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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Headscarf - Hijab - Tudung




If you asked me the question "When are you going to start wearing the tudung (hijab / headscarf) ?" a year ago, I would have answered something like "After I get married." or "After I have my first child." without batting an eyelid. I would never have thought that I would be covering up a year later. I used to get so angry and frustrated when somebody told me that I should cover up. The kind of frustration that would often have me yelling "It's just hair. Nobody is going to rape me because of my hair" inside my head. It was naive of me to even think of something like that because I never really gave the tudung a chance. I never educated myself on what good it could bring to me and what it could make me feel about myself. I judged it based on the surface. I had so many reasons for me not to wear it ever since I hit puberty. I would tell myself "But sports" or "But prom is coming up" or "What if boys won't like me in a tudung" or "What if I won't be approachable" or "But my friends are wearing short skirts, I want to wear them too." The struggle was as real as real could get. 

The decision of me wearing the headscarf isn't something that came to me overnight, I have thought about it for months and months but I really wanted to prepare myself for that special day so the change wouldn't be so drastic for me, and for everyone else. Allah works in mysterious but miraculous ways, and all of them have a reason behind it for happening. 

When I started University last June, in my list of subjects I had Islamic Studies. And that required me to wear the headscarf every time I was in the class, it wasn't compulsory, but it was preferable if we did to respect the subject that we are learning. I had Islamic Studies twice a week last semester so that meant me wearing the headscarf to uni twice a week too. At first, I brought my tudung in my bag and only put it on when I'm about to enter class and I would take it off after class ended. But as weeks went by, I fell in love with the way I felt when I was wearing it. I felt really nice inside, I felt safer, I felt more respected, I felt so much more confident and without a doubt I felt a lot more beautiful. And by then, I would wear it before I leave the house and I wouldn't take it off the whole day until I got home. I loved it. I loved wearing it so much. And it was funny because I only had one black bawal (square) tudung, and it was the only one I wore for weeks but I loved it. As weeks went by I started buying more tudungs, I bought myself a wide shawl, a normal shawl, a chiffon shawl, I wanted to try them all and I kept experimenting with different looks and I kept asking my friends to teach me how they wrap their shawls nicely whenever I came over. They were more than excited to share what they know with me. My friend, Hana especially. I also asked my friends how, when and why they started wearing it and I was even more inspired and excited for it to be my turn. 

So what stopped me ? If I felt so good wearing it, why didn't I just wear it ? I wish I was strong enough to make that change as soon as I could, to make that change as soon as I felt like I wanted it. But I was afraid it was going to overwhelm me. I was afraid that the change would be so extreme that I would have second thoughts and take it off as easy as it was for me to put it on. I know my friends and family would have been happy for me either way but I know it was going to be surprising news to most if I suddenly just wore it the next day, when the day before I was wearing a short skirt. "She's wearing the tudung now ? Wasn't she the one who wore a strapless dress to all the formal events she went to ?" I didn't want that for myself. I understand that this life isn't about pleasing people, it is about pleasing the Creator. But being 18, and having all of these people ready to stare, judge and question your every move, it's pretty hard to not care about it and avoid. 

Months ago I tweeted something that went somewhere along the lines of "Allow muslim women to dress modestly at their own pace. She may wear jeans, but little do you know just last month she gave up shorts." And until today, I still believe firmly in that. I'm the type of person who doesn't like being told what to do, when I already have the intention to do it in the first place. I get annoyed, and I rebel instead when somebody does that to me. I don't know why I act that way but teenagers nowadays are so full of angst and they are so unsatisfied with everything and I am no different. I got a lot of hate for that tweet, people were going all "Why at their own pace ? Benda wajib kan (it's obligatory right ?) ?" or "If she already has the intention, kenapa tak pakai je ? (why not just wear it) Allah will make it easy for her." I know that covering up our aurah is an obligation, something that is wajib and is a command but at this age, living in the kind of world that we are living in now, it's very hard to accept that. 

