To anyone thinking of wearing a hijab,
The first thing I want to tell you is that a hijab is not just a scarf, it’s the clothes you wear, the way you talk, the way you act and more, but for now let’s just talk about wearing a scarf. Wearing a scarf isn’t just a Muslim thing, it is also encouraged in other religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism, but as a Muslim I can tell you a few things about it which may apply to people from other faiths too. Through this letter I want you to just remember that it is just a scarf around your head, it’s not something like a life altering surgery or getting aa huge tattoo on your face, but it will change a lot of things for you.
As someone who has worn a scarf for just over six years I feel like it’s a huge part of me now, just like how you would put clothes on every day. Most people see the hijab as a sacrifice of some sorts as if hijabi’s are sacrificing their beauty for the sake of God but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone wears the hijab for different reasons but for me I feel as if I’m concealing my beauty so that people can look past that, it shows that I am not just this beautiful object I’m an actual person because it’s only when you take away someone’s beauty do you see what’s on the inside.
Do it for the right reasons
If you’re thinking of wearing a hijab I would advise you to think about what your intentions are, you have to do it for the right reasons. The first reason has to be for God and not because you’re being forced into it otherwise you’ll hate it, you have to be willing to wear a scarf, don’t think of it as a sacrifice think of it as a way to get closer to God.
The hijab has been viewed as a sign of oppression but it isn’t, Islamically women are encouraged to dress modestly for a few different reasons, one reason is to take a stand against female exploitation, by covering up you are saying “I’m not just an object of beauty for you to gawk at, I’m a human who knows my worth”. Another reason is for protection, women are being sexually harassed all the time and by wearing a hijab you are less likely to be harassed (not saying it doesn’t happen at all), the saddest part is that the excuse “she was asking for it” is used too often so by dressing modestly you’re protecting yourself from that. These are the right reasons to wear a hijab, so make sure you fully understand this before wearing it.
The hardest part is not the scarf itself
Like I said before it is just a scarf around your head, it’s as normal as putting a top on. But you’ve seen the media, you’ve seen how people react to hijabis. As a practising Muslim who wears a hijab I am not oppressed, the hijab is empowering if anything. Like I said before about seeing past the beauty to the person I actually am, that’s the complete opposite of oppression.
You have to understand that wearing a hijab is the easy part, it’s how you will be treated which is harder. As someone who has worn a scarf since I was 12 I can’t tell you how differently you will be treated because I don’t know anything else, but what I can say is that I have been asked to remove my scarf at an airport and even heard someone whispering Islamophobic things on a bus, but things like stares I never take notice of. So if you’re in your teens or older then you probably will realise how different other people treat you.
Islam has been represented badly in the media and it’s sad that people who wear a scarf or look like a Muslim have to deal with hateful people. If you’re thinking of wearing a scarf then this is something you have to consider too.
You can wear a scarf how you want
People usually think of a hijab as just a black scarf wrapped around your head, and what I’m going to tell you now isn’t considered very Islamic and a few people may disagree with it. You can wear a scarf however you want (within reason), so if you want you can wear it traditionally, you can have it half up and half down, you can wear it as a turban or even just wear a beanie. The idea behind this is that you wear it to the point to where you are comfortable. So if you are just starting out and do not feel comfortable wearing it traditionally then why not start wearing hats at first, then when you’re comfortable wear it as a turban and gradually build yourself up.
Most believe that by wearing it as a turban and by showing hair you’re not wearing it properly but everyone wears a hijab for different reasons and as long as your intentions are there then you can wear it however you want. I have worn a scarf for ages now and even though sometimes I don’t wear it in the traditional way like I used to before I have a stronger faith right now than before. Again, this is just how I feel and I believe only God knows what’s best, so you should try to wear it but only if you’re comfortable.
Wearing a hijab does not mean you are a perfect Muslim
For some reason people think that by being a hijabi you are supposed to be a perfect Muslim this is another thing which isn’t true. No one is perfect and everyone sins this isn’t an exception for hijabis, so by wearing a scarf don’t think you have to be perfect, of course that is the aim for every Muslim though. What you will find when you start wearing a scarf is that somethings will be easier to avoid, for example I wouldn’t go into a club because I wear a scarf and I would feel completely out of place.
But everyone still sins, I still listen to music, I even disagree with things like homophobia. Just because you wear a hijab doesn’t mean you have to follow everything, you’re not a representative for every Muslim but by taking this step you do have to have the intention to improve yourself and get closer to God.
So before you decide ask yourself these questions: why am I doing it? How will it affect my life? How will I wear it? And how am I going to change? But remember that wearing a scarf is an amazing thing and you will be rewarded for it.
What are your words of advice for anyone thinking about wearing a hijab? Tell me in the comments!
Featured Image Source: https://www.allure.com/story/lejemalik-hijab-friendly-salon