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I remember when my daughter was just learning to walk. As I watched her, she fell multiple times, then got right back up. I was amazed because, through her actions, she was teaching me that we come into this world knowing that it takes resilience to make it in life. Her innate determination made me realize one thing, "Babies teach us that we were meant to fall and get back up."

As we grow up, we forget what it was like to be courageous despite challenges. But the truth is, we really were built to persevere. Jannah isn't earned through giving up. Getting your dream career or house isn't gained by giving up. Taking care of your old parents or working for your family will not happen if you give up. If you're trying to get a high score on your exam, lose weight, gain weight, or learn a new language, just know that it will for sure not happen if you give up.

Are you trying to memorize the Qur'an? Are you struggling with praying all your five daily prayers on time? Guess what, it won't happen if you give up. Life is all about falling and getting back up. And when we fear to fall, that's when we really fail. This speaks right into my soul as I believe it probably does to yours as well.


Children are a great example to remind us of how we started on this earth. We may have forgotten how it was, but we are given multiple chances to reset the button or continue the journey with hopes. That's not to say that it will be easy today, tomorrow, or even the hundredth time. But what it does mean is that
with every chance we take, we improve. And as we improve, we get closer to our goal. 
Observing my daughter struggle to walk yet not giving up was a valuable lesson for me. I was worried every time her feet wobbled. And when she fell, that was the worse feeling for me. I tried numerous times to stop her and let her know that it was enough for today and that I was proud of her. But, her determination didn't allow me to stop her from her next milestone. She kept going.

Every time I forget this moment and pity myself through my struggles, I'm quickly reminded to knock it off and remember where I started. Really, babies do teach us that we were indeed meant to fall and get right back up!

As I was writing this blog post, my other child fell down from a chair and started crying. Guess what ... that little kid went right back up on that chair after crying! See what I mean? We were built to persevere; subhanallah.

Are you struggling to accomplish something that means a lot to you? Guess what, be ready to fall multiple times before finally making it. Don't expect others to care about goals more than you. Most people won't even care if ate today or the whole weak; as disappointing as it may sound. Everyone has his/her own struggles. Make small steps towards your goals. It's okay to be afraid of failing to a certain degree. But what's not okay is letting the fears stop you. You got this.



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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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There are many inspiring quotes in the world that motivate us to be the best version of ourselves and keep pushing through struggles. But as Muslims, the highest forms of inspiration are the ones that not only benefit us in this world but also in the Hereafter.

These following ten quotes have been taken from various parts of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to inspire us and remind us of our reality in this world and what's to come after we die.

Mercy of Allah
1. "Say, 'O My servants who have transgressed against themselves (by sinning), do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
Surah Az-Zumar (39:53)

2. "When Allah decreed the creation, He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with him, 'My mercy prevails over my wrath.'" Al Bukhari, Muslim, and others.

Acts of worship
3. "The most beloved actions to Allah are those performed consistently, even if they are few." Al Bukhari

4. "Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds, the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection." Surah Maryam (19:96)

Love for others
5. "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Al Bukhari and Muslim

6. "Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the grievances of the Day of Judgment ..." Sahih Muslim

Jannah/Paradise
7. "Indeed, the righteous will be among shades and springs, and fruits from whatever they desire." Surah Mursalat (77:41-42)

8. "Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying], 'Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.'" Surah Ar-Ra'd (13:23-24)

Marriage
9. "And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought." Surah A- Rum (30:21)

Reminder
10. "O mankind, indeed the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver."

May Allah make all these beautiful words be a source of inspiration, empowerment, and motivation to stay strong, humbled, and be guided to the right path.
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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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When traveling as Muslims, there are usually four concerns that come to mind. "Is the country safe for Muslims? Is it easy to find masajid/masjids there? Can I find halal food?" And if you have children, "Is it family friendly?" Many Muslims travel for reasons such as holiday, the life experience of seeing different cultures, trying different traditional and authentic food, and probably even finding a new place to call home. So we've compiled a diverse list to explore and hopefully make your choice of destination easier.

