Let me tell you, I wasn’t always a niqabi. I started wearing niqab in the year I turned 18, that’s like 3 years ago. No one forced me to do it no one paid me to do it; it was something that I just felt like doing.
Before I started to cover my face permanently, I was like any other teenager, loved to sing, dance, watch movies, go crazy in hang-outs and all that. Well, I still love all these, but, now I’ve learnt to control myself.
When I was 13, in grade 8, I used to study in co-education and I did NOT wear hijab or dress Islamically in any way. I used to wear short sleeves too. And did not mind hanging out with guys either. Although, I did pray five times a day, daily Alhamdulillah and was also reading Qura’an with translation. But the thought of covering never occurred to me. Let me also tell you, in grade 7, I used to dream of becoming a Miss Universe. Lol. I know it’s ironic but it’s true.
In grade 10, I, along with a group of friends decided to make an underground band. (Another ironic reality). See, that’s how lost and astray I was.
My parents were never strict when it came to religion, they barely scolded me for not praying and never asked me to cover, but from an early age my mom DID use to take me to weekly Islamic lectures and gatherings, which at least gave me something to ponder at later.
The idea to cover according to exact rules of Islam used to bug me from the time I turned 16 in grade 11. I used to think what was going on with the Islamic world? Why have the Muslims become such hypocrites? Why is today’s Muslim so scared to be himself? Along with that the verses of Quran used to ring in my ears about how non-believers will be thrown into hell fire.
But, all the time I kept on finding excuses to not wear it. Because, you see it’s not just about covering your face while going out in front of men but it requires you to do more than that. Like, staying away from evil things which promote vulgarity in society such as songs and movies. It also required you to be pious in every way of life. You had to learn to be kind, and generous to everyone, which meant getting rid of the bitchy attitude. You had to learn to speak the truth all the time (it’s not like I was a huge liar earlier, lol). Limit your social activities and most of all cover in front of your cousins too! (That was the MOST difficult part for me, as I always used to be the odd one out in family gatherings).
So, I first started off by simple easy steps.
1) Tried to cut down listening to music.
2) Tried to stay in control in hang-outs and get-togethers when all I wanted to do was go crazy with the beats.
3) Controlled back-biting others.
So, on the final day of grade 12 meet up, I surprised my friends with a niqab and honestly I did not get a very supportive response. Nobody SAID anything on my face, but I could get the vibes.
But, I really didn’t care, because I knew I was doing the right thing, and I didn’t mind being singled out for something which was 101% right.
Plus that’s what I like, to be different, anything but ordinary (in a good way ONLY), to be able to create new trends.
That wasn’t it. Six months later, I got a job to teach grade 10 students (boys & girls), and things changed a bit. For the first week I tried to keep up with my commitment of niqab but after a week I was led astray again by the devil with thousands of excuses for screwing the niqab for a while, and I removed it. May Allah forgive me.
After one year of teaching, I had found answers to all my excuses and let me tell you one thing, all those people who say covering JUST the hair prevents you from fitnah, they are WRONG. Covering your face holds as much importance, as covering your hair and body, because the face holds the real beauty.
To be continued…….
P.S. Some inspiring stories of converted Muslims: