Last Ramadaan, I decided to wear a headscarf. It wasn’t the long and difficult process I envisioned it would be. I’ve contemplated wearing a headscarf before but lacked the courage to follow through on it. When I look back, I realise that the only barriers to my wearing a headscarf were ones that I created for myself. Silly notions about how other people would react to the change; vain ideas about how much I would miss wearing my hair down.
I think there is something about the anonymity of living in Johannesburg away from my family and friends that gave me the courage to finally attempt to wear hijab. When I decided to do finally do it, I wasn’t sure that I would be determined enough to keep it on beyond Ramadaan but Allah (swt) made it easy. There have been difficult days but alhamdulillah, putting on hijab has been the first step in a journey of change to me becoming a better Muslim.
I used to feel that learning about Islam and understanding and memorising parts of the Quraan was difficult. I think the problem was not that these things were difficult, I think the problem was with the sincerity of my intention. I think it is only now that I truly understand the instruction to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. We can never know enough about Islam. There is no point at which we will be able to sit back and say, “that’s it, now I know everything.” Allah (swt) wants us to be in a constant state of learning so that we can implement the teachings of the Quraan and the hadith in our lives. We cannot be complacent with what we currently know.
Last year in Ramadaan, I listened to an Imam reciting Surah Al-Ala in the Witr salaah and I was transfixed by the beauty of this surah. I decided that I would learn it. Alhamdulillah, this year, on the first night of taraweeh, the Imam recited Surah Al-Ala and I could recite along. I feel as if Allah (swt) has sent me a special reward as support and encouragement.