By the way, the list isn't in any particular order.

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1. Qatar
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Qatar is a small Middle Eastern country with a population of approximately 2.6 million inhabitants. It is a welcoming country full of culture, diversity, and foreigners (i.e. expats) who make up about 85.7% of the population. Muslims are about 67.7% because of the country's high number of expats. The national language is Arabic, although, English is widely spoken and is the unofficial national language. Qatar is considered the richest country in the world as of 2017.


It is a family-friendly country which many people around the world chose to call home. One of its most recent and amazing architecture is the Qatar National Library which is located in the capital city of Doha. The library has more than 800,000 books in English, Arabic, and other languages readily available for free for Qatari citizens and residents. It has a large children's center and is family friendly.

Qatar is definitely one of those countries that everyone should try to visit. However, if you are planning on working there or visiting today, just keep in mind of the recent diplomatic crisis between Qatar and some Middle Eastern and African countries that banned Qatar.

2. Tanzania
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Tanzania is a country on the east coast of Africa with a population of about 55.6 million, of whom 35.2% are Muslims. Although English is one of the national languages of Tanzania, Swahili is the first official language and more widely spoken. The capital city is Dar es Salaam.
Zanzibar, a majority Muslim-populated city, is probably the easiest and best place for Muslims to visit for halal food and masjids.

Tanzania is known to have amazing food and culture, beautiful beaches, wildlife, and national parks. If you have children, a visit to Tanzania could be a breathtaking learning experience for them.

If you choose Tanzania as a destination, it may benefit you to learn a few words or phrases in Swahili to enrich your experience. And when you land, you may be welcomed with the saying "Karibu (welcome)."

3. Malaysia
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Malaysia is one of those countries that are usually on the list when looking for a travel destination for Muslims. This list was meant to create a more diverse option, but we still couldn't take Malaysia out of the list.

Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a country with a population of more than 30 million, 61.3% of whom are Muslims. One thing that attracts many people to Malaysia is the affordable lifestyle it provides, the widely accessible halal food options, and prayer facilities.

The capital Kuala Lumpur is busy and is the ideal place to shop and find halal restaurants. But if you're looking for a more natural and peaceful experience, the city of Langkawi should be on your list. If you decide to visit Malaysia, try to learn a few phrases in Malay, although, English is also widely spoken.

4. Oman
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For whatever reasons, Oman is barely seen on lists of Muslim-friendly countries to visit. However, almost everyone who visits this country has nothing but the best things to say. Oman is a Middle Eastern and Muslim-populated country (mainly the Ibadi sect) located next to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The country is large, although its population is only about 4.4 million. The capital and largest city of Oman is Muscat, which is also the most visited city.

People who visit Oman often talk a lot about its hospitality and peaceful atmosphere. What makes this country stand out is that it remains relatively true to its traditional way of life, welcomes modernity to a certain level, and doesn't go crazy overboard with competing in making tall buildings.

Even though Oman is mostly desert, it also has landscapes with mountains, trees, and beautiful bodies of water. One of the most interesting things about Oman is Frankincense! Frankincense is a type of resin that comes from a tree and is burned to use as incense or perfume. It is widely available in Oman, so if you visit, make sure to get some on your way back.

By the way, don't forget to learn a little bit of Arabic before going. You may get away with English, but to make matters easier, have someone interpret or learn at least a few important phrases in Arabic.

5. Senegal
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Located on the west coast of Africa, Senegal is a Muslim-populated country of about 15.4 million inhabitants. The capital city is Dakar and the official language is French, although, Wolof is the most widely spoken language.

Senegal is a very hospitable country with amazing food. One of its most popular dishes is Tchebou Djen or Tchebou Yap (a special rice dish with lots of vegetables with either meat or fish). It has most of West African countries hooked and each tries to replicate the dish in its own way. If you're familiar with Nigerians, you've probably heard of a version of it as Jolof Rice. And if you're familiar with Ivorians, you probably know the rice as Rie Gras.