I think if you have the intention to cover up, take your time. That's my opinion. And I could say now that it's based on my experience, since that was exactly what I did and I am incredibly happy and content with my decision. (But if you can decide today, and you're strong enough to start wearing it permanently tomorrow, you have all my respect and support.) I've said this once in a post from a couple months ago and I'll say it again : Let the girl take her own time and trust that she will wear it soon when her heart is opened up and ready to accept the headscarf. That way she will be on the highest level on sincerity doing it. Believe that the girl will think about the consequences and benefits of wearing the headscarf herself, and feel the need to without you drilling into her head that she and her parents and future husband are all going to hell because she's not covering up her aurah. I know the punishment of the Hellfire is true, and I know Allah will not break His promise. But is that really a way for anyone to pull someone into wearing the hijab ? Was it really necessary for you to degrade and demotivate her like that in the sense of faith and what she is doing ?  That was never my push to wear the headscarf. My push, and my motivation was the goodness of what the hijab brings. The way it makes me feel, the way it identifies me as a muslim instantly. Pray for her instead, don't pressure her. If she has it in her heart to obey Allah's command then insyaallah, the day will come sooner than you think. You may advise her, but don't advise her to the extent that she feels it's more of a sneer than an advice. Don''t sound arrogant. 

After I've said to myself "okay, let's do this." I started by wearing less revealing clothes months before. I stopped wearing my short dresses, shorts, short skirts, sleeveless tops and the likes. I was also always on the lookout for clothes that were more headscarf appropriate when I went out, I didn't look at the dresses and crop tops and skirts that were beautifully modelled by the mannequins anymore. Those kind of clothes don't appeal to me and it's not because I was refraining myself from looking, but because I simply had no interest in them anymore. I was that excited to wear the tudung and start covering myself up. And then I started deleting my photos on Instagram and I started deleting social networks that were irrelevant and had numerous photos of me like Path and Facebook and everything I had on Twitter. Non-hijab related ; but I think my life got a lot better without them too. In December I started wearing it to class, and then wore it a little bit more when I go out. By new year's I was already comfortable enough to wear it permanently. Alhamdulillah.

Things I think everyone should know : 

  1. Wearing the hijab doesn't give me or you the power to look at someone and say "I'm better than you because I'm covering up." Maybe physically, yes. You do look more Islamic but if that is your mentality, then I think the girl not wearing the hijab, and does not judge anyone, is more islamic than you are, thinking-wise. Just because she isn't covering up, doesn't mean she's any less of a muslim than you. She might not cover up, but she doesn't miss her prayers. She might not cover up, but she has a connection with Allah. You don't know what Allah knows, so you shouldn't judge. Pray for your sisters instead, but by all means do not think that you are better than anyone.

  2. Wearing the headscarf doesn't automatically make me a "religious" or "pious" person. It doesn't turn me into a saint overnight. I sin, still. I use bad words, still. But what the hijab does for me, is it reminds me of the person I should be. It makes me want to pray a lot more, it makes me want to be better because I know I'm carrying the identity of my religion, it makes me want to look at myself in a positive way, just as I'd like other people to see me that way too. It makes others focus on what I have to say, rather than how I look.

  3. Wearing the headscarf doesn't limit me to what I want to do and how I express myself. Wearing it doesn't mean I can't speak out anymore. Wearing it doesn't mean I can't crack jokes or be funny and laugh at myself. Wearing it doesn't mean I can't blog about certain things. Wearing it doesn't mean I have to cut ties with my friends who are boys or my friends who don't exactly understand why I wear it. Wearing it doesn't mean I have to be quiet or less-sociable. It's all about knowing where the line is and knowing well enough not to cross it.
  4. Wearing the headscarf liberates me. It does not oppress me or take away my freedom because this is my choice. It is my act of worship towards Allah. It is a symbol of my submission to Him. And it comes with benefits that are good for me. So again, if it's my choice. How is it a form of oppression ??

  5. Wearing the hijab is not just about whether you can see my hair or not, it's about modesty. It's about being modest in every way and everything I do. Modesty is a sense of shame. It is humbling myself in this temporary dunya. And besides, a woman's true beauty isn't seen. It's discovered. Hijab or non-hijab. 
I've had so many times where I would just think to myself and ask, "Am I really going to do this ?" followed by whispers of the shaytan luring me into going on Instagram and going on profiles of different girls to admire their long pretty hair. And then I realize that this is the test and I can't fail any longer. Allah SWT has given me so much. Blessed me with so much. And yet I couldn't do this one thing He asks of me ? One thing that is good for me. I can't live like for the rest of my life. This world is temporary anyway. 

