Huda’s Hijab – My new book 

 

Young Muslim girls are encouraged to wear hijab round about the time they hit puberty, although this may vary with individual families. Unfortunately, young girls are not always informed as to why they should wear hijab and what it truly means. Reasons to wear the hijab could include a girl’s need to respect the parent’s wishes or just something that a Muslim girl is required to do. But when one doesn’t understand the true essence of the hijab, I believe they can miss out on the spiritual benefits and the true beauty of it. It’s not any ordinary cloth that covers one’s hair, rather, it’s a sense of comfort that provides a blanket of love and security to the heart and soul. The hijab is a reminder of Allah. I believe that hijab is a celebration of a woman’s love for her creator. It’s a testimony to: I hear and I obey. A flag of confidence and devotion to Allah, the Most Merciful. That is why Hijab should be celebrated. It should be discussed and anxiety about it should be dealt with compassion. Wearing hijab requires confidence, patience and bravery. Therefore, we should praise our daughters and sisters that have decided to wear it because it takes a lot of courage. In my opinion, Hijab should be introduced with love as opposed to a burdening responsibility. Unfortunately, I’ve heard stories, the most common; a young girl chooses to wear hijab and has informed her parents of this choice; the parents discourage it or warn them of ‘what a huge responsibility’ it is. To be frank, I am disappointed to hear this. When someone wants to obey Allah and makes the very beautiful decision to wear hijab, why burden them with negativity? We must remember, it is a commandment of Allah. Just like reading salah is. Would we ever imagine saying to our children ‘are you sure you want to read salah, it’s a huge responsibility, you will have to read it all the time.’ Of course not. Then why, when it comes to hijab the expectation is to be perfect? Hijab is something a person has to grow with, which can take time. However, with attitudes like this, no wonder a lot of girls express they would like to wait until they stop sinning or are better Muslims to wear it. They don’t realise, hijab is a stepping stone to be better, and perfection is never required from them. Hijab should be a form of striving to get closer to the Creator. As parents, I feel it’s our Muslim duty to educate not only the female members of our family but also the male members as to why a Muslim woman covers. The male hijab should also be explored and discussed just as importantly. Recently, a sister whose daughter was inspired to wear hijab after reading my new book ‘Huda’s Hijab’, informed me her daughter wears hijab only sometimes but has made a commitment to wear it every Friday. I told her that was wonderful news and to continue allowing her daughter to be comfortable in her hijab. She is only 9 years old. Hijab is something that cannot be forced. I believe it comes with loving words of encouragement and education. Therefore, be patient with your child. Purchase books about the hijab, listen and watch lslamic videos on YouTube and wear your hijab with confidence and pride and In Sha Allah your child will follow. Empower and Inspire. I wrote Huda’s Hijab because I wanted to inspire the love and understanding of hijab in my daughter. I empowered her by educating her of the purpose of hijab. I tackled her anxiety about wearing hijab. I ensured she understood that, with hijab, she was still who she was, with hijab she still had the ability to do whatever she wanted (Allah-willing). Hence, Huda’s hijab was born. She read the story with great interest. Subhan-Allah, she was completely consumed by it. She laughed, smiled and by the end of it I could see a face that was calm, glowing and confident (Allahumma Barik laha – may Allah bless her). What happened next, I did not expect. Immediately after reading ‘Huda’s Hijab’ she made the brave decision to wear the hijab at 10 years old. The reason I say brave- despite a person’s intense respect and love for the hijab, they can still experience anxiety whilst wearing it due to lack of confidence and pressures of society and fashion.  And it can be a real struggle for some people.  Therefore, whenever you see someone falter or fall short with their hijab, what would be most helpful is encouragement and support, not judgement or shame.  What we need to keep in mind is that this person is trying and struggling and we shouldn’t make them feel worse than they probably already feel. Hijab is a journey to confidence, to finding yourself. When someone first starts to wear it, it’s like being in training. If you’re going to run for a marathon, you won’t just join in the race, you’d prepare and work for it. It could be you fail a number of times and think “this is too hard, I can’t do this”, but once you’re at the finish line, you have that eureka moment and realise, the sweat, the tears, and the determination was all worth it! Whilst someone is in training you wouldn’t just tear them down. Instead, I’d hope you’d either support them or stay quiet. I feel the same about hijab. When someone gives up their hijab completely due to such harsh criticism, don’t be surprised! Remind with love and encourage with patience. Anyway, getting back to when my daughter made the decision to wear hijab – I was over the moon – praise be to Allah I was so happy that I wrapped my arms around her tightly and kissed her and told her I was proud of her. (Allahumma Barik laha). Her decision inspired her friend to also wear the hijab and, when I sent the manuscript for review it inspired the children of a non-hijabi to wear it as well! Ma Sha Allah. I pray this book, written with sincerity and love, inspires and educates the girls in your life to understand the hijab better, and when they are ready, to wear it with love and confidence and be true to who they are.   Another reason why I wanted to write this story was not only for the Muslim audience but for the mainstream one.  I believe our society and schools need to better educate themselves on hijab and see it, not as something strange but something common with many other faith-based communities. Which is why in this short story, I’ve included dialogue and raised awareness of head-coverings of women of different faiths. I would encourage you to purchase a copy for not only your own home but for the school as well. Like my other books, Huda’s Hijab promotes understanding and compassion between Muslims and Non-Muslims, it’s an ideal book for schools.

