By Asra (India)
Never did I think – when I started looking for a certain truth that will fill the emptiness in my soul – that I will end up where I am now.
In the midst of all that we encounter of wreckage and desolation in this world, I was able to witness a light brighter and a truth deeper with a deep yearning for it in the core of my being. It was a journey that did not take place overnight; it was a gradual process, and every step I took on the road made me one step closer to where I am heading. Those who knew me well enough when I wore hijab were surprised it took me so long to do it. But despite its obviousness and lucidity, the journey cannot be summarized in a few words, and hijab cannot be reduced to a “piece of cloth” with which we cover our bodies.
Hijab was not something I *chose* to wear, for the nature of choice requires an alternative. It was rather a physical manifestation of everything I believe in, a manifestation of my love and faith.
True love is not a sentiment one “feels” in the heart.True love is about remembering the beloved – the beloved constantly being on someone’s mind, which increases the love and attachment.
True faith, just like true love, is an act of the will. It does not exist at the level of the nafs (self) – it exists at the level of the rooh (soul). It always manifests in action. Why is it that when it comes to the love of God, this love stays “in my heart?” What is the point of my knowledge and my beliefs if I do not put them into practice? How is it that I can have love for God in my heart and at the same time have so much love for this duniya (this world) combined in the same heart? To what degree – if there is love in my heart – does it extend?
Hijab came when I realized that this temporary world is not worth the loss of the real home. Although I will never be completely deserving of my home in Paradise, this world is not my home. And no matter how much I own here, it will never belong to me. I live IN this world, but I am not OF this world… I am merely a guest, a stranger.
Talking of my experience, since I have been wearing hijab- I have always been appreciated and respected for wearing it, be it at my college, work place, gym or any other place.