partystuff.jpgI remember back in the early 2000s, when I was still in high school, I got an invitation in the mail from a sister in my community.  I knew her birthday wasn't for a few months, and that she wasn't graduating, or getting married.  So I was confused about what the invitation was for.  As I opened it and read through, my eyebrow started to go up.  It seemed she was having a party because she had decided to start wearing hijab full-time.  For hijab??–that's strange, I thought, putting the invitation down and moving along.

That was then, this is now.  Since that first invitation to a hijab party, I've seen these types of get togethers increase in their popularity.  Every year now I've been invited to small gatherings of sisters celebrating a milestone in their sister-in-Islam's life: wearing hijab.  I've grown more and more accustom to the idea of these parties, so I've stopped raising my eyebrows at each invitation.  But last summer, my parents received an invitation to one of these parties, and that was when my eyebrows went back up again.

A sister from around my local community was having a hijab party, but this time it was to be held at a wedding hall.  Her parents were going to shell out thousands of dollars not only for the hall, but the added expenses of invitations, catering, decorations, clothing (of course) and desserts I would imagine.  All this for *just* putting on hijab.  That's seems like a bit much, don't you think?

I remember once I had a conversation with a close friend I went to college with about the hijab parties on campus.  She never wanted to go to them, and I mistakenly just figured she was one of those everything's-haram-now type of Muslims.  My take on all the parties was that it was just a little bit of encouragement, a pat on the back.  These parties on campus were very “low-key”:  a few girls getting together, sharing some pizzas, and congratulating a friend on a bold step in the right direction, alhumdulillah.

But what my friend saw it as was the institutionalization of a new religious celebration (think along the lines of Bismillah and ameen parties).  Her stance was that it all starts off “for a good cause” but that's how all innovations start (ooh… buzz word!).  What she feared was that one day, this would become a custom, something expected, needed and wanted by all young girls when they start wearing hijab.

I didn't agree with her, because I thought the parties were still out of the ordinary and would never reach that level (little did I know of my parents' forthcoming invitation!)  But then she told me, “You don't know how many girls I've heard say, 'When I started wearing hijab, how come my friends didn't throw me a party?' with obvious bitterness and resentment.”

So the problem lies in the fact that some sisters are losing sight of the important motivation and reward of wearing hijab–not the party, not the gifts, not the desserts, not the recognition, but ONLY the pleasure of Allah.  If a sister starts wearing hijab and the first thing she expects is a pat on the back and a pizza party with her friends (which may lead to more grandiose ideas of parties at the scale of weddings)… then she needs to rethink why she started wearing it in the first place.

The greatest reward, and I think most would agree, is the recognition that comes from Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, and knowing that when you took one step to come closer to Him, He came walking to you.

So, on the subject of hijab parties, friend or foe?… For now I'm going to go with friendly foe on the basis that  It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt!  And in the case of hijab parties, the someone getting hurt is our iman.  If these parties continue to escalate over the next few years, we're headed down a path which will start to deteriorate the concept of seeking reward and recognition only from Allah and obviously, that isn't a path we should be taking.

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46 Responses

  1. Hidaya

    ^^ LOL

    Never seen this tradition anywhere in NY and alhamdulillah we have a bigggggggg Hijabi community in NY..whenever a sister starts wearing hijab/jalbab, we would just give her a nice little gift (mostly a card with one of two ayahs written on it and a hijab as a gift). It could also be because people in NY have no time for partying =)

    PS now that I think about it, ever since I am out of school, I have no non-hijabi friends , thats sad! I need to be-friend them and recruit them in our group ;-)

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  2. Ummi Huraira

    What an interesting article! like the author in this piece, I never imagined that this hijab party idea would get to the point of an established tradition. I personally still feel that as long as its intent is to encourage the sister, it is done low key, and is not an “expectation” per say, then It’s okay. At least in this way, it is regarded in some level by her peers, which is important because peer pressure can be a positive tool.
    And another thing, for all us Muslims who cringe towards the ideas of all innovations such as mother’s day, birthdays, etc, how many of us actually make at attempt to care for the person in question in a way to make them feel just as loved without these days? There has to be a balance…

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  3. Saleha H.

