A young Muslim girl from a gulf country recounts the incident that lead to her entering hijaab. She said:

How I adored “tabarruj” (displaying one’s beauty in public)! I would follow the latest trends and fashions of abaayas (the ones which attracted attention with their colours and shapes). My opinion of the Islamic abaaya (the loose one which covers the body properly) was that it was just made for the old fashioned poor girls!

One day, I went out with a group of my friends to the mall. I went out as usual, applying full make up to my face, perfumed and wearing an attractive abaaya. When a sister saw me in the mall, she came to me and advised me, in front of my friends, to wear the proper hijaab so that Allah Ta‘ala would not punish me in the Aakhirah.

Her advice shook me, but I wanted to make fun of her in front of my friends to make them laugh. So I did something which I should not have done, although Allah Ta‘ala, in His mercy, made it the means for me to turn to my Lord and change my life.

Do you know what I did? I held my hand in front of her face and said, “If you kiss my hand, I will wear the Islamic hijaab!”

What do you think she did? Do you think she got angry? Or she walked away? Or she objected? No! By Allah, she didn’t! She simply took my hand and kissed it! She kissed my hand saying, “I would even kiss your head if it meant that you would truly wear hijaab in return. What you asked me to do is small and simple compared to your preciousness.”

Then she made du‘aa for me and left. After she left, I cried and cried and cried. I realized that I had cheapened myself. I hated the abaaya I was wearing. When I went back home, I just wanted to be alone.

I then decided to wear the Islamic abaaya which is loose and concealing, and I prayed to Allah Ta‘ala to keep me on the right path. How I wish that I can meet that woman again to thank her, for all I can do for her is to always make du‘aa for her! Now they call me “Shaikhah” because of my commitment to Deen, but I don’t care what they say. Now, if I have to leave my home for some need, I notice that men are respectful and do not stare at me or flirt with me, whereas in the past, they always tried to joke with me and be intimate. Through this, I realized that a woman’s true respect and value lies in practising on the commands of Deen.