My Hijab story was due for a while. I finally decided to write this one today. I don’t want this post to be just for Muslims. It could be for anyone who wants to know the depth related to hijab. First of all, let us focus on the meaning of hijab.
hijab: or ḥijāb (Arabic: حجاب,) is a veil that covers the head and chest, which is particularly worn by some Muslim women beyond the age of puberty.
Thanks to Wikipedia, we have a nice explanation of what it actually means. Hijab is compulsory (fard) on Muslim women. Hijab is a gift from Allah SWT to women, to keep their chastity protected and to keep them modest. A woman is allowed to be without hijab in front of certain men that are allowed as per Quran, like her father, brother, son and others.
Media shows hijab as a sign of oppression and that it suppresses women, which is completely false. If a woman is wearing hijab it doesn’t mean, she is backward, or has to be extremely religious, or that she lacks any sort of freedom. Please don’t feel pity for hijabi woman, they do it for their creator. To please Allah SWT because their love for Allah is immense. We only do it to seek Allah SWT’s approval and blessings. Simply, we are obeying His command. It doesn’t make us more religious, though. It’s just one of the things we are trying to do among tons of things we should be doing. Hijab guards our modesty. It lets the other person know the true us rather than judging on our appearance. Islam teaches what matters the most is- inside not the appearance. Women are much more than a beauty object or an eye candy.
My Steps Towards Hijab:
I spent almost 16 years in Saudi Arabia, & we cover ourselves with abaya (loose robe like dress) Abaya is like a cloak and because of the way its made, it’s loose and doesn’t emphasize on the shape of women’s body. At that time, wearing abaya was obeying the law, as you know everyone in Saudi Arabia has to wear an abaya. I definitely felt protected from all the weird stares from men and the other benefit was nobody knows if you are wearing your night suit under the abaya lol.
As I grow older, I came closer to my religion. But starting hijab was the biggest challenge for me. After leaving Saudi Arabia, I did try to put it again in the United States but I failed in continuing it. I didn’t understand the reason behind a hijab. Living my life in Pakistan and Dubai, I never practiced wearing a hijab. I belong to a practicing Muslim family but my sisters nor my mother wears it. So it was merely my decision, if I want or if I don’t want to take hijab. My husband nor my father are strict. Both have always appreciated whatever decisions I have taken in life. Blessed to have them, by the way.
Almost 4 years ago we performed Hajj, which is a pilgrimage for Muslims. I really felt close to Allah SWT and developed a connection which motivated me towards hijab. At that time, I couldn’t gather the courage to start it. All these questions drove me nuts, what will others say? what if It doesn’t suit me? what about all the hair styles and blah blah. I always loved dressing up, who doesn’t? And I felt that wearing a scarf would definitely effect that & once I start it I won’t be able to take it off. Taking it off once in my life was enough. I made a point to myself that if I ever start wearing hijab again it will be for the right reasons and I won’t take it off. Inshaa’Allah.
I finally gathered the courage 1.5 years ago to start wearing it, while we were in Makkah performing Umrah. We went with some close friends and my friend decided that she is going to start wearing it regardless of so many ifs and buts. That gave me courage as well and we both started together. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Many people think that it’s a very religious step but I seriously don’t think so. It’s just like praying five times, fasting, hajj or any other duty that we perform for Allah SWT. I don’t consider myself pious or religious, I am not even close. But this is just one of the things I do for Allah SWT.
Hijab requires courage and also comes with own set of challenges. I feel Canada has more acceptability towards different cultures and religions and comparatively it is still pretty easy to follow personal choices. In my day to day dealings, I have hardly met anyone who has been judgemental because of my hijab or maybe I never noticed them. My hijab is a statement that I am a Muslim and therefore it’s my responsibility to show the best of our religion. Hijab helps me in staying at my best. On the other hand, I don’t judge anyone who is not wearing a hijab, because that is just stupid. I was someone who didn’t wear it before. It’s a personal choice and it doesn’t bother me if someone does it or not.
So beneath the headscarf /hijab, we are just another girl who loves to shop, watch makeup tutorials, try different hair styles, watch movies and enjoy life, just like you 🙂