Choosing to wear the hijab at a young age is unquestionably a battle. Knowing that you must conceal your beauty in a world where beauty is only valued, is unsettling. After weeks of contemplation, insecurities, and fear, I finally made the decision at 11 years old to wear the hijab/abaya. It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies at first but through this religious journey, I have grown to love my hijab.
If you asked me a few years ago how I felt about my hijab, I would truthfully answer that I was embarrassed.
I would tell you that I wore it for show, and if it were up to me I would have taken it off without a second thought. I would tell you that I felt hideous wearing it, being different from society’s social standards. Honestly, all I wanted was for my hair to be free. I wanted to be free.
I would wake up every morning and, as I pinned the cloth that sat on my head and put on the abaya that covered my body, I would groan, thinking of how much I wanted to be like everyone else.
To be free of the judgemental stares and hurtful comments. Maybe it was because everybody I conversed to about the topic thought it was an impractical concept. Hair was meant to be let free. People would question, “Who’s enticed by hair? What’s the point, why wear it?”. They’d continually state that donning the hijab was a sign of oppression and told me I should just take it off.
I would silently put my head down, embarrassed by what I looked like.
It was sometime over the course of my middle school years, that it hit me. Maybe I didn’t comply to society’s standards. What if I could be different? I didn’t need to display my body to be considered beautiful. I could be beautiful with my intellect instead. As said by a girl on the channel Talk Islam, I fell in love. I fell in love with the hijab because I came to understand that it was not simply a cloth draped over my body to cover beauty and preserve modesty. It was a physical manifestation of my submission and connection with my lord. An external representation of my internal spirituality.”
It had become my identity. When I learned the rationale for the hijab stated in the Quran. I was overwhelmed. Not only did it shatter my shallow perception of the hijab, it demonstrated to me God had validated my beauty. And from that day on I can’t imagine leaving my house without the hijab.
As Nusayba once said, ‘Wearing Hijab represents my freedom, my choice, not my oppression by the wants of men and media.’ I believe the hijab is a sign of modesty and freedom. It liberated me and gave me an identity. It has empowered me beyond any measure. I realized that while wearing the hijab I was judged for my thoughts and characters rather than my beauty. I was acknowledged for who I was rather than how I looked. I wanted to grasp any chance of making my bond firmer with my Lord, so I seized this opportunity. However, hijab isn’t simply concealing your beauty, it bears a far more profound importance. It’s about attaining modesty, embellishing our character, and having alluring patience. It’s a commitment, to never stop trying to seek God in everything, through everything.