Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim (in the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent)
When we study, even very briefly, the Most Beautiful Names of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), we feel our love for Him grow. And when we can recognize His Names during certain moments and experiences in our lives, our sheer awe for Him reaches new heights. It is for this reason that I think it would be beneficial for us to reflect on moments in our life when we appreciated a Most Beautiful Name or Attribute of Allah Ta’ala (Most High).
It was through an unexpected encounter with a cashier that I gained a tiny bit of insight into the Most Beautiful Name of Allah (swt)—al-Shakur, the Appreciative.
Wearing a longer/larger khimar (head and body covering) had been on my mind for a while, and it was something I finally decided to do. Many can identify with the first few days I experienced—I had that “eman (faith) rush” that converted onlookers’ stares into fuel, into enthusiasm. But there came a day, not too long after, when I was sitting in the car and I began to doubt myself. I intended to improve my hijab and stick to it, but I started to doubt if this was something I could commit to, thinking maybe I should just go back to how I was before. Combine my own worries and hesitations with Shaytan’s (the Devil’s) whispers, and I think most of us are familiar with the internal script that follows.
I got out of the car with my dad to get my photo taken for my driver’s license at the post office. I had the photographer telling me I needed to adjust my khimar this way and that for photo requirements, and my dad on the side telling me to just take it off. The photo finally got taken and as my dad was paying at the counter, a clerk told me that my hijab was good and to stay that way, not to change.
Was this actually happening? Yes, it was, by the Mercy of Allah (swt), this was actually happening.
A clerk in a post office is encouraging me to patience, calling me to steadfastness. Sounds random? Not at all, for Al-Hakeem (the Wise), Al-Raheem (the Merciful), Al-Shakur (the Appreciative) had planned this.
I wanted to start crying, I wanted to walk out of the store and just drop into sujood (prostration)—laa ilaaha ill Allah (There is nothing worthy of worship except God)!
Brothers and sisters, Allah (swt) knows what we’re feeling when no one else does:
And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein. (Qur’an 50:16)
And conceal your speech or publicize it; indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts. Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted? (Qur’an 67:13-14)
He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate. And He is, of all things, Knowing. (Qur’an 57:3)
He (swt) knows our worries, weaknesses, hesitations; He is Al-Khabeer (the Fully Aware), Al-Lateef (the Subtle), Al-`Aleem (the All-Knowing), Al-Qareeb (the One who is near).
It had been decreed for this clerk to tell me these words I desired to hear—“to not give up, to keep going.”
While we shouldn’t need the approval of people, there are times when we might feel weak and need support, a reminder to keep climbing that path to Jannah (Paradise), to not stop our struggle.
And indeed with hardship comes ease (Qur’an 94:5), because there came a point where I couldn’t imagine being wrapped in anything less than my large khimar—and I reached this point not by myself, but by the Mercy and Help of Allah (swt). It wasn’t about if I could do it, for every day in which we get dressed to please Allah (swt), every salah (prayer) in which we stand before Allah (swt), we could not do it without the Assistance and Help of Allah (swt), by His Mercy and Favour.
Just as that clerk reminded me when I so badly needed a reminder (alhamdulillah, all praise be to God), I want to remind myself and every brother and sister to keep going in whatever goodness they are striving to do to please our Rabb (Lord), Allah (swt). He is Appreciative and rewards the good deeds. Dear brother, and dear sister, if you are trying to do something for the sake of Allah (swt), know that regardless of the support (or lack thereof) which you receive from family, friends, or society… Allah (swt) knows.
I’m sure my experience is not unique—we’ve all had experiences which just made us stand (or prostrate!) in awe of Allah (swt) and His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes. If we pay attention closely enough, we can begin to be overwhelmed by all the blessings Allah (swt), As-Samad (The Satisfier of all needs, who is in no need of us), showers down upon us (like the lungs we have to breathe and eyes we have to read at this very moment!). Or, the very fact that we are Muslim (alhamdulillah!) is a manifestation that Allah (swt) is Al-Haqq (the Truth) and Al-Raheem (the Merciful) to have guided us to the Truth. I’d love to hear your experiences and appreciation for the Most Beautiful Names of Allah (swt)!