An experience not to miss while in Senegal is the traditional drinking of tea! It is common to see families and friends gathered around little teapots and clear glasses to talk and drink a very strong yet tasty tea.
If you go to Senegal, make sure you tell them "Assalaam alaikum, Nangadef (how are you)" upon arrival.

6. Bosnia
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Bosnia is a country located in the eastern part of Europe with a population of about 3.5 million. Half of the its inhabitants are Muslims. The capital city is Sarajevo, which is also the largest city in the country. The national languages are Bosnian, Croatian,  and Serbian.

Bosnia has lots of tragic history that every Muslim should probably know about. So visiting the country may give you a chance to learn a lot and see historical buildings. Not only that, it has beautiful landscapes, is affordable to live in, and finding halal food should be easy.

7. Maldives
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The Maldives usually ranks among the top when listing holiday countries because of its scenery, peaceful and simple lifestyles, beautiful weather, and its activity options. It is comprised of a group of multiple islands located in the Indian Ocean with a population of less than half a million (437k). The capital city is Male, the official language is Maldivian, and Islam is the official religion.

Being an officially Muslim country, finding halal food, halal hotels, and a Muslim lifestyle should be easy.

8. South Africa
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South Africa is a country in the southern part of Africa next to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia. It has three capital cities with Cape Town being the legislative capital. Its population is 57.7 million, and only 1.5% are Muslims. The country has eleven official languages with English, Xhosa, and Afrikaans being the most spoken languages.

Of all the cities in South Africa, Cape Town is the most Muslim-friendly city. Finding halal food and hotels that accommodate the Muslim lifestyle is a breeze.

9. Kenya
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Kenya is located in East Africa next to Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan South Sudan. It has a population of 49.1 million and 9.7% of them are Muslims. The capital city is Nairobi and it has two official languages, English and Swahili.

Kenya is a hospitable and diverse country. Most Muslims can be found in Nairobi where finding halal food and masjids is easy.

To take advantage of what Kenya has to offer, you may want to also visit the Nairobi National Park and go on a safari trip to see the breathtaking wildlife.

10. Mauritius

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Mauritius is an island located in the Indian Ocean with 1.2 million inhabitants, and 17.3% of them are Muslims. Its capital city is Port Louis and the national languages are French and English.

If you love nature, Mauritius may be a good fit for you. It has beautiful scenery, nature reserves, and parks with amazing wildlife. To top it all, the weather is mostly pleasant throughout the year.

To have an overall pleasant experience as a Muslim, major cities may be the best places to visit.



As always, do your research before going to any foreign country.
Are there any countries you think should have made it to the list? For example, Turkey should have probably been included, but it's such a popular destination that it had to be given a rest; at least this time. What about countries you believe shouldn't have been on the list? Share your opinions in the comment section below.
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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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Traveling can be an enriching experience because it exposes you to different cultures, languages, food, and helps you meet people you probably wouldn't have had the chance to meet before. But when traveling, it is important to do research on your destination. The list of things to know before traveling may become a little longer if you're a Muslim. So here are ten things for Muslim travelers to consider before traveling.

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1. Cost
It is a must to think about the overall cost of your trip before planning. If it isn't in your budget, it probably should be on your list just yet. Some of the costs you will encounter for a travel experience will include visa (if applicable), the cost of transportation to the destination (i.e. plane, cruise, bus, train, etc), the cost of the hotel or place you'd be staying, food, local transportation, leisure/amusement (especially if you have children), and probably more, depending on what you plan on doing and for how long you'd be there.


2. Politics
There are many countries around the world with political unrest. It's a sad reality because everyone deserves to live in safety, but that doesn't always happen. You wouldn't want to be unexpectedly caught up in the middle of chaos. In addition, not every country is Muslim-friendly, so keep that in mind before planning your travel.

3. Documents
If you're traveling internationally, having a current (not expired) passport would be crucial. Depending on your passport, you may not have the green light to just go to a new country without a visa. Some passports such as American, British, and Canadian open doors to many other countries because of the special diplomatic relationship they may have with those countries. So make sure to visit your embassy's website to check if you would be required to get a visa.

