Hijab - Sulastri from Singapore
As a young girl, I would cry and beg my mom to help me don the hijab. However, as I grew up, I decided to take it off and wear what top models would wear. I stopped learning about my own religion because "I have the rest of my life to learn about Islam" mentality was very strong in me. As a teenager, I did what other teenage girls would do. Throughout those times, I have NEVER thought of submitting myself to Allah (swt). Not at all. Rather, I submitted my life to duniya (worldly affairs). I saw how successful people earned big bucks and drove fancy cars; I worked my entire life trying to be like them. I saw pretty girls with nice hair and body; I tried to be just like them. I followed the society's standards most of my life only to realized that the standards will never be constant. So I will always see myself as a failure. I constantly wanted more and more from duniya 'till one day I stumbled upon a book which turned my life for Allah's sake. The book is called "Reclaim Your Heart" by the amazing Yasmin Mogahed.
Every word pierced through my heart and made me wonder where have I placed my heart. I sought happiness in people, but they betrayed me all the time. I trusted His creation more than the Creator. I started to fail in my life in many aspects and I thought "Oh Allah, You know best and I know not. If this is best for my religion and will bring me closer to You, then I am the luckiest girl." Indeed, all those failures and heartbreaks had opened up the doors of repentance for me. One day I woke up from my sleep and it was total darkness with a scary voice and I felt as though my body was being pressed. I couldn't move nor breathe. At that point, I thought I was already 6 feet under. So I chanted my prayers and asked for forgiveness endlessly.
Alhamdulillah, it could be just my imagination or a dream or even a message from Allah to me. Wallahualam (Allah knows best). I had sleepless nights to make the decision to don the hijab.I started dreaming of Hell fire and it scared me. I read up the Quran, Surah An Nur and came across the ayah(verse) about hijab. I obviously wasn't planning to read that ayah and never knew that it is written in the Quran 'till that very day. The wonder of Al-Quran, it knows what the reader is seeking for. I prayed to Allah to ease this affair.
Alhamdulillah, I started to don the hijab about a year ago after numerous failed attempts and sleepless nights. My initial concern was the perception of my families, friends and society. I did get a few hurtful comments at the initial stage but in my heart I reminded myself I am doing it for the sake of Allah. I am done pleasing human beings. In fact, whenever I put on the hijab, I feel secure and I feel that I am at a stage of lowering myself for Allah (swt). The whole humility concept instantly switched on when I put on the hijab. I feel like wearing it to sleep sometimes. "If the wok (pan) is hot, we wear gloves to prevent ourselves from getting burnt. If the weather is hot, we don the hijab to save ourselves from getting burnt." The hijab acts like a glove.
It was hard at first due to work commitment but as long as the heart seeks Allah alone, He will be with us in every steps. Muslim women don the hijab as one of the ways to please and obey Allah. We don't instantly become an angel when we don the hijab. So I hope the society won't label us as hypocrite if we start behaving in a certain unacceptable way. We are only humans, so are you. If we do something which is wrong, it's only because we are weak, tell us in a nice way and together we will walk towards Allah, to Jannah. Ameen."-Sulastri from Singapore
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