When I was 10 years old and the dream of becoming a doctor was still beautiful and naive, I met with Dr. Khadija. In my memory, I can still see this lady in full hijab plus niqab walking quickly towards my dad and I, apologizing for being late and excusing herself to go and change. When she came back, she had not done much of changing except for removing her niqab and putting on her white coat. As we walked around the hospital to have various tests done, I remember seeing eyes looking at her with such admiration, respect; she was the doctor, who would dare disrespect a doctor. And right then I knew that I wanted to be a doctor like her i;e never abandoning my hijab for my career.
Well that was long ago. I was too naive for this world. I never knew Islamophobia existed or could exist, I saw any Muslim lady without hijab to be lacking and I seriously did not understand the struggle people might be going through to be able to adorn the hijab. Right now I can say I know better. I have experienced discrimination due to my hijab, I know people who have undergone nasty situations because of it and all over social media we see sisters from different parts of the world being treated unfairly due to hijab. The enemies of Islam and Muslims are doing their best to ensure the world perceive hijab as a form of oppression, danger, threat, terrorism, naivety, uneducated, backward or any other word that makes it as something negative as possible. Thus the need for more correct information to be put out there and so I write.
When the topic, ”Acceptance in the community” is being discussed, we readily look at the ones bleaching their skins, the ones wearing weaves, those who cannot leave their homes without make up or those killing themselves with impossible diets for the sake of losing weight or staying in shape. We rarely look at a Muslim lady in trouser suit and a headscarf on the head. We have all silently agreed that this is the correct look for a career Muslim lady, or something similar. Creating another form of discrimination amongst ourselves. So the ones who put on the jelbab, niqab and abaya are most probably house wives or have studied religion. For us who are engineers, doctors, lawyers, politicians and business ladies, we have our hijab adjusted to fit fashion. To make it more acceptable to our colleagues.
We have worked hard while studying for different fields of career, we did so while adorning full hijab hopefully, why then after we succeed we are quick to adjust the hijab? Why are we the ones giving the world the impression that the correct hijab is a form of limitation to our careers? What exactly does it limit us to do? Look pretty and learned? Do we realize that the message we are passing to our young ones is, the correct hijab is only for when they are in high school and below, after that it is not that necessary? When did it become more important for us to fit into the trending fashions and for our dress code to be accepted by our colleagues than abide by the laws of our Creator?
To others it might just be a dress code but we know too well that to us it is a statement of faith. A statement that the faith that we have accepted in our hearts, we are letting it show on the outside too. Making it even more important to make this statement correctly. This is a call and reminder to myself first then to you my sisters out there, lets put in the utmost effort in portraying our Faith correctly. It’s not only about being better role models to our young ones and among ourselves but it is a way of killing the stereotypes. Putting an end to thoughts such as hijab being a limitation or prevention for us to be whatever we might want to be. It will also allow any other lady interested in Islam access to correct image of a Muslim lady when she is outside her home.
We might not know this or might have chosen to ignore it; but it is true we dictate how the world treat us as individuals and also as a nation. Yes it has become hard and even dangerous to wear a headscarf let alone a full hijab. I know me suggesting this automatically qualifies my name to be under the extremists as per current world, people who make the religion difficult. I’m still not discouraged from reminding myself and my sisters. May be through this reminder, you and I will be able to create a world where correct hijab is normal. And as I have always said, lets take comfort and courage in ”… and whoever fears Allah- He will make for him a way out. And provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah- then He is sufficient for him.” (Qur’an 65:2-3). The goal is to attain Taqwa and yaqeen. Having full trust in Allah that my adorning the correct hijab is not an hindrance to reach my worldly goals nor a source of problems with others; rather an addition to my rewards and hopefully blessings in my life. And as someone puts it. ”if you stand up for All (meaning swalah) you can stand up to anything.”
One of my best friend’s dreams is to own a range rover and she would tell me how she can’t wait to be driving her range while in full hijab plus niqab. I say why stop at range? Dream of a ride in your sports car or convertible with the roof open and let your hijab be blown by the wind, with your sun glasses on. My dream is to own a motorcycle. I’m not a fun of thriller rides so this dream is usually an LOL to my friends but still, I can’t wait to take off my helmet at the end of that ride and flip my hijab. Wearing hijab should not stop you from being cool.
May Allah make it easy for us to present Islam in the correct way and may He fill our hearts with taqwa and full trust in Him, ameen.
Talking of hijab, we have an amazing hijab event coming up soon in shaa Allah. Don’t miss out! Check details in the poster below.