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Embracing Hijab as a New Muslim

A pearl is one of our world’s greatest treasures. It is milky white, smooth, lustrous and is stunning when used in designing jewelry.

It hails from the depths of the sea and grows within an oyster. The oyster protects this precious gem from all harm and ensures the beauty of the pearl will not be degraded in any way.

Similarly, the Islamic dress code (hijab) protects a Muslim woman in a like fashion. The hijab is a decree from God Almighty and is obligatory for all mature women.

In Islam, the dress code for both men and women is based on modesty. Both sexes are instructed to dress in a certain way that is conservative and pleasing to our Lord.

The beauty of the hijab is that it is empowering and gives a woman the ability to remove her sexuality from the equation. It forces a Muslim woman to be seen as an intelligent being rather than a piece of meat to be ogled by men.

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For a revert to Islam, embracing the hijab can be a difficult decision especially when living in a non-Muslim society. However, it is important to note that despite any reservations, all Muslim women should make haste in wearing the hijab as it is a commandment from God Almighty.

Make the Choice to Hijab

For a new Muslim, choosing to wear the Islamic headscarf is sometimes an inner jihad one wages against herself. The perceptions of society, as well as close acquaintances, also weighs heavily in the decision making process. It’s no secret that the media often portrays Islam negatively; and the hijab is a garment that immediately defines a woman as a Muslim.

Many Muslim women have very real fears of not fitting in, being ridiculed in public or even being barred from attaining an education or finding a job.

The hijab has come under great ridicule in many parts of the world where it has been banned in countries like France, Spain and Belgium. Regardless of the controversies, the hijab is a beautiful garment and is a mercy from God Almighty. By making the choice to wear the hijab, you are representing the Islamic faith.

Now That’s a Wrap

Reverts to Islam may struggle when shopping for a proper hijab. It may be difficult to even buy a single hijab in a non-Muslim community.

Thankfully, the Internet is one of the best places to find quality hijabs. There are countless styles, colors and designs to choose from when shopping online.

Learning how to wrap the scarf around the head is a skill that requires practice to make perfect. Once again, Islamic websites and e-commerce sites are a great help in that most provide tutorials for how women can successfully wrap the hijab around the head so that it covers what is meant to be covered beautifully.

Getting Used to Your New Accessory

The newness of the hijab is often startling for new Muslims. For most women, you’ve grown up having your hair cut or styled to perfection. And now you’ve got to cover it completely so that not even a wayward strand peeks out from beneath.

The good news is that wearing the hijab is easy to get used to. Start by wearing it at home, even if it is only within the confines of your bedroom. Over time, you’ll begin to forget that you are wearing it. But don’t ever forget the reasons for donning it in the first place. God Almighty showers us with infinite mercies that we could never repay even if we tried. And all that we are asked in return is to obey the obligations that He has decreed for us.

Full Steam Ahead

Once you’ve gotten used to wearing the hijab at home, the next step is to make it public. Commit to wearing your hijab every time you leave the house or are around non-relatives.

If you fear wearing the hijab will shock your co-workers or loved ones, then you might decide to make a brief announcement well before you begin wearing it. This can be done through email, face-to-face or even in a text message. Say something like:

“The next time we meet, I will be wearing the Islamic hijab. So don’t be too surprised.”

By giving your acquaintances or loved ones a heads up, you are also giving them time to process your decision. This will make it less likely that you’ll be faced with gaping mouths or awestruck expressions when you wear the hijab for the first time around those nearest to you.

When making the decision, Satan will be with you every step of the way whispering his insinuations to make you resist wearing it altogether. Don’t let Satan win.

Trust in God Almighty; and take baby steps until the hijab is your finest accessory that you wear with humility seeking the pleasure of God.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)

About Sumayyah Meehan
Sumayyah Meehan reverted to Islam over 23 years ago. She is a Waynesburg University graduate with a BA in Criminal Justice. Sumayyah is a journalist, marketer and freelance graphic designer. She is also a single-mother residing in North Carolina with her children.