Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Struggle is Real. - Me, my niqab & life.




 "Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried?" (Qur'an 29:2) 

It has been nearly 4 years now since I took my shahadah in March of 2011 and I must say, it has been QUITE the journey! I have encountered more tests and trials now than I ever did when I was not a Muslim. Subhana'Allah! I am not going to lie, but it's been a struggle. A struggle to stay patient with things that come my way, a struggle to live as a Muslim in the West (mainly America) and not be judged for the way I dress, a struggle to find that balance and middle path, a struggle to not become complacent and too relaxed with my Islam. Everything has become a struggle. I never faced such hardships prior to Islam, probably because I would just run away from my problems and drown myself with things that were temporary and harmful. I never faced my problems when I was a non-Muslim and I chose to always rush things and run away from them at the same time. I have learnt a lot in the last 4 years and   the S T R U G G L E is real.    

Lately, I have been really struggling with my niqab. With all that is going on around the world and all the Islamaphobia, I can't help but to feel like a victim. Living here in the US has not been easy for me, especially since I am in a small remote town where Muslims are few and if there are Muslims, well, let's just say, they aren't the type of companions I would like to keep. I didn't know what to expect when I moved here. A small town in the South where there are no masjids or any halal restaurants or markets! The only masjid is 30 minutes away and that masjid is NOT welcoming AT ALL (with the exception of one or two older ladies). Perhaps it was my niqab that made them feel like I was an "extremists." These are the type of sisters I am referring to in my previous post "Sisterhood" where I talked about the good sisters who always make you feel loved and welcome, and then the other ones who just ignore you and pretend you are not there and because of this, I refuse to go back to the masjid (another reason is because the men and women love to congregate at the front of the masjid after ever Jummah prayer?? Like what ? Are we in high school on lunch break? Allah Must'aan). This was NOT what I expected. Poor innocent me 4 years ago, thinking that ALL Muslims were friendly, loving, caring, and welcoming *eyes widening* ...I was sooo wrong. And I write this because I want all born Muslims and reverts to know that YOUR actions, YOUR character, YOUR manners MATTER. Allah has not stressed the importance of GOOD MANNERS for no reason. Your good manners makes or breaks a Muslim's heart and I speak from experience.

To born Muslims and converts who are reading this, please PLEASE please, whenever you see a niqabi sister, a half-hijabi sister, a sister who isn't dressed very modestly at the mosque LOOK AT HER AND SMILE AND SEND SALAMS. Even if they don't respond or they look at you weird, send them SALAMS and do yourself a favour! Anyway, so because I don't have any Muslim support here, it has been very difficult to keep my emaan strong. Sometimes I feel extremely pressured to take off my niqab because of the constant uncomfortable stares and all the negativity it brings. Now, when i first started wearing niqab, I followed the opinion that it was fard but with some more extensive research, I follow the opinion that it is mustahab (highly recommended). Some of you may say "ohhhh, she is not 'Salafi' anymore! she became so relaxed and secular" (LOL!) well to those who think this way, May Allah guide you on the straight and moderate path and give you all a better understanding of the deen ameen, AND, before you judge others, judge yourself first because on the Day of Judgement, Allah will do the Judging, not YOU. Sadly, I shouldn't even have to explain myself but with the amount of extremism out there these days, you really need to clarify yourself or else you will be called an innovator and a modern Muslim!
Anyhow, do not get me wrong, I love the niqab and I think it truly is liberating and makes me feel free, none of that changed, but ironically enough, it is not my niqab that oppresses me but it is the non-Muslims (and even some Muslims) and this society we live in that really oppress me. I feel sad most of the time when I wear my niqab in public because people automatically look at me with evil eyes and total disgust. They look at me like I am filth thus it is extremely difficult to try to give them da'wah. Yes, you can smile through your eyes and say "hello, how are you," but the type of americans here, already have a preconceive notion about "people" who are dressed like me, and the door is automatically closed before it can even be open. Maybe I am wrong and others have had different experiences, but for me, this is what I have experienced and this is how I feel because I first hand experienced it with people. Alhamdulillah, Allah sends me one or two rare gems from time to time who are extremely friendly and intelligent and who actually treat me like an actual human being . I write my true feelings about how I feel with my niqab mainly because I know there are many sisters out there who struggle with the same issues. Depending on which state or country you live in, it is very difficult and many of us face extreme challenges with our niqab. Surely, we can definitely say that we feel like strangers and instead of detracting attention from ourselves, we are in fact attracting more attention to ourselves! I know there are many sisters out there who have the "I don't care what other people think" mentality and I truly commend these sisters and wish I had their courage. I used to have this courage, but as I spent more years here in the US, without many companions to help encourage me, without any halqah circles to help me increase my emaan, and without any strong support from Muslimahs (because there just aren't many here at all who follow the Qur'an and Sunnah) you kind of just become complacent and lose that zeal you once had. The struggle is real.

