوَهَّابُ

“Our Lord! Do not let our hearts deviate after you have guided us. Grant us Your mercy. You are indeed the Giver ˹of all bounties.” (Surah Al ‘Imran 3:8)

Remember, this journey is unique to you, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Allah’s guidance is with those who strive sincerely. May your steps towards wearing the hijab be filled with ease, understanding, and the acceptance of Allah’s mercy.

Love + Duas,

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.