May you read this in the best of your health and iman.
Heads up: Read this with an open mind as it’s not purely on Islamic teaching, e.g, hadith as it’s my story aaaand, I’m not the perfect model muslimah.
I’ve been missing lately as there’s been so many changes in my life lately. Drafts and drafts were saved but, well, I don’t want to make a fool of myself. Haha. >.<
So, when there’s opportunity (more of reason) for me to post something, it has to be here (otherwise, newspaper!) Heh.
What I would like to share today is a basic topic: Ukhuwwah Fillah.
Honestly, I was a part-time ‘hijab-I’. Every weekend to family gathering is the only time I wear it. Family outing too. But not sincerely and definitely unwilling.
Sometime’s when I’m alone, I started thinking, when would be the day that I put in on, sincerely for the one that created me and you. 20? It seems like a long way (who am I kidding right? Hahaha). When I’ve finish poly? I mean, wouldn’t it be weird to suddenly don the scarf in front of friends after showing my hair and some skin (oh gosh >.<) for the past two years? Start of Uni? But Archi school is really cool to have that messy hair, messy bun look. What if I study overseas? Lose the opportunity to dress up man! Start working? Sounds ok…. But, hmmm… When I get married? (BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Wishful thinking there.) I was basically waiting for the right time or hidayah from God. I’m going, whatever at myself now. How rude was I to myself!
I fall out of friendship with a classmate of mine for almost a year. One day, she started coming to school, covered up with headscarf instead of her usual tank top and shorts. It’s as if a story from a book coming alive. I believe that Allah can really turns someone’s heart. But I didn’t know that it was that fast.
Anyway, that’s not one of the reason why I started covering myself. Like I said, I started thinking, when?
I think… a few months after this in-my-head-solo-monologue session, while I was at the MRT Station, scrolling my twitter timeline, waiting to go to Pizza Hut after IT Sale, a tweet said (somewhere along the line of), RIP. You’ll be dearly missed. I was shocked and in disbelieve. Must be someone with a different name. So I went around asking if it was who I really thought it was. It is.
I started reflecting. Deeply. Seriously. My friend. A very dear friend of mine, healthy as a horse/jock, just collapse and died in the middle of the soccer field. He was 20. I started thinking, that could be me. I could be walking home and just collapse and die while waiting for the traffic light to turn red. It.could.be.me.
That coupled with other few things made me put the scarf on my head on 08th June 2012. I felt new, wanted to say reincarnated but, it’s rhetorical.
One of the main reasons why I did not want to put on the scarf initially was because I see so many people around me, strangers or not, not doing it the right way. I mean, really? Leggings with headscarf? 5 inch thick make up? I put 5 inch on my heel, not face. I think back in 2011, showing the band of your underwear was cool and we’d see, ‘Calvin Klein’ popping out of someone’s back along with that butt crack line that just make me want to 1. Pull the underwear up or 2. Swipe my card on it or 3. Put 10 cents coin in it. Really guys, it looks like the hole on my piggy bank. I digress. But I saw a hijabi with the underwear band out with a butt crack and got very disgusted. I told myself, do not ever embarrass those who are trying to be proper, that way.
While researching on how to keep myself correct when I’ll start putting the headscarf, I patch up my friendship back with my classmate. Ah…. I love final year. Really. Mending relationships or rather friendships that was broken was a major part in that year was just the icing on top of the cake.*slurrrppp*
Anyway, I started exchanging stories, knowledge and experience with this classmate of mine. We started going for events and one thing led to another, we decided to go for usrah. I wasn’t sure what is or how it works. Heck, I don’t even know if people like me can participate. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I can be weird like an alien. So alien and people, they’re not really on the same frequency y’know. Once again, I digress. I only know to the term Usrah in one of the book that I read, Maybe hlovate. I don’t know. I have quite a goldfish memory. So, to me, experiencing something or an event that a character in a book experience was like…er, I felt like I was the character in the book la, ok. Haha.
The rest is history.