    WHAT?!!!
    I have never heard of that…and I think it is ridiculous honestly. People throw parties for that reason, and especially the one who went all out with a wedding hall, is useless. If we don’t understand that wearing the hijab is not even for this dunya, it is for the NEXT, then we would never be wanting to have these parties and have it be all about us. I mean, everyone always needs some encouragement, but this isn’t the way to do it. man…..i really hope this ‘trend’ gets faded after a while, otherwise, the article’s right, it could get to the point where every girl thinks she needs a party when she wears the hijab. ( and i mean, PARTY).

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  4. Olivia

    I think anyone can anything too far. It reminds of a story a Shaikh told us about a custom that started where you paid people who came to your relatives funeral, and if people knew you were either poor or cheap, no one would come! But does that mean we should stop having funerals?

    Some people look for nice reasons to party (me) and others look for reasons to show off. I’ve had a few different parties at my house for my daughter, low-key pizza type events for celebrating things like her first fast or for memorizing a signficant portion of Qur’an. There is a problem though when it becomes a community-wide expectation that you have a party for a certain thing (like the Bismillahs and Ameens you mentioned). One could liken it to graudation parties though. If we celebrate graduations with a large party then why shouldn’t a family celebrate hijab in the same way, if they want to? Even with grad parties you have the backyard BBQ people (me) and then the shadi-hall people.

    It’s a tough call, but I don’t think we should chuck the whole idea of a pat-on-the-back pizza party for a sister wearing hijaab just because a couple aunties an uncles want yet another reason to have a “shadi for their daughter that’s not actually her shadi”. lol.

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  5. Abdul Sattar

    MR: I would think me and you not seeing the hijab party is part of the point :P

    Tabman: I was thinking of making that comment the ENTIRE time I was reading this article. Argh.

    I think any excuse to eat pizza falls into: “And eat of the wholesome things We have provided for you” Whoo hoo!

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  6. MR

    @Abdul Sattar – You know what I meant! I have a sister and I have never heard about this.

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  7. Sarah

    While I don’t agree with throwing shaadi-level parties for hijab, I think it is extremely important to recognize an American raised sister’s decision to put on the hijab. I say American very deliberately, because the American society and culture forcefully espouses immodesty to the point where ypu have to deliberately fight to avoid its influence. We should recognize a girls decision to avoid temptation, particularly because we know how hard it is to make the decision. Also, we hear so much about how celebrating birthdays and nonIslamic holidays is wrong…why not show joy and appreciation in an occasion that upholds Islam? Its a pretty effective antidote to the agonizing feelings of isolation and being “different” that strike Muslim adolescents every time a school dance comes around.

    But moreso than a one time event like a party, I think Muslim families should show sustained appreciation for a girl’s decision to put on hijab. Instead of fancy party with biryani and a couple of over priced garlands, why not have a smaller scale event and also encourage the daughter afterwards, complementing how carefully she wears her scarf and offering her affection? The right environment and the right intention can do wonders for our Muslim adolescents.

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  8. Organica

    I’ve never heard of this before.

    Since when do we throw parties for someone obeying the commands of Allah? Shame on us. We should humble ourselves and seek forgiveness from Allah for all those years we lived in disobedience.

    What has our Ummah come to? We want to find any excuse to throw parties and waste more food and money??????

    How about the starving children around the world? Or the Muslim teens we are losing day after day to the globalized society we’ve become apart of? Or the women around the world who are raped on a daily basis? Or the environment that we have neglected?

    What should I party about? The lack of Iman, prayer and Taqwa.

    Ya ukhti…I am surprised that we are even pausing to answer this question.

    Wallah I fear the day Prophet Muhammad )saw) will see us on the day of judgment and will call “Ummati Ummati!” and the angels will drag us away from him because we have gone astray from his Sunnah.

    Oh Allah save and guide Ummat Muhammad….

    Ya Mo3’eeeth..

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  9. sincethestorm

    I don’t think its a bad idea or a bad thing. Its a form of encouragement. Shaadi style hall is a little overboard but a party at a house with sisters is certainly OK. The sister gets hijabs or modest clothing. You need to alter your wardrobe when you start. I don’t think guys get this. A short sleeved shirt doesn’t look appropriate with hijab. Wearing hijab is a big step and a sister who starts needs encouragiement. A sister who does wear hijab stands out distinctly from a brother with a beard. A brother can be considered Mexican but a sister in hijab is without question visibly a Muslim lady. So for all the sisters who wear hijab, jilbab, and esp. niqab, May Allah SWT accept our attempts and keep us strong. ameen

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  10. Fatimah

    “A short sleeved shirt doesn’t look appropriate with hijab”

    A short sleeved shirt with hijab is wrong…not just “inappropriate”, kinda negates the point of hijab. Going into discussion of what constitutes hijab, especially now a days when “hijabis” make you do a double-take (and as a sister) is a totally different topic.