During one of my Elementary Accounting classes, I sat beside my classmate Priya. I've never spoken to her before, but she looked at me and said "Eh, *pointing to my headscarf* you look really nice ! Used to be free hair, right ?" It made me so happy. And this was coming from a non muslim who might not really understand the purpose of hijab fully and yet she could still tell me that I look nice in it. I wish everyone was that supportive, regardless of what race or religion you are. If someone wants to change for the better, support them. I think these days it's come to a point where muslims are making it harder for other muslims to cover up more than the non-muslims. We have all these people, who are trying to cover up, who are practicing and working on their journey to become better, and then you have this other group of people who go "But your jeans are still tight", or "You pakai macam tu, sama je macam tak pakai tudung." or "Pakai tudung tapi perangai macam tu, baik tak payah." Why must you say that ? Why can't you say something like "Hey, I think it's really really great that you wear the hijab. I'm so proud of you for taking that big step once upon a time,  but I think you'd look perfect if your clothes were a little looser" end with a smiley face or a bunch of xo's. I think if everyone was that nice to each other, the journey of a lot of girls wearing the hijab would be a lot more peaceful and happy. I think we should appreciate those who are trying. We should appreciate the efforts their putting into to be better. Nobody is perfect. I myself, can't let go of my skinny jeans yet but hey, at least I'm one step closer now that my hair isn't showing and my tops aren't as tight ? Appreciate the effort. Be happy for one another. Get rid of the hate. All of you ! Nobody is benefiting from your atrocious comments so stop it.

Okay wow, this post took a while to put together. Coming from an 18 year-old who still has A LOT to learn, this whole thing might have made you question what I'm saying and if I'm even making sense.. hahaha. But I tried and I hope I managed to enlighten everyone on why the hijab is important to me, and what the hijab means to me. You might disagree, you might say that this and this contradicts or this is a wrong way of seeing it. But please respect that this is my point of view. I don't need anything rude or nasty and I don't need you questioning me on what I think is right for me. Anyway, sorry if there are any slight spelling or grammatical errors, I never really double check any of my posts before I hit publish, I just go through them to make sure they're readable haha. 

If you're on a journey to become better too, I'm praying for you ! 

"To love God is not to be obedient, but to love what you're doing in order to please God."

54 comments:

  1. Congratulations izza! im so proud of you :) your post really really inspired me, i mean it! do what is the best for you izza! -A

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    1. Thank you so so much ! May Allah bless you xx

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  2. Ohhh salam Izza!!:) i looove ur posts and always and i am super happy knowing that u are into headscarf now..May Allah bless u and keep it up my sister! Yes dear dont bother all those negative comments,this is a test from Allah and sometimes the syaitans trying to influence ur mind, but everyday make du'a and be patient insyaAllah u can pull it through.;) I agree people are suppose to slowly advice girls on wearing hijab not bash them! well hope ure doing greatt..heres to Jannah 🙏

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    1. Waalaikummusalam ! Thank you ! And May Allah bless you too. Your comment means so much to me. I'm doing great, alhmadulillah. Hope you are as well, and yes, here's to Jannah xx

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  3. thank you izza for this post. made me think more about it.

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    1. You're welcome Sha, thanks for reading ! x

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  4. Deep into my heart! I love your entry every each. Keep it up the good work, may Allah bless you pretty!

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  5. Deep into my heart! i love your entry every each! Keep it up the good work. May Allah bless everything you do pretty

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  6. Deep into my heart! i love your entry every each! Keep it up the good work. May Allah bless everything you do pretty

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    1. Awww thank you so much !! May Allah bless you too. xx

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  7. Loove this ! You couldn't have said it better. You're such an inspiration even for us girls who already wear hijab. may Allah bless you xoxo

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    1. Thank you so so much ! Your comment means a lot to me and may Allah bless you too xx

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  8. hi izza. i hv been following you on instagram for quite long time and just found yr blog are so interesting. i hv been seeing you in those you mentions above and proud to see you now. keep it up! moga istiqamah. oh and can i hv yr email? i wanna share with you something. if you dont mind. May Allah bless you dearest and ease you in everything. keep inspiring. *hugs*

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    1. Hi Wanie, thank you so much. You're so sweet. And yes sure sure, it's izza.atirah@hotmail.com :) May Allah bless you too, again thank you for your comment ! Means a lot to me. xx

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  9. Masha Allah, may Allah bless and ease all your efforts to please Him. Xoxo.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind doa ! May Allah bless you as well. xoxo

