A Reflecting Arab Muslim Girl From Around the Corner

Monday, December 6, 2010

Double Faced.

When I was in high school, I had not yet taken on the hijab. However, I was active in the Muslim community. I used to teach at the local mosque, was an avid volunteer, and lobbied for prayer space in my high school during Ramadan. When I joined university, I immediately become a member of the Muslim Students Association - the best years of my life. I attended regular lectures, study circles and numerous spiritual development programs.

I always knew that I was going to take on the hijab, but he was certainly integral in encouraging me to do so. His method was amazing – never forced me, but would mention the numerous university educated women that took on the hijab over and over. He asked me why it was that so many of them put it on if it was not important…he told me that it was because they were educated and studied Islam, and therefore understood its virtue.

I put on the hijab during my first year of university. It was a blessing and continues to be one, and one of the best things I did for myself and my faith.
As we know – hijab is more than just a piece of cloth over one’s head…and, when the desire to put it on is not forced upon you, there is nothing more comforting. It is a complete way of life…u grow closer to God; you feel Him in your life ever time you step out of the door; you are in an ever ready state for worship…whenever and wherever you can just get down to pray; and you feel uplifted. Hijab was not easy when I first put it on because I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I stopped bobbing to music when in public and began walking with a lowered gaze. I changed my whole wardrobe….I was one of the long skirt and baggy blouse wearing “hijabis”. I never second guessed my decision. But, I did know I was being double faced.

You see, no one knew. Anyone who saw me could have made the false assumption that I did nothing ‘wrong’. I was active in the community, appeared pious in my actions and didn’t engage in wrong for them to see it. How wrong were they? I knew I was a walking contradiction because my private life was anything but modest. I had my hijab on to everyone in the world, but him. I was in university at that point so I had managed to make myself feel less guilty about the whole relationship than earlier, but I was well aware that I was different from all my friends. They would have never believed me…and I’m sure will be shocked if I reveal it to them now...I don't think they could ever imagine the life I was leading behind their eyes.

I was part of a religious circle for girls….one of our tasks was to memorize a portion of the Quran. I had such a difficult time doing that…it was very difficult for me to memorize even one verse, and I was in owe of my friends who seemed to get through it with such ease. Once I was at an Islamic lecture and the speaker made reference to this…he said, ‘if you are having trouble memorizing the Quran, then you must look at your life and see where you need to improve….what sins you are committing’. I sunk in my seat and lowered my head in shame…I knew why I was not able to memorize….I was double faced.

When I think of how people must have viewed me versus what was happening in my private life, I internalized (and continue to hold strong) the understanding that you should never judge a book by its cover. Everyone has a story. There is no saint. I was not only engaged in the relationship, but I would lie to my friends and family about my whereabouts, and I would make sure there was no way anyone could find out...deception. a lot of deception.

Despite the wrong that he initiated, I wonder how much reward he will get for actually encouraging me to put on the hijab. What is more ironic than the guider towards light, also being the leader towards hell?


  1. Salam Sister,

    I came across your blog and have read all your posts. Even though I don't know you, I feel so connected to you through your writing. I have so much respect and admiration for you in my heart for having the courage to share a such a personal and deep story. You have a beautiful heart and soul, and I pray that Allah (swt) envelopes you in his Love and Mercy, fills your life with Noor, and protects you from all harm. Ameen. I'm sharing a lecture with you that I listened to yesterday, and its simple yet powerful message brought me to tears. I hope you listen to it and benefit from it as I did, God-Willing.

    ~~Your Sister in Islam


    ""By Navaid Aziz: I want to dedicate it to every individual who is struggling with life and doesn't know what to do. I want to dedicate it to every individual who may have been abandoned by a father. I want to dedicate it to every individual who may have a love that was not reciprocated. I want to dedicate it to every individual who lost someone to death and found their own selves lost. I want to dedicate to everyone that just wants to be reminded. I want to dedicate this lecture to you.""

  2. Jazakillahu Kahirun. This was an amazing lecture and I appreciate that you shared the link. May Allah bless you.