Hijab, I’m Still and I’ll Always Love You

You can check my original story written in Indonesian (open with browser): http://storyofvianindya.blogspot.com/2016/07/hijab-im-still-and-ill-always-love-you.html

3 years ago (it means 2013 — written on July 22nd, 2016), I decided to protect my hair with a veil (hijab). My past filled with twists and turns, because I always looked for reasons to deny the truth. However, I found that there is no struggle that is more beautiful than striving for Allah’s pleasure. Unpreparedness and any kind of intervention are not obstacles, but they are challenges that must be faced to carry out Allah’s commands.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

My dear friends who loved by Allah, may this story could open your heart who wants to be free from doubts, especially for you, shalihah women. This story contains my struggled-life to wear hijab when I was 17 years old.

I understand that sometimes reminding people of something is considered as a “riya” or arrogant. None of the expressed statements and the actions will be liked by all of the people, and there will be always people who hate them, and I accept that. But really, there‘s no other purpose except that I’m very fond of and want to support my friends to fight for the truth. I also can’t deny, that I’m more concerned with the life of the world than akhirah (afterlife).

Yes. Human. Life. And a process. Therefore, let’s realize that we’re growing up and we have to start balancing the deeds of worship. Because we will never know, how long do we have time to fix ourselves before step out from this world to face Him? If there is something that can be fixed, including our appearance, hurry up. Why do we care about human opinions more than Allah’s opinions?

Thank you to all of the members of FUSI FTUI (Ukhuwah Forum and Islamic Studies, Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia) for giving me space to tell stories, and write them into a book in the photo below. Hopefully, this contest can be done routinely and can present something that much better every year so many kind of amazing stories will be spread more in the future. 29 other writers who joined in writing this book, really open my eyes, heart, and mind that everything can be done if it based on intention, effort, and prayer.

“If there is an obligation that you must do and you can consciously do it, why do you still choose not to do it? You never know when your time will run out, and regret always comes late”
-Wimala Puspa, Industrial Engineering UI 2012-

Happy reading!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

(with few additions)

Hijab, I’m Still and I’ll Always Love You

Begin to learn wearing hijab about 1.5 years ago, it increasingly drove me to all the ways of convenience. Now, I am going through my daily life as a Computer Engineering UI Student — Class of 2014, and this fortune is inseparable from the greatness of Allah SWT who is truly incomparable. In my opinion, there are still many people who are more competent than me but Allah is willing to give me this one chair, alhamdulillah, praise to Allah.

Becoming a Catholic School Graduate for 10 years from kindergarten to junior high school at Mardi Yuana Depok was a very unique experience because I was in a minority environment, and quite a lot of twists and turns I faced there. I also faced so many miracles when I was getting into the majority environment by entering 3 Senior High School, Depok. From here, many changes that I had never expected before. Truly, Allah’s plan is indeed beyond human logic. I’m grateful for what Allah has chosen for me: while living the beauty of life in the middle of differences, and the pleasure of living in the middle of a very strong Ukhuwah Islamiyah. The two environments brought me to the conclusion that we must respect the differences because everyone has been able to choose their life guidelines without discriminating. But on the other hand, we must do this without violating the aqeedah and Islamic law, because that is how Islam teaches tolerance,

“For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” — QS. 109: 6.

The first time I went to school (3 Senior High School, Depok), it felt really strange and uncomfortable because all eyes were watching me sharply. Yes, they know my alma mater from the uniform I wore (at that time I was still wearing a junior high school alma mater, which is Mardi Yuana Catholic School), but I prayed at the school mosque. One of the funny things that I remember when I was in MOS (School Orientation Period — Masa Orientasi Siswa), there were some seniors from Rohkris (Christian Spiritual — Rohani Kristen) who watched me from far away and I knew they were talking about me. Maybe they were confused because I didn’t follow Rohkris’s brother who had given instructions to new students, moreover, all of my Christian friends had also left, only I who just sat on the field. Finally, 2 of them came to pick me up to invite me to worship. Yes, I told them that I’m a Muslim, not a Christian. They also apologized and returned, then laughed at each other maybe because of shame after they made a mistake. Hahaha 🤣

Then, when the first week of teaching and learning activities begin, it is customary to recite Al-Qur’an together before starting the lesson. At that time, no one noticed that I was taking part in the recitation except my seatmate. After reciting, the teacher asked one of the students to read the meaning. For some reason, maybe because I sat in the middle and it was seen by the teacher that I was carrying the translation of the Qur’an, I was appointed by her. Suddenly, there was a student who was surprised and half screamed, “is she Muslim?!”, and the others started to whisper. I was surprised to see their attitude like that, but I tried not to care and immediately read the translation of the verse. At first, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted or considered anything. But not. After that incident, many friends wanted to know me better. They asked various questions. Apparently, with my condition like this, began to form a variety of beautiful experiences that lead to change.

