With Me

Tuesday, January 21

My First "What are You Wearing" Conversation


Alhamdulillah, I am in my second week of the semester. All praises be to Him, to whom I owe my life, every single bit of tears and scars and smiles. Who provided me with the necessities, and gave me the presence of Islam to help me along the way.

So this week, I got to meet some new...classmates. One of the new girls was recruited into my rag-tag team of besties-who-apparently-make-great-assignment-partners. She is from mainland China.
Let's call her DJ.

So, DJ and I didn't talk at all during class. I was shy, and thought I needed some time before actually talking to her.
See, the chinese people around my campus talk using their mother tongue when they're around one another. That made bumping into conversation very unlikely. Though English is the first language here, well, when we meet people of our own, we tend to use our natural language, right?

Anyway, that was what happened between DJ and I.

Until late that evening, when we were to wait for a class, and my friend suggested that we go and finish our presentation slides to kill the time.
And there we were. Three gals of the supposedly five; me, YX and DJ. After spending more than half an hour in front of the computer; discussing, typing, discussing, editing etc., I finally made DJ smile.
And the conversation kicks into second gear.

The time was then almost 4 o'clock, so we headed to class. Only to find that it was postponed. So, because YX commutes from her home, she planned on heading straight home. Leaving me and DJ alone.

We talked from the block, passed the cafes and the halls to reach our hostels. And the conversation got to a point where we know roughly of the other person. The basic things.

There was still a few more blocks to get to her hostel (cause hers was closer. mine is at the end of the road), and then she suddenly asked me,
what is this you're wearing? (pointing at my hijaab)
I explained to her briefly what it was, and apparently she already know what it is and why I (ehem.. WE) wear it.

She knows that we have to cover our heads.
She knows that we can't show our hair to people other than our husband. (i added the info about family)
She knows that it's hard committing to donning it.
She knows.

So I took that short walk to tell her (not explain) about the basics of the hijaab. One thing she couldn't understand, is WHY WE DO IT?

I smiled.
My answer was simple. Because God tells us to.

I didn't know whether it was sufficient, because I never ever had a REAL religion-related chats with a non-Muslim.
But that answer was enough to make her ponder.

And I ask that small voice inside of me.

Did I make the right move?
Did I say the right thing?
Should I say more?

But I stopped myself.
I realised that the conversation, the questions, and the answers were exactly the way Allah planned it to be.

This was my first chat. It was supposed to be flawed. So that I would learn, and do better should it come up again.
Allah made it that way.

And I remembered my himmah moments back in college.
I was eager to spread His words.
Because surrounding me, were Muslim kids like me, too.

Everyday I wondered.
Why do I feel so alone here?
People are everywhere, but I am isolated, still.
Then. I realised, that a da'i could be thrown away, alone and cast away to an unknown land, but Islam can still bloom like a wild flower thrown into the desert sand.

I kept waiting for the boat to come and save me.
[ credit ]
But I forgot that the boat won't come unless I work hard in getting it to come rescue me.
Or that I was supposed to stay and plant the seeds.

I had to make a choice. Between leaving or doing something.
I have to.
Hard as it is, it is not impossible.

I gave up once, and now there's turmoil inside me. For the demons residing inside won't let the light come in again. I am throwing tantrums and becoming less patient.
I wanna make it through.
Because the road to Jannah, following the path of da'wa, is not for sissies or chicken-heads.

It is for the mujaheeds.