4. Healthcare
Try to have an idea of the specific health concerns of the country and take precautions accordingly if required. Your embassy may be the best place to get such information. You can also ask those who have been there before.
If you're planning on making your destination your new home (i.e. hijrah), then getting information about the country's healthcare system may be important. Helpful questions to keep in mind will be:
"Will my family and I be covered if I work at this company?
Do non-residents or non-citizens get free healthcare?
How much is the healthcare system for expats or immigrants?"

5. Culture 
Learning a little about the culture of the country you plan on visiting is important. People have different ways of living, have different belief systems, and will probably have specific traditions that may be completely foreign to you. Even if you go to a Muslim-populated country, don't expect to understand everything you see. You may share the same religion, but it doesn't mean you would necessarily share the same culture. Be open-minded and respectful, even if you disagree with the local customs. 

6. Language
There are hundreds of languages around the world. So always make sure you have an idea of the local language of the country you plan on visiting. If it's a completely different language, try to see if you could go with someone who speaks the language, meet someone locally who can help interpret and guide you, or just give yourself time to learn the language. Regardless of what you decide, it is important to make an effort to learn at least a few important words and phrases of the local language. It shows respect and consideration for the locals, it would make life a little easier for you, help you be more independent, and give you a chance to mix with the locals.

7. Masjid/Place of Prayer
This one is especially crucial for men because they are either required or recommended to pray at the masjid. But having any place of prayer is also important. For example, if you go to a mall with your family and the time for salah/prayer comes, would there easily be a place where you could all pray? That's readily available in some countries, but not so much in others.

8. Transportation
Once in the country, how do you plan on moving around? Do you plan on renting a car, taking taxis/Uber, or using public transportation such as a train or bus? Try to find out how the local transportation system works.

9. Halal Food
If you're used to seeing halal groceries stores and restaurants where you live, you may not understand that not everyone has that luxury. There are many countries and cities where finding halal food is like climbing a mountain. So keep that in mind before traveling.

10. Weather 
Many people don't usually think about this one, but depending on where you plan to go, it may be crucial to know about the local weather. The weather in some countries are extremely hot almost year-round, and there are some countries that are extremely cold. Also, there are other countries where the rainy season is very long. Having an idea of the weather will prepare you to dress accordingly or cross the country off the list if you don't think you could bear the weather.

No matter where you want to go and how long you plan on staying there, always make extensive research before making a move. It will also help to talk to people who live in those countries or have been there before. Make clear your purpose for traveling because depending on your reason, you may find different information. The internet is full of information, so take advantage of it while still taking your precautions.

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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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Sister Aisha is an author, a blogger, and a psychologist who has a special interest in the psyche of children. She loves inspiring people through her authorship and by writing on her blog. I’m thrilled to be interviewing her today and have her share a little bit of psychology-related wisdom. 


1.Umm Sumayyah: Assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh Sister Aisha. How are you today?

Sister Aisha: Walaikum assalam warahmatullah wabarakatuh. Alhamdulilah.

2.UmmS: Thank you very much for your willingness to be interviewed on Global Muslim Writers. I’ve shared a little about you. Please, tell us more about who Aisha is.

Sister Aisha: Jazakillah khair for providing me this platform to introduce myself. Okay, so, as you know, I am Aisha, a psychologist and I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. I have been working as a freelance writer for about seven years now and I blog about life, books, and food. I recently published my first book and I am currently working on a project for parents and teachers.

3.Umm Sumayyah: Maa shaa Allah, you must have your hands full!
I believe the topic of psychology is of great importance; especially in the Muslim community. Please, give us an introduction to what psychology is?

Sister Aisha: In simple words, psychology is the study of human behaviour, and understanding why they do the things they do. It is the study of perceptions of the mind, how the thought processes, and how cognition takes place. 

4.Umm Sumayyah: Why did you decide to study psychology and what inspired you?