The change, starting from envy.

I was envy. It was my first time studying Islam at school. I wasn’t fluent in reading the Qur’an. I didn’t memorize various short surahs, especially, I was envy to those who can wear the hijab, because I didn’t even have a white veil. Because Friday is obliged to wear a veil, finally I bought it and I always felt happy when wearing it.

Entering the 2nd semester of the 10th class, Allah guided me. At that time, I was appointed as a representative for the FLS2N (National Student Art Competition Festival — Festival Lomba Seni Siswa Nasional) poetry writing category. For training, I was invited to write poetry in the teacher’s room and it turned out to coincide with the selection of the same competition, meanwhile, the category was poetry reading. One by one, the selection participants started the action while I was writing and listened to them without looking closely, just passing by, because I was focusing on writing my poetry. Until finally, I heard a very soft girl’s voice and read a poem with the theme of Mother. The beauty of her voice and appreciation distracted me from seeing her, and, not to the beauty of her being clad in her shar’i hijab. Without realizing it, I shuddered and cried until she finished reading it. Although in the end she wasn’t chosen to represent the school with me, but, one thing I could see in her eyes, sincerity.

Before, I had never seen a girl as beautiful and sweet as her, even till this day. After that, hidayah continued. Allah brought us together in the same class in 11th grade. We got acquainted, and I searched for more and more about her. I was very impressed because she was a very religious person, honest, smart, and friendly. Even though there is no perfect human, but in my opinion, she is an ideal one. Seeing her every day, I was more motivated to wear the hijab. But as my intention strengthened in reaching it, many doubts crossed because I wasn’t ready materially and non-materially. I just have a few veils, and so do my long shirt. My behavior also doesn’t reflect a Muslim who deserves to wear a hijab. One more thing, at that time my mother was also not veiled. But, if I said not that I’m not ready, then until whenever I will never be ready.

The struggle to achieve that wasn’t easy.

Yes, the most difficult thing to do is when I haven’t received full support from my family. Sometimes, I cried about it, because I already knew what the consequences for a woman who didn’t wear the hijab. Until one day, when I was sitting in 12th grade, I was suddenly hard to breathe at night, my body couldn’t move to ask for help, and I could only dhikr in my heart. Honestly, I felt like I want to die. However, when I shed tears because of pain and fear, suddenly the tightness stopped. I immediately cried uncontrollably, and what I immediately thought it was a sign from Allah not to delay the intention that had long wanted to be achieved: wear hijab. What happens if my life is short?

Many times, I asked permission from my parents again, especially my Mother. I couldn’t help but I was crying when asked for the last time. Maybe, my Mother felt sorry and she couldn’t see me crying again. I understand that she has been willing to let me wear the hijab, but not for this time for various reasons. Some of the reasons are because of: first, my school background, second: large families with many non-Muslims, and third: lack of clothing. Moreover, my Mother is a Mualaf. I didn’t know, maybe My Mother thought a lot of things, but she didn’t say anything until I asked for permission at that time. But, I believed Allah will be there every way if I fight for the truth, and I wasn’t afraid of anything that will happen in the future because the devotion of a child is the most important thing for parents. I wished this a long time ago and didn’t want to fail halfway. I’m sure Allah will protect my family from any obstacles later. As a result, my request was granted by my Mother and I was very grateful that I finally succeeded in reaching the long wait, especially since this success was achieved during the month of Ramadan, a month full of blessings.

July 22, 2013. The first day I started the hijab and InshaAllah forever.