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  10. this blog post is simply amazing ��

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  11. Im thinking of making a blog. Do you have any tips for me ? xx

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    1. You should ! Haha not really, just make sure you update regularly and be yourself when you write your posts. x

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    2. Hi Izza! I'm a year older than you and I, too, started covering up around the same time you did, which for me was last year in March. Reading this made me remember all the reasons I decided to don the hijab, and made me feel very warm inside knowing that someone knows EXACTLY what it was/is like. I absolutely loved reading this post, thank you for taking the time to write something not many have the words and ability to say. May God bless you and your journey always, Izza. Have a blessed year ahead! <3

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    3. ^ Sorry, that was meant to be an individual comment and not a reply! I'm not the Anonymous above! Just clarifying hehe.

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    4. Hii ! So happy someone could relate to me, and of course happy that you're donning the hijab now too. You're welcome haha, and thank you so much for the sweet comment. May Allah bless you with all that you do xx

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  12. I really adore you Kak Izza 💕 You're such an inspiration to me. I enjoyed reading ur blog. Looking forward for ur post here 📩I wish i can bump into you anywhere cause you are relly pretty. InsyaAllah God bless you. Do pray for me too.

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    1. Thank you so much ! You're too sweet. Haha hopefully we'll bump into each other one day, I'm not that pretty though ! InsyaAllah. May God bless you, and I am ! :) x

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  13. Hey you remember me? I'm the one who said I had a crush on you since you're in form1 in BJ (I'm a girl, no worries haha) Anyway yes, I'm there when you're still wearing your short skirt and sleeveless dress till you're fully covered. I feel amazing to know you even from far. I know you'll feel awkward bcs most of your friends are still wearing shorts and skirts and dress and I really hope you're okay with that and never have the i-miss-being-freehair-and-wearing-those-things bcs honestly, I've been there. Alhamdulillah for your new looks. I'm sure your parents, friends and boyfriend feel proud of you and of course, Allah the Almighty. And eyy I really have to say you have such a nice personality, inside and out. (I stalk your tumblr a lot previously and now I'm gonna be your loyal blogreader hehe)

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    1. HI ! And yes, I remember. Thank you ! And I hope I never feel that way too, so far I haven't and I'm praying that Allah will make me strong enough to resist my nafs and temptations. haha and yes they (family, friends, boyfriend) are proud of me ! Super grateful. Ahhh my personality has it's flaws though, thank you so much. x

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  14. Congratulations on your hijrah Izza! May Allah bless you. (going anon- bcs clearly, I'm not ready to let everyone know that I'm on my way to cover up completely too. Not a creep seriously. Haha)

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    1. Thank you ! Amin. And may Allah bless you too. Haha it's fine, like I said, take your time. x

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  15. One question, how do you wear your tudung?! Make a tutorial pls! xx

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    1. Really simple ! I think I wear it like a lot of people do.. shorter side on either right or left, mine is right. I tuck it the shorter side in my top, or I either pin it up on my head (like above my ear ) to give my tudung a bit more volume so it doesn't lay totally flat on my head, and wrap the longer side around and pin each side :)

      I usually leave the longer part dangling after I do that, but today during my cousin's nikah, I took the dangly side and wrap it again once more and pin it at the back of my head to make it look neater.

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  16. So proud of you izza, youre so inspiring! May allah bless you xo

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    1. Thank you so much ! May Allah bless you too. Amin. xo

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  17. U are the kind of person who has the power to inspire people in this society we live in. So pls, do more of that. Let the world know what's inside our head bcs not everyone is capable of putting our feelings into words. And i admire all the changes that u made onto urself. we both know each other, but we rarely talk, so u dont really have to know who i am. Just keep up the good work babe! May Allah ease ur way xoxo :)

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    1. Thank you ! That was a huge compliment for me, I swear. I hope I'm able to do that, its an incredible thing to be able to inspire and help other people.If we both know each other and we rarely talk, we should change that ! :( But yes, insyaAllah I'll continue doing whatever it is I'm doing now haha. May Allah bless you ! xo

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  18. I think you write really well and May Allah bless you x

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    1. Thank you so much ! May Allah bless you too xx

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  19. We need more positive people in this world. I've seen so many harsh comments on Instagram, I'm starting to think that the society are insensitive. Each of us, we sin differently. But remember, our sins are not greater than Allah's mercy. Who are we to judge other people? We shall remind each other to do good, not by insulting them when they make mistakes. I love love love your post! I really hope this writing will inspire those women who are just starting to wear the scarf.

