Reflections on the Decision to be a ‘COVERED GIRL’

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Calisha Bennett

Channel: Calisha Bennett

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Beautiful to be here and to be able to share some thoughts and reflections about hijab. And personally in my journey, hijab has been a definitely a challenge. I haven't always liked it. Some parts were really hard, but have the love foot for where I am now in my life, it's a part of who I am. And I always ask Allah, Allah to make me always love my hijab, and always keep an eye on and stand proud with my hijab. So today, inshallah I'm going to share with you.

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Three, I want you to remember three points. Okay, so the first point that I'm going to talk to you about your decisions, what is it, your decisions, number two, your nafs. And number three, your reward. So what are these, your decisions, your knowledge, and your reward. So my story and want to share today, we're going to go through these three points, your decisions, and the decisions that you make that you have to live by, that you're going to be accountable for with our loved ones, Allah, we're going to talk about your nuts. And that just means like desires, you know what you want, like, there's what Alo ones, and then there's what you want. And you're NASA with the things

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that you sometimes want that you have to kind of struggle with. And then your reward for keeping your focus on the reward. So when it comes to your decisions for me, in my journey, my parents weren't very religious and didn't have much knowledge. And when I was about 12 years old, I started going to classes and learning and practicing more. And my mom especially became pretty strict, really fast, right? And before that had a lot of freedoms, and then right at 12, right in the age where you're kind of like, Hey, we're gonna get cracking going to, you know, enter teenagehood and have a bit of fun and this and that, and mom's like, so we're gonna have the talk, you're going to

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wear the hijab. In my head, I'm like, Alright, I want it yet. I haven't reached puberty yet. Right? She said, you're gonna wear it. And my mom, my mom is Asian background, don't mess with Asian moms.

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And she was just like, you're wearing it. And so I was like, hey, wear it, right, I didn't feel so good about it felt really scared. I put it on and started wearing it regularly, in practice for when I would reach the age of puberty, and my friends will come like, oh, you're wearing like hijab now full on. And so I went through those struggles, and I was at Muslim school at the time. And then my family moved away. And I went to a public school, where I was the only Muslim in the whole school. So I was like, so scared. It was out in the country in Western Australia. So I was so scared. I'm on the first day. Oh, my gosh, I was like, literally like an alien, because I don't think they'd seen

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Muslims before. So it was recess time. And we were walking outside and having a look around the school. And the principal told two girls, can you take colletion and take it and have a look around the school and tell her where everything is. So these girls are like, showing me around this is that places that place? And I could hear like all these voices behind us. And I turned around and I think there was like 10 2030 people in a group. All the students from the school just following like, What is she? What is she wearing? And how many times that first week that I got asked, What's that on the head? Why are you wearing it? Why do you have to wear it? Where are you from? Like, I just had to

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keep answering answering. And then Hamza de la, they got over it pretty quick. But that was that was really hard. But I remember like, telling myself, This is hard. And this is going to be hard. But you have to choose it. And my reason behind choosing it because I knew in my heart that it was right. Like it was the right thing to do. Why not for my mom, even though, you know, in a way at that time, I was doing it for my mom, but in my heart I knew that this is what Allah Allah would want from me as a young woman. So the next journey, you know, you're not. Okay, so that was your decisions, you're going to have to make decisions between you and Allah at certain parts of your

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life at certain milestones. And you got to be brave enough to make those decisions. They won't always be easy. So the second part of my story, your naps. So now I'm in a non Muslim environment. I was out of public school. Of course, I want to fit in, you know, of course, I want to be like everyone else. And it was really hard to be the one different person literally in the entire school. My brother did go to the school, but I had his classmates he's older than me. His classmates said, Your brother is he Oh, brother. I was like, yeah, we have the same surname. We came on the same day that he told us that you're his adopted sister. So I was just like, Oh my gosh, thanks, Bert. Right

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That's a big brother's a good force on Allah. But again, you know, it's hard feeling so alone in that environment. So wanting to fit in, wanting to be cool wanting to be you know, hang with, you know, the cool people and stuff like that. That was hard. Because within you there is this like desire you want to look

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Pretty all you want to look the same. And I remember I did you know, there are a couple of boys that I liked at school too. And then I was like, if I didn't have this son, would they like me? Like, would they like me more. So I had those questions. And I had days where I was like feeling weak and just, you know, kind of like doubting myself and hamdulillah. In that few years, I never took it off. And I never regretted taking it off, I always look back and I feel hamdullah like proud of myself that I kept it on. So later on, we moved into back to the city, and back to the Muslim community. And at that time, the people that I was close to there was like cousins and close family

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friends that I used to hang out with that I was like, Okay, I'm back, let's hang out, they all decided to take their scarves off. And they started doing fun stuff, right? Going out a lot dressing up makeup, they started experimenting, going to parties and hanging out guys and you know, smoking and things like that. And now again, I'm going to decision I've got a hijab on. And these are my These are my people like them, my best friends my cousin's like I want to fit in. And again, like, you know, those that come to this place with us come and do that with us. And I'm like, how am I going to do that with hijab. And a lot of the time hamdulillah my hijab is what made me say, Now I'm