    And Ameen to your dua.

    I remember my mom had a “hijab party” for my little sister…but she was only seven when she wanted to start wearing the hijab and it was done to encourage her and make her proud…especially since all her little friends (Muslim and non-Muslim) did not wear Hijab. So we had a little party for her, bought her pretty hijabs and she was ecstatic and Alhamdullilaah still attached to her hijab (she’s 19 now btw). I understand doing this for younger kids, but I can’t fathom someone in her late teens and twenties having a hijab party. It’s one thing to get a pat on the back and a hijab gift as encouragement/acknowledgment in an informal setting, but to have actual parties (in halls?!) I can definitely see how that can lead to doubtful intentions when one is committing to the hijab and a new bid’ah being established. Khair Insha’Allah.

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  11. Mohamed Ibn AbdAllah

    This is a very good article. But from my perspective this “syndrome” is not so much about hijab per se. But our attitude to Islam in general. Doing the right thing is viewed as an exception to be rewarded instead of the normal thing to do. So the masses of Muslims look at the people, who are doing what’s expected and the minimum to be Muslims, as exceptional not ordinary. They view the people doing the right thing as them doing some above and beyond of what’s required, instead of viewing “themselves” as the ones committing a Sin. Also the ones who are “religious”, and accept such a title, encourage such an attitude. This pretty much translates in the confusion of the whole Ummah as to what the criterion is. This dilutes what the criterion is and thus leads to infighting between Muslims as who is right and who is not.

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  12. Amad

    I am sorry but I don’t see a real problem with encouragement that such celebrations provide. I remember when I was a kid, my dad had a chart where I would be rewarded a quarter (25 fils in Dubai) for each prayer in the day. And even though I started praying for what one may consider as the “wrong reason”, once in the habit, the money was gone, and the practice was established.

    We all recognize the difficulties and hardships that sisters face in today’s climate of Islamophobia. I mean even one dirty look can be hard to swallow. So, why not celebrate the establishment of an obligation? Perhaps a few of the other non-hijabi sisters that attend the celebration would themselves be encouraged towards a celebration for their own self. Sincerity may be compromised a bit, but to be honest, how many sisters will actually and totally do the hijab just for a party? I mean think about it. The party’s just an excuse, and if it provides a jump-start for a struggling sister, I say give 10 parties!

    Also, it is not fair to compare the fard practice of hijab with the fard practice of say prayer or some other obligation. There is a difficulty factor of a public in-your-face practice vs. a private religious obligation. And so the encouragement and the celebration of implementation cannot be considered the same either.

    wallahualam

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  13. aideh

    I attended a low-key hijab party for a girl of I think she is 9 years old. Although, like the brother above me said, it may be for the wrong reasons (to get a party? to get her parents approval…which isn’t really a bad thing if you think about it) as long as the parents guide her into the correct thinking as to WHY its important for a muslimah to wear Hijab, then I see no problem and I think this is a good step in the right direction. Allah knows best!
    I think its encouraging for young girls as well. THe young girls are getting older and older, becuase of the corrupt society we live in they know things that we wouldn’t have know till later on in life. unfortunately that is the case. So I personally think this is a great encouragement for the young sisters (its good to start young!) that hey hijab is a cool thing! Media is relentlessly advertising “cool things” that go against our Islamic principals and unfortunately they are sucking in the muslims at a very young age. I look at this and other creative strategies and forms of encouragement such as the hijab parties (beard parties, sure why not, go for it….give the brotehrs all the shampoo, defrizzers and conditioners they need) as a way to fight off these external, greedy and corrupting influences that are everywhere, in the market, on the road to school, in the malls, on the TV, absolutely everywhere. These people are fighting back.(hah i have to say it, most likely mothers) Good for them!

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  14. aideh

    Older sisters need just as much encouragement. Look at it this way, if 10 people tell her yes, wear it, 1000 people are telling her no, if not more. Just turn on the tv, walk down the street/malls and down the hallways of public schools…hijab can never be the “in-thing” in a society that tells you, implicitly and explicitly, the less clothing the better. nowadays, nothing the better. It’s gotten really bad. So, if we want to win this struggle, we have to fight harder to win back the honor, pride, and dignity of our Muslimaat. (don’t take “fight” literally, plz dont go fbi on me) .

