Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Being Too Holy...To Some, That Is.

Last week i flew back to Kelantan. I don’t usually jump up for joy whenever my dad announces that it’s time to go back to Tanah Merah. I know that does sound really awful, but hey, i can’t help it! When you try hard to strike up a conversation with your cousins but some of them are indifferent towards you, it’s hard to be happy.

Whatever it is, i try to talk to my cousins. Yes, i do realize that they are shy because my family and i are the only ones who aren’t from Kelantan and can’t speak kelantanese for nuts; but damn...it’s been like what...19 years already? I think that excuse is irrelevant by now.
Anyway...when i was talking to Kak Long, she mentioned how she wondered at the fact that i can live in KL while wearing tuhijab. I didn’t think i understood her statement properly, so i asked again.

Macam mane Kak Sofiya boleh duduk kat KL? Kak Sofiya pakai tudung tapi kat KL ramai orang tak pakai.”

I guess from what she said, i kinda understood what she was really trying to ask and i kinda figured what she is going through at the moment because once upon a time, i went through the same thing.

She didn’t have to tell me, but i knew that she was thinking of the challenges girls in tudung have to face- in cities, that is. In Kelantan, almost all girls wear tudung, whether or not they have reached puberty. It’s just the societal norm there. If you don’t cover your hair, you would most probably feel uncomfortable. No, they won’t kick you out of the stores or strike you while you’re on the streets, you would only feel uneasy.

Yes, there are challenges that we girls in tudung (who live in cities- or anywhere for that matter) have to face.

I’m sure some of you might be thinking, “What on earth is she talking about?”

Well, not everyone faces this. It totally depends where you stay and who you’re friends with. Those two powerful factors can cause a big impact on your life if you don’t know how to deal with it.

As a teenager, the decision to cover your aurah is not an easy one. There are a lot of things in life that seem very tempting and therefore often cause you to rethink of your actions-mostly doing good. Being in a typical teenage phase, wanting to fit in with the crowd is a normal and at the same time, very crucial; that it mostly ends up turning into peer pressure.

Once you cover yourself properly, there will be changes. Obviously. There are all good changes, i dare say; that there aren’t any bad ones. But, i can’t deny of the fact that you have to be really strong for you not to get influenced by peer pressure.

At certain places, girls who wear tudung will not be looked at. By boys, i mean. At this age, boys prefer girls who are attractive and sexy. I’m not saying that girls in tudung aren’t; it’s just that boys are reluctant to approach us because we seem to be...clean and...pure.

And sometimes they see us as being TOO HOLY.

With that being said, that often causes many girls to rethink to cover themselves. They want to have the life that everyone around them has. They want the attention from boys. The fact that guys don’t approach you because you choose to be a good Muslim does hurt. They sometime make it seem that the initiative to be a good person is a bad thing. If they hear that you pray five times a day, you’re totally religious. If you don’t want to do the bad things, then you’re uncool. But like i mentioned before, you have to be strong. You have to push away all those worldly desires and remind yourself that this sacrifice is worth it in the end. Think of all the positive things. Tell yourself that what these people are going through is just a dumb phase.

It’s hard but it can be done.

Life can be very tempting, i know. But this is what the hijab is for. It curbs you from doing bad things. It may not be the best way to prevent someone from doing naughty things, but hey! It does count. When you wear the hijab, you’re aware of your identity as a Muslim and if you are serious about your religion, you wouldn’t want to do anything to taint it.

It’s not easy but it can be done.


Ahmad Rashaad said...

"It’s just the societal norm there."

"It's a must not a norm." It's a must!

diana said...

wow..very inspirational, beb. i like how you write this post. it's long but it doesn't feel that long when you read it. cos ppl don't get tired halfway through reading it. see sofiya you totally don't need to learn how to crap. sometimes straightforward is exactly the way to go!

rif the great said...

friends do play a big role in influencing our life.
u just have to pick the right ones!

all the best to u sofiya. n dont give up. for me, some girls look nicer wearing hijab.

Farah Alias said...

i LOOVVEE ur post!

beb said...

rashad: heyyyy. ade org yg x pakai tudung la. haha

diana: thanks, diana. but i still want to get good grades for my tests, you know :(

rifqi: hahahaha. yeah. a HUGE impact.

farah: u do??? maybe i should write more of these things :)

textbook said...

Hey all...I don't know about Malaysia. But Singapore is a total new experience about the way we look at girls wearing tudung. But too bad not Muslim boys themselves..usually what I have observe are the Chinese guys. They feel that tudung girls give them sense of security, homely and respect! therefore if you come to Singapore alot muslim boys look like chinese but they are muslim because of their parents...Chinese and Muslim mixture. In term of Religion, the chinese have no problem to convert themselves. And surprisingly many chinese convert before marriage or called it a self conversion before marriage. The reason is Islam has lead a truth path....(sorry for non-muslim..no offence and sorry all for talking about religion here..)

Agnes Han-Ying Ong said...

Well-written. I salute your willpower.