This isn’t just a story about how I decided to use the hijab, it is the story about how my perspective and hence my life changed.
I grew up in a sort of Islamic environment – I used to think that it was Islamic but now I know it’s just sort of- where I’m from girls aren’t allowed to go out without their heads covered (the hijab wasn’t compulsory or anything, you just had to cover your hair) anything above the knee wasn’t allowed (it could stop right on the knee, that’s okay) trousers were frowned at (but you could always wear a long top on it, that’ll do). This is why when I got to school (university) and saw varying lengths of hijabs, I was neither surprised nor intimidated, I just thought that the longer your hijab is, the more religious you are.
Oh boy! Was I wrong? My first year in school was enlightening, I learned a lot and am not just talking about biochemistry, I learned a lot about the deen, it turned out that all I knew about the deen was just a culture-corrupted version of the deen. Thank God for his mercies and for the great people that he surrounded me with, accepting the truth wasn’t difficult, I discovered that wearing the hijab doesn’t make anyone religious it only makes us Muslims.
My Hijab – Best move I ever made
Deciding to wear the hijab was the best decision I ever made and it with came a lot of benefits starting with the inner peace which accompanies a good deed, the respect you get from people is almost automatic, all the guys that you had to explain to a million and one times why you can’t shake hands with them suddenly understand, and the best part is that guys think twice (maybe a little more) before they approach you so you don’t get stupid proposals from every other guy who thinks that you’re pretty.
With every great step comes great challenges, I found that the decision making part is the easiest, there came the “what length of hijab to use problem” and surprisingly the same set of people that I would have thought would encourage me were the same ones telling me “oh! That hijab is too long, you should start small” I was like what!!! Are you kidding me? I don’t like starting small, I believe that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
And then there’s the acceptance from family and friends, they took it well (lucky me) but there are always some bad apples – I remember a lady telling me -“nice of you to wear a hijab like this, if you ever decide to wear socks too don’t greet me again” (seriously?) Well I wore the socks and I greeted her, guess what? She replied, because it’s my life, my legs not hers.
People react according to their perspectives, and they’ll try to convince you to do what they think is right because they don’t see things the way that you do, it’s left to you to hold firm to what you believe in.
It’s your life, live it the way that you should, don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do because in the end, you’re the only one to be questioned about what you did or didn’t do.