Monday, February 15, 2010

My hijab outing

I've been wanting to wear hijab more lately, but I am not openly Muslim yet so no one knows except my husband and a couple people who do not have contact with my friends and family... So I haven't been wearing it... It's not a very big city I live in so I can run into people pretty easily.

On Saturday I went out with my husband for supper and decided to try an outing in hijab. I figured that yes, there was a possibility of running into someone I know who could report back to my parents causing a situation I'm not ready to face, but that it really didn't happen often that I ran into people I know when I was out afterall. So I went in hijab.

OF COURSE, I ran into someone I know. Not only do I know him, it was my BROTHER (who lives with my parents)! He made no comment about the hijab but obviously noticed since he was avoiding me (and is not blind). He actually called us before coming to see us because I think my mom told him we were considering this particular resto. He hadn't seen us then so I could have just taken off the hijab and met him as my normal self, but that is not hijab and I don't want to confuse people about hijab and Islam by having it and taking it off right there! My husband suggested it, knowing I am just not ready to deal with the question: "Are you Muslim?" (nor do I want to lie). But he's a man... Can't understand hijab like a woman can, yknow?

But seriously, what a freakin' coincidence! I have hijab fear now...

34 Comentários:

Jamilah said...

Its great that you went out wearing it... its a first step to being comfy in it. Perhaps if your brother tells your family it will be a way to soften the news.. they will have a hint in their minds and not be so surprised when you do tell them..

Candice said...

He told them, actually. My mom at least. She mentionned it yesterday evening, asking if I normally go out wearing the veil. I told her that no, I don't normally, but it happens, and that in this case it was a way to go out with my husband around Valentine's day, but that no, we were not celebrating this event. I don't think she understood this last part, and it really makes little sense written out like this, but it was in a way what I felt. I am Muslim, I don't celebrate this event, so THERE. But she didn't ask, and I didn't tell her about being Muslim.

LK said...

Aw Candice. It just figures right? Im always afraid I'll run into a co worker when I go to the city and it will be out that Im studying.

Well it sounds like your mom didnt freak out so thats good. When I had the original talk with my parents about studying Islam I never planned to have it it just happened. And what seemed like a horrible thing turned out to be good because at least it was out in the open.

I pray it all goes well.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

It's good that your mum didn't freak out. Do you think she suspects that you're thinking of becoming a Muslim though?

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

That's a hard place to be in. You are already Muslim and know that you will need to tell them eventually, and of course they are already well aware of the fact that your husband is a Muslim. I think that even though the hijab outing didn't happen as planned, that it was a good thing. They need to become more comfortable with you looking like a Muslim, then later it will be easier for them to accept that you are a Muslim.

Candice said...

LK: You're right, my mom didn't freak out... She took the hijab part pretty well. She's a mind-her-business kind of woman and I worry she will just worry about it silently. I'm doing everything really gradually though which can only help. She knows I know about Islam and will take any chance to defend it when people are talking negatively around me. I have gradually become more modest (noticed especially during the summer when I wear long sleeves and a weird bathing suit), have made some Muslim friends, have been to mosque, etc. So here is one more thing out in the open that makes her think I might be Muslim. When it comes out officially, it will be no surprise.

CLA: Yes, they are definitely suspecting something. But they wouldn't ask without an opportunity to. This would have been an opportunity for her, but she didn't take it this time. Maybe didn't want to know...

Stacy: You're right... It was a good thing afterall. One step towards them knowing. It will be even less of a shock when they find out for real.

Anonymous said...

I'm a revert too and honestly after I said my shahada, the only one I need to please is Allah, why would I hide me belief?
So what if they are upset, will that change the fact that you are muslim??

Sara

Candice said...

Sara: It wouldn't change my beliefs, which is why for all the trouble it could cause, it's not worth it for me to announce the "news". It's something that will come with time, and that I'm glad to be doing gradually now. I realize that this hijab situation turned out really well. It ended up as a situation that made it one clue further into her finding out about my conversion, without it being right-right now.

I find it weird to see a convert having such a hard time understanding this situation. Usually these types of comments are something I might get from born Muslims who don't know what it's like to have families who are not Muslim. But we all have different experiences and ways to see things of course. I'm glad it was easy for you to announce!

