“Everything hit me hard after I was betrayed by my boyfriend at the time. I loved him so much; he gave me so much ‘love.’ Once I found out that he was having an affair and married his mistress, my heart broke into pieces.”

I used to really want to wear hijab, especially when I was in high school. But when I entered elementary school, I hated Islamic studies. When I was in grade school, I’d started to have a mind that was quite … against Islam. At the time, I thought,’What is the importance we lead prayers, fasting, and so on, if it’s just a waste of time?’ I came from a religious family.

I’d been lazy praying five times a day. My role model was my cousin, but when she started to wear hijab, I distanced myself from her and began to hate her. If I was asked to pray by her or anyone else, I would get angry.

I was known for having a cruel mouth. I even insulted a friend in elementary school who was orphaned. I threw sand directly into one of my friends while playing traditional Indonesian game, the Fortress game (or in Indonesia, we called Benteng). Even though I had friends, I didn’t get along with them and they ended up using me.

During the month of Ramadan, I just went along with fasting and I didn’t understand why I have to endure hunger and thirst for the day. In the morning, I quietly ate, although I was eventually caught by a friend of mine.

In the 4th grade, I’d fast half a day. I slowly started to understand why I had to fast, although the reason I fasted time was because of the lure of money given during Eid. I still didn’t pray five times a day.

I remember my grandmother forced me to be able to learn the Quran so that I could reduce my negative nature. I hated and scolded my grandmother. And the first time I learned Quran lessons with my tutor was the first time I wore the hijab, although I would not continue to wear it when I go to school.

When my sister was born prematurely, I would sometimes annoy her and my father would not hesitate to be violent towards me. I felt like everyone would give more attention to her and didn’t love me as much.

My relationship with my sister was good until I was in college, before I put on the hijab. We fought physically; bruises, cuts, and sprains filled my body because of a fight with my sister. I nearly attempted suicide because of the behavior of family members.

The days are past college also somewhat somber. Friends on campus always bullied me, some of them even did it without realizing they had hurt me. I was becoming increasingly depressed because of their behavior, and eventually I had to get out of that campus, though most of my family is very disappointed with the decision. But, I guess that is the most appropriate decision. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything after leaving the campus. From the year 2011 until now, I am a student at a music school.

Everything hit me hard after I was betrayed by my boyfriend at the time. I loved him so much; he gave me so much ‘love.’ Once I found out that he was having an affair and married his mistress, my heart broke into pieces.

This experience encouraged me to start fresh and try the hijab. The first time I wore it to my music school, my friends didn’t believe what they saw. My mom and grandmother didn’t believe it either. Although my mother didn’t want me to wear the hijab because she wasn’t sure if I would wear it permanently, I managed to prove to her that I was very sure and steady with this decision.

I finally met a man who was far better than my ex-boyfrend; my future husband plans to convert to Islam at the beginning of February. He had been close to my the entire time; he was nice to me ever since my breakup.

I should have never felt lazy to pray to God because what I wanted and what I needed was closer to me than I expected; and inshaaAllah I hope this is the case for others as well.

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