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Love My Hijab but Want to Take It Off

Question and answer details
W (22-female-Morocco)
2013/12/03
Salam alaikum,I am a 22 year old girl. I am seeking your help with my problem regarding hijab. I am not an English speaker nor is it my 2nd language so please forgive my English, I am trying my best to tell my story clearly. I am sure you have dealt with different women not sure about their hijab anymore. So I hope to find an answer this time. My story basically is that I just went out of a horrible break up after being engaged for 3 years to someone. So I decided to make major changes in my life and become a better person. Few months later my brother told me that one of his friends was interested in getting to know me so I decided to give it a chance and see what will happen from there. We always talked through my brother and father just like the Islamic way and he always sent me interesting lectures and talked about Islam with me and my family as he is a very religious person ma sha’ Allah. I admired that and I got into the whole lectures things and started reading more and more about Islam. I come from a very religious family but they never imposed things on me they just try to advice me to do good things. Although I did not wear hijab but I care so much about our values. Anyway so as move of me that I thought was smart I decided to wear hijab; it was mainly to please the guy but it was also for Allah or at least that how I was trying to convince myself. Afterwards I felt that I was so happy because of the positive feedback but afterwards I started regretting as I did it only for a person not God. And now I feel trapped; I am wearing it out of vanity and to be admired by people. I hate the feeling and I am a big hypocrite. So I started feeling that I should take a step backwards in order to move forward. I always knew at one point of my life I would wear it. It is just I took the most beautiful decision for the wrong reasons and the wrong time. I have a strong desire to take it off. I don’t know what to do. Please help me. By the way we are still talking to that guy but I don’t feel as interested as before, but no one of my family knows the way I feel yet and what I think about hijab.
Sakeena Abdulraheem
Answer

Assalaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Dear Sister,

It sounds like based upon how you have described your situation that you are contemplating major changes in multiple areas of your life. Sometimes as human beings the way we perceive ourselves and our own situations can be a lot worse than reality. There is a saying in English that says “We are often our own worse critic”. This means that we can very often be harder on ourselves than others would be with us and we often internalize and are judgmental of ourselves.

One thing that is important to remember is that Islam is a very easy faith and Allah does not place upon us what we can not handle and Allah is merciful. If you were not raised practicing a particular aspect of the faith hijab included you should always take gradual steps towards personal growth and development to avoid overwhelming yourself psychologically.

Self awareness is the first step towards achieving progress in personal growth and development.  It is apparent in your statements that you are very self aware and this is a very healthy ability that will help you in guiding your thoughts, actions and behavior.

You stated that:  “I thought hijab was a smart idea, it was mainly to please the guy but it was for Allah at least that is how I was trying to convince myself. Afterwards I felt that I was so happy because of the positive feedback but afterwards I started regretting as I did it only for a person not God.  And now I feel trapped.”

In this description you have assessed that you feel you are wearing the hijab for the wrong reasons and you no longer feel comfortable with your decision. It also sounds like you went through some period of denial before realizing that this was not the best decision for you.

“It is narrated on the authority of Amirul Mu’minin, Abu Hafs Umar bin al Khattab, (R), who said:  ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, (Pbuh) say’:  ‘Actions are judged by (motives/intentions/niyyah), so each man will have what he intended.  Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and his Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.’”

As human beings we are not going to ever be perfect, we will stumble, make mistakes, and learn lessons in the process that we can incorporate into our personal growth. It is important to keep this in mind. It is also important to realize that we are constantly renewing and replenishing our faith and intentions of our actions in various aspects of our lives not just hijab.

It seems that you have an extremely supportive family that will not impose any judgment upon you if you decide to keep the hijab on or take it off. However, you must address how you feel about wearing it and this is an important decision that you will have to live with similar to the decision of marriage.

Yes in many aspects when you get married you are marrying the person and the family but it is you who will have to live with this person, establish a relationship, and spend time with your future spouse for the rest of your life. This is a serious decision as well that you will have to make so choose wisely and listen to your thoughts, behavior, physical reactions and intuition when interacting with your fiancé it will provide you with the answer.

I would encourage you as you explore these two major decisions to pray istkharah regarding both and then act upon what you have decided. Allah will surely guide you along the way.

 

For further guidance, please try the following links:


About the Counselor:

Sakeena Abdulraheem holds an MA in Social studies with a concentration in Islamic studies from the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences. She is currently completing her M.A.in counseling psychology with a concentration in trauma counseling. She has extensive experience working as a teacher, mentor, and consultant.

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