Jess said...

Ah, lucky you! I mean, that your family didn't spaz out. I am also struggling with this dilemma. My little sister knows I converted, but no one else. They have suspicions...but, how to tell? And what if they take it (inshAllah, no!) WORSE than I expect when they finally hear it for certain!?

Good luck and I hope they embrace you and see you the same as always!

mom said...

Speaking as the mother of a 'revert' I can tell you that you only end up looking immature and unsure of what you are doing when you(think you are)keep it a secret the way you do. What happens to integrity when you keep your faith a secret like there is something dirty about it? If you are proud of your choices and want people to take you seriously then you need to act like a grown up and be straight with people. I think you probably realise that dressing in foreign garb does not make you a Muslim. Yes, that piece of cloth that you have been told is 'muslimah wear' is NOT, no matter how many would like you to believe it is. A 'real' Muslim does not need to wear a uniform and would not LIE about who they truly are.

Nurul said...

Candy, Allah will help u in this matter. I'll make du'a for u sister. :).

Jamilah said...

I would totally have to disagree with 'mom' here. It does not make you seem immature... it just shows that you don't want to upset your family. I waited about 4 months to tell my family, and I was worried about it to, but Alhamdulilah they were very accepting.

You are not lying about who you are at all... you just have not been asked yet. If your mom asked you if you were Muslim you would probably say yes.

No one can tell you what you think or how you feel. If you are not ready to tell them, thats fine. If you are not ready to wear hijab, thats fine too. A real Muslimah is someone who has taken shahada, and it is between you and Allah. I find it hard to take when someone wants to project their own bad feelings on you..

Keep your focus and don't worry about it. Ask Allah to help you and guide you and ignore the negative things that come at you.

Nurul said...

I truly agree with Jamilah. But I don;t wanna say it before coz I'm a born-Muslim. So I don;t think that I 'know' what the reverts are experiencing. I just hope that Allah will make all of our hearts stronger. Ameen.

NeverEver said...

Salam Candice,

I actually introduced my family to hijab before I converted to Islam, lol. I wore hijab around my family for about... 3 months or so before I told my family that I converted. They assumed that I liked the modesty and that was that. I think it just depends on how willing you are to talk to your family about the benefits of being modest. Don't make it about Islam because modesty is for EVERY woman, not just the Muslim ones.

Anyway, I hope it all goes well for you inshaAllah!

NeverEver

Also on a P.S. kind of note: the longer you wait to tell them, the more awkward it will be. They will want to know why you lied to them for so long and you will not be able to convince them that it was to "save their feelings" because they will be confused if you tell them today and will be confused if you tell them tomorrow. Get my drift?
I wanted to wait to tell them to, but in the long run it didn't help, it just made them distrustful of my decisions. You may not agree with what "mom" up there says, but this is the attitude that a lot of parents have. At least mine did. They will think that you are hiding your decision because you are ashamed.

I don't think you should tell them before you are ready, but I also don't think you should make it a huge deal to hide if from them, especially if you consider this an important part of your life! You will make these changes and then in the end have all these new values that your family wont understand. To them it will seem like you aren't yourself anymore.

Anyway, I'm rambling here, lol. Let me know if you want to talk more

<3

NeverEver said...

I wanted to add that I'm not try to push you. I KNOW KNOW KNOW KNOW KNOW how hard it is to tell your family. I just wanted to let you know how it went for me so maybe you could prepare for some of the questions and feelings they might have.

Anyway, again still rambling :-P

InshaAllah your transition will go smoothly and everyone in your life with be content with the situation!!

Random thoughts said...

If I were you, I'd just tell them that you are Muslim, I mean your brother has already seen you in Hijab, so I think he pretty much knows that you are muslim already.

Nurul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nurul said...

Salaam, sister Candice.

I'm not sure why i keep coming back to this post (this is my 4th today), but I guess it's because I have a very strange feeling that ur post might get some 'strange' comments (coz this is regarding hijab) and I feel obligated as a Muslim sister to come and defend another Muslimah eventho we don't know each other and this is just online.

