(Note: originally Written in 2009 & updated 3 years laterI no longer do hijab I’m just me now.)
When I joined my husband in Saudi Arabia, I was a very scared woman. I had heard horror stories of what happened to ladies who let the head cover slip from their head. Coming from a very liberal background , I was used to roaming around with complete freedom as far as clothes went. I wore everything from sarees, pants, shalwar kameez to even skirts. I was looking forward to joining my husband but was very apprehensive of life out there.
For the first two years of my stay there , I was always scared of somehow stepping out of line and being deported by the police.
I started teaching in a school there and slowly got used to life there. However, I still chafed at the rules and regulations out there and longed to go back to my sleeveless, sporty gear without having to cover my hair.
last year my husband got a job in Muscat and we were all thrilled. After coming here, I felt that finally I was out of my sasural and in my mayka once more.
I could wear whatever I wanted, go everywhere freely, without having to be accompanied by my husband. This meant that I could go shopping alone!! No more frowning supervision.
I binged on buying lots of sleeveless tops, pants and a few skirts.
But due to certain events affecting Muslims worldwide I was in search of my identity and a visit to Syria, saw me return with a head covering in respect of Bibi Zainab’s forced unveiling.*
And now when I didn’t have top cover my hair out of compulsion, I started doing hijab!!!
I realised that covering one’s hair is no big deal. The problem is of being coerced and having to do things you don’t believe in and being untrue to your own ideals and philosophy of life.
Now that I have the choice of making my own choices , I feel liberated.
I think maybe this is the philosophy we should adopt in all our dealings, particularly with our children.
After 3 years of doing hijab I just left it and went back to my normal lifestyle.
I’m just me now.
I had turned to religion and spent quite a lot of time reading up on it. Trying to understand it.
I’m still deeply religious or rather spiritual but realise that without loving Allah’s creatures we can’t either love Him or hope to reach Him.
For me religion is now Hazrat Ali’s qaul which is a reply he is said to have given a man asking him about the essence of Islam. Hazrat Ali was about to set off on a journey and with one foot in the stirrup he said, “Belief in the One God and love for his creations.”
My Allah is Rabbul Alamein ( lord of the Universe)
He is Rahman ur Raheem ( compassionate and merciful)
And above all Ghafoor ur Raheem ( merciful forgiver)
I have no idea why those who learn the Quran by heart haven’t found him and scare people with fire and brimstone.
Allah’s name Al-Ghafoor— The Forgiving, The Exceedingly and Perfectly Forgiver — occurs 91 times in the Quran, making it one of the most common names mentioned there.
His Forgiveness manifests both quality and quantity; He is the One Who forgives, regardless of how large the sin is, and He forgives over and over again!