What I faced during my first Hijab experience in Japan
When I go back home from Tiara Koto Hall after Dr. Zakir Naik lecture where I made Shahada, I was able to wear Hijab until I got home. Alhamdulillah. It was my first experience to go out with hijab in Tokyo. I got starting eyes on hijab inside the train on the way home.
There were fewer people due to late night and weekend so I took my seat and waiting the train will depart. After train departed, I was thinking about the day and wondering how I would tell about my big day to my fiancé, he knew that I was going to Dr. Zakir Naik lecture but he never know that I reverted to Muslim. (I did not know the day was for me neither!)
Then I realized there was a young man sitting down the left side in front probably same age around me gave his glance at me. Once I saw him, he looks down on his smartphone with his hand. I did not mind what just happened rather than that I kept thinking about from where do I start to tell about my shahada, and I send him text says “Can I talk to you once I got back to home?” When I looked up, I saw the guy was looking at my hijab and he looked down again. I sensed that he is curious about my hijab.
I stopped my hand texting for a while, thinking what just happened. I would be terrified if I experience the same before revert, I would think it negatively how people around judge me by my appearance. But I got to think the reason why he was looking at hijab positively, “maybe because he was surprised to see Japanese Muslim in Tokyo?” or “maybe it was the first time for him to see woman wearing hijab?” then I pray what he saw in train will encourage him to understand Islam without misjudgments in future.
I was sure the similar experience will come while I go out with hijab in Tokyo and I know I will be just a tiny example out of billions of Muslim brothers and sisters but I do wish what people see from me will be opportunity for Japanese people to know and learn about Islam to see what is Islam and its practices. Honestly I myself was surprised to notice how I think differently than I would and I feel Allah always provides the way ease things on life.
Later I reached home, I was able to see my fiancé happy face when I told him what happened on the day.
My honest feeling after Shahada was “relieved”. I was so glad that I became to be a Muslim. And I felt warm and calm, at the same time my heart got clean. It was truly unforgettable feelings in my life.
Right after Shahada, Pakistani aunty came into and hugged me tightly. I heard that she was saying Alhamdulillah and I saw big tears in her eyes. I was a bit surprised that even though we don’t know each other she cried tears of joy as if it is her daughter’s big day. I was not able to speak her language so I hugged her back to show my appreciation.
Hundreds of congratulation and Salam were coming into me since the lecture on the day was for non-Japanese so that majority of the auditor was Muslim brothers and sisters who live in Japan. (Surprisingly I saw over 2,000 Muslims in Tokyo) From those congratulated me, I was able to see their diverse backgrounds and it gave me a confident that “In anywhere around the world, there will be brothers and sisters to support each other”. It was another beautiful feeling to find out I am now the sister of a whole Muslim family in the world.
After I exited from the venue, there were some people talked to me in person. They are foreign Muslims living in Japan for business or studies and it seems they settled down their life in Japan. There was a Pakistani couple has business in Japan talked to me with the husband’s fluent Japanese said “Moshi nanika attara itsudemo renraku shitekudasai” meaning if you got in trouble or anything please do not hesitate to contact us. And the wife provided me her contact number.
Not only by them, I had received similar phrases from other brothers and sisters. And I imagined there might be brothers and sisters supported them when they moved to japan, that is why they can offer kind support to new Muslim revert like me.
Another great thing was I was able to meet Japanese Muslimah reverts, those got married to Muslim husband and raise their beautiful children in Japan. They are so humble, kind and I was able to see they were truly happy to welcome new Japanese Muslimah. It was the late evening that we pray for each other to meet again someday in near future.
On the way home, I said to myself “Everything will be fine because I am not alone. I am now living in the world and society where people do support each other”, “someday I want to be a person who can support someone in anyways as I got kind supports from brothers and sisters.” and I found tears in my eyes.