Asalamu Alaikum sister,

Welcome to Islam! I understand your concern, as I lived in the US for 15 years as a Muslim women wearing hijab. It is not an easy thing. Simply putting a piece of cloth over your hair makes you an instant target of harassment and sometimes worse. And this is a very serious and scary thing. People who do not experience this can too easily dismiss this serious stress Muslim women in the US face.

I converted to Islam one month after 9/11. And like you, I was terrified of wearing hijab. In fact, the thought of having to wear the hijab kept me from converting for some time. That was until a Muslim lady gave me some good advice. She said Islam is not about hijab. While hijab (for both men and women) and modesty in all aspects of life is an important part of the manners of a Muslim, it is not a core belief in Islam. Take it easy. Learn the faith and see what happens.

And I did. I converted almost immediately after that advice. But I didn’t wear hijab right out of the gate. That came a bit later, after I got some strength of iman (faith) from living and learning Islam. Since you are new to Islam, I suggest that you focus on learning and implementing the pillars of iman (faith) and Islam. This will increase your faith, and with increased faith, only Allah Almighty knows what is possible.

Here are some links about these pillars:

https://www.whyislam.org/on-faith/the-five-pillars-of-islam/ http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/sixpillarsiman.htm

Perhaps, since it is winter, if you want to take steps toward wearing hijab, you can start by wearing warm hats and the like. But if this is too much for you, know that your priority is your connection with Allah. Strengthen that step by step. Islam is meant to be easy. So, don’t overburden yourself. 

Learn the 6 pillars of iman. Learn about Allah Almighty through His attributes. Learn about Islam and start implementing the five pillars of prayer and so on. And forget about what people say one way or another. Ask Allah to give you the strength and courage of conviction to draw nearer to Him by doing all that pleases Him.

If you find that you are still not able to wear hijab because of the atmosphere of fear in the US right now, don’t ever let it hold you back from learning about your faith and living it step by step. Do your best at your own pace. This is all that Allah requires of us, is to try.

And don’t let the shaytan trick you into thinking that if you can’t do one thing, like wear hijab, then you can’t do anything to draw nearer to Allah. This is totally untrue. You can still be an amazing Muslim. And always, no matter what, ask Allah for His protection and mercy. I hope this helps. May Allah keep you safe and firm on the path to Him. Also, check out these useful links:

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/understanding-islam/signs-allahs-mercy/

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/understanding-islam/on-allahs-greatness-allah-u-akbar/

https://aboutislam.net/shariah/hadith/this-hadith/yasir-qadhi-looking-allahs-face-video/