Behind the Veil: Why We Wear Hijab and Love It
Salam and peace readers!
After we wrote our first piece about hijab, we decided to share with you our own hijab stories and how we came to the decision to put on the hijab and grew to love it. We hope this will create a greater understanding of why we as Muslim women decide to wear the hijab.
As a child and a teenager, I never thought I would be strong enough to wear the hijab. Having a funny name and being darker than the average white kid, I was already “weird” enough and didn’t want to stand out more than I already did.
But something changed when I got to college. I met actual Muslims and hijabis and found out that they were “normal” people and just like me. To be Muslim, it was not necessary to be what that Egyptian lady at Islamic school thought a Muslim should be like. I could be American and part of society and still be a Muslim!
After a while, and after much deliberation and preparation, I came to a point about a year and a half ago where I decided I was ready to put on the hijab. I prayed istikhara (the guidance prayer) the night before and asked Allah to make it easy for me and alhumdulilah it was probably the most wonderful day in my life the day I put on hijab. I was soooo happy and more confident than I had ever been before! I walked around proud that I would never have to explain to anyone that I was a Muslim.
I love hijab, because it serves as a reminder to myself and others that I am Muslim first, and Islam will always come first no matter what obstacles or trials I face.
To tie in with Jamila’s story, I feel that because Jamila did not grow up thinking she would wear the hijab she went through a struggle with herself [Jihad Al-Nafs- the internal struggle] to wear hijab once she was older. I admire her struggle because I had gone to an Islamic school for most of my grade school and wearing hijab was a given.
I went to an Islamic school where once girls were in middle school hijab was part of the required uniform and hijab was required for prayers as well. Even so, I remember the day I decided to wear hijab. It was Eid Al-Adha of the 4th grade when I woke up to the festive smells of Eid- fresh baked sweets, fresh coffee and the Takbeerat broadcasting live on TV
As my mom called me over to do my hair and prepare for the daily festivities I told her that I was going to wear hijab for the day. My mom responded that I needed to stop being silly and I should hurry up so she could prepare herself to go out as well. To that, I insisted that I wanted to wear hijab and that if she did my hair I would not go to Eid prayer with her (yes, I was a stubborn child).
She finally gave in and said that if I went to prayer in hijab I shouldn’t take it off all day.
I nodded in agreement but after a day of prayer, hugs, gift and a busy day at the Mall of America I decided I was going to wear the hijab for good.
I mean, if i was able to keep my hijab on through the ‘Camp Snoopy’ rides, I would wear it through anything…
7ob w Aman/Far7 we Aman,
Jamila & Amina