About 2 weeks ago, I made the decision to start wearing hijab and by hijab I mean covering my hair with a scarf. It has been something on my mind for a while, years in fact, but I have just not been brave enough to do it.
I was close to it a few times, but then my parents would have a go about me not wearing it….. And I had vowed to myself I would never let them bully me into anything again after the way I was married. Now that I am married and have children, they cannot tell me how to live my life; it was my battle and it is between me and Allah (swt) if I wear it or not.
I know that was not a good excuse, that I didn’t want my parents to think they had ‘won’, I wasn’t doing it for them anyway, but I guess I was just looking for an excuse not to.
My hubby had made it clear that he would like me to wear it, he mentioned it once when we got married and then left it to me. He again mentioned it after his hajj but did not force me in any way. He knows the more you try to force me into doing something the less likely I am to do it. I don’t take well to being told what to do.
The thing is I am not the most fashion conscious out there. I don’t wear make up and I always dress conservatively too, never have my arms showing and always wear loose clothes. I don’t style my hair; it is just dragged into a ponytail every morning for the school run….more often than not it is a complete frizzy mess especially if I have just washed it. So it was not about me feeling less attractive if I started wearing it.
I guess I was just scared of the reaction I would get, having heard of fellow muslims experiencing abuse and even having it pulled off. (If someone does that to me I am likely to turn round and punch them one).
The looks, including looks of contempt.
The fear in peoples eyes that seems to associate scarfs and muslims with terrorists.
That feeling of being looked down upon for wearing a scarf, some even think you are uneducated.
The looks of pity from people who think you are oppressed by the menfolk and are being forced to wear it.
Yes some women are forced to wear it…I won’t deny that, but I believe that in the majority of cases, women wear it because they want to, because they are proud to be seen in it and making it clear they are muslim. And most importantly they are fulfilling part of their faith.
“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed…” (Qur’an 33:59)
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands…” (Qur’an 24:30-31)
Although I have only been wearing it for 2 weeks it does feel like I have been wearing it for longer. I got a few curious looks from mums on the school run and at toddlers group but noone said anything except one friend who kindly said ‘I like your new look!’
I have sadly seen a couple of attitude changes. There is a post office I pop into now and then and the man at the counter is usually quite friendly; he barely said 2 words to me when I went in with my hijab on. I am hoping he was just having a bad day.
I have also had one incident when a man blatantly stared at me and didn’t stop at a zebra crossing.
If anything, these incidences make me more determined to wear it.
The people that matter are happy that I am wearing it. So happy that they have given me free items when popping into a shop to build up my hijab collection and I have mentioned I have just started wearing it.
I am Muslim.
And I am proud to be Muslim.
Why do people feel threatened by the fact that someone wants to cover their hair anyway? (If anything it keeps your head nice and warm in winter!)