Firstly my sister Candice, I'm so happy to welcome another revert to Islam and I'm sure it's not an easy decision for most reverts coming from a non-muslim family. I have a few revert friends and Subhanallah, they're very strong people. I'm sure anybody from any religion would welcome a new revert to their religion. So, same like me. Welcome to Islam, my sister. Huggy for u.

And sister, please understand, there are a lot of people in Islam that have different set of thinking. It's just like any other religion. Some of them are very strict, some are in the middle and tolerant, while some are just MYOB. I prefer to be in the 2nd group because even our Prophet says it's better to be moderate in our life, but of coz we should strive to be the best in our relationship with Allah.

Sister, it's not anybody's place to tell u that u're unfit to be a Muslim. That is just wrong! U're a Muslim now and every Muslim in this world should gives u support. It's everybody's responsibility to support other Muslims.

Everybody knows that when we do something new, it's always hard at first. I'm sure it's the same case when anybody embraces Islam. But then things will go smoother InshaAllah, as long as we keep making du'a asking Allah to keep our hearts and faith strong.

The things that we should try to make strong first is The 5 Pillars Of Islam. I'm sure u know what they are. Shahada, salat, fasting, zakat and Hajj (if u have the opportunity and money). During the jahiliyyah time (when our Prophet was preaching the Arabs), he faced a lot of challenges. People even threw stones at him and he bled. But he succeeded, Alhamdulillah. Thus, we have the right to practise Islam now. Alhamdulillah.

I'm so proud that u tried to wear the hijab on for the 1st time when u went out. Subhanallah that is great. And I believe that Allah has arranged for your brother to 'accidently' saw u. This might help u out later when u tell ur family that u're a Muslim now. InshaAllah sister.

In Islam, it is mandatory for the women to wear modest clothing and cover their head/hair, neck and bosom. This has been told in the Quran. BUT, Allah Is Merciful and Compassionate and He knows best. We could only say that it's compulsory, Bbut actually it's up to Allah to grant leniency. HE KNOWS BEST. Al-Quran and sunnah are just our guides from Allah. Nobody should judge any other Muslims coz when we judge people, it means that we're not pure in our hearts. Muslims should think, speak and act kindly towards others.

Allah will help u, sister. I'm sure u know what's best for u, and I'm sure u love Allah as much as everybody else. Perhaps more? Wallahua'lam.

Everybody's situation must be different coz all of us are unique. Keep asking Allah to show u the right path, sister. I'll make du'a for u as well. Simply coz I'm a Muslim and I'm so happy to have another Muslim sister in this world regardless of their background, race, country, skin color, whatever. Alhamdulillah. U're a strong woman. Keep it that way and don;t let other people tells u that u're a lesser Muslim bcoz u don't look or think like them. ALLAH is the ultimate judge.

Luv, Nurul.

caraboska said...

Yes, God is the Judge. If we go around judging, it is as if we question His nature of being compassionate and merciful. Not to mention that we can expect God to call us on everything we've called others on, and if we are unforgiving, well, can we expect Him to be forgiving?

It is also very true that not only Muslims wear hijab. There is something to be said for easing into it, but eventually once a decision is made, things come up. Your family invites you to spend time with them in a public place, they don't know you are covering, and what to do?

What I did was tell them I'd be glad to spend time with them, but before we make plans, they need to know about this decision I've made, and if it's a problem to appear in public with me in that condition, I'll understand. I also gave them an idea what it looks like and answered their questions about why I was doing it. And one more thing: I made sure it looked pretty enough to give them something positive to focus on. There wasn't a problem - and keep in mind, I have a close family member who is Jewish (Zionist to boot) and in principle very anti-hijab...

Anisah said...

Salam alaykom my dear sister in Islam...

Nurul hit everything right on the mark..May Allah bless her for her words to you Incha'Allah.

OK so I think..and I guess u right the blog to find out what people think..along with for your own outlet hehe. So..I think sis.. u are doing wonderfully..and mabrouk on ur scarf wearing. I bet hubby was so proud of you and I think you were proud of you too. Al hamdullilah.

