When did I start wearing my hijab?
Okay, I was pressured to wear it when I was in Primary School by the Ustazahs. And since I didn't go to Sekolah Agama like everybody else did, they had every reason to believe that there was something wrong with me. I remember coming back home telling my mum that if I don't wear my tudung I'll burn in hell.
My mom was totally against it, she'd said that I was too young and that it'd be hot, and it's not right for the ustazahs to force me to wear tudung. In Standard 5, they had this class nasyid performance thing. By Standard 5, most of my friends have all adopted the headcover. I didn't want to participate at first, I was the only one who didn't want to participate at that time, but after much coaxing from my class ustazah, so, okay, fine, I joined. One day when we were practicing, there's this ustaz who pointed out that I wasn't wearing one quite harshly. Well, I was a kid, I kinda cried. I didn't remember whether I still participated or not after that.
In Standard 6, we had Yassin readings in the morning before class, so I wore tudung la, then I took it off when it felt hot. Even before that during my Quran recitation lessons, I donned the headcover, only for the sake of that, then I took it off.
I have to admit, I was kind of ashamed of how my hair looked in Standard 4, it was quite damaged, and people were teasing me about it and I had wanted to cover my head because of that. I wasn't aware that my niat was wrong because I only saw it as a piece of clothing.
So, in Form 1, the head cover was made compulsory to all female muslim students. And I have to admitla, I don't pray. Even since Primary School. I only prayed when they told me to. Like, it was in the school schedule for Asar prayers, so, I only prayed those prayers that was scheduled in school hours.
Then, I went to Faris Petra. I got into big trouble because I didn't pray. So, I should say that 90% prayers were fulfilled in Faris, although some of it was not quite on time, and I was quite late, but when I came home, I stopped praying again. I tried praying at home, but there was always something that prevented me to be istiqamah. My head cover was still on and off. When I came home or played golf, it came off. Even at the dormitory corridors, although it was facing the road and the masjid, I wouldn't cover my head.
It was in Form 4, I think I stuck with my head cover, only because I got used to it, and it was like a rule, and I knew how to wear it. Honestly, I didn't even know how to wear it when I was in Form 1. Heck, I didn't even bother to iron it. That just goes to show how unbothered I was with wearing it properly.
In Form 1, I went to this kelas aliran agama for six months at a regular day school before going to Faris.
I had to learn Arab, kemahiran Al-Quran, hafal all those surahs (too bad I don't remember them now :( ), and my head cover had to be labuh. So, it was in Form 1. In Form 2, the girls taught me how to wear it properly, and the trend was making it short. So, I kinda chopped my head cover to make it short. In Faris, there is no limit to the length of head cover, well, the rules aren't in black and white anyway at that time.
So, it grew short because the girls wear it short, and I just ended up wearing the head cover anyway because "I was used to it", and I "felt naked" without it.
I hated wearing the head cover because well, I was brought up without it, and I was used to be brought up among people who covered up, but are not necessarily good. I thought that I didn't want to end up being people like that. But even when I didn't wear the head scarf, I didn't wear baby-T's, I mostly wore blouses and slacks.
But over the years of wearing it, I just thought, "okay, it's just clothing. It's not that hard after all." But I still wear it for the wrong reasons, I never thought that it actually symbolizes something, that it's more than just clothing.
And it brought me to question. I can so easily say that I am a muslim, yet, why don't I answer my God's call? Why do I still do all those wrongs, even though I know it is wrong? Why do I feel contented by it?
It's not that I don't try, I just keep falling back on myself. I experience frustration, then I just let it be. Why?
Then, there's this debate about aurat. I know that, I have been taught that you have to cover your hair. I know some people don't believe in that, their arguments were convincing, yet, I could not use their arguments against the hadis about Rasulullah telling Asma' to cover everything except her face and hands. I was in a dilemma. I knew that niqaab was more of a cultural thing than a commandment, but the hair..that's confusing..
That was the outer hijab. what about the inner hijab? I know checking out guys is not appropriate, so is swearing, but then again it's human nature. How can my religion deny an individual of his desires? There has to be a reason why right? I feel really bad about some of those things I think about, some of the things I do, but I wasn't sure whether it was wrong or right.
I decided to take a moderate stand on religion as a compromise between my "liberal" upbringing and principles, and the religious teachings.
Another thing that plunged me into this mess is the question of human rights, I believed in human rights, and I didn't want my religion to be seen as a form of oppression. I sometimes see my religion from an outsider's point of view, I know what sort of attacks and concerns and misconceptions they have on Islam, and I wanted to clear those, not only for the sake of my religion, but also for the sake of my faith, I wanted to truly believe that there is a reasoning for everything, and that it's not extreme.
So, I didn't want to be those "religious" people for those people, and because I had a fear of becoming self-righteous like them. I almost did. Well, wearing the head scarf made me judgmental. I know, I'm so pathetic right? Blaming my judgment on a piece of cloth.
I know all those reasons are so..pathetic, I could easily crush each one, yet, why am I still stopping myself because of those reasons? Why am I holding myself back.
Then, when I drew back from this hijab question. I looked at the bigger picture. The bigger problem was, I realized.
I didn't love God enough.
Have you ever thought about it? The reason why I keep falling back on myself, unable to be istiqamah, and not doing those things properly, not with the correct niat, it was all because I couldn't love God enough.
It's easy to say, oh, of course I love God. And it seems so easy to be angered when someone disses your religion, but when you think about it, where do you place your love of God among your love of clothes, or your love of music and all that? I can metaphorically "measure" my love of other things, but my love of God?
The fact that I never thought of him much when making my decisions, or do things, just goes to show that my love for him is not enough. There's this hadis or ayat that says that if you put love of other things before your love of God, it's as if you are making those other things your god.
I'm not saying that you should solely love God, but how do you love God more than anything else?
I have the answer to that. I think I do. The lack of love to God which stopped me from doing those obligations can be "remedied" by doing those obligations in the first place.
So, why am I still holding back?