Today I’m going to talk about a (possibly) sensitive topic: The Hijab.
Let me begin to say that I’m not the most perfect person nor wear the hijab perfectly or even dress myself perfectly all the time.
When I was about 18-19 yrs old, just started uni, I went back home for summer holidays. I was about to go out, baru jua kan menyinjak lantai tile luar rumah, when my brother stopped me in my tracks. “Where are you going?” “Jalan…” “No, you’re not. Not like that….”
See I was wearing tudung but my shirt and jeans were tight. I stopped. Terpinga seketika that he actually said that. At once, I felt defensive and angry. Who is he to say that to me! To order me like that. My parents don’t even say anything like that to me, and HE, HE wants to say that to me. He looked pretty serious though. As if he would actually stop me from going out.
So I marched back in and looked at my clothes. And wore my baju kurung. “Better?” I marched back past him on the way out. (Actually I can’t remember exact words, but pokoknya ku cabar balik lah…) “Yes,” he replied matter of factly. And I went out like that, feeling defensive and wearing it all in spite. (In spite? antah but kira marah lah)
Anyway looking back, I thank him for doing that. It’s not easy to tagur someone. Let alone a hormonal teen/young adult who thinks they know best. I know what you guys may think of. That I am being suppressed, oppressed, repressed, that I am forced to wear what I want to wear.
Over the years though, I’ve learnt – subconciously- the true meaning of hijab. It’s not just about wearing the scarf. It goes beyond that. It’s about wearing modestly, in all areas of the body. Like my friend said, you could wear a tudung and outfit of feathers. Or furs (mmm, won’t that be warm on a cold, wintery day). Rule of thumb: if you’re comfortable wearing it to face Allah (i.e. pray), then it’s modest enough.
And the thing is: the similarity between at the time and now is that I do want to wear tudung. I do want to cover up. The niat is there. (although at the time, the iman is not so strong. So sekajap pakai, sekajap inda) I do want to follow what Allah has asked of me. But I realise now that I didn’t fully understand what it meant. I knew it in my head but didn’t understand it in my heart.
Now I see other girls doing the same thing. Whatever their intentions are – whether they are in the process of wearing the hijab properly but not yet ready, or whether they think it’s cultural, or whether they think they have to (for work reasons for example) – I hope that they understand too. That it’s more than just a scarf. Cos it took me awhile too to get there.
And about being oppressed, repressed, suppressed. At this moment in time, it’s the best I feel about myself in my life. I don’t care anymore what other people think. I believe you can still dress beautifully whilst menutup aurat. I believe that you can do whatever you want wearing a hijab. I’ve been paragliding, snorkelling, travelled to various countries (there are moments where I’m scared I’ll experience racism, but Alhamdulillah far from it. In fact, I’ve met and experienced kindness from people all over the world due to the fact that I’m a fellow muslim), scrubbed in operating theatres, go-karting, go-apeing, rock climbing. Perhaps the only thing that stops me whilst wearing a hijab is going clubbing. Which is the point really, innit it?
And if you feel that there are things you can’t do, then perhaps it is more of a worldly matter.
Surah Al Hadid, ayat 20:
“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.”
(Actually, that ayat is talking more about our wealth and children being worldly distractions. But my point is that the world has many adornments and it is only that: adornments)
Disclaimer again: I’m not the perfect of ‘hijabbis’. There are times when I wear jeans that are a lil bit tight, or I wear tudung sampai terkeluar2 helai rambut or wear the shirt that shows my silhouette. I’m only human. InsyaAllah I’m learning and becoming to be better muslim each day.
ps. baby nangis…macam tau saja kan abis post ani.