Wow!! Firstly let me start off by saying, I am in no way good with words. In fact I hardly find the time to read, unless it's the subtitles of a movie I really wanted to see. The only time I would sit down and type anything is an email.
However I’m here so treat me kindly.
Ok, so let explain how I came to write this post.
I grew up as most men in western societies do. Thinking that the woman we see in movies and magazines are what we should be looking for in a partner, at least physically.
So when Fatima “dropped the Bomb” on me that she wanted to start wearing hijab, I was very shocked to put it mildly. First thing that came to mind, was loose fitting clothes that looked like parachutes behind her as she walked, tight heard scarves that would cover her sleek dark black hair (oops can I say that?!), which is one of her features that attracted me to her in the first place. I remember thinking, 'Why would she feel the need to cover up, she’s still young!' and at the same time I personalised it by thinking, 'Dude you're still young, how odd we are going to look in public!'
So, I found myself dropping subtle hints, wondering if she would pick up on what I was trying to say. Although at times I was as subtle as shattering glass. Things like, “Are you sure you ready for this? It a big commitment!” to, “seriously I don’t want to be married to my mum!”. ( OUCH I know!!!) But I was desperate. I’ve never seen any young woman looking fashionable in hijab, and let’s be honest, the only times I would see young woman wearing hijab would be in Ramadan, but mostly when you ladies need to grab something quick at the store and had no time to get done.
I realise how I may come across to most of you who don’t know me (and probably some of you that do too), however the picture I paint, be it slightly distorted, is how I feel most guys who grew up in the same sort of environment I did, (in my opinion) would react to this.
I say this, because I do know of guys who feel or felt the same way I did (yeah we talk).
Now Fatima was never someone to wear a skimpy outfit that shows off a lot of skin (but she would never judge anyone for doing so). However she would always be dressed up. Obviously, I thought all that would change once she started wearing hijab.
Her transformation however was something beautiful.
Fatima was generally a shy and quiet person who never really spoke or interacted with anyone unless they made the initial contact. At the same time she had a sort of hidden confidence about her that only really came to the surface if and when she decided she really knew you. To most people that had met her at that time, she would have seemed maybe a bit too quiet. Almost as if she had an invisible veil, which shielded her from the world.
All through our five years (going on six Insha Allah) of being married, Fatima has always been the one that reminded me of my Creator, she would remind me constantly that it's prayer time and to turn off the TV, sometimes to the extent that we would have mini arguments around who wears the pants in the relationship (I think she might just let me believe I do). So the link she had even at that time to our Creator was way stronger than mine.
In hindsight maybe her choice in donning the hijab should not have come as such a surprise to me.
Now every year during Ramadan most Muslim females in Cape Town wear hijab and Fatima like everyone else followed suite. However, after Ramadan 2011 she never took it off. It was then when I saw noticeable changes in her. Fatima went from being shy and timid, to being someone that exudes confidence. Openly engaging with people and ultimately starting this blog. It’s as if the Hijab replaced the invisible veil she wore and transformed her to who she is today.
Although her ultimate goal was to be closer to our Creator, she always had me in mind. It may have been easier to don her hijab without thinking about what I was thinking. After all, this is what our religion asks of you sisters and who am I to ever ask of her otherwise.
Thankfully she took a different approach, always including or at least informing me of her decisions, but asking for my input too. She would initiate many the conversation about her wearing hijab, what clothes she would be wearing that day and most importantly for HER, if I liked what she wore. It was through this interaction with Fatima which warmed me up to her wearing hijab, brought us closer together and brought me closer to my creator.
Alhamdulillah, to this day almost every outfit she through together, I loved!
I must admit that seeing the amount of effort it takes to wear hijab and to cover up as much as possible is not something I could put myself through, so BIG UP to everyone on this journey!
I finally see the importance of being a supportive husband whilst your wife is going through this transformation. It is by no means an easy task; western media will not allow her to feel beautiful dressed in hijab. It’s has always been YOUR job to do so! Surprise yourself and let her surprise you.
Realising that not everyone is ready to take on this epic journey, whether you are a sister thinking about taking the leap or a hubby who like I was, is afraid of what happens next.
I say to you “Small steps make a big difference”.
Fatima I know you said don’t personalise my post too much, but babe keep doing what you do if you manage to inspire one person on your journey you have fulfilled the mandate you gave yourself.
Ebrahim (I guess I’m MrMe?)
|The crazy 4. Missing 2.|
|At our home studio! Chroma Creative Photography... that's me!|
Oh and he's a good write right?
Lotsa love for you guys!