Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I need help adopting the hijaab


Assalamwalekum brothers and sisters,

I am 28 years old. And I think I should begin with giving a brief history of my spiritual development. Unfortunately as a teenager I was not very religious. Even though I was taught to read the Quran and namaaz at a young age I was never able to either finish the Quran or become steadfast in prayers. I studied in a boarding school away from my family and since I belong to a non muslim country it was (and still is) that I have no muslim friends. It's not really by choice but the fact is that I don't know or meet any muslim women outside the family. My friends through school college and now my colleagues are great people but don't share my belief. It was only after I returned from my boarding school that I become slightly better with my prayers however it was say ten years ago while I was taking care of my ailing mother that I re-learnt all my prayers and started performing them. It was mostly because my mother who had forgotten or used to get confused in her duas because of her illness that I re-learnt my prayers so that I could help her with hers and mashAllah with Allah's grace it helped to strengthen my prayers too. I started with solidifying my farz prayers and for a while only performed those. Recently after my mother died and I faced other grave tragedies I decided to increase my prayers and with time have started doing my best to offer sunnah as well as nafl prayers as well as tahajud whenever I can. I recently also went to a moulani and have completed my Quran and now try my best to read a bit of Quran everyday. I was able to pick it up quite fast and I am very grateful to Allah for helping me through all this... My knowledge about Islam was very weak initially but I spend a lot of time on internet now to inshAllah deepen my learning. And MashAllah feel happy that I have been able to make some progress and ask forgivness from Allah for my earlier negligence.

My problem however is with hijaab. Nobody in my immediate family wears it even though they are religious in their own right. And even though I am a decent dresser I feel conscious about adopting the hijab. In the society I belong to I feel I will be stared upon more because my head will be covered than the other way around. I am ashamed to say that I am afraid to be ostracized by my non muslim friends. They have been very supportive of me offering prayers in their house or helping me break a fast if I am with them at that time because I know they understand this. However a hijab for them is seen as anti feminist and backward and I don't think they will be as understanding about it as they are about my prayers. I feel very conscious and have doubts about whether I should start it or not. I want to become a better muslim and that is why I have started considering it but I need help getting over my doubts. A cousin of mine who does wear a hijab advised me that I should be very careful with this decision since it's not good to start something and leave it. And I am afraid I might do that. For a little while I did start loosely covering my head with a dupatta (scarf) but sometimes I feel conscious doing that and I am sometimes comfortable so I am not very regularly with it and I think a proper hijaab will be more difficult.

If I had more muslims women around me who wore a hijaab perhaps this decision would be easier. But I live and work in a cosmopolitan set up and even though I am sure there are women who wear a hijaab in such a society too... I just don't know any such women closely.... I don't want to be weak but unfortunately I am in this case.

Another thing i need help with.  I recently got divorced after eight months of marriage and got seperated in august 2014 and the final divorce happened in march 2015.  Its only been a few days since my iddat ended and i have received  a proposal from a second cousins family.

My problem is that I dont hate my husband. our marriage was mainly a clash of ideologies and even though he was mean he was never cruel to me. Till the actual divorce happened i was always hoping he would reconsider and the divorce was not my decision.  i only agreed when i was sure he will not change his mind.  It was ultimately a mutual divorce so the fact is that  I actually miss him and dream about him often.  Usually we are reconciling in those dreams.  However i know we cant re marry because one he wont agree and two ours was a mubarat divorce and i beleive thats a final divorce. We have no kids.

But i do want to remarry.  I want to love and be loved and have wonderful childeren InshaAllah.  I have been regularly saying the ayat from surah Furqan for a good spouse and children and even offering salat al hajaa for the same.  But now that this proposal has come i am in a fix.  I dont feel ready for marriage yet since my ex husband is always on my mind and not only i dont hate him i usually think fondly of him and remember only the good part of the marriage.  I am very hurt by him but i simply dont hate him.  But if i reject this proposal i am afraid i am being ungrateful since Allah Talla so swiftly answered my prayers.  Wasnt i praying for a new spouse all this while.  Am i being unthankful to God if i say no?  Or should i wait to get over my ex first.

My initial plan was to wait after my iddat to work on my doctorate and take atleast a year to make myself ready mentally,  physically ( since i cant imagine being intimate with another man right now) and as you can see from the first part of my question i am also trying to mend my ways spritually.