Jazakallah khair for this beautiful post! I also had a similar experience. When I first started wearing my hijab a non-muslim employee at a store complimented me and I was pleasantly in awe of this unexpected experience!
Masha Allah! This is beautiful. When I accepted Islam I felt weird wearing khimar however, upon meeting other Muslimahs like myself and other non Mulsim women who smiled at me as I walk past them or greeted me out of respect made me feel even more proud. I understand completely the feeling of just wanting to drop down and praise Allah (Swt) for his unbending mercy. JazzakAllah khayrin for sharing your wonderful experience
I enjoyed reading that; very powerful and moving..thank you for the share.
It also reminds me how important it is to actively strive to the best of our abilities to surround ourselves in the company of people that nurture our souls and those that make our faith stronger.
mashaAllah. Brought tears to my eyes. JazakAllah
Beautiful mashAllah! Yes, even though my mother was against me wearing hijab, I received many compliments on it from others outside my family and several people telling me not to take it off 🙂
Alhamduillah and thank for sharing ya okhtee!
SubhanAllah, when I read what the cashier said to you I was overwhelmed with appreciation for the mercy of Allah(swt). Alhumdulillah, as I encounter customer of all background, I am overwhelmed by the unexpected compliments from the non-muslims. They compliment my hijab or the color of it and I know it is an indirect encouragement from Allah subhana wa Tala. I appreciate you writing down and sharing this beautiful experience.
This is so beautifully said sister, Ma Sha Allah! May Allah bless you. Jazka Allahu Khairan for such a thought provoking post.
adding yaqub’s words, it’s also important for everyone of us trying to be that ‘clerk’. saying encouraging and powerful words to everyone around us even a simple one, so they can keep moving and we can be the one whose rasulullah said aw kama qal: if Allah gives hidayah to a man, because of u,it is better than the world and and things inside.
i enjoyed reading your story, thank you, i really hope it helps many others who are considering wearing modest clothing, i myself was muslim for approx 6 years before i began to wear the hijab a few months ago, it took a lot of courage, it really did, but literally 20 mins after walking begining my first journey wearing a hijab a muslim woman greeted me, it brought tears to my eyes and i have never looked back. it does take courage but it is really worth it!
Some years back right when I started practicing Islam, I had to face a sire situation whereby I was met with how powerful du’a is. 6months after I started making du’a a whole jail cell was emptied. As-Samee’u (the All-Hearer) hears our dua!
Barakallahu fiki for sharing. That was years ago but I ve just read your post. And cried 🙂
I start wearing hijab 8 months ago. I got some reactions at the beginning but nothing harsh. After 2 months I moved in a new country and thas was the very moment I understood what was to wear hijab. I heard everything…called by awful names, sacarsm, mockery, that I won’t find a hubby and never get promoted. I was the only one muslima in my workplace and … wooah. I went through hell. I was about to take it off..tighting my clothes, and even planned it for after holiday season break. I went in a shop and there was that guy sitting beside the door who congrats me for wearing it. “I know there are temptations and it is not easy” he continued.
Whaaat?! You feel like God sent an angel down to talk to you when you are done and about to quit. That was like a divine warm hug. my heart was in awe for God cause that was exactly what I need to hear. Days later, I came to meet Brother Nouman on youtube and lectures about when we decide to change ourselves and take religion seriously. I understood that it was all in the process, all the hardship during those 5 months was a test and above all… I wasn’t the only one it happened to. During the time, I get closer to God because I need to pray and I came to learn even more His beautiful attributes and perform zikr with most of them. I learnt bautiful duas which I think I would never learned if I wasn’t in the situation. I then found relief, and can now bear what people say to me. I’m not married yet but He taught us to do not despair as He is Merciful.
May He helps and guide us as Al Hadi in remembering that it’s for His sake we are doing all of these and that He will rewards us as As Shakur… so finally we re doing it for ourselves cause He doesnt need it as Al Ghani.