    Shaadi-like celebrations may be taking it a little too far…but I think, hey, at least there is something stirring right. Pretty soon, we might get some actual meat and vegetables in the pot and have ourselves a nice aromatic beef stew. This can lead to better things insha’Allah. This is a great example of thinking outside-of-the-box in finding ways to encourage Muslims to stick strong with the Deen…insha’Allah we can have more of these…as long as it doesnt go Bid’i on us.

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  15. osman

    I think its a good thing as long as its not extravagant. Helps them feel more comfortable.

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  16. aideh

    The society we live in calls for it. That’s all i have to say. I’m not going to use the old–” living in a cave” cliched statement…but, it is apparent to anyone living in this country, this world even that there are external forces that shape the lives of young women. These are not good external forces.

    THis hijab idea obviously can be adapted to make it age appropriate for the more mature sisters. They need support just as much as the young girls do…again, the society we live in doesn’t help much, not to mention muslims should and can make more of an effort to provide better support groups for new Muslims and Muslims that are trying to get stronger in the Deen. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that’s what being Muslim brotherhood/sisterhood is all about. Wanting for your brother/sister what you want for yourself? Would you want to be left out in the dust? Or wouldn’t you want someone helping you, guiding you in a critical time of your life/Putting on hijab isn’t always easy…Turn off the light for a second and clear your mind. Now, turn the light on again and have visions of a hijab party that you would approve of…a hijab party that will prepare and strengthen our sisters to practice the Deen as the Rasool , SalAllahu alayhi wasallam,exemplified for us/the world.. Now what do you think?

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  17. SaqibSaab

    I am sorry but I don’t see a real problem with encouragement that such celebrations provide.


    @Amad:
    I don’t either, but I don’t think the author was against encouragement, by itself. Rather, it was the fact that girls started to expect a party. Two simple conclusions: (1) don’t go overboard and (2) don’t expect recognition of the people, instead the pleasure of Allah.

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  18. Islamist

    Assalammou’alaikum.. Zat’s complete nonesense, hw can u make a party for wearing a hijaab?? U shud pray 2 rakaats n thnk Allah that He gave u the ihsaan to wear it n not throw a party instead. May Allah guide those ‘party people’ n understand the true sense of islam

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  19. mariam

    i was reading the article, bobbing my head…it is such a common thing here in MI. If it doesn’t happen any where else then I guess it is a Michigan fever.

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  20. Aanika

    When I started wearin hijab, I got enough satisfaction in knowing I was obeying Allah (sbw) it was like being on a spiritual high :), but I guess some sisters may need encouragement, as they may come from families who oppose the hijab. Plus giving gifts is sunnah, so there’s nothing wrong with a small gift. But going all out for extravegant hijab parties……..seriously?!!!

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  21. Ibn Fellah

    What is a

    everything’s-haram-now

    Muslim?

    Oh and Imagine beard parties…beards a galore lol.

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  22. SH

    I agree with Saleha H & Organica. And I’d like to add that these parties probably exist amongst the rich hence being the reason why most haven’t heard of it. Money is a fitnah can be used to attain the akhira or to divulge more into the dunya. When I first started to wear the hijab I got a feeling that I wouldn’t trade in for all the parties & the money in the world!!!!!! Plus I felt guilty for all the times I didn’t wear it and all the times my soul missed out on this great nourishment. When we do things for the sake of Allah sWT the reward comes from Him & none of us should wish to be rewarded by any other than Him. The beginning months of my hijab days had some people criticizing it which I didn’t expect but then I realized it was a test that made me purify my intention again just when I was starting to forget it.

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  23. aideh

    parties like thes dont have to be for the “rich muslims”…they can be at the sisters house, like the one I attended, they can be at the park…I think tahts painting a pretty biased picture of such parties. And the fact that its being called a “party” says alot. You can use alot of names for this occurences, such as a simple gathering of sistesr in encouragement of one another…Allahu A’lam.

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  24. AsimG

    When I grew a beard, my relatives thought I wanted to be an extremist.

    I should have asked for a party, might have met some nice FBI agents.