Again, at first, I felt ashamed and afraid, because I felt I wasn’t appropriate and was afraid that I would be discussed for sensation by my friends. No one knew this desire except my closest friends. But, again, they weren’t judging me. My friends embraced, even the girl I had admired before, hugged and held me tight when she saw me wear hijab when I met at the opening ceremony with the 11th-grade Natural Science 1. I shed tears again because Allah sent various guidance, including through the girl. One thing I remember again, the first day I was wearing the hijab, Allah let the rain falls. Yes, I remember it very well, because the day before I was still going out with short clothes and the heat was so oppressive, as well as the previous days that had not been raining for a long time. I was in a dilemma, whether I could wear hijab every day comfortably. But, Allah answered it. That day was July 22, 2013, it was so cool with the rain falling, and it was also warm with hugs from friends.

Masha Allah. Allah’s plan is indeed beyond human logic. I’m very happy with this decision. Successfully wearing the hijab is the greatest achievement ever achieved above any achievement I have ever gotten before.

The struggle hasn’t finished here. I realize that my behavior hasn’t been very supportive. In these difficult transitions, I tried to control my speech, restrain my ego, and this is still going on today. Especially when I hurt my parents’ feelings, at that moment I felt guilty. I’m trying to bring goodness. The change is so heavy, but at least it’s better than not doing it at all.

After I wear the hijab, I feel that everything has been facilitated by Allah since the 12th grade. Including Allah’s fortune that put me in the best university of my dreams, the University of Indonesia. With mediocre academic ability among other colleagues, I feel very fortunate to be given such a gift. Now I try to think positively, that whatever is impossible, is very easy for Allah.

Gradually, I fell in love with the hijab. During the hijrah, there were many challenges in front of me, but at the same time, the supports continued to flow freely. Parents also began to be happy about this change. Likewise, close friends who also started wearing the hijab made me even more excited to fight for this together. It is true, a simple start can bring about so many changes. Initially, the clothes did seem to “force” me to be kind, because doing small things that are not good just felt ashamed of the identity of the hijab.

The main motivation is of course you want to see your beloved mother also feel the same way. I am very grateful because now She is also learning to want to wear it even though it isn’t routine. Sometimes, She also likes to ask about the hijab. What a great progress for a Mualaf! I understand that when She was young and decided to become a Mualaf, of course, the knowledge was still very limited and the environment was still not very supportive. This is what makes me want to continue to inspire her by continuing to commit to this hijab with beautiful behavior too. In addition, I also always remember that if I don’t wear the hijab, my father will be drawn into sin. I don’t want to be a useless child and only bring trouble. Finally, I want a soulmate who is righteous and can guide me and the children to be better than their mother later. I believe with the syar’i hijab, can bring me closer to my soulmate that is InshaAllah religious and love me because of Allah.

So, let’s wear your hijab, girls!

“Love Allah with all your heart by carrying out His commands, then someday beautiful love will be sent by Allah to you in an unexpected storyline, with His pleasure”

-Nindya Viani, Computer Engineering 2014-
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

The end 😊

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

For you,

To those who are “forced” to wear the hijab and then you grumble, know that out there are many who secretly wear it because of various obstacles,

To those who are “forbidden” for any reason by anyone, nothing exceeds Allah’s command, is a human capable of removing your sins to avoid hell?

If those who don’t agree are your parents, understand that any of their advice is the best for us. It’s just that we need to give understanding because a lack of understanding is the most important thing in this problem. Your devotion to parents is obeying but also giving understanding to what they don’t know yet,

Remember your hijab is not just for you, but to forbid hellfire approaching your parents someday,

To those who fear that your beauty is gone, the goodness in your heart will represent your beauty perfectly, so keep your jewelry only for your future husband. Moreover, remember Allah’s promise, that good men are only for good women. You, who try to protect your body, InshaAllah your soul mate is also guarding his eyes on other women to fight for you,

To people who are afraid of losing their fortune, the hijab will take you on the path to His blessings that are more blessed, no need to worry about public opinion if the hijab syar’i will be difficult to get a job. Blessing comes from wherever He wants, and remember His favors are not just treasures, but also the pleasures of time, the pleasures of health, the pleasure of being together, and everything that is incalculable,

To people who have been labeled as “bad woman”, me too. I wasn’t aware of the boundaries between men and women in the past, and even now is still in the learning phase, it’s never too late as long as the Angel of Death hasn’t come to pick up,

To people who are afraid of being questioned, protested, reproached by humans for learning, veiling is a process. Never be afraid to start, even though your hijab is not perfect. I ever asked by them like these,

“How come you suddenly want to wear hijab, Nin?”
Me: “Because we have to, right?”

