View Full Version : Wearing hijab/abaya at university

02-11-2017, 09:50 PM

I'm a second year student at Lancaster university. Alhamdulillah in the past few months I've really gotten in touch with religion, and to be honest in all my time at uni I've never felt more at peace! All this time I've spent uncomfortable in the dark, if only I'd known it was as easy as accepting Islam.. Well I am trying to better myself as much as I can, but I have run into many obstacles. The one I detail below is quite a dilemma that I've been thinking over for a long time now.

After giving it a lot of thought I've decided that I want to wear hijab and abaya, but I am very scared of the reaction I would get.

A bit of back story: before these last few months I was never even close to religious - I mean I was the drinking, smoking, constantly going out type of person. My family are quite loose with religion as well, and they don't know about any of this but obviously I know they'd be happy to see me happy.

It's my friends that I'm worried about :/ The thing is, all of my friends know me as the person that's up for partying every week and all.. they have seen me pray a few times recently and I think that they think I don't drink anymore because I'm too busy with uni work, and I don't have the heart to correct them because I'm scared they might look at me differently. I know they're my friends and they'll love me no matter what but it's obvious that there will be a kind of distance/barrier when I no longer go out with them, I'm the only one in the group that wears a scarf, I take breaks to pray etc. Essentially my friendships are built based on a character that I want to get rid of.

On top of that, I've never seen anyone in my uni (not exaggerating) wear an abaya, just hijab. I'd like to wear both for the ease of prayer, so I don't have to carry them with me all the time.. plus my heart tells me it'll make me happy! I would love to represent myself as a Muslim, but I might compromise friendships in the process?

I know that it's my decision about my relationship with Allah but all these factors are so complicated, plus what if I slip up in front of them and they think I'm a bad Muslim, obviously I'm not perfect sometimes I listen to music because I feel like it or I swear, I can't be 100% on it when I've changed so drastically in such a short time but would they understand that?

Also, what do you muslimahs wear at home? Do you wear hijab and abaya in front of your brothers/father as well? Is it necessary? I feel like my dad would go into a fit seeing me in hijab hahaha :P is it okay to just wear loose, modest clothing in the home and only wear hijab/abaya in front of non-Mahram?

I think I've given you an idea of how downright confusing my thoughts are right now haha. Has anyone else been in the same boat at any time, or still is? What are your thoughts? How did you cope? Are there any tips you could give me?

Also, as a newly practicing Muslim, could you give me any advice on how to improve myself? At the moment I'm very into my salah and Quran.. alhamdulillah in these months I have:
- read 56 surahs so far (it's taken me this long because I'm taking time to understand them)
- read all my salahs with sunnat, nafl and witr rakats as if they were obligatory, because I read somewhere that these rakats are used to cancel out the obligatory salahs that you missed (and I have missed 19 years worth of them!!!!)
- reading surah Yaseen at Fajr and surah Waqiah at Maghrib
- giving zakat £3 weekly
What else can I do???


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02-12-2017, 03:04 PM
Wa alaykum assalam,

Sister, I've been in a very similar position as you - a fairly non-practising Muslim, who has recently become closer to the deen alhamdulillah. Believe me, this is such an enlightening and beautiful journey. It's not easy, there are sacrifices and difficulties, but so worth it. That feeling of inner peace you mentioned - that's exactly how it is.

First of all, you don't have to observe hijab in front of your mahrams. This includes your father, brothers, husband, sons, nephews, grandfather ect. You have to observe hijab in front of any non-mahram, this includes any non related males as well as male cousins, brother-in-laws, anyone who isn't directly related to you. At home, you can wear whatever you want and you're comfortable in (thank goodness :D!)

As for wearing hijab and abaya - we do this solely for Allah swt, nothing or no-one else comes into the equation, it really is as simple as that. This world is only temporary, the afterlife is eternal. And our sole purpose of this life is to worship and obey Allah swt. And for Muslim women, part of that obedience is to observe the dress He has commanded. When someone does go towards the deen, you do lose friends. I did myself, but I realised they were never really 'friends'. Me coming towards Islam was the best thing which could have ever happened to me, and those who didn't recognise that and tried to discourage me never really wanted the best for me. They just wanted to have a 'good time' - and life is so much more than that.

So wear the hijab, and if you are nervous about wearing the abaya, begin with longer skirts and loose tops and progress from there. Whenever we do something for the sake of Allah swt, we can see the results of that almost immediately, the way the affairs of our life seem to settle. Just don't worry too much about what others will think - people will always judge and pleasing them all is impossible. And yet pleasing Allah is as simple as obeying Him Just do what is right for you and your religion.

It really is wonderful you are turning to Allah swt and striving to obey Him, ma'sha'Allah, and may He continue to guide you closer to him forever and ever. Ameen!

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