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  25. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. lol, AsimG. just imagine all your bearded friends showing up at your house to throw you a surprise facial-hair-party! :) and if they had shown up with cool gifts like conditioner and brushes, and ready to play cool party games like pin-the-beard-on-george-bush, and had baked you a cake with icing flowing off one side… you know, like a beard!

    then the party could make your parents think (1) a cult initiation, (2) that you’re all gay (what, that means upbeat and happy, right?), or (3) that they need to hurry up and get you married now — right away, or sooner in fact! wait! that gives me an idea…

    hey, haytham! we need to throw you a facial-hair party when you come back to Houston for TDC…

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  26. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. shaking the beard-party-favors for a serious moment…

    we live in a culture where young Muslim women are bombarded with pressure to take off their hijabs or never to put them on in the first place. the younger the woman, the more the pressure. so if a party helps a woman to do when she is really young what will help guard her chastity well into maturity, then mashaAllah.

    we can tell jokes; especially amongst guys there have been a lot of jokes on this thread… but if our reader demographic stretches down into the low teens, then it’s worth emphasizing that what’s most important is that our sisters feel comfortable with hijab.

    considering for a moment how rare it once was for sisters to cover themselves properly in America (and i’m talking about too many of our moms and “aunties”), i’d say a party celebrating the emancipation of women into the state of hijab might very well be in order…

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  27. vindicated

    The criticism isn’t for the party i believe, rather the negative side of it that’s presented in the post. I don’t think anyone’s criticising a little pat on the back and some encouraging words.

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  28. Olivia

    I think another thing to keep in mind too is what age level are we talking about? A 7 year old or a 17 year old? I don’t think it’s wasteful either way, but probably much more effective and appropriate for the 7 year old, although I wouldn’t say its innappropriate for the 17 year old. It would be kind of awkward though, because it’s something at that point that becomes a personal, adult decision and it seems sort of weird to have a party for that. And of course she shouldn’t be disappointed if she doesnt come home to a suprise party the day she puts it on. Like I said before, there shouldn’t be a community wide-expectation for a party like this, especially in the case of an older girl.

    And I’m sorry I don’t understand the point about wasting food? I guess if its like a big party and you catered then I could see that, but I think the default would be a small, home-based party where you would save any left–overs =)

    I think in an ideal, theoretical world we shouldn’t be having parties for wearing hijab because everyone would be doing it when she came of age, but that’s not reality. I think it would serve a functional purpose of showing encouragement and reward for a good deed.

    By the way if there’s pizza, please invite me to the next one ;)

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  29. khawla

    Eid Mubarak everyone!!!
    Party? Rather we need to put our Hijab properly for the sake of Allah, put khimar over that tight jeans and tshirts; and SHUT up during Friday Kutbah.

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  30. Sarah

    I think the growing extravagance of these hijab parties is a symptom of the fact that our Muslim community puts so much emphasis on hijab to the point that it’s seen as one of the most important things in Islam, akin to the five pillars (which is a problem unto itself).

    Ask any legit scholar, and they’d agree that hijab is not #1 or even #10 on the priority list, yet the community makes women feel as if they are wretched scum for not wearing it. So, with that kind of pressure and bloated sense of importance, it’s no surprise that these parties have started.

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  31. Maryam

    Wow, *almost* ridiculous. Hijab parties? I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a thing. I do like the whole idea of a milestone in a sister’s life, but yeah.

    Hey, I started wearing hijab when I was 3.. How come I didn’t get a party?! Ah well, I suppose I’ll just suck it up and live… XD

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  32. Mehak

    Assalamualaikum….

    wow thats soo crazyy.. It just shows how people do were Hijab to be good in others eyes or to get pizza/party or whatever..
    I started wearing HIjab when I was very young as well.. I never celebrated that except I always Thank ALLAH and my Parents for showing me the right path…

    ohh well.. we should Pray for these people man.. seriously..!

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  33. Umm Ismael

    Asslam u alaikum wr wb’
    While I am all out for encouraging a sister when she does anything in obedience to ALLAH, but I have a different experience to narrate. When I started the hijab, all i faced was ridicule and opposition (and all this while living in Pakistan where wearing hijab at that time was a non existent practise- though the situation has changed dramatically alhamdulillah). Alhamdulillah, even at that age, ALLAH Gave me strength to hold on. The kind of depth and understanding that is created in a person when faced with such opposition is not “merely a phase”. A pat on the back is aways comforting but a level needs to be defined. We need to let the person face some bouts of harsh reality as well so that she can understand why shes doing what shes doing. And ALLAH Knows best.