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    1. Agreed ! Especially the "our sins are not greater than Allah's mercy" part. Thank you so much :) x

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  20. Reading this helps me a lot tho.Thought of covering up soon but then I still get a little distracted by all the short dresses I see.It's really hard for me to actually change.But ur blog really inspires me! Thanks for sharing xx

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    1. You have such a beautiful name ! That's really good, I'm happy you thought about it but yeah don't commit to it if you're not ready. I've seen a lot of girls who wear it and then take it off, it's really sad to watch. And yeah, I totally understand about it being hard, covering up is a HUGE step. No problem ! x

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  21. Hi assalamualaikum. Im a big fan of you seriously. Ive been following your ig since early last year and first time seeing you in hijab made me go wow so glad you tried tudung and i was so happy and hoping you'd wear them permanently as i also started wearing them early last year. You look better in hijab tho :) may Allah showers you with His blessings

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    1. Waalaikumussalam. Thank you so much ! I honestly don't think I'm worthy of having a fan / fans but so flattered nonetheless. Alhamdulillah for both of us ! :) May Allah bless you eternally. x

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  22. Hi izza. You're such an inspiration. You just make me fall in love over hijab. Btw you write so good. I would like to ask where did you get styles to wear hijab?? Coz I want to wear it so bad but I cant find the right style since I have a round face... do you have any recommendations for blogpost or instagram or youtube acc that has the best styles??

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    1. Hi ! Thank you, and it's really great that you're falling in love with the hijab. I usually look at the people in my university and see how they wear their tudung haha. You should just type "hijab tutorial" on youtube, you'll find so many videos. You should try whichever you think is nice and if you find one then go with that :)

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  23. Hey Izza! I just wanted to say that this post is one of my fav! I actually just graduated from MSU last June. I used to be free hair until last April out of nowhere I just decided to wear hijab. It was a struggle for me at first coz I'm a mix (Chinese) and most of my friends are not in hijab. I'm sure you would understand that kind of lifestyle. Basically I couldn't agree more on the points that you wrote. I wish all the people out there will read this post and open up their "close mindset". I wish you all the best and may Allah blessed you always ♥

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    1. Hi Roselyn ! I'm glad you liked the post, and congratulations on graduating ! (6 months late but its okay haha). It's a struggle for most I think, and I totally understand, really happy for you ! InsyaAllah this post will somehow reach out to a lot more people. Thank you sooo much and may Allah bless you too xx

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  24. hey izza,just wanna let you know that this post is one of my favvvvv and guess what..at school i was given an assignment to write about a person that inspires me and i wrote about you cos you have inspired me a lot so thank you sis..

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    1. Hii ! Glad it's your favourite, mine too hehe. I teared up reading that you wrote about me for your assignment !! Honestly never thought I could inspire anyone or even have someone write about how inspiring I am. So, sooo, soooo touched. Thank you for making my day <3

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  25. Hi Izza! We're acquainted but I think the last time we spoke was mAANY years ago hahah. I just recently stumbled upon you again on IG and that's how I ended up here. I doubt you remember me so I'll leave my identity undisclosed, hahah. Just wanted to say it's really nice to see how much you've grown as a person. This post left me feeling so warm on the inside, I'm not even kidding!! It was really nice to see how much the tudung and Allah have affected you in such a good way. I'm nowhere near the level of spirituality that you have reached and I don't remember why I felt compelled to write this comment lol. Keep doing you bc the world needs more people who inspire positivity and love. You have a beautiful heart. X

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    1. Hi ! Aww in that case we should start speaking again ! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a sweet comment. It really means a lot when someone tells me that something I wrote has managed to touch them in some way. And nooo spirituality shouldn't be measured in levels, I think we're all about the same, really. Still a lot to learn and a lot to figure out haha. Reading your comment made me extremely happy, thanks again ! xx

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  26. Hey this was really interesting to read! I'm glad you made the choice for yourself but honestly I feel so bad whenever I see traditional muslim people telling more liberal Muslims to cover up, like seriously don't force them
    You look very nice. Hijabi and modest fashion is actually very very stylish!

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    1. Glad it was ! Yeah, from what I've learned, Islam itself doesn't encourage forcing anyone. Thank you so much xx

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