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.
Thank you for the insight Foz. I think it’s important to outline why you wear Hijab and how you came to it.
Many people reject it cause they don’t understand it.
I am just a bit puzzled when you write “my sin for not wearing it”. I think wearing Hijab is a choice. Many muslim women don’t wear it by choice too. I’s up to everyone to feel confortable with her choice and not feel pushed by any other person.
I think that girls at a young age just want to do like Mummy! It has nothing to do with brainwhash. People like to have an idea on everything, just so the debate can go on and on.
I could talk about hours on this subject but I’ll stop there.
Keep sharing your story cause it’s a source of enlightment for many.
Take care. xx
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Basically I meant that wearing hijab is commanded by Allah, so it is my choice if I don’t wear it and in blunt terms be sinning. It is between me and Allah and noone else. So noone else can force me to wear it.
Good post. My daughter at the age of 4 started putting the headscarf on her self and she gave a talk on it at school. She done it on her own free will, Alhumdulilah. The point i’m trying to make is that if they see their mum putting on the scarf they are more likely to put it on. As a Muslim Counsellor I have a number of people come to me for Islamic counselling which you can find out more how some people need support as they could be going through identity crisis
Well put sis! I love my hijab and couldn’t imagine myself without it. it’s part of who I am and what I believe in. Ironicly a lot of people in the west keep saying we’re oppressed because we’re wearing it, so we have to take it off. If I was forced to take it off, THAT’S when I would be oppressed.
I don’t know why people in the west try to force muslims to be more like them, let us be what we are!
This is a brilliant article and I totally understand the frustration behind people assuming that women who wear the Hijab are oppressed.
Hijab is a choice and this becomes easier, almost a non-issue when your internal world is aligned with your external. Personally, as I worked on my personal relationship with Allah, I started noticing considerable changes in my behaviour, appearance and in every aspect of my life. Now this happens at different stages in everybody’s life but sometimes people tend focus on the external far more than the internal, which is really sad.
Insha Allah I can now learn from my own experiences as you have with yours, for when I have daughters of my own.
Salaam sis, this is a beautiful article, well explained and laid out.
I agree with you completely that girls of young ages be motivated and encouraged to cover their heads so they may take it as a habit once they grow up. As mothers, we should teach this habit to our daughters from early age 🙂
Masha’Allah well said, i agree 🙂
Great post. May God keep you on the right path and help you continue wearing the Hijaab by protecting you against all evils.
Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com
Sometimes with the hijab It is necessarily to just rip the band-aid. Baby steps would not work for some people. May Allah make it easy. ..Ameen
Great article mashaAllah. | think as much as hijab itself should be encouraged from a young age, this needs to be done in conjunction with the concept of hayaa and modesty. We should constantly encourage both male and female children to be modest, and then once they feel it on the inside, it will InShaAllah be easier to extend to their physical selfs as well.
May Allah guide us all…and in the current climate of such awful Islamophobia especially in the US and certain parts of Europe, make it easy for all those who choose to adhere to this command. Ameen
Hijab is a very touchy topic… Really touchy for Muslim women. Are we forced? Are we oppressed? Don’t we feel hot in it? Do you really want to cover youself like that? So many questions… Like a sister put it up, it is Allah’s commandment. We as human beings have no right to go against it. For that matter, I used to just wear a shawl on my head till one year before marriage. Working is what got me to wearing a proper hijab. For the past five years, I have been with abaya and a huge hijab, though my husband does not approve it much. As Allah commands, I am still not perfect… though I wear a long abaya, I don’t cover my legs with socks and I am guilty of it. I am always wondering if the abaya I am wearing is too colorful… I guess it takes a lot of understanding and strength to accept that what Allah says is the best for us. And definitely Allah knows best… 🙂 May He make it easy for all of us… Will keep coming back to read more InShaAllah… 🙂
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Well said Mashaa Allah, my struggle is always With the question why I wear the hijab. Learning about it really helped me not only understand why I was wearing it but also give a good answere . You can read about it in my recent posts.
Umm asiya recently posted…Modesty & Hijab
Beautifully written MashaAllah 🙂 I wish more people would understand that so often change doesn’t happen in an instant. Sometimes consistent change takes months on inner transformation before it actually happens.
Kids mimics what mothers do, they dont have to force at all,
Very touching article.
Every women who opted hijab has a turning point. More I learnt about Islam, more I wanted to look like a Muslim. And hijab showed my submission inside out. I was 17 when I opted to cover my hair. Then gradually wore abay against my parents and inlwas will by 22. And when there was veil ban in France, I craved for a veil. But wore few years later.
Now my in-laws and parents (mom and sis) are hijabis 🙂 Non of them were compelled.
Alhamdulillah for the light of Islam. Indeed, Allah (swt) is the turner of hearts and He guides Whom He wills.
I view the hijab as a divine gift – more for my own benefit as a Muslimah than a punishment as many people think. Understanding its important and using it properly is a journey for many, but once we cross that part of the journey the motivation increases as do the benefits.
May Allah (swt) make it easy for both the young and old to honour this divine gift till the last breadth. I love my hijab.
Some people do think women are forced to wear it, especially young girls. I worry about this with my own daughter. She rarely wears it as she is only 5 but when she does (her choice) I find myself telling her to take it off because I am worried that people will think I’m forcing her to wear it.
“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.” I will take this as an inspiration. It bothers me at times thinking what if my daughter doesn’t follow me wearing hijab? Now I should just sit back and relax, my job is to make her understand and I will continue to be an example to her inshaAllah Allah will guide her sooner.