“Are you wearing hijab just during this Ramadan?”
“InsyaAllah till forever, please pray for me!”

“OMG, I don’t even notice you, Nin!! I thought it wasn’t you standing there, like another person!”
“So who? Fatin Shidqia? Uh wow thank you /plak/ 😝

“Your face getting round, Nin”
“Alhamdulillah, it’s not the trapezoid 🤣

“Are you sure to wear that? You are more beautiful without that veil…”
“That’s good, so it won’t be complicated, how if there so many boys that have a crush on me? It’s hard to choose WKWKWK, no, no, just kidding, I hope I can keep my beauty to make one and only special person one day so that he will be happy.”

“Hey, try to wear stylish hijab!”
“I don’t ever understand fashion, it’s complicated, ah, better to understand about football that coming tomorrow 😝

*when I’m trying stylish hijab*
“What do you do with that? (Read: why is is so strange * maybe *)
“I have a long and tight head (and then give up)”

“You look like -Ibu-Ibu Pengajian- Nin”
“Just pray for it, so I’ll repent”

“The veil is a bit thin, don’t let them see your hair, Nin”
“Oh my, I just got this kind of veil, I start to gather one by one”
*then a few days later She gave me the thick one, I was very touched *

“Hey, why do you wear it so mess? Your hair comes out!”
“Gosh, I was in a hurry before and failed to put up a pin correctly and get zonk then 😭”

“How come you wear jeans? You know that it’s skin-tight” -> this is so blunt, it’s a bad person, hahaha -_- but yes he made me realize to change as soon as possible, thanks.
“Oh my, I haven’t got any skirts and I’m still gathering. Well, girls are sensitive, because we use feelings more than logic, not like boys. So, next time you wanna give critic or comment, please be more polite, because not everyone can understand, especially if you don’t feel what we feel.”

*After I wore a skirt, then another person……*
It doesn’t suit that you wear a skirt, Nin. It’s rather… errrrr (read: squabby)”
“YHAA it’s up to you!! Why do I always wrong in front of human 😭😭😭just be patient Niin 😭

“You are wearing the hijab, but your attitude is still ugly!”
“Yes, sorry … It’s as hard as it is to fix my attitude. So I fix appearance first, it’s easier. It takes time, please forgive me. And don’t blame it to my hijab. Hijab and morals or attitude are two different things. Don’t bring the hijab, it doesn’t understand anything. Even though they didn’t mean to, but it still seems to corner the hijab by making it a benchmark for the honor of a Muslim woman. Seeing some of the veiled-women involved in corruption, pickpocketing, cheating, etc. who is wrong? The hijab or the person? Oh please, open your mind. Hijab is a rule from Allah and human who lives that rule. The analogy is, cheating is prohibited in the exam, but still many students are violating. So, who is wrong? The rule or the person?”

Haha that’s funny. Honestly the various responses that were true were thrown at me, but the answers are not all right I say like that haha. Sometimes I only reply with a smile or stunned silence, but in my heart, that’s like what I want to throw at them. Be patient. Some are just kidding, and others just think it reminds us of caring 😊

For you who have worn the hijab, let us remind and strengthen one another to keep istiqomah in his path by continuing to perfect obedience. We aren’t necessarily better than those who haven’t veiled in other respects. Stay humble, not blaming each other, but supporting each other to improve. Let’s learn to change together for a better person, for the sake of reaching His heaven.

I, apologize for all those who feel I have hurt your heart without realizing it. Please remind me of all my mistakes 😊

For you, an angel of the world that may be sent by Allah as an intermediary to make me aware, if one day you read this story, know that I admire you from the beginning I saw you reading poetry until right now. Right, I’m too shy to say it directly and it does look very stupid because I only dare to write it here, but I want to say thank you. Your parents must be very proud. And, the man who will be your husband will probably be the greatest man ever because he deserves to be paired with you, with Allah’s blessing. Hopefully, it remains a light wherever you are and always the spirit to become a hafidzah 😊

Written for competition on March 15th, 2015, and be the first winner.

Rewritten on my blog on July 22nd, 2016.
Translated into English in this platform on July 22nd, 2020.

Happy 7 years, Nindya! 😊

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