As you know I converted in 2004.. and then wore Hijab for 6 mths... and took it off... part of the reason was I was not ready..and was a victim to what people thought instead of what I believed and felt.( I also had burning itchy ears.. from eczema, was bleeding ! I had no idea which materials to wear.. silly me )

I had decided when I converted that I did it for me and for God and to be closer to him. I felt that why should I make am announcement to everyone? It's my business...not anyone elses and in our community here. it is really difficult to not worry about pressure from family and friends and especially co-workers.

So I did not announce to anyone really..just 2 friends I grew up with you really supported me and kept their mouths shut...father of my two eldest...and of course the kids. When you put the hijab on.. well it's out there !!

I felt that bringing on all that negativity on myself would just be hurting myself.
Even in my home town...when iwent to visit I did not wear hijab to visit...but yet I was wearing hijab full time at that time. It took forever !!

last year for my birthday...we had a get together with some friends I grew up with.. IN MY HOMETOWN. The HORROR!! I was soo soo nervous...
but u know what... when I was there sitting with them ( you can see pics on my FB) it didn't even matter to them that I was covered or not !! even one said.. come on Karen ( my real name ) you've always been a bit different. No change there !! lol then I realized...wow how stupid I have been worrying over nothing. The owners of the resto...I knew them for like forever ad them too. gave me huge hug and didn't even seem like I had changed !

Also... when my grandmother passed away last year... I had to go to her funeral. I needed to pay my respects , my Grammy meant so much to me ! so.. lil ole me went to face all them church ladies...all the elders I grew up with.. cousins.. u name it.. all were there...not only that I went up in FRONT to do a eulogy! I got the strength from the fact that I really needed to say what I had to say..no matter what. I was really really impressed...everyone at the church were treating me just like always ...it felt wonderful

So ya I did not make any announcement and over the years while I naturally and gradually became comfortable with being Muslim...and increased my knowledge..faith...naturally without the pressure of this big announcement that would bring everyone's world into a huge drama. Voila.. here I am now...at peace.

So sis.. take ur time...do everything that feels right for you and you will be rewarded with peace and happiness Incha'Allah

and also.. al hamdullilah.. God really works in mysterious ways..it's ironic what happened and use it as a positive thing and do not worry too much about it... I believe ur mum will quietly watch u and see how it benefits ur life and is very positive.

Al hamdullilah for everything :)
and mabrouk on ur first outing covered !!
xoxox

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I wasn't even sure that you even had said shahada,I mean you questionned one of the pillars of Islam,salat, a lot of times it seems you are ready to accept some parts of islam but not others.
I am a revert, when I said shahada,I was sure, no question about it, so for me I so no need to "hide"it, my family saw me changing in front of them, and I didn't need to climb on a step stool to yell it out.
That's why I trully don't understand why the hiding game,I was and am so happy that Allah has guided me to Him.If i had doubts,sure my family would have senses it and maybe try to convince me I was making a mistake,but when they saw that I was living my faith,they had to realize it was now part of me.

Sara

Stimulus said...

Interesting discussion, and quite an interesting situation for you Candice!

I'm born a Muslim, so thank God this was never something difficult for me. My parents taught me about the hijab, not the other way round (i.e. I did not have to explain the hijab for them).

So basically my circumstances are quite different. However, I don't think all reverts have the same circumstances either. Some have more accepting families than others. And not all reverts are the same: some enter Islam with a degree of caution, while others immediately accept everything and love it all.

So my point is: before taking any actions, think about your own situation and beliefs. If your beliefs are concrete and override fear of family's disapproval, then go for it and accept the difficulties that come with wearing the hijab. However, if you yourself are not sure yet, or you feel your parents have a stronger influence on your decisions, then you'll have to take it gradually. Let them accept you bit by bit.

But as another commenter mentioned, don't take too long, coz it might get more difficult if you delay it!

Candice said...

Thank you for all the comments. I can't respond to each right now, but I really appreciate the support and ones who offered good, polite advice. :)

Susanne said...

I found your post so cute for some reason. What are the odds that your brother would be there to see you in hijab? It seems your mom handled it well. :)

ellen557 said...