I became friends with the ladies there. They’re like God sent sisters. In Islam, everyone is brother or sister in faith, if not blood related. They (my sisters), are really MaSyaAllah. You know, there’s this saying that goes, ‘when you’re in Allah’s path, you’ll lose some people. But the people that Allah replaces them with, is far better,’ I agree. There’s also a saying which says, surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah. These ladies are. Every single one of them.
These sisters always make me look up to them. They’re my role model. Honestly. I can never be as good as them. From circular to Islamic studies, they ace it like MaSyaAllah. Their knowledge, prayer and whatever …. (I’m out of words here guys), they’re not even stingy of it. They help you as best as they could. They always have the time for you.
When you’re lazy to pray, you can’t help but still go for prayers, because your sisters are waiting for you. When you feel like not reading the Qur’an, you can’t help but to read because your sisters can’t complete it because they’re waiting for you. (Ok, I’m being dramatic here. They can. But, they’re very nice like thaaaat). When you don’t feel like going for talks, you can’t help but to drag yourself (which you’ll eventually thank yourself, by the way) because you know, these sisters are waiting for you to be by their side to walk together. They don’t leave anyone behind. They’re my Ohana.
Ohana means family. And family means no one gets left behind.
Good friends who prioritize their relationship with Allah will help us on the spiritual path. It is easier to pray and to do our everyday acts of worship because we have company to help us. Even when we face difficulties, these friends will support us; ultimately they will remind us of Allah during these tests and help us to rely on Him. No one is perfect, and this is why it is important to be around people who want to improve themselves, and in the process will help you to improve yourself too. Ibn Hazm stated: “Anyone who cares about your friendship is willing to criticize you, while those who make light of your faults show they do not care.” Allah (swt) reminds us of this in the Qur’an, when He says:
“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” (Qur’an, 18:28)
Usrah is not about me, my knowledge, I pass it to you. Usrah is we need you. We can never do this alone. Bersatu kita teguh, bercerai kita roboh. Together we unite, Divided we fall.
During the period where I was waiting for the right moment to don the headscarf, I felt very queasy. It’s just an unsettling feeling. Later on I found out that it was because I was away from my fitrah. I was away from my natural predisposition. Humans, are created to worship Allah. By following his commandments, we are at ease because we are working in the way we were created to. A robot will go bonkers if we operate them not according to the manual.
I think most of us know this but I just wanna share:
Being alone is better than being in bad company, and being in good company is better than being alone; being silent is better than speaking of evil, and speaking of good is better than being silent.
When I fell out of my fitrah, it’s as if I lost my heaven’s key.
I’m about to burst your bubble here. Whatever you read above, is just an introduction. What I really wanted to say, I cannot put it in words like what I’ve did above because, oh god, it would be so wrong! I might say very stoopid stuff. So! With the introduction above and (hopefully) in chronological order, this is what I want to share…
I guess, it’s true that Allah puts us where we are today. When you place Him first, he’ll help you plan your life.
Ustazah Maryam always remind us, “doing something good or anything in His way is never easy. Thank Him for putting your name in doing something good.”
Really how we are, just goofy and stuff. :*
Where we come from doesn’t matter.
‘Ahhhh….this girl. Always give me headache. Stahhp right there.’ Haha.
My dear Shafa, if we have not unfriend each other, we might never change towards his course and I thank Him and His magical divine ways for everything that has happened. Same goes for all my Fatayat Sisters and those whom I’ve crossed path with.
Sometimes, we’re scared to change. Sometimes we’re scared of those who are around us. I would say that putting and committing yourself to the headscarf is a very big step. Its an exhilarating experience, I promise you. There’s this calmness amidst the hectic-ness and tranquillity that you’ve never felt before. It’s like bungee jumping. You gotta give it a go. I assure you. You’ll never want to turn back. To my Fatayat Sisters. You know who you are, I pray that He will always guide you like how He has guided the believers, keep you safe like how he has kept the believers safe, grant you strong shoulder to carry on with his tests like how He has granted upon those believers before us, protect you and grant you the highest of Jannah like how He has, towards the believers before us as He is the most Merciful, Forgiving and of course, Loving.
My very first usrah – Miss 21st Century.
Wallahi, love you guys.
Any good comes from Him. Any bad comes from me.
Al-Fatiha – Khairil Othman.