My family says that often old wounds are healed only when you get into another relationship and i should be thankful that a proposal has come so soon and since i am from a country and social circle where propsals for divorcees hardly come i should be even more thankful.  I am only going to get older if i wait ( i am 28 at the moment )

I did do an ishtikhara but since i dont beleive it has anything to with dreams i only prayed to Allah Talla that if this new marriage was good to me tjis sjould happen.  But nothing clear had happened after and if one must beleive in dreams after an ishtikhara then the dream i got that night was about me and my ex husband reconciling as usual. (I think this is the most prevelant thing in my subconcious so i dream of him almost every night)

So please advice me.  I dont want to be ungrateful to Allah when he has answered my fervent prayers but i dont feel ready either.  And that is my only reason for saying no.


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6 Responses »

  1. Asalam alaikum sister,

    First, it seems you actually need little convincing to wear a hijab. It is a very personal decision, and I think your friends, from what you told, will not mind. They sound like good friends to accept your praying and fasting. They only need to have a proper explaination of what a hijab sybolizes in order to see that it is actually the greatest form of feminism! Tell them how it equalizes women with men by focusing the attention away from the body and towards the mind and soul, the smarts, the real beauty. Since a hijab is a physical sign of love for Allah swt and a psychological barrier to bad behaviors, I think it would have great benefits for you to adapt; as it would give you more push to pray and feel comfort as well as outwardly show future proposals what kind of ideolodies you support.

    Secondly, old wounds are not always healed by a new relationship. Old wounds may be healed with a friendship, but Be careful who you choose when you are looking for proposals. Just like how we want men to see sisters for our minds and hearts, we need to see them for their minds and hearts as well. Now that you know what went wrong with the first marraige, i.e. clashing ideologies, look for some of those in your proposals. It does no good flying into the same type marraige you had a the first time. Show your gratitude to Allah through all the ways you can like community service, and understand that Allah swt is present everywhere and knows your every thought.

    Insha'Allah I could help,

  2. Assalaamu Alaykum,

    I don't think this is a situation where you are obligated to say "yes" or "no" to this proposal. Why not say "maybe"? What I mean is, you don't have to give a definite answer that would lead to marriage preparations starting, or that would lead to him going on his way. Why not simply take some time to get to know him? I am sure after a while, your feelings about what to do with the proposal will grow either in one direction or the other. You will either see he is not the right person for you, or feel that you want a future with him and going in that direction won't seem so conflicting.

    Even if after some time you are still not sure what you want- then at least you tried to give it a chance. There is nothing wrong with letting a proposal go if you don't feel ready for it. I don't believe Allah sees that as ungrateful, because surely He doesn't expect someone to take the first proposal that comes if it's not a good match. Allah can bring several men to you, if He likes, and you can choose among them. Or, if He really knows this man is best for you, that man will still be written for you in shaa Allah even if you need more time to get over your last marriage.

    Regarding your concerns about hijab: one thing that is important to remember is that just because someone thinks a certain way, doesn't mean it's true. You are worried how others will view you wearing one, but if what they believe is based on lies and ignorance, what does it matter? Even what your friend said about not starting something and then leaving it- I understand her point, but the truth is in life a lot of things work that way. Like exercise, we start out, then we leave it. Then we go back, try a little harder, then maybe back off again. It can go like that a few times, but eventually the efforts pay off in a habit that sticks. I wouldn't let the idea of possible failure or not being able to stick with it, make you not even try it. The more you wear it, the more comfortable you will be in it, even if you go back and forth for a while.

    One thing I can say for sure- once you are on the other side of wearing hijab, all these big concerns and fears melt away. You won't be able to imagine living any other way. You will feel just as uncomfortable without it, as you may now trying to wear it. It does change, but you have to give it a chance and keep coming back to it even if you go back to uncovering. I myself went off an on hijab many times my first several years of Islam, but now that's no longer a struggle. I believe you will find yourself to have the same experience, if you're patient with yourself and don't give up on what you're convicted to do.

    -Amy Editor

  3. OP: My family says that often old wounds are healed only when you get into another relationship and i should be thankful that a proposal has come so soon and since i am from a country and social circle where propsals for divorcees hardly come i should be even more thankful. I am only going to get older if i wait ( i am 28 at the moment )

    I agree with your family. If you like the guy, say "yes".

    OP: My problem is that I dont hate my husband. our marriage was mainly a clash of ideologies and even though he was mean he was never cruel to me. Till the actual divorce happened i was always hoping he would reconsider and the divorce was not my decision.

    I my opinion winner is the one who learns to accept others as they are. By being a good example one can help others see their way of looking at things.

