A Jihad With My Hijab

I was trying on tarhas or the head cover that I bought lately. I don’t usually buy things for myself but specifically for these items that I found cheap and really nice, I decided to get a bundle.

I am not the “feminine” type who would enjoy looking at herself in the mirror sporting all those aesthetics, but just a few minutes ago I found myself in front of the mirror on my crumpled metallic gray hijab. And then I imagined going home to Manila in that…. and meeting my friends in that…. and meeting my family with that too…. and imagining what all their reaction would be.

Everyone who knows me must know that I am not the fancy type of the female species. I don’t care much how I look. What is most important to me is that I can carry myself comfortably with what I wear, with how I look. I don’t mind being in heels, or in my favorite open Skechers, or in the native brown flip flops that I miss. I don’t dress to impress. But this time, it would really feel different to be in a hijab in Manila…. in my place where there are no fellow Muslims around that I know of.

And then the smiling reflection that I see in the mirror turned out teary-eyed. I have never been this emotional my whole entire life!  But these were tears of joy should they have rolled on my cheeks.  I am happy to be a Muslimah. I would have settled for nothing less. But the emotions came from the feeling, which I may be preempting, of being alone in my place.

I am the FIRST MUSLIM in my family. And by my ancestors, I trace my roots from Spanish origins. Meaning not one drop of blood from among my genealogy was ever raised Muslim. In fact historically, they are the Muslims’ worst enemies. Inshallaah, that I described myself as the first, there will come a second, third, fourth. Now how I wish I had a brood of a football team so that instantly, I would have a lot on my side.

Fortunately still, I got two. Two beautiful, intelligent and strong young Muslimah’s. Remembering that I got them on my side no less, I must be confident enough that I will not be alone.  Allah SWT bless me too.  And Allah SWT bless my Amatullah and Jannah. So that we three can stand proud, respectable, honorable, and admirable in the midst of the community wherein we will surely spell a difference.

I have to cut short this narration and get back to that mirror to return to my Hijab Rehearsals. I was never good at this I know. I won’t just give it a try, but for Allaah, everything is worth doing.  Bismillah Ar Rahmanir Raheem.

Ya Rabb, make me worthy.


The Muslim Was A Communist

I believed in three principles:

1. Everything has a basis.
2. Everything is connected.
3. Everything changes.

This was my Marxist-Leninist following. I have practically lived with those tenets believing that these were all the be-all end-all of things. This is the Communist line of thinking.

I was not with the armed group. I belonged to the “negotiating arm” struggling around parliamentary rules of reasoning. Educating the masses. Empowering the workforce. Serving the people. I was not one of those in the mountains. I was in the urban system entwined with the regular peeps. But I can take arms if I had to.  I was trained to hold guns before I was a teenager. Guns were not a threat to me. It was a normal accessory of living. Being a granddaughter of Don Fabian and Donya Conchita, I lived a life of guns, goons, and gold. My family was part of the landowners’ class.

Before I was identified as one, I was thought to be a sophisticated socialite. I come from a Spanish school since preschool up to high school. Hence, I struggled to belong to the movement that defended the middle class. Simply, my nuclear family belongs to the Middle Class. That’s how my Dad chose to lead his life. That’s my upbringing.  But unlike the common notion on communists, I had a God-centered life. I feared less though knowing that I can hold arms and I was not afraid to shoot if I had to. Lives are cheap. Always priced at what they were worth. Very mundane.

Until I found my answers to questions I had and never had.

Now I understand my life’s purpose. Now I understand why we are living. Now I understand who I must serve. And now I understand that there is only ONE. The Alpha and The Omega. The All-Knowing. The One Who Knows. The Architect of our destiny.

I thought being a communist humbled me enough.  I was wrong.  Being a Muslim, I was not only taken down to my feet. I do not only kneel. But I prostrate to submit myself to glorify The Great One.  Allahu Akbar.

Ya Allaah! Ya Rabb!