Being raised in a non Muslim country certainly has its challenges. More so if you are a young hijabi girl. the current rise of the right-wing wave makes it more challenging to be a visible Muslim. Terrorism, oppression and fundamentalism are only a few of the buzzwords that accompany discussions about Muslim women. Particularly so on those of us who have chosen to don the veil or hijab. In reality nothing could be further from the truth.
Summer break is over and school has just begun. With the new school year comes the much awaited resolution of wearing our hijab. For some of us, it is the very first time.
There are many topics to discuss in this age bracket particularly for females. However I’d like in this article to cover, even lightly, the much debated hijab issue.
Speaking from experience, it is safe to say that nothing defines self-image and identity like the challenges faced in our adolescence and decisive years. This includes our high school and college. It is there where we struggle the most, choose to compromise, resist and gain knowledge; particularly, knowledge about our religion.
So what do we do? What is expected?
How do we answer questions simply but informatively? What are the Hijabis?
Hijab Covers Hair Not Brains
As a typical Muslim girl wearing the hijab we don’t need to worry about how to style our hair. What we do worry about is the fact that we are being watched by the tens of people we meet daily whether at school, college or work.
From hating the way we look, to not feeling confident, to being worried about not fitting in, the list could go on. Be rest assured that it’s not just you. It is normal to feel doubts and insecurities in wearing our hijab.
That is why it is important we prepare ahead and read the experiences of others and what was done to overcome such a challenge. Preparing ourselves for questions, such as, “Aren’t you hot?” or “Do you feel less beautiful or less attractive?” is a good idea. Bear in mind those who ask may really be genuine, caring and wanting to know and learn.
This is your chance to be an ambassador of Islam. Remember actions speak louder than words. So, glaring angrily at questioners really doesn’t make the cut if you want to give a good impression. There are countless examples of hijabis who have succeeded in their fields and are the epitome of success. Covering your head does not mean covering your brain.
Tips and Solutions
We should surround ourselves with those who support the decision. Just like many other social movements women are using social media in particular to address issues including gender inequalities in society.
We too can create a Whatsapp or Facebook group to find motivation. Take advantage of social media and share your experiences, expectations and doubts.
Understand that we are obeying Allah’s orders and only good can come out of it. Just as Allah ordered prayers and fasting He also ordered us to wear hijab.
Remember girls, men too are ordered by Allah with things including lowering their gaze. Allah is Merciful and loves His creations equally.
Contrary to what people might say, covering oneself and dressing modestly is mandatory in Islam. Being a Muslim means we constantly strive to strengthen our faith and religiously improve ourselves.
Realize that pleasing Allah is always better than pleasing His creations. We are much more than our appearance and no matter how hard it might be, we keep our hijab on for one reason, for Allah.
What Does Allah Think?
Regardless of whether we wear hijab or not it is normal that we are worried about what others think. Well, have we ever truly thought about what Allah thinks? Get into the habit of worrying not about the size of the sin but about the greatness of Whom it was done against.
For every struggle we have in keeping the hijab on, we will be rewarded and that’s going to be worth it. Never forget that this world is short and it is a test.
It’s alright to take our time, struggle and mess up, as long as our intentions are sincere, and we continue trying.
When we understand fully what we are up against, the challenge becomes acceptable and easier to overcome.
Sometimes being a hijabi may be difficult especially when it comes to fashion. After all who doesn’t want to fit in and feel stylish and confident.
Even if we are to an extent fashionistas there will always be that moment, every couple of weeks, when we feel unsure about ourselves and what we wear. But look around, it happens to everyone and the feeling is not exclusive to those donning the hijab. Nor is it exclusive to females.
Some women say they are afraid of being discriminated against and harassed for looking too Muslim in the non Muslim world. Others may totally reject that Muslims have to cover at all. What I want to highlight is that it is worth it. Allah puts those whom He loves through these trials.
Before it is Too Late
Do not lose hope. Stay strong in what you are doing, especially if it is for the sake of Allah. Believe and accept it with your heart, not only your mind and what you set out to achieve will become easier.
Life is short. Jannah is forever. Don’t let the day of your death be the first day you are covered. Do it now!