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Family Is Against My Hijab: I’m Depressed

Questioner

D

Reply Date

Nov 17, 2017

Question

Salam Aleikom. I'm writing to you, because I need to consult with someone. I'm 17 years old girl. I've started to pray and fast for a year. I also wanted to know more about my religion and then started to understand the purpose of my whole life, therefore I started praying and fasting, but when it came to hijab, my whole family (especially my father) were very against it. My family is Muslim, but they don't like these things like hijab, because they thing that I'll become extremist like those people in the TV news who kill others. I’ve fought a lot with them. I want to be too good with them, but it’s really hard. I don't know when this will stop. I don't have anyone who supports me. Sometimes, I feel lonely, and I think that Allah doesn't love me. I often feel I want to run away to be alone, I don't want to see anybody; I don't want to speak with anyone. I prefer ding than living a life where my Creator and my parents don’t love me. I'm waiting that Allah guides me on the straight path, but this waiting is killing me.

Counselor

Answer


Family Is Against My Hijab: I’m Depressed

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

It is wonderful to hear that you have begun to practice Islam ma sha’ Allah and take an interest in learning more about it and applying your knowledge in your daily life. May Allah (SWT) bless you and make your path easy.

In your obedience and pursuit to please Allah (SWT), you are coming up against some obstacles, namely, your parents. Please remember sister that Allah tests those He loves, and He tests us with what He chooses. “Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity.”(Al-Bukhari and others)” In your case, Allah may be testing you through your parents to not only fortify and strengthen your convictions but possibly to even change your parents’ hearts towards the hijab. AboutIslam states concerning these tests that “so, in the sense of tests, Allah tests people to confirm their commitment to Islam. He puts them through different situations and conditions to check if they commit to Islam in all situations or not. Allah wants to make sure if the people are sincere in their claim of faith or not.”

You stated your family are Muslim, but are against hijab. This is a phenomenon we are seeing more often, especially after 9/11 and the emergence of the group ISIL. Parents and even younger people may become fearful being identified as Muslim due to the random occurrence of backlash from others who incorrectly identify Muslims with these groups. Additionally, family members, especially parents, may become alarmed when they see their children “suddenly” becoming more interested in their religion even if the child’s intention is pure. They have heard stories of youth who were once not interested in their Islam but got swayed by others or pulled into groups which supports these horrific terror groups. Naturally, if they see a sudden change in their children, they may begin fearing their children may join given the times we live in and the great influence of media and the reality that some misguided youth do join.

While it is an understandable fear, it is one that must be examined with careful thought. For instance, if your parents practiced Islam in the home and you wore a hijab from a younger age, this would not be an issue. But as it was not practiced in your home, it is a cause of alarm for them. One of the things you could reflect upon is that hijab was worn by Muslim women before any of this occurred, in the time of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in the time of Maryam (RA), and all throughout history, women wore hijab. Not only do Muslim women wear hijab, but so do some Christians, some Jewish women as well as those of other faiths. So as a social construct, it is not a symbol only to Islam. In your case, however, it is not only a symbol that you are a Muslimah (one who follows the Islamic faith), but it is a sign and a personal conviction that you are being obedient to your Lord. MuslimGirl states ‘You have a right to wear the hijab. While you may be disobeying your parents in doing so, you are blameless and sinless in this situation. You are working to become a better Muslim, to improve your worship, and to grow close to Allah (SWT)”.

With that being said sister, as you are obeying Allah (SWT), in contradiction to your parents/family, it is you who are doing right in this decision to follow Islamic dress code.

Perhaps, instead of arguing with them sister, you could approach them with Islamic education about the hijab as well as your displaying understanding and maturity about their concerns. I would suggest when things are calm at home, in sha’ Allah have a talk with them indicating your awareness of their fears, validate their concerns (as yes, in this day and time they are valid concerns), but assure them that you are in no way interested in worldly groups which are haram, but in our true religion. Tell them that you are striving to please Allah, follow the 5 pillars as well as gaining knowledge through Qur’anic reading, study and dawah. Use the Qur’an dear sister to explain how a Muslim should live, and point out how as a family these Islamic requirements were not being met, and that your needs to please your Lord have grown alhamdulillah as you have matured through the years. In sha’Allah, ask them to study with you on the premise to help “guide” you. This will give them a feeling of control and insight, and at the same time will in sha’ Allah touch their hearts to begin to see that they need to draw closer to Allah (SWT) as well.

While this may take effort, time and patience on your part sister, you very well may be tested in this manner in order to bring your whole family back into the folds of Islam and as practicing Muslims. However, your approach is most important. It must always be done with kindness and respect. For example, you may want to take a portion of a surah and ask them to help you understand it better. In this way, you are offering them the opportunity to guide you (which all parents like to do with their children) as well as giving them a better understanding of the Islamic requirements which are needed in the home. Once they see you are on the right path, they may begin to feel more comfortable in sha’ Allah in your wonderful changes, and in sha’ Allah they begin to change themselves.

As far as feeling lonely sister, I suggest that you continue focusing on your school studies, Islamic studies as well as getting involved in some fun social things at the masjid. Make friends with some of the sisters and do enjoyable things together such as cooking, shopping, exercising, going out for lunch and other activities. They will increase your feelings of comradely. Our sisters can be a great support, and we can develop lifelong friendships!

Sister, Allah loves you dearly and He is Most Merciful. He is All-Knowing. Allah is testing you and blessing you at the same time. Never doubt Allah’s love for you. And please remember, your family loves you, too, and this “test” may be a way of bringing your whole family closer not only to each other, but to Allah (SWT). Make du’aa’ to Allah, trust in Him that He knows what is right and what is best. He knows your suffering dear sister, but with suffering and hardship comes ease. It is my feeling that in sha’ Allah this will end up unifying your family as a strong Muslim family in the future. Be patient dear sister and know you are on the right path, in sha’Allah!

You are in our prayers.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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