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not going to go because it's going to look so weird if I go there with them, do that with them, and I'm wearing my hijab. So it became like a protector for me from falling into sins, from falling into bad company and being in bad places. And if I tell you now, you know, this is like, nearly 20 years later, those friends who went down that path and chose their knifes, they chose fun, they chose pretty as their priority, they chose adventure and partying and all of that they chose cool over their spirituality. Now, like with the way their lives have turned out, like it breaks my heart still, and I still love them. And I hope allotments Allah brings them back. But their lives are, you

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could say in ways like very damaged and ruin. And that's not to judge them. They made their choices, but our choices have consequences. Okay, so you're always going to be faced with decisions and Allah gives commandments about what you should do, and why you should do it and how you should do it. Because ultimately, it does protect you, if you would just trust him. But that's the heartbeat Do you trust a lot enough? Do you trust his rules? Do you trust his message of Islam? Do you trust it enough to say I'm going to submit because that's what being a Muslim means one who submits, I'm going to submit my enough. I'm gonna submit what I want what allow once and I trust that the outcome

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of doing what Allah wants will always be a good outcome in this life, and inshallah in the next life. So the third point about your reward, you're doing it ultimately, full reward from Allah subhanaw taala. And like I just mentioned, you won't regret it, your life will have things that you know, as your life progresses, you'll look back at all those decisions at the knifes that you battled. And you say, 100 are like, I feel good. The reward is feeling good in this life. And we know in the next life, every sacrifice you made every time you wanted to do something which you know, Allah wasn't the most pleased with, but you're like, Nah, like, I'm just gonna wait something

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looser today. Just that little sacrifice, even if it's not yet your job. You just said I'm gonna waste something lucid today, I was counting that, and he's gonna reward you for it. And where does your reward Where is your reward?

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Where's the reward and after the next slide in paradise for how long for a moment,

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forever, what is forever, it's eternity forever and ever and ever and ever is your reward. If just today you make one sacrifice, if just this moment you make the right choice, over the wrong choice. And that's what you will meet inshallah, in the next slide. And a really kind of big part that made me realize, like I have to stay on this track was when I was about 15 years old, I got a phone call. My mom said, Oh, it's your old friend, like she wants to talk to you. And this friend. Now I didn't hang around with her a lot. But we were she was about a year or two older than me.

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We didn't hang out much because she was really in the party scene. And she called me up when she was about 17 and a half then. And then her voice is quiet and other side of the phone. She's like collegia I'm like, like, I'm sorry, only the audit. I do like why she called me like what happened? And then she says I just I just I know that you didn't come with us and join with us when we went down this path, but and you chose to wear the scarf and we all didn't. What made you choose it?

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And so I was like, Whoa, why did I choose it? That was the first time I've actually been asked Why did I choose it? And I tried to explain to her why I chose it and where it came from and the reasons behind why I chose to wear the hijab and I said to her, why are you Why are you asking me like where's this?

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Coming from like, I thought maybe she was like turning your life around. And she said, I've been diagnosed with a brain tumor 17 and a half years old. And she's like, I just feel like, I need to get serious about life. And she was really scared. And she was crying on the phone. And I was just like, shocked. I thought I was younger than her. I was like, why are you asking me for advice? Like, I'm trying to just keep this thing on, you know, I was battling. But that moment reminded me of how important it is to be someone who stands for something. No, there's a saying, If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything. Yeah, so if you stand for something, not only will you be able to

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prevent falling into traps and bad places, but other people whether you realize it or not like the sisters saying they will look at you like a role model. They will feel stronger and more empowered to want to be a really dignified woman because of what they see you do and the way that they see you live. So the sad thing for my dear friend, my live message, she did pass away. By 19 years old, she passed away and she lost her battle with cancer. But hamdulillah she did put the scarf on in that time. And she came back to a lunch she prayed and she made so I tried to fix her life up. Because why when it comes down to it, what does pretty matter? What does cool matter? What does popular,

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famous rich matter. If you don't know if you're even going to be here tomorrow, that the Day of Judgment, your accountability is coming. That's the reality for all of us. And we have to choose and make those decisions about whether we want a lot more dollars reward and happiness and paradise in the hereafter. So you know, there's a beautiful saying that says, Why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out. And when you wear hijab, you absolutely can't stand out. And the statistics are showing that Muslim women we caught the most hatred and abuse in racist remarks than anyone. So when you wear hijab and you stand on your wrist, now you are a warrior out in the street, Bankstown

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wall or in the city or on the train, you're a warrior, you're standing for Islam, you're representing our entire community anti oma, even though the world wants to lie about our religion, even though the world wants to slam women and make them be naked and open and improper and undignified and overly sexualized. You are saying not my body is mine and this body belongs to Allah subhanaw taala no one's gonna touch it or see it or even you know, take advantage of it in any way. So my lessons are like keep you all strong and keep us all strong together and support everyone and anyone that you can with Hey, Jasmine, if you're struggling, reach out to some amazing people here.

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You want support or you know, mentors to like help you take slowly step by steps, figure out the wardrobe plan and all that reach out and get the help inshallah and believe in your beautiful cells and use up the left side for listening to me so my story and holding space when I should