I wonder if it wasn't all in God's plan - for you both to be there. Because maybe you needed to know that your mother wouldn't get really upset about it? Anyway mashaAllah that you have the courage to wear hijab in your town! I've only done that once and it was years ago... never had the courage again eek :(

As for those who don't agree with your decision... you haven't even been Muslim for that long and they don't know your family as well as you do so I wouldn't even read those comments ;)

FeministMuslima said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

Candice, you have been to my blog alot recently and alhumdulilah, I wasn't sure you had a blog, but here I am. I converted a while back. You didn't revert, you converted. Is your husband Muslim? Thats a huge thing for women who converts to Islam. If he isnt't Muslim then divorce him. If he is, then carry on!!! Alhumdulilah!! Well, you can't hide being muslim. You just can't. I went through that stage for a while, but people saw the way I was dressed and everything. Islam changes you-for the better. Its something to be happy about. So what if people don't like you in hijab or wearing "covering" clothing. Not your problem. You live for ALLAHSWT now. PEACE

NeverEver said...

MashaAllah well said Nurul, I keep coming back to check too!!

I have this overwhelming fear that maybe what I say is too harsh or came off sounding a way that I didn't mean, so I want to make sure that I'm here just in case.

One comment said that every revert's family is different. Wow that is so true!! When I first told my family, I felt like I didn't even recognize them anymore... They reacted so differently than what I expected! But alhamdulillah through dua and the help of Allah swt, I came through it. I think no matter what path you choose, if Islam is in your heart, there will be a way for you inshaAllah.

(Interestingly... My mom and brother who I thought would be the most accepting were actually the most upset and my dad, who I thought would go ballistic, just quietly accepted it. SubhanAllah!)

Candice said...

When I get so many comments, I have a hard time replying to everyone! But I have read every message and I'm getting a lot from what is being said.

NeverEver: No, you are not being too harsh. I appreciate your imput and others who are nicely nudging me towards revealing my new religion to my family. I'm thinking about it... How and when...

Ellen: I figured out that yes, it was a good thing afterall that I was seen. I am thinking of telling my mom that I might be wearing hijab more regularly and slowly telling her that I converted through this occaision.

Stimulus: Thank you for that comment. Everyone definitely has a different thing going on and we can give opinions and encouragement, but not judgement. We just don't know what others are going through! :)

Anon Sara: Even after my conversion, Islam has been a gradual thing for me. I still felt the need to convert even though I know others in my situation would still consider themselves not Muslim and would wait.

Anisah: It sounds like it went really well and gradual for you! Wow, I couldn't imagine right now, going to a family event in hijab... That's brave!

Nurul: Thanks for all your support! I had to put on comment moderation to avoid anons who tell me I'm this and that and basically not a Muslim. At least these comments will stop being posted and will stop creating negative vibes on my blog.

Jamilah: Thank you for defending me.

Jamilah said...

FeministMuslimah:

Asalamu Alaikum

You said 'You didn't revert, you converted.'... The idea of reverting to Islam is that we believe that all people are born Muslim but take a differnt path based on their surroundings and influences. So its perfectly accepttable for Candice to say she is a revert. A lot of us say it.

Just a clarification, I hope it didn't come off as rude.

Jamilah

Candice said...

Jamilah: I didn't quite understand that phrase from Feminist Muslimah. I actually normally say that I converted, but I'm open to both terms. I do believe that we were all born Muslim so revert is definitely an appropriate term.

NeverEver said...

okay whew good :-)

I hope it goes swimmingly and I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds for you inshaAllah!!

<3

FeministMuslima said...

Salam,

Candice and Jamilah: The Prophet Saw said that as we are raised up by our parents our religion can change...he meant at infanthood. You didn't come from Islam to Christianity back to Islam.

Candice said...

FeministMuslima: I really think the convert/revert issue is not worth arguing about. Whether a person uses the word "revert" or "convert", we can agree that they decided to become Muslim, and are now Muslim. It would be best to just let people use the term they wish to use and try to understand their reasons, even if you disagree.

Jamilah said...

I am a revert. I believe, as a Muslim that all babies are born Muslim.. and that it is the environment they are brought up in that changes them. So therefore, I and many many many other people that have chosen Islam later in life are reverts.

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