What does hijab mean to you?

Assalamualaikum

Dearest sisters,

This is an open letter to all sisters out there. First and foremost (hehe formal jua), I want to let you know that this is a reminder for myself and secondly it is hard for me to say it and I dont want to sound like I’m up on some pious pedestal, superior and judging from above.

But I have to say it. Albeit like a coward, typing from my blog instead of saying it to you directly.

When I was younger, when I didnt know what hijab really really means, and I would pakai tudung and
‘tutup aurat’… but I made a few mistakes.

One, I didnt really tutup aurat because my jeans were tight or my tops showed the curves of my body or my tudung was short and not labuh enough. Once I felt like being inwardly slapped when the hospital pastor asked me why I wore my telekung. (His office was next to the prayer room) And I tried to explain that I had to cover up when praying. What was I trying to say there? I have to cover up in front of non mahrams, period. Not just when praying. The whole pakai tudung etc is pointless really if I didnt properly hijabbed myself.

Second, I was an intermittent hijabbi. Mostly pakai, sometimes inda. Kalau sports, buka tudung. Kalau dalam rumah tapi ada male non-mahram visitors, inda pakai tudung. Apakah? Alhamdulillah, I had a friend who tagur me and said she didnt understand what I was doing. It took me awhile to finally get it.

My first instinct was peduli lah, these are my actions. And a part of me did think ‘at least aku pakai tudung’. But I realised that by being casually intermittent about it, I was as if mempermainkan God’s rules. Like I can make my own rules or I can follow whenever it suits me.

It’s hard for me to tagur people once I realised this myself. Cos I think at least ya pakai tudung sometime daripada none at all. And maybe she is in the process of her ‘journey’. I dont want to deter and discourage her. Karang ya pikir ‘awah I dont wanna be a hypocrite, jangantah ku betudung AT ALL’. Gaaaahhh.

But my dearest sisters, please just remember that when you are wanting to hijab yourself, let us not make it into a cultural thing. Bukan untuk perhiasan or look good (maybe bad hair day?). Because it pains me whenever i see someone betudung tapi short sleeved or sleeves nya so transparent or the likes. Because the moment we think this is normal and not bedosa, then our hearts will continue to be hardened to this error. And we dont want our children and younger siblings/cousins/nieces to think this is the normal thing to be, right?

I’m sorry if this has hurt people or menyinggung perasaan. I myself find times when myself and my outfits are imperfect.

Once upon a time, I was going to go out and wore tight jeans and top (with tudung) and my brother practically said I cant go out looking like that. I thought – who is he to stop me? He’s not my parents and how dare he!! I changed to plain baju kurung and went ‘are you happy now??’ and went out like that. In my head and heart, I was enraged and mungkin jua not sincere/inda ikhlas kan menutup aurat time atu. But at least someone stopped me from mengumpul dusa. Sometimes we have to biasakan and biasakan and eventually ganjil if not do it that way.

As I said, this is a reminder for myself first and foremost.

Love,
Your sister in Islam

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