Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hijabi Beginner: Iqraa

As part of the Hijabi Beginner posts, I interviewed a new hijabi to find out why she decided to adopt the hijab at the tender age of 13 (awwwww!).. Sorryy, but I think I'm fast approaching the age at which I am allowed to be patronising, yaayyy :o)

Here's as little about her...

"Hey, my name is Iqraa Shahid and I live in Cumbernauld, Scotland, which is in the UK. I was born on the 16/02/97 so that makes me thirteen years old (A). I am halfway through my third year in high school and this is usually the point where the exams start, eeeeeek :S!!!! I started wearing the hijab last year, after the summer and although I found it hard and it did come with its rough times, I am just so glad I went through with it and to be honest it is one of the best things I have ever done and I don't regret a single thing :D"

1: You're quite young, how do you know it's the right time to adopt the Hijab?

To be honest, there isn't really a right time to adopt the hijab. It is a hard thing to do and most people would try and put it off as much as they can. Some people grow up wearing it and have started from a very young age so don't see life any different. In my case it was different. I've always known that my mum wanted me to wear it and would eventually make but I tried putting it off for two years but I finally did it! The reasons for putting it off wasn't really because I didn't want to wear it, it was more to do with the fear I felt, which is usually what people feel when the topic of hijab comes in their lives. I knew that someday I am going to have to wear it and the more I put it off the harder it will be for me and I realised that it will just burden me until i eventually decide to wear it and masha'Allah I did and I am glad i did it during Ramadan :D

2: Truthfully, would you say that anybody had an influence on you making the decision?

Well, my mum really wanted me to wear it and things where tough between us because it was hard for her to see me not wearing it and receiving wrong attention and she feared that I would end up going on the wrong path. When I realised this, it really upset me because I knew that if I didn't wear it, the relationship between me and my mum wouldn't be as close as it was because she would be too busy trying to control me so I don't go off and do wrong things and I would be annoyed by her controlling so it would just be a whole lot of trouble. But then I realised that if I did wear it, my mum would be happy and step back and give me more freedom and respect. So yeah, she really did influence my decision.

3: How did your family react to your decision?

My mum of course was over the moon. My brothers and sisters where just happy but really didn't see the difference in me and didn't see what a huge decision it was. My dad was fine with it but he doesn't really take much things seriously so he never saw the big deal in it either, he was just glad that I was being a good Muslim I guess lol oh God that sounds so corny lol. My gran was happy since I'm the first (hopefully not the last) grandchild to wear it and my granddad who I don't see much because he isn't very well, didn't see a difference and if he did kept it to himself but I would imagine he too was very happy. My two aunts, one who does wear the hijab and one that doesn't wear really happy, the one that didn't brought me scarves and stuff and the one that does was really happy but upset because her daughters don't wear it so I understand that it hurts her to her niece wearing it when her own girls don't.

4: What was your first day like? Did people treat you differently?

The first day I wore it was the day I was going back to school after summer. Everyone was fine with it and only a few questioned me about it. But because I wasn't completely happy I kept thinking people where giving me looks and stuff but I realise now that it was all in my head and nobody really cares if I wear it or not, to them I'm still iqraa. It was really hard for me when I first wore the hijab and I went through some really rough patches and did try to blame it all on the hijab. I hadn't yet fully accepted it but now I am fine and love wearing it, yeah I do have days when i think "urghh I wish I didn't have to put this on all the blummin time" but then again, I have those days where I look in the mirror and smile back at the reflection and think this is perfect for me :D

5: What is the best thing about Hijab?

Hmmm I would say....being different (In a good way) lol. Not just like the usual teenage girl you would typically get, but someone unique, someone that will be remembered in a good way. Also not having to do my hair all the time when I go out but then again, it takes me ages getting my hijab right before I go out lol :L

6: What would you say is the worst thing about Hijab?

I'm the type of person that has to have everything in order and perfect! I can't go out without looking decent or without any makeup! I hate it when the hijab doesn't sit right, it bugs me off and I sit and have a screaming tantrum at myself for ages until I can finally get it right lol. So with hijab I hate it when it doesn't go the way I want it to!

7: Do you feel that it's has brought you closer to Allah (SWT)?

Yes I do, Hijab is about everything not just a scarf worn on your head. It's about your behaviour, attitude etc. When your walking in the street and you see a woman who wears a hijab and she has a growl on her face, it puts you right off, but when you see a hijabi with a lovely smile, greeting everyone and that, it makes you attracted and you think "wow she's a nice woman". This type of Muslim attracts people to Islam and makes them think what a lovely religion it is. Now when I go out I always think this and smile all the time cos it makes me think "this is the way I should be flaunting my religion", it is our job to welcome people to Islam and for them to see what a lovely religion it really is!

8: If a girl wants to start wearing the hijab, what would your advise be to her?

Wow, I have a lot of answers for this one lol.

I think a woman should wear the hijab when she is personally ready, but for some people this works but for others they think "what if I am never ready?". But for the people that question, well they should think of the reasons why they are putting it off? It is probably somewhere along the lines of being scared of what others think or the fear of being out casted. Trust me this doesn't happen, In fact you get more respect for wearing the hijab. Men respect women more when they wear the hijab. These women are like diamonds, they need to handled with care.

When you wear the hijab you shouldn't be doing it for anyone else but for yourself and your relationship with Allah (swt). The hijab is something that once you take on, it's something that sticks with you throughout your life and it makes you who you are. It's an amazing feeling to walk out wearing the hijab and knowing that each time you're wearing the hijab you are getting closer to Allah (swt) and to heaven.

9: And finally, what do you think of women who don't adopt the Hijab? Is it right to judge them?

I don't think you should judge anyone but yourself. Some women just aren't ready to wear the hijab and I think that this should be respected. It is between them and Allah (swt) and it should remain that way. It really depends on someone's faith and the type of Muslim they are.
If you would like to tell your hijab story, email me :)