Faith Friday: Confused About Decision to Wear Hijab

Dear Elaiza,

I'm very confused with the decision I'm making right now, as I don't want to be a hypocrite with this situation. I'm currently working in a marketing line, and before this I didnt wear hijab. Basically as a marketer, I have to deal with many people, and at the same time attending events; entertaining clients. But at some points, I'm totally lost and feel disgusted with my life as guys take me as a woman who is easily to 'woo' at, which of course I'm not. It's only because of my outlook and they judge me on that. I want to wear hijab to defend myself from the 'fitnah' but my boss wouldn't let me to. I don't want to lose my job, but at the same time I feel bad I can't fulfill my responsibility to Allah. Please tell me what I should do now.. 
Thank you very much. May Allah bless us

- Sister in Islam
Waalaykummusalam Sister in Islam,

To be honest, when I read your e-mail I felt like it was the 'old Sha' writing to me and I had a little déjà vu moment. I think it's safe for me to say I have a pretty good idea of what you're going through right now therefore my response to you is quite a personal one.

It’s okay to feel confused. I know the decision to wear hijab is not an easy one to make. You’re facing a situation that many women can relate to. Every woman wants to feel desired because there is a certain 'high' or satisfaction from being recognised for your physical beauty. You feel a sense of control and power when you walk into a room and people instantly notice you or they, especially men, favour you. This feeling is especially important in a social setting such as at a workplace where you know there is much to gain from having that control and influence over your boss, colleagues and clients. After all, good looks and intelligence, that’s the winning combination, right?

However, after a while you will start asking yourself,

Why am I using my sensuality or why do I need to use it in a professional setting if my boss, colleagues and clients are the professional people they should be?

What am I losing, emotionally and spiritually, by gaining people’s approval in this manner?

The fact that you feel something isn’t right and you want to do something about it means you have a good level of iman. Don’t take that for granted because whether you realise it or not a part of you is yearning for the truth and as cheesy as this sounds, God’s Guidance is the Truth.

Firstly, the power of prayers and du'a is incomparable so don't stop asking Allah subhana wa taala to give you clarity and confidence in your decision. He is always listening.

Secondly, do as much ibadah as you can. Pray istikharah, do dhikr, read the Qu'ran with its meaning, anything to make you closer to Him. Everyone is born with a spiritual void and it is up to us to fill that void with love and worship for our Creator, the one who made it possible for us to exist in the first place.

Has there not been over a man along period of Time, when he was nothing – (not even) mentioned?
Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm,
In order to try him:
So We gave him (the gifts) of hearing and sight.
We showed him the Way,
Whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will)
{Surah Al-Insan, verses 1-3}

Thirdly,  do as much research as you can about the concept of modesty and hijab in Islam. Read Islamic books and strengthen your iman. Understand Allah's 99 attributes. Surround yourself with positive people and talk to other practicing Muslim women whom you feel comfortable with. I can't stress how important it is to choose good friends. You can also read my previous posts about hijab.  Subsequently, once you've increased your knowledge about Islam, inshaAllah  the same effect will take place on your iman and you can get through just about everything in life.

Fourthly, I've created a pros and cons list that will hopefully help you.

Pros (inshaAllah)
- clear conscience
- peace of mind
- receive Allah’s Mercy, Love and Guidanceand in turn, He will make others love you too! (never fear the disapproval of people)
- re-prioritise the more important things in life thus chasing Jannah, 
the eternally blissful abode for people of Faith
- new level of self-love and self-respect by increasing focus on your iman and inner beauty
- develop a better sense of modesty
- become more confident in yourself without having to flash some flesh
- protection from men and women who will misguide and distract you from remembering and worshipping your Creator
- protection from jealousy and the evil eye
- save and protect your sensuality only for yourself and those who deserve and are permitted to see it (husband, family, girlfriends)
- find a better occupation that doesn’t make you feel that your worth only lies in your looks
- murah rezeki / more rizaq (provision) from Allah because even though we earn our money by working for people the True Protector and Provider is Allah
- start a collection of beautiful hijabs ;)
- meet people who like you for you
- ... you can fill this one

- guilty pangs
- no peace of mind
- distancing self from Allah
- attracting unwanted attention from inappropriate men
- chasing Dunya, a temporary life with temporary highs
- likelihood of losing current job and whatever perks that might come with it
- perhaps you’ll miss dressing up the way you used to but once you feel this way read the pros list.
Besides you can always dress up at home around your family and girlfriends.

Before I started wearing the hijab I could only see with the naked eye and I could only understand the world in terms of my desires. Now that it’s been a year I can honestly say that I look at life in this world in a completely different way. I was searching for something pure and genuine and shukur alhamdulillah, I’ve found it. The kind of contentment I feel today is not something I can obtain from people or anywhere. It truly is a gift from God.

Despite what society says the most important thing for the women of today has nothing to do with climbing up the social or career ladder. If a woman doesn’t have iman in her heart and Allah’s Love in return she has nothing real and substantial to get her through this life. Money and power can only get you so far. We all need Him at the end of the day because our ultimate destination is towards Him.

As a woman you weren’t created to please and be a form of enjoyment for random men. You were created because Allah  loves you and is giving you a chance to live a life that will lead you to Paradise. I’m not saying wearing the hijab alone is enough for us to enter Heaven but it is a very good first step. A good Muslim is someone who is always striving to better his or herself for the sake of Allah and His reward is far better than anything and everything in this world.

