A glimpse in the mirror
Today as i was preparing to pray, I glimpsed in the mirror as I was putting on my hijab. In that instance I saw a transformation in the image of the reflection before me. The girl in the mirror changed from one who looked chaotic, curls everywhere, ready to party, one that you could easily imagine committing sins, She changed in to a woman who radiated elegance and serenity, who looked respectful, pious, calm, secure. Sorted.
This shocked me. It made me think. How does the world perceive me? Are people’s perceptions of me and my own understanding of myself so far removed? How does the hijab effect me? How does the way that others treat me effect me?
I think of myself differently in the house from outside the house, that much is true. Inside the house I think of myself as that confused, struggling girl. My thoughts are chaotic and all consuming. My emotions run riot within my head. My heart desires what it shouldn’t.
Outside the house I am calm, I am well mannered, I am a peace maker, I try to enjoin others to good. People respect me and are kind to me, and tell me I inspire them. Outsiders could never imagine me thinking the thoughts that flutter within my mind.
But what would they think if they saw the girl in the mirror? Am I a hypocrite? Or am I covering the sins Allah has covered for me?
If you draw closer to Me by a forearm’s length, I will draw closer to you by an arm’s length. And if you come to Me walking, I will come to you running [Hadith Qudsi]
Maybe hijab is part of this. When you wear it it changes peoples perceptions of you, and therefore your perceptions of yourself. It inspires you to live up to its ideals, to behave while wearing it. It inspires you to be a better person. Hijab becomes part of your identity, so that the woman wearing the hijab, the elegant one, with nour radiating from her face, that is who you become. InshaAllah
It seems that my hijab creates that barrier between me and haram, makes it hard for me to commit haram alhamdulillah, makes me think twice, and others think twice before inviting me to haram.
And the chaotic girl? She is still there, just beneath the surface, she may always be there. She is a part of me that I cannot deny but need to learn to live with. Learn to be at peace with. She is my history, my inclinations, my learnt behaviours in defining times of my life. She is the embodiment of my nafs. Maybe it was the daydreams that wouldn’t get out of my head, or the glint in her eye at the moment I looked in to the mirror that made me see her. She is my constant companion.
She is my test.
‘The best of you are those of you who fall into trials and then repent.”
Ya Allah, make me of those who sincerely repent.