7 years ago, during my A level year, I made the decision to put on the hijab. Here’s what happened:
It was in March 2011. I was in a relationship with a guy and it ended abruptly. The break-up really crushed me and I lost myself for a few months. I could not sleep at night, lost my ability to focus in school and found myself staring into space a lot. My dear friend, Warah, noticed the changes in my behaviour (I’m usually bubbly) and she gave me a suggestion.
“Syaf, why not you try to pray?”
I vividly remember the concern in her voice and she suggested that to me. (Thank you so much Warah. May Allaah continuously reward you for this priceless suggestion of yours.) I had exhausted all ways to try to make myself feel better and initially, I was honestly skeptical about the effectiveness of her suggestion. I kept her suggestion in mind but.. I was still brooding over self-pity.
A few days later, I saw an Arabic post made by an acquaintance on Facebook. Out of sheer curiosity, I commented to ask for the translation and this was what the post translated to:
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (AI-Baqarah, 2:216)
GASPS. That verse spoke to me. It woke me up from my months of distress. I felt like god was conversing with me directly. I was so impacted by that verse that within one night, I made the sudden decision to put on the hijab because I just wanted to immerse myself into the religion.
Was I fully ready to put on the hijab when I decided to do so? Definitely not. But I guess I am the queen of impromptu decisions so I just went on with what my heart told me to do. I only started wearing the hijab permanently after my A levels in Nov 2011.
A dear family member expressed her worry that I might take off the hijab as it was too sudden a decision. I was aware of that risk too but I just wanted to shift my focus to Islam because I no longer wanted to live in the misery of my heartbreak. I also changed to a hairstyle I did not like so I would feel more encouraged to cover my hair up. Lol I was 18 and rash haahhahaa.
The spiritual high I felt when I started wearing the hijab was amazing. I felt like I could make it through any of my life troubles because I have Allaah. I shared on my personal IG (@nurulsyafikahz) before that I was bullied in college. Feeling close to Allaah truly made the bullying I had to experience so much more easier to handle because I discovered a new sense of self-worth and belonging. Like… it’s okay if I don’t fit in anywhere in this world because I am worthy in the sight of Allaah.
I am immensely grateful for all the heartbreaks I experienced that brought me to Allaah. I thought the break-up I had to go through was unfortunate, but it turned out to be a huge blessing from above. The discovery of Islam is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
My hijrah story is a pretty long one so I shall continue in the next post, insyaaAllaah.
Love, Nurul Syafikah
P/s: If you need someone to talk to about your struggles with regards to the hijab/discovery of Islam, feel free to leave me a DM at @deepduzt. I am sure we can benefit from one another. Hugs!