At 22 years old – being “born and raised” Muslim – one would think hijab would be an obvious thing for me. Sadly, this was not the case. Although I grew up in an Islamic household, when my parents split I moved with my mom (converted to Islam for my dad and then reverted to Christianity after my dad) and since she didn’t enforce any rules, I didn’t live by any.
For most of my life I didn’t wear hijab or dress very appropriately, except for when I went to my muslim family’s functions. It was kinda crazy, like living a double life. When I’d get to my mom’s (Christian) family after being with my dad, they would know exactly where I was since I’d be wearing a scarf. The guilt slowly began creeping up on me… Then a few months ago, I was at Canal Walk when I bumped into my dads brother and his wife and it was SO awkward for me because 1. I wasn’t wearing a scarf and 2. I was wearing this above-the-butt tshirt that said DOPE.
After that I started carrying a scarf in my bag for just in case we go to a mall or anywhere I might bump into family. This changed into me wearing the scarf instead of it being in my bag. And after a while I began to feel strange if I WASN’T wearing one. And then every single time I went to my mom’s family wearing my Hijab, they would ask if I came from my dad’s. It was actually saddening and made me feel guiltier with every question asked. After a while I just got over it and now it’s very seldom that you’d see me without my Hijab, even in my own house.
My family initially thought it was because of the guy I’m getting engaged to but he actually had no influence in my decision. Although a few weekends ago when my mom tried to convince me to NOT wear Hijab to my grandmothers 70th, he backed me up and told me he thought I looked beautiful in my Hijab and that it really suits me. Even more of a reason for me to wear it!!
It’s very strange for me to always be the only one in Hijab when I’m with my Christian family but I am slowly getting used to it. The comments are dying down and THEY’RE getting used to it too. Now I love my Hijab and can’t see myself being without it, although sometimes to be honest, I feel like I miss the compliments my long hair would get me. But now I get different compliments, ones that actually mean something. People tell me how Hijab suits me, how beautifully my scarf is styled etc.
Funnily enough, it was the uncle I bumped into at the mall that day that would always drill this into me “everybody gets there on their own time”. What he meant by this was that when we see girls who we know are Muslim not wearing hijab or doing things they shouldn’t, we shouldn’t judge because everyone gets there on their own time.