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    You're probably getting better advice from the other muslims commenting but from a western perspective it would really not have bothered me AT ALL if a friend started to become more devout to any faith during university. Obviously it might have been a little bit of a shock to see someone start wearing the abaya (I think hijabs are much more 'normal' in the UK, I've certainly had plenty of friends who wear it) but I wouldn't judge them or want it to affect our friendship. I think one thing which would help me, hypothetically, would be if you were pretty open and honest about it... it wouldn't be too crazy if your friends had some questions about your faith and they would feel more able to ask them if you sat them down one day and said 'I've been getting in touch with my faith and have decided to do X, Y and Z' than if one day you just turn up in an abaya + hijab out of nowhere. It will also mean they're less likely to have any concerns about extremism if you're being very open and still connecting with them. <- please don't take this with any offense but extremist Islam is really pushed in everyone's face right now and anyone who's done a training course on recognising extremism is always told a big warning sign is when someone suddenly starts showing very traditionally religious behaviours which are out of character so it is possible this occurs to people. I think if you're not isolating yourself though you'll demonstrate pretty quickly they don't have to worry about you.

    I also agree with the advice above that a non-black abaya will look less extreme/intimidating when you first start wearing it.

    Overall though you should do what makes you happy and what you want to do. Don't let someone else dictate something as personal as your religion, that's a choice only you can make.

    Religion is a big fat con. Only gullible people believe in god or fairies. Do yourself a favour and drop this religious lark before you get sucked into it and end up being a self righteous, judgemental pain the arse.
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