Sister Aisha: It was during my pre-meds when I started taking interest in psychology. Even though I was planning to study medicine, I took some time out to research about psychology. I was always keen on helping people get to a solution, observing them and sometimes just pondering over how certain things happen in life. So, after discovering some psychology textbooks in my high school library, I was fascinated by the subject. After getting my pre-meds results, I did some more research, tried to imagine myself as both a psychologist and a doctor, did Istikhara and eventually registered for a test in a psychology institute.

5.Umm Sumayyah: This brings me memories. I love the topic of human behavior, but, I’m more on the social part of it. Is the focus of human behavior in psychology specific to individual studies or society as a whole?

Sister Aisha: It is focused on individual studies and studying personalities and characteristics as a whole. I would say studying society as a whole is more a part of sociology than psychology.

6.Umm Sumayyah: Right! Are there different types of psychology? If so, please share some of them with us.

Sister Aisha: Ahhh, there are so many branches of psychology. Just to name a few, there is Abnormal Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Environmental Psychology and the list goes on. 

7.Umm Sumayyah: For someone who is completely unaware, what is one major difference you would say is between them?

Sister Aisha: Umm, a major difference ... I can't give it a term but I can tell you that each of these branches focuses on a different topic and studies it in detail. 

8.Umm Sumayyah: How does being a psychologist influence you in your personal life?

Sister Aisha: I would say I have become more selective in the people that stay a part of my life. I mean, I no more entertain people who can be a negative influence in my life; I have learned to set my boundaries with people. Also, having a better control over my reactions simplifies some difficult interactions. 

9.Umm Sumayyah: Subhanallah. Knowing your boundaries can surely make life much easier.
You love to inspire others through writing. What do you do when you’re down or experiencing weaknesses?

Sister Aisha: I pray, do Adhkaar, and listening to Surah Ar-Rehman is my favourite activity if I am going through problems. I also write in my diary or read books. Sometimes, art colouring helps.

10.Umm Sumayyah: These are beautiful and effective ways to overcome adversities. Hearts do find peace in the remembrance of Allah.
What are your short-term and long-term goals as a psychologist?

Sister Aisha: My short-term goal is to complete my Masters degree and my internship; hours that are required for the degree. My long-term goals are setting up a therapy clinic Insha Allah and publishing more books that could make a difference in people’s lives. 

11.Umm Sumayyah: May Allah help you accomplish all your goals! 
What do you believe is one unique thing about this field? Would you recommend it to others?

Sister Aisha: Ameen. The unique thing is understanding empathy and its importance. I would absolutely recommend this field to anyone who is interested in it.

12.Umm Sumayyah: Do you believe there’s a relationship between psychology and Islam? If so, how?

Sister Aisha: I am no Islamic scholar, but so far, whatever I have learned, I see a lot of psychology within our religion. For instance, the hadith for anger where we are asked to sit down if we are standing is one of the concepts of behavioral psychology. Lowering our gaze is another psychological way of controlling any illicit behaviour. In fact, there is an online institute of Dr. Bilal Philips that particularly teaches Islamic psychology. 

13. Umm Sumayyah: That’s an amazing similarity. What advice would you give to an aspiring psychologist; especially a Muslim?

Sister Aisha: If you are going to study secular psychology, be sure of having a sound Islamic knowledge or keep seeking Islam while you study psychology because there are certain theories that oppose our Islamic teachings. So, you will have to be careful about practicing them.

14.Umm Sumayyah: I was just thinking of asking you about that. What is a major difference between the two?

Sister Aisha: In secular Psychology, we study theorists and theories while not taking religion along, and there are clashes between some theories in psychology with Islam. Whereas, in Islamic Psychology the student gets to the study the theories along with fiqh, and psychology is taught purely according to the Islamic point of view.
But, I was blessed to study secular psychology in Pakistan where we were openly able to discuss both Islam and Psychology with our mentors. 

15.Umm Sumayyah: From the top of your head, what’s one inspiring personal quote, hadeeth, or an ayah from the Qur’an that comes to your mind?