    When 2 people are in love they stop looking at faults in their object of love. So if love is your goal, stop caring about disagreements.

    You both are responsible for the divorce. You kept fighting/arguing till one person decided to leave.

  4. Thankyou so much for your replies...
    I dont think the match is not good.... i did some soul searching and asked myself if i would have accepted this proposal had it come before the first marriage and the answer is no because i know the family... they arent very suppoetive of women working or studying too high and i had wanted to finish a doctorate and teach.... however education was the first thing i left when my marriage hit rock bottom and felt no remorse in leaving. Marriage has completely changed my priorities.. education was the last thing on my mind.... so i cant view this proposal with the same lense anymore... i know how hard i faught for my marriage... i know how many plans i made about the kids we would have made.... i had their names decided and where the study table would go in their rooms!!!! My life no longer has the same dreams as when i was single... i dont mind being just a homemaker and a mother anymore... not at all.... i enjoy writing and sometimes when i think what if i dont do that phd or teach as i wanted to and just write books from the privacy of my home... i feel a sense of calm... that is something i can do even with this family... so one thing i am clear about is that my reasons for saying no to this proposal are not same as they would have been two years ago.
    However these arent the only reasons to consider.... do i like the guy?? My fathers family and ergo these second cousins are conservative... i am not but thats because my mother was very forward thinking even though she too was a homemaker all her life... so the fact is that i will not get the chance to meet him before marriage even chaperoned!!! His elder sibblings didnt get that option so i know that... but i have met him on several occasions.. I i have never met him alone or had a one to one conversation but all those conversations in groups of cousins give me a feeling that he is a very down to earth man woth a great srnse Iif humour.. religious i presume...( however i will not judge on that.. i am learning myself and my ex husbsnd judged me a lot because i was ignorant about many aspects of islam. You should marry a man of character but we are each responsible for our own akhlaq and akhraat and if by some chance today i know more oilir am more religious than any man i marry. I will not be judgemental or condescending about it. I will not become my ex husband)... abd has a great sense of gumour and an ability to laugh at himself which i truly find is a gift...i like that about him... he is very caring towards his neice. So i think he may like kids as much as i do... my ex and me didnt match on the humour or liking the kids part.... my ex wa very rich and very successful. Most successful in my entire clan and when we got married everyone said that because i had taken care of my ill mother in her last years. It was her prayers because of which i got such a rich husband... but that didnt last... and it was because of his succuss and money that he had such a big ego that when we had conflicts divorce was the first thing he did... he never thought about resolving issues....we didnt even fight properly. He left me at my parents house the first thing and then decided to divorce.. we didnt even get the chance to fight really.... why do i still miss me??? Because he was nice to me when we didn't have problems and thats all i keep remembering and he was the man i had made all my future plans with.... he is the man i lost my virginity to and i do feel attached to him in some ways....
    But do i like this second guy... i dont think ill get to meet him as sr. Amy suggested... to decide that but from what i know of him as a cousin i think he is a decent guy...
    Its almost been a month and i havnt said a yes yet.... i am leaning towards a yes but i still hv the same thoughts of my ex so i am going to go with the maybe option. And 'leave the rest to Allah..

  5. As for thr hijab...when i stepped out of th e house after my iddat i covered my head with a scarf... i try that as much when i go out which yet isnt much... the real challenge would be if i do decide to go back to uni i think.... but i let it be at home... and i do have a non mehram helper but i dont interact much with him either... i do think i will switch back and forth for a while. Till i am really ready. InshaAllah Allah will help.... but i am trying and will continue to.. thanks

    • Salaam sister,

      If you wish to wear hijab, pray to Allah to have mercy on you. I live in the uS and my non-Muslim friends were more supportive than my Muslim friends. They used to make sure I was covered before a guy came around me, I lived in the dorms. But wearing hijab if you wear for Allah, the Hewill help you. I've worked in the best places and have a masters from various Universities. If you don't care about wearing hijab and wears with confidence with the true purpose, for the sake of Allah and jannah, then others will treat you the same way.

      As for marriage, you have to decide what you want now and in the future, keeping in mind that you may change your mind about the pursuit of your education. I wouldn't give too much consideration about the dreams of your ex. He did you wrong and was hasty. It is however hard to move on. If you feel you will be unfair to your future spouse, you may want to wait a little while. It's important that he gets a fair chance if you want a healthy, loving marriage. Ask Allah for forgiveness if you feel your being ungrateful to Him for his quick answer to your Duas and ask Him to make it easy for you.

      Good luck.

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