I hope my response has helped you somehow. InshaAllah, with time you will not have any doubts about your decision to wear the hijab. Be patient and have faith in Him. And have faith in yourself. Trust me, if I can wear hijab anyone can! My prayers are with you. Best of luck.


Dear Sha,

mashaallah how beautifull your response is!
For me it was also that difficult and I could recognize myself in this story as well.
I was fighting already since six long years day by day with all ups and downs.
The last months I made constantly dua to Allah swt. to strengthen me and to increase my wish and alhamdullilah I have started to wear it now!
A big help for me was actually that I started wearing the hijab during my stay in UAE where I could just focus at me without the prejudice of an intolerant society!
I wish for this woman that Allah swt. increase her imaan and make it easy for her inshaallah ameen!
RS said…
wow, so many things to consider. truth be told, I wish I had more... 'motivation'. I AM but somehow I don't think it's the right time. At least not in England. =/
redmerah said…
good advice sha, thank u.
Asielah said…
Salam sha. beautiful post on wearing a hijab. the one point that i feel most of us have a problem with when trying to decide whether to wear a hijab or not, is the "fear" that we have of what people thinks, fearing that we'd lose our job, or friends even! girls need to know that Allah s.w.t. is the One we should always fear. He's always with us, and we need to believe in Him and His promises for us.

thank you for sharing.. :)
Hidayah Sapidih said…
nice entry and very usefull. Like it as i have gone thru the situation where my boss didnt allow me to wear hijab when i worked as part-time promoter. I resign immediately as I hold my believe that Allah knows the best for us. Maybe the job is not so right with me. Thank sis for the nice entry :)
Unknown said…
1st time check ur site here..u're gorgeous (subhanallah). felt calm seeing ur site :)
stmrlyn said…
:) im interested with ur advise.
pae dasuki said…
Masha Allah..words full of wisdom :)
SehaZubil said…
TQ...i have face the same situation too..:D
Elisa said…
Assalaamu alaykum Sha!
Masha'Allah what a wonderful post! I have been struggling for some time now as to whether I want to start wearing hijab. Insha'Allah I will make the decision to put it on soon! Please make du'a for me if you can :) Your pros/cons list is great and I plan on making my own to help guide me along. I think the biggest struggle in my mind is that I thought the hijab is meant to not stand out, but here in America I would surely stand out if I put it on. You know what I mean? Anyway, thanks again. You're a blessing :)
Little Auntie said…
Asalamu alaikum,
Ma'shaAllah! What a fantastic post :) I hope the sister reads your post soon, inshaAllah :D And beautiful blog :D

(I have been here before -- i met very briefly when you joined the forum Muslim Sisters Unite) but i think you've changed the look :) It's awesome :D
Mona Zenhom said…
Such sage advice. Love how you broke it down.
nuraina said…
Since I'm new in wearing hijab, I find your response, rather an eye opener. I've always feared of how wearing hijab will turn my world upside down.But now that I'm permanently wearing one, the one feeling that I couldn't deny is definitely the calm, peaceful feeling, it feels like I'm closer to Islam, in a way. My father's passing does gave me so many hikmahs. So thanks for sharing, really :D
Ili Naquiah said…
MasyaAllah. Touched with this post. Agreed with everything. Love to see such a strong, confident and beautiful woman defending and advising another towards to an Islamic life.

To me, there's no such thing as hypocrite if you're willing to wear it. It doesn't matter what's your 'nawaitu' at first, cause eventually you will do it because of Allah. InsyaAllah.

We're the Islam sisters will back each other up anytime !
MashAllah, beautiful words of wisdom and advice.

It actually reminds me of Lauren Booth's [Tony Blairs sister in law] conversion. In her article she talks about what a London Sheikh said to her,

"Don't hurry, Lauren. Just take it easy. Allah is waiting for you. Ignore those who tell you: you must do this, wear that, have your hair like this. Follow your instincts, follow the Holy Qur'an- and let Allah guide you."

JazakAllah <3
wallah sister this was a fantastic post, very inspirational =)
Nur said…
"Putting on a hijab isn't the end of the journey. It's just the beginning of it," Quote

Beautiful and well explained. :) May Allah guide us all, and to always keep wearing the hijab... InshaAllah.
Zara A said…
Masha'Allah Sister, that was some truly amazing advice.
As a young teen I did experience a little bit of that, but quite a rare religious experience happened which changed me and views in my life just as I was 15, and alhamdulilah I've been wearing hijab for a year and 5 months now and I couldn't be happier :))
Anonymous said…
& nobody is 25 forever anyway
invest in something more for when you're 60
Anonymous said…
dear sha,
what wisdom beyond your years! this was a very beautiful post. very well done.
Petite Cherie said…
Sha, Masha Allah this is one of the most moving post I have ever read!!!! Thumbs up, Sha. Hope this post will touch and inspire many souls. :D
Misz J said…
Masyallah dear, u're such a super sweet lady... good post...
Bubbli said…
You got an award on my blog:
Elisa said…
You have been awarded! Check out my blog :)
Anonymous said…
This is such a beautiful response. I am crying as I read this. Thank you. Thank you to people like you, who take the time, to write these things. Bless you.