ANNALS OF HIJABIS on knowislam.com.ng Episode 9
Don’t force your kids to wear the hijab. Let them not wear it because they are scared of you. Let them wear it because they’ve seen the beauty in it. Let them wear it for Allah. Had my parents forced me to wear the hijab, I would have taken it off a long time ago. Instead, they made me see the beauty in it. Yes, they made me wear it for Allah alone.
In 2016 I started the A’ Level programme where a lot of my friends – like 95% of my schoolmates- were Christians. They were not Hijabis.
At first, I was the only Hijabi. They had everything I had. They are pretty just like me, and I know very well that I am pretty too (winks). But this feeling of not being enough, because I don’t dress like my friends still made me feel insecure a little bit – you know, the teen spirit. I mean I also wanted to wear trousers, flaunt my hair, show the world what I’ve got. Back then, I so wanted to look like them. I felt weird, lost a little bit of my confidence, felt ugly and incomplete. I felt like no, I have to take it off! I wanted to show them that I am pretty too!
I felt inadequate especially when they talked about terrorism in the class, when they talked about child marriage. I could recall my biology teacher who made me feel like I was caged, like I didn’t have a right, like the hijab was some sort of chain, like I was oppressed!
This is a world so broken that people no longer love or respect you for who you are but love and respect you for the shape and size of your behind. During that period, when I was still battling with my inner self not to take off my Hijab, a brother -not my brother though – told me ” you are not dressing for Allah. You are dressing for men. Your hijab is meant to be longer than this, you should wear the jilbab, you are too western.”
I wanted to punch that brother in the face, then I remembered shit splatters. So, I fell in love with my hijab one more time. I accepted myself the way I was and my Hijab became my eye pencil, my braids, my lipstick, my foundation, my contour, my concealer… In short, my hijab became my beauty. And all my insecurities drowned.
You see, you can’t claim to love your hijab no matter what stage you are if you have never been tempted to remove it. My Christian friends are all amazing, thank you all for loving me with my hijab. I love you all, too!
To my biology teacher, thank you for loving me so much that you cared about my freedom, but I realized that my hijab is not a problem; the only problem I had is your lack of understanding of my hijab. Thank you for caring about my freedom, but I realized that that the hijab isn’t a cage; the only cage I locked myself in was the wilderness of my thoughts –thoughts of me not being enough.
So, thank you all for making me realize that the hijab is a piece of clothe worn only by the strong- by people who won’t give in, no matter what!
Darling! The best you can ever be is yourself. Don’t remove your hijab because you are crushing or want to be noticed by a guy.
Don’t increase the length of your hijab or wear the niqab because you are crushing on a brother who loves niqaab or want to be noticed by some guys who would be saying Ma Shaaaa Allllah coz of a niqabi.
Stay true to yourself no matter what. But, above all, strive to please your Lord.
Email your hijab/niqab stories to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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