One word that seems to be striking fear into the hearts of the western world. So much so that they are trying to ban it. Some because they think they are liberating Muslim women. Some because they fear it. And some mainly just down to ignorance.
I decided to start this series after a comment was left on a picture of Bee where she had draped one of my scarfs over her head. Apparently I am brainwashing my child. Hijab seems to a symbol of oppression to many in the western world. But this is not the case.
I am not going to sit here and deny that noone is forced to wear it, I am sure some are. But this does not mean that everyone is. A lot of women are choosing to wear it themselves. I am one of those women. I chose to wear it last February, when I was in my early 30’s.
As I was growing up I was taught all the basics of Islam, to pray, fast etc, but I had no real love of the religion. My parents weren’t really strict with me when it came to wearing hijab. I didn’t wear it to school but I had to cover my hair when a man came to the house. I felt hypocritical doing that when I was going out in public without wearing it and I started resenting it when my parents kept making me do it when someone came round. And it wasn’t even proper hijab, just a scarf casually draped over my head.
I only started feeling uncomfortable about not wearing it when I went to university and saw so many sisters wearing it and being so comfortable with it. That is when I first started questioning why I wasn’t wearing it, but it still look a long time before I actually did.
University was the first time I came across sisters who loved wearing hijab, I didn’t really mix with many Muslims in my home town. Sisters who were wearing it because they chose to, for their love of Islam and following a commandment to wear it. And they were so confident in wearing it. And looked beautiful.
Returning back home after university I lost that feeling of sisterhood, and hijab was put to the back of my mind again. But the thought kept lingering that I should wear it. My parents realised that I should be wearing it as they got more religious. But the more they tried to force me to wear it the more I refused to.
My husband had mentioned at the start of my marriage that perhaps I should be covering my hair. But that is all he said and never mentioned it again. He knew it was my battle, my choice if I was to wear it and my sin for not wearing it.
Every time I was close to wearing it, my parents would lecture me that I should be wearing it. I know it was not a good excuse but I was determined not to let my parents force me into doing anything after I was bullied into marriage. So I would push the thought of wearing hijab to one side again.
Before I started wearing the hijab, I was thinking to do so for months beforehand. I purchased a few hijabs, tried them on, got the pins and undercaps. They sat in my drawers for months, and then finally one day I just did it…..and haven’t looked back since. And it was MY choice, no one elses.
Yes I have found it difficult at times and almost took it off a couple of times, but then I realised that I am not just doing this for myself, nor am I doing it to please other people, but to be true to myself and my religion.
Wearing the hijab does not make us oppressed. Nor does it make us weak, uneducated or pathetic. I am an educated woman who has completed her Law Degree and LPC. And I myself have chosen to wear the hijab. I haven’t been brainwashed by anything or anyone. It is my growing love for my religion that has made me take this step.
I will never force (brainwash) my girls to wear hijab. They will know and understand why I am wearing it and then it will be their choice if they choose to.