Last year was the most difficult year of my life, and due to the stress of everything, my imaan – my faith – took a deep hit. I was in a tough place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It became much harder for me to pray – and I woke up almost every single morning not wanting to wear my hijab anymore.
I think as women we all struggle with hijab based on the highs and lows of our imaan and tawakkul, or trust, in Allah (swt). It became exhausting seeing countless friends and people I know take off their hijabs, one by one. It deeply affected me and shook me to my core. I began questioning why I even wore it in the first place, and why we as women even have to wear it. I began questioning Allah (swt).
It’s a deep, dark rabbit hole that you can fall into. Why don’t men have to wear it? Why can’t we just do what we want? Why do we even have rules to follow?
Whenever we are in these lows and struggle to remember the purpose behind why we do what we do, it’s incredibly important to remind ourselves why we decided to put it on in the first place. Remaking those intentions are key, because they can become fuzzy over time. And if the foundation isn’t strong, the pillars will most assuredly come crashing down.
Remind yourself that you do this for no other being except for Allah (swt). No man. No woman. No human being. It is for my Rabb. Because He loves me, and asked me to do this for Him. And I want His love, so I do it for Him. My nafs and Shaytan want a lot of things, but I have to train myself to not gravitate and lean towards my selfish desires and wants. Because He created us and made us to be the most perfectly-made imperfect beings to worship Him. How can I decide to follow my own desires and not His?
I had to refocus and recenter myself towards what truly matters to have the strength to continue wearing it, even to this day. What matters is attaining the closeness of Allah (swt) so that we’ll be successful in this life and the next. Especially the next. We tend to forget that this life is temporary and fleeting and most definitely will not last forever. What matters is how we act and do our best to get to Jannah, inshaAllah.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it is still really hard to wear it. It takes a lot of strength and courage, especially in today’s social and political climate. And any woman who wears one should be applauded, and any woman who chooses not to for whatever reason should never be looked down upon. You never know what someone is going through. Live, and let live – with love.
If you’re struggling, detox from social media for a week. It may sound cliché, but the constant bombardment and stimulation of photos of unrealistic societal expectations that promote negative body image and low self-esteem deteriorate mental health. Say that ten times fast. And then delete Instagram for a week and see how much better you feel. I know I need to.
And make it fun for yourself, if you can. Change it up! Buy new and pretty hijabs, try new hijab styles – have a hijab makeover. There are so many companies that sell beautiful hijabs all around the world. Let’s support these women-led organizations and lift one another up. When women support each other, incredible things happen. We’re stronger together, anyways. ❤