I have included some reviews below:

“Huda’s Hijab is a really well-written story, useful for parents and teachers as well as youngsters.  Very engaging, with a little twist in the tale. It is very informative, as well as helping readers engage in the emotional aspects of the subject”. Christian mum of two, Dundee, Scotland

“What a lovely story to encourage the wearing of the hijab. I enjoyed reading it as it touched upon a very important issue Muslim girls go through. The book is ideal for parents to read through with their children to facilitate the wearing of hijab. Schools could also use it in their classrooms to allow non-Muslim children to understand the concept of hijab. Huda is strong-willed, determined and wants to do the right thing. A lovely read and great book to help young girls through the transition of putting hijab on”. Secondary school teacher, Glasgow, Scotland

“I really loved the book because the story was based on a girl who was scared to wear a hijab to school and some girls are scared of wearing hijab’s to school or other places so I thought to myself if Huda was scared at first and then she realised that it was part of what Allah wanted, she then wanted to do a presentation to get all her classmates to see that just believe in what your religion is and always learn about other people’s religion . I have discovered something new, so I am glad you put that in your book I love finding out new things and am sure all girls love finding out new things. I am now going to wear a hijab to school after the April holidays and I want the Holidays to get over with because I am very excited I can’t wait! I am a big fan of your stories and I have already recommended it to several people like my friends and even my teacher! I am sure your story is going to be a big hit!” Zayna, age 9, Glasgow, Scotland

“Huda’s hijab is an amazing way to encourage people to wear a hijab. I think that’s very smart. I really like how you have put a lot of good vocabulary in your story. That’s brilliant. I really like how you have included a lot of key facts and anything anyone wouldn’t understand you’ve made a glossary. I think overall it was really good and informative. I think I have the confidence to wear a hijab to school now, thanks”. Saleha, age 11, Glasgow Scotland

“Reading Huda’s Hijab was a delight.  I like the way the author has gently introduced the hijab into both Huda’s and the reader’s life explaining the reasons for wearing it.  The gentle encouragement and the strong important lessons complement each other to educating and empowering young girls who wish to adopt the hijab.  I think the book is ideal for young girls at that crucial age and will assist them in making that important choice of whether they are ready to wear the hijab.  Huda’s Hijab is a book that I would purchase and recommend to others”. Miss Ghazala Hakeem, Glasgow, Scotland

“I enjoyed reading Huda’s Hijab by Maryam Yousaf, a moving story about a young, Muslim girl finding her identity and the strength to share her beliefs with peers. This book is ideal for the classroom, especially in public schools. It promotes respect for different cultures through an engaging narrative. Muslim kids would definitely appreciate the explanation of hijab and be able to discuss their experiences with their classmates. The story brings up the discussion of different types of head coverings and with pictures, clearly portrays the concept of universality of hijab, diversity, and respect. Huda’s growth as a character is shaped by her mother’s love and that family dynamic is sure to help moms connect with their daughters. I would definitely recommend this book, especially for kids in late elementary and middle school. Go get it!” Uzma Ahmad, USA

“Huda’s Hijab is a lovely story that all children can enjoy. It has helped my non-Muslim children understand the reasons why some of their friends choose to wear different clothing and why it is special to them. This story also carries the universal message that everyone should be able to dress how they want without persecution”. Mother of three, Dundee, UK

Huda’s hijab (paperback) will be available to purchase from Amazon on Friday 28 September 2018 (It may take up to 3-5 business day until its available from Amazon.com and Amazon Europe).  For other distribution channels (Barnes and Noble, the book depository etc.) it can take up to 6-8 weeks until it’s available. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993407870/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538128162&sr=8-3&keywords=huda%27s+hijab

The kindle (electronic version) was published on Thursday 20 September 2018.Please note you do not need a kindle device to download the ebook, you can download it to your phone, tablet, or any other device.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hudas-Hijab-Maryam-Yousaf-ebook/dp/B07HKN3425/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1538118466&sr=8-6&keywords=maryam+yousaf

Huda’s hijab free colouring sheets will be added to my website www.muslimatoday.com soon, therefore subscribe and don’t miss out!

When you gift a girl with ‘Huda’s Hijab’ you are gifting her with confidence, empowerment and knowledge In Sha Allah! And I pray it becomes a source of sadaqa jariya for you. Please subscribe to my website now so you don’t miss any updates about my work and books. Please follow me on all my social media accounts if you aren’t already! Instagram: @muslimatoday @diversechildrensbooks twitter: @muslima_today Facebook: Muslimatoday. Love and prayers Maryam Yousaf www.muslimatoday.com If you have a hijab story you would like to share then please email ask@muslimatoday.com

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