Sister Aisha: The problem is that I don't have only one, so let me just tell a few of my favourites.
  • From Surah Ar-Rehman, it's the verse: "Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?"
  • Surah Yousuf as a whole inspires me. Anyone going through any difficulty should read this Surah along with its Tafseer.
  • "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" by Babe Ruth
  • And there is a quote that I wrote in my book that personally inspires me a lot: "Smiling faces in the orphanage are proof that happiness is a feeling that you choose."

Sorry, I know it's a lot....

16.Umm Sumayyah: No, it’s great! Those are very inspiring quotes. JazakiAllahu khayr!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Sister Aisha: I think I have already given too much information for the day...:)

17.Umm Sumayyah: :), and I love it!
Our readers would most likely want to connect with you, where can they find you?

Sister Aisha: They can find me on my blog Aisha Idris Aboo

18.Umm Sumayyah: Jazaki Allahu khayr Sister Aisha for taking some of your time to talk to me. I wish you all the best on your journey. Assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Sister Aisha: Walaikum assalam. Jazakillah khair, and it was wonderful speaking to you, sister. 

Umm Sumayyah: Psychology is one of those fields I find very intriguing and believe it should be of interest to more people. Not everyone has to be a psychologist, but I believe we should all have some kind of interest in understanding human behaviour. As the sister said, it helps you to understand empathy. But, as Muslims, we should also make sure to take the Islamic approach to it.

I hope you've enjoyed this interview as much as I have. I'd love to hear your opinion on the topic. So if you have any questions, tips, or something to share, be sure to comment below.
Until next time in shaa Allah, assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
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Muslim women are usually known by the way they cover themselves (hijab). But, not every Muslim woman wears the hijab. Depending on where they live, they may go through certain struggles that make it hard for them to do so. Of course, there are also some who just don't believe that it is mandatory or part of Islam at all. Let's focus on some of the struggles of wearing the hijab that many Muslim girls and women experience.


Before we continue, let's first have a look at the general ruling of the hijab in Islam.

Hijab in the Qur'an
Wearing the hijab is a command from Allah found in the Qur'an.
In Surah An-Nur, chapter 24, verse 31, Allah (S.W.T.) says (interpretation of the meaning),
And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.
This ayah (verse) clearly indicates that women are to present their outer appearance in a certain way in different circumstances.

In Surah Al Ahzab (33:59), the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was commanded to tell his wives and the believing women to cover themselves.
O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
In verse 60 of the previous chapter (An-Nur), it is mentioned,
And women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage - there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments [but] not displaying adornment. But to modestly refrain [from that] is better for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
Hijab in Hadith
The Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and he is best in explaining it to us because he was the Messenger of Allah. Times change, people's understandings vary, and information changes over time. So, the best people to rightfully explain the Qur'an to us are those who got the information right from the Prophet (s.a.w.) or those right after them. This is how the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w.) were transmitted over time.

Abu Dawood narrated by saying,
"May Allah have mercy on the Muhaajir woman. When Allah revealed the words 'and to draw their veils over their juyoobihinna (i.e. bodies, faces, necks, bosoms),' they tore the thickest of their aprons (a kind of garment) and covered their faces with them."
Also found in Saheeh Al Bukhari in another version.

'Urwah narrated that 'Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), one of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), said,
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray Fajr and the believing women would attend (the prayer) with him, wrapped in their aprons, then they would go back to their houses and no one would recognize them. 
Saheeh Al Bukhari

Although the above hadiths may indicate that covering the face (niqab) is part of hijab, there are differences of opinions on that matter. There are many more hadiths and sayings of classical scholars about the hijab and how exactly it should look.
The purpose of this article isn't to go through all of that.

Some struggles of wearing the hijab
Because wearing the hijab is a mandatory act of worship in Islam as it is a command from Allah, many Muslims who see Muslim women without hijab automatically assume that they simply don't want to wear it. Although this may be the case for some, it is not necessarily true for others. Many girls and women have struggles when it comes to wearing it for many reasons. This is not to make an excuse, but by understanding the reasons behinds some actions in life, it allows us to approach situations in a much better way.

1. Society/location
We may not always take this into consideration, but society can greatly impact our views and decision making. Depending on where they live, Muslim women may find that the hijab is frowned upon by the general public which makes it uncomfortable for them to wear it. They may love the hijab and believe that it is mandatory, but the fear of what people think may make it a hard decision to make.

2. Feeling misplaced/different
Not wanting to feel misplaced or different is another struggle that many have. It is human to want to be included and not treated differently. One may argue that we shouldn't care about what others think, but it isn't always as easy as it seems, especially for young people.

3. Dealing with nasty comments
Not everyone has the patience to deal with nasty comments from people who hate Islam and Muslims. Actually, NO one wants to be talked down on. Not every Muslim woman is a stay-at-home or a work-at-home mother who can make her own schedule and decide if and when she wants to face the public. Some have no choice but to constantly face people at work or school who may not be in favor of Muslims.

4. Work/airport
We tend to forget this aspect, but the fear of losing a job or not getting hired is a real problem. There are many Muslim women who have to work to support their families (i.e. parents, siblings, or even spouse in some cases). And if you didn't know, discrimination is real; and sometimes, it is against Muslims.
Oh, and let's not forget being randomly selected at the airport.

5. Safety
Safety concern is another reason why many choose not to wear the hijab. It is not a secret that there have been reported cases of attacks on Muslims in many Western countries. And because Muslim women are usually the visual representation of Islam, they are often the ones who fall prey to hate crimes. Being women is another factor in becoming an easy target.

Encouragement
Sister, not everyone will understand your struggles, but Allah does; never forget that.
You are a servant of Allah and that is the best title a person could ever get.
I will not sugarcoat it and say that it is okay not to wear hijab, but one thing that no one could ever tell you is that you have lost the battle. Sister, NEVER give up!

We all have our individual struggles; yours may just be more visual. But, don't allow that to make you carefree of this matter. Hijab is important because every command of Allah is important. Do you know what else is important? Praying, having good character, giving charity, and many more. So if anyone talks to you in a nasty manner because of your lack of wearing the hijab, know that his/her problem may be in character. The same way that those people shouldn't give up in bettering their character, you shouldn't give up in wearing the hijab. Islam is a way of life and every part of it is important. How we look, talk, behave and what we believe is all part of it.

Sister, I know that it is easier said than done, but try your best to block out from your mind the nasty comments, society's disapproval, or even the safety concern. Everything happens by the will of Allah and nothing that wasn't already written will happen. If you aren't targeted for being Muslim, you may be targeted for your skin color, cultural background, social status or other reasons. Human beings are never satisfied and will always find a reason to hate and something to hate. Don't give the power to anyone to affect your relationship with your Lord. Yes, Allah understands you and is the Most Merciful, but Allah doesn't want any of us to quit.

If life was easy, this world wouldn't have been called a test. We will all be tested at different levels and at different times. Whatever struggles we go through, we should turn to Allah and ask Him to make it easier for us. What's the difference between a test and a failure? Quitting.
And you are NOT allowed to quit! Never give up!
Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful." Surah Az-Zumar (39:53)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
'No one’s deeds will ever admit him to Paradise.' They said, 'Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His Mercy. So try to be near to perfection. And no one should wish for death; he is either doing good so he will do more of that, or he is doing wrong so he may repent.' 
All we can do is to try our best in everything we do. Allah knows the efforts we make and will reward us accordingly.

What to take from this
As you can see, there are many reasons why a Muslim woman may struggle to wear the hijab; only some of them have been listed. Again, this is not to make an excuse but to give us something to think about. Maybe by understand, we may have more sympathy and perhaps approach the situation a little differently. Harsh and straight-forward dawah or advice doesn't work for everyone. Some people may receive a message through fear, but understand that there are others who want to feel like they are being understood. We should want the best for one another and help each other on this life journey. May Allah forgive and guide us all.

Are you a Muslim girl or woman struggling with the hijab or know someone who may be in this situation? Please share it in the comment section. If you have overcome your obstacles, kindly share your advice/tips.
Please share this article and perhaps, it may be of help to someone out there.
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Author: Umm Sumayyah 
Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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