I went to the mosque with Nafisah one day. Naturally, I was in the full works and I decided to keep it on the for the rest of the day. The next day, it almost felt natural for me to don the hijab before leaving the house. I wished I had a more interesting story to tell you but that really was it.
I started drawing mind maps and tried to rationalize why it felt natural for me to do so. Could it be that I have received the calling? Prior to this, I only wore the hijab when I go for religious classes or events, but I didn't feel a sense of attachment to it. At that point of time, it felt like I had to wear an extra garment as an adornment. You know, like wearing a hat.
If you had seen me over the past two months, I don't think you would have recognized me. I had a fake smile plastered on my face, I was going through the motions and had lost every ounce of will to do anything. Life threw a curveball at me and I was completely thrown off-course, and the only thing I could (and knew what to do) was grief. Grief is a funny thing. We are only allocated a very small amount of time to let it actually affect us. Over grieving is unhealthy and might cause us to forget that there are other equally important things in our lives.
With grief comes strange repercussions and reformations of personality, and for me, it has come in the form of seeking refuge in God and being more in touch with my religion. I did my Istikharah and Tahajjud prayers and asked God for guidance.
There, finally, is the silence and calmness that I was searching for.
By wearing the hijab, I am not saying that "I am Islam", but rather, I am a Muslim- someone who is trying to follow the religion, who accepts it as the truth, sees beauty in it and hopes to beautify myself with it. The hijab does not make me a more perfect or righteous human being, but rather, it serves as a constant reminder for me to keep striving and excel in personal and spiritual development.
It is not just a piece of cloth, but a physical manifestation of my submission and connection with God and an external representation of my inward spirituality.
Importantly, the hijab is a commandment in the Quran.
“O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers that: they should let down upon themselves their jalabib.” Chapter 33, Verse 59
There are other verses in the Quran that talk about the issue of hijab. Ultimately, none knows its true interpretation other than God [3:7].
Please do not be shocked the next time you see me! The first time my best friend, Algirdas, saw me in a hijab, he called me a potato. I am not quite sure how I resemble a potato... I have been watching countless hijab youtube tutorials and I think that wrapping a shawl around your head is an art. Sometimes, I feel like I am wrapping a dumpling. Or I am the dumpling.
I am still the same Nabillah that you know and I am striving to be a better person. To my students who are reading this, no, me being a better person does not mean that you can run away from practicing your instrument(s) and you still cannot use any of my make-up.
I still play the piano, love listening to pop and jiwang music and sob when I watch a Bollywood film/ Korean drama. Maybe I'll even be one of the "Assalamualaikum Sis, hijab beli kat mana?" girls on Instagram.
Above all, I want to be an even firmer believer of the faith.