Today I got my new skirts - one in black and one in wine - and they are lovely! I wore my black one today and I love it because it's warm but light at the same time and it makes me feel feminine but doesn't show off my shape. I also wore my purple cardigan, white T-shirt and my lilac hijab, as you can see below:
As you can see, it's a really long skirt and I love it to bits! For the first time ever I felt like a proper Muslim. I went to sister's circle this evening and met some new faces, including one lovely sister who gave me an abaya and hijab (photo below), an Arabic Quran and some Zamzam water - I think it's holy water but I'm not too sure. I was also given a lovely present from my sister Aminah and her family, which is a wooden sign that says "Sisters ... kinship and connection, love and affection" and now has pride of place on my mantelpiece. One of my other sisters, Halimah, also gave me a transliteration of Part 30 of the Quran and a printout for the ritual bath that women take after menses, intercourse, postnatal bleeding and other such things.
This is the gorgeous abaya and hijab that the sister gave me (apologies for forgetting her name, I am terrible with names!) and I managed to pin it with one pin!!! And I didn't stab myself in the head either!!! Alhamdulillah I am getting better at this pinning-the-hijab lark haha. I will wear my new abaya tomorrow and hopefully the hijab with it, although I will need to wear an underscarf so that my hair doesn't escape. I will also be hopefully getting a bicycle so that I can build up my leg muscles and cardiovascular muscles - and to shorten the time it takes to get to university! If I can get one tomorrow then I can cycle to university tomorrow, although I will have to check on prices first naturally!
I loved speaking to all the sisters and seeing the new faces and I feel I've found my sanctuary. For someone who was never made to feel welcome around women, it's a tremendous feeling to be able to sit with other women, play with their children and be called "sister" or "auntie" ... it's like I've been walking through a wilderness with nobody to help me and now all of a sudden lots of people are coming to help me along my path. All I can do is thank Allah for them and their kindness, and pray that it continues.
I have not been praying at all for the last two days, mainly because I do not feel that it is right for me to do so whilst I am in a state of such turmoil. However, I have decided to learn about Islam in more detail, to read as much as possible, and when I am certain of my feelings and certain of my faith ... only then will I decide to either commit or quit. It is a very difficult time for me because whilst there are some tremendous aspects to Islam, there are also some very dark aspects and some very dark people in the world. I almost lost my best friend today because of some over-zealous people, and that has put a lot of things into perspective.