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  34. suaaf

    thank you so much i was about to have one but said: i have to do it for the sake of allah im twelve years old……now to thnk of a way to tell my friend… lol spelled my name wrong ment suaad lol ;) :)

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  35. Ummezaynub

    I am guilty as charged- I just hosted one for a young sister in our youth group- I don’t do birthdays , anniversaries etc. but I was extremely proud of this young girl. No one in her family covers; her mother thought she is too young at fifteen! to wear hijab. She studied her deen and made the decision. I agree with Brother Mohammad that the state of the Ummah is such-that people who are struggling to complete the fundamentals are considered ‘religious’. I remember when I first started covering- I had ‘alimah’ status overnite- I would have people asking me for fatwas.
    A couple of her friends and their moms came with food and gifted her some hijabs to start her off & it was the first time we had one in our community. None of us are ‘rich’. It was a surprise and she never expected it. We read some hadith on the virtues of hijab, discussed the proper way to cover & how Allah (SWT) loves modesty. The girls who know how gave her tips on wrapping it so her hair won’t show- Alhamdulillah.
    If I was a part of bida’a, I pray that Allah forgives me. I may not do it for my daughter as she knows that it is incumbent on her and Alhamdulillah we have the mahoul in our home but for the sisters who don’t- my heart goes out to them. May Allah make it easy for them. Ameen

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  36. Sabah4Allah

    Salam Alaykum wa Rhamatullah wa Barakatuh Ukhtis:

    I am a revert now for 3 years, wearing Hijab always, even at my job (I work as an Occupational Therapist in a Rehab Center for our geriatric population). Hamdulilah my job allows this. :) However, I am the ONLY one in my town (Naples, Fl) that wears Hijab everywhere, not just when I go to the masjid for Jummah. I live in a town that is mostly rich, retired Jewish people. You can imagine the looks and stares I get from all populations ( Spanish and Haitians) here. I think the “Hijab Parties” should be not overdone but simple and really for the sisters in the community to come together to support the sister who has just stared wearing Hijab full-time. For instance bring the Holy Qur’an and read from it the Surahs that tell us of Hijab. Everyone needs support, especially here in the USA, where it can be difficult at times to wear the headscarf.

    The sisters need to support one another, offering tips, guidance and make special Du’a for a successful outcome, Insha’Allah. We must come together and support each other always.

    Remember: Hijab is not just wearing the headscarf but it is all encompassing who we are and how we carry ourselves, the words we speak and the interactions we have with others. Yes wearing Hijab is “The greatest reward, and I think most would agree, is the recognition that comes from Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and knowing that when you took one step to come closer to Him, He came walking to you”.

    Wearing Hijab is an outward sign of the inner commitment we have made to submit our will to the will of Allah (SWT). Hamdulilah I am a Muslimah!!!

    JazakAllah khair.
    La ilaha illAllah Muhammadur RasulAllah.
    Uhkti fi Islam,
    Uhkti Sabah :D

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  37. Middle Ground

    Salam

    Yes I have seen a couple of these, and I think it’s a good idea as long as people don’t go over the top. After all, the Prophet(SAW) said that a believer is happy when he does good deeds. I remember when I once memorized a certain surah of the Quran, I was so happy that I went out and got a fat chocolate cake, and took it to the mosque to celebrate.

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  38. Amina

    Thank you for sharing. The American culture has us wrapped around the idea of celebrating for so many holidays and sometimes for the most mundane things, like 1/2 birthdays, after finals celebrations, monthly family celebrations; we gather to eat and celebrate for just about everything under the sun! But celebrating true successes is important. A person must have clear and sincere intentions of holding such celebrations. I think especially when younger girls (middle school and high schoolers) are making the decision to wear the hijab, it is a BIG deal. I know of a young girl who decided mid year to wear the hijab after her menstrual cycle started. That is very difficult! Can you imagine a middle schooler with no Muslims in her school (let alone a hijabi), begin to wear hijab mid year? We should acknowledge these accomplishments in a big way. Not by necessarily spending lots of money on extravagant parties, but by gathering girls and making this one milestone worth stopping for a moment and acknowledging the accomplishment in a profound and effective way. The same goes, for Bismillah, Ameen, Khatam celebrations/gatherings.

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