I know many sisters struggle with the same feelings I have and even though there are many times you feel like giving up, just remember to push on a little bit more and remember that Allah is with the patient and He WILL reward us! There are manyyyyy times I felt like giving up, and I admit, I feel like giving up daily because I feel like my situation will never change and I will be stuck here forever, but then I remember, nothing is forever and Allah is most Wise. We do not know what Allah's Wisdom is but we can only try our best to trust Him and continue to struggle and hope for the best. It is hard to stay positive in today's society - no kidding! Muslims are always being the target and the media is trying to turn the whole world against us! They will never win, Allah is our Wali and they have no protector. I need to keep reminding myself first and foremost before I can even remind any of you! I felt the need to document my feelings and experience in this post because I really needed an outlet to express myself! I just wanted to remind myself and all those sisters who struggle, that there is hope and there is always light at the end of the tunnel! Patience is the key to success (but exercising patience is so hard right?! Subhana'Allah). If we do not continue to proceed forward then we will never find that light, so we must keep going and keep pushing through. Often there are times I just lose hope and feel despair with all the things I struggle with. I feel as if nothing will ever change and that I will not be blessed with good news with any of my affairs. But then I think about all the small blessings and then I think about the Mercy of Allah and how He chose Islam for me and that this life is only a test. It is only temporary and whatever struggles and hardships we struggle with, it is only temporary and it will pass. Even though we may feel like it will never pass, Allah's Promise is always true and as my favourite saying goes ..." This day shall pass"! Just keep reminding yourself that the struggle is worth your akhirah and we all want to be neighbours in Jannat al-Firdaus and Allah will never burden us with more than we can bear.. Allahu Akbar!


Allah tests all His servants with tests that are specifically catered to the individual and their weakness. Tests are not meant to destroy us but they are supposed to help bring us to a level that we were not once able to be at. Tests are supposed to bring us closer to Allah because He loves to hear His servants beg to Him for His Help, His Guidance and His Mercy. 

So I leave you with these inspirational verses from the Qur'an and I hope that you can choose a few and read them each day over and over and write them somewhere and post it on your wall:

"O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient" (2:153)

“So lose not heart nor despair…” [Al ‘Imran 3:139]

"O you who believe, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful " [Al ‘Imran 3:200].

“…Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” [az-Zumar 39:10]

“…and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [al-Anfal 8:46]

“…but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return’ – they are those on whom [descend] blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance” [al-Baqarah 2:155-7]

“We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient).” (Surat al Baqarah, 155)


“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sabirun (the patient)?” (Surat A’le Imran, 142


“You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah….” (Surat A’le Imran, 186


“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allah is Severe in punishment.” (Surat al Anfal, 25


“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars….” (Surat al `Ankabut, 2-4). 


“Who has created death and life that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Surat al Mulk, 2)

12 comments:

  1. Assalamualaikum sister,

    Wallahi, you are not a filth. Please do not ever think that way for yourself. I pray for you from Allah SWT so He would give you strength and tremendous courage to encounter difficulties in life. Let us be strangers to everyone as a hadeeth from Prophet SAW "Blessed are the strangers"
    JazakiAllah khayr sister.

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    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu !!
      ameen wa iyaki my dear sister thank you for your beautiful words and encouragement..may Allah bless u in this life and the next ameen! RAmadan Mubarak!

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  2. Assalamualaikum sister.Stay strong 💪 I know its tough and easy said than done and as for some people they judge you on all basis,the way you talk,the way look,the way you act and talk .I think some people don't even realise they doing it or don't have much understanding.Stay the way you are and stay strong Insha'Allah you pass this hardship to.x A sister in Islam

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    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu!! thank you sister for you beautiful words love you for the sake of Allah !

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  3. Salam alayki, We all are tested and if we weren't being tested then we would be worried we'd be doom and our state hopeless. May Allah bless us always with this beautiful deen no matter what and keep us striving forever in His way ameen To gain the zeal, passion you once had you mentioned I would just advise you to take small,baby steps. Those baby steps will sooner or later turn into strides bi'idnillah when done with ikhlaas. Remember the hadith:

    I treat My servant as he hopes that I would treat him. I am with him whenever he remembers Me: if he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My `heart'; if he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a gathering far better than that gathering; if he draws near to Me a hand's span, I draw near to him an arm's length; if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.

    (Bukhari, Muslim)

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    1. walaikumassalam , ameen to your duaa !

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  4. may Allah make it easy for you, sister. Salam Aleykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu <3

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    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu!! jazakillah kheyr ameen wa iyaki!! xoxox

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  5. Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu

    My dear sister, Ramadan Mubarak to you! What a touching and heartfelt post and I could definitely relate to some of what was said!After all that has happened, it is hard not to feel conscious of ourselves and of other people's reactions towards us. But I am so proud of your strength and resolve, MashaAllah (and MashaAllah, I admire how you still wear niqab despite it all, may Allah make it easy on you and reward you greatly!). JazakAllah Khair for reminding us of Allah's mercy and protection and of the reality of the tests we face. I hope you can find some support and some good company to help you face the challenges. You can do it sis, InshaAllah...don't give up. Much love and hugs! <3

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  6. May Allah make it easy for you , truly after hardship comes ease

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  7. sister Assalamualaikum! haven't you thought of doing hijrah? Come here to Saudi Arabia. Every single woman you see here will be in Niqab and you will feel so comfortable. There are so many halaqahs here too. It's an amazing place Alhumdulillah!
    But since you might come from US you might feel a little constricted.
    I was born and brought up here. so I can say that you must do hijrah. It is an obligation too if you are facing such a difficulty and your deen is becoming a trial for you. Please consider moving :D
    Take care
    Surah Al Ankaboot Verse: 56 (O My Servants who have believed! Surely, My Earth is spacious to migrate if Needed, therefore worship Me and ME Alone!)
    Surah An Nisa Verse 97. Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): "In what (condition) were you?" They reply: "We were weak and oppressed on earth." They (angels) say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" Such men will find their abode in Hell - What an evil destination! 98. Except the weak ones among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their way. 99. For these there is hope that Allah will forgive them, and Allah is Ever Oft Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

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    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu sis
      please email me at onechinesemuslimah@gmail.com ! barakAllahu feeki!!

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Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo