Living in a non-muslim country isn’t always easy. The comments, the looks and the open prejudice can make even the strongest amongst us crumble. The atmosphere, the environment where it is so easy to sin, and the constant bombardment of values not our own. But there is a blessing in it, too. Our iman is strengthened when we practise in the face of adversity. When society is telling us no, the struggle to say yes is a driven force that improve our character. It makes us appreciate why we’re Muslim. Why the values we try to uphold matter. Why Allāh has prescribed certain things to be haraam. We appreciate the halal that much more.
It gives us the seeds to grow our spiritual strength as we continue to persevere. It makes us more steadfast when everything we do is questioned. When we’re a stranger amidst a suburb where Muslims are few, when we stick out like a sore thumb in every crowd. When their eyes are always zoomed into focus when they’re around us. This is our opportunity to show them how a Muslim behaves.
Ever since I started wearing niqab, I’ve been mindful of how I carry myself in public. I’m forever aware that I am a walking dawah for many of the people around me. And it forces me to behave a certain way. Before I’d shy away from even glancing at strangers, and now I want to connect with every person I come in contact with and meet.
I try to initiate conversation with the old people waiting at bus stops, I thank female store workers more cheerfully and crinkle my eyes when I speak, so they atleast know that I'm smiling, even they can't see it beneath my smile. So many people are taken a back with me, and it's clearly written on their faces. Their look of shock and bewilderment, and that pleasenment amazement that always follows. It's the most liberating sort of feeling. Being able to shift an entire perspective of a person by simply being the kindest, most confident version of myself.