When you go out on a cold day, you put on your jacket; Sometimes gloves and a hat and a scarf too.
When I go out, I cover up just like that-
The way you put on your jacket.
I cover myself and I cover the clothes I’m wearing.
I know some find it odd. I know some think it’s foreign culture. I know some think I must be oppressed and suppressed.
Some even think they should “save” me. A man cursed at my husband once because… he must have forced me.
I like to call it hijab, which means “covering” or “partition” in Arabic.
I went without it for twenty three years.
I’ve been there.
I was a girl fresh out of college.
I would have started sooner if I hadn’t feared what my friends would say; If I hadn’t feared people a little too much.
The day I finally did it, I ran into work past everyone- looking down. I ran right into the break room and hesitated before I revealed myself- no longer revealed.
Why? Why do we wear hijab?
The Quran makes it very clear and simple: “so that you will be recognized and so that you will not be annoyed” (Quran 33:59)
Hijab is partially a statement, partially a protection. The implications of both aspects are very, very rich.
It is one of my favorite directives given in Islam.
When I go out, I am recognized as a Muslim: Someone who puts their Creator first; I’m not someone who’s interested in flirting, or showing off my body, or competing for attention.
When I go out, I do not get harassed or gawked at from top to bottom. I don’t get whistled at or called baby by men I don’t know.
Women don’t compare their curves to mine. They don’t get jealous and neither do I.
If my body is not like a supermodel’s that’s ok, I don’t have to feel inadequate. The people who care about me think I’m beautiful the way I am. Why should I worry about anyone else?
I’m not forced to be a runner in the race to wear the latest and greatest fashion.
My outer appearance is not a display of beauty but of the fact I have more important things on my mind.
Hijab has given me the freedom to move through the world with dignity and respect I had not known before it.
It is truly liberating.
I hardly ever have nightmares, but when I do they almost always involve me being out somewhere in a public place- and realizing I’m not wearing hijab.
10 thoughts on “The Girl Behind The Veil”
Wow. What an amazing insight into a different world. It must be difficult when people assume you must be oppressed just because of your choice of clothes. We are all so glad that you now feel as though you can practice your faith as you want to and we hope that this is made easy for you and anyone else who wants to do the same.
Thank you for the insight, peace be with you,
Light in a Glass
How sweet. 🙂 thank you.
As salaamu’alaikum warahmatullah
I rarely take time to comment like this – but had to say: LUV THIS UKHTI!
Walaykum assalam wa rahmatullah. Thank you so much, I am honored. Jazakillah khair.
Ohh, I’ve had that nightmare many times too! Thanks for the great post!
Salam! I’m sure we aren’t the only ones! Hopefully people get the point- we love hijab! Thanks for the compliment. 🙂
In Iran, where it’s the law, regardless if Islam is your belief, it’s oppressive. Not in America though where you have a choice to dress how you want. However, I’ve seen some immodest Muslims before though. Super tight jeans and shirts… but with a burka. That’s just human nature, though.
What Countries do doesn’t necessarily reflect Islam, and I am not qualified or particularly interested in discussing politics or policy in foreign countries.
I feel very blessed and grateful to live in the United States. I wouldn’t rather live anywhere else. 🙂
Many Muslim girls and women struggle with wearing hijab due to social pressures. Actually speaking of oppressive, one could argue that the overwhelming pressure on girls to look perfectly beautiful and sexy in this country is quite oppressive (many people do argue this point in fact)
Girls who don’t know much about Islam and may live in a “culturally practicing” family (meaning they are Muslim by heritage but are not knowledgeable and may not read and understand the Quran much) They have a particularly hard time because their connection with God and with the knowledge of Islam is not strong, so they know they should cover, but they don’t understand fully why. Meanwhile everything around them is telling them that if you want to be a valuable woman, you need to show off your body and beauty. This discordance is a struggle for many. It’s their personal struggle and many overcome it in time through gaining knowledge.
Assalamu Alaikum, sister Danielle.
it really bothers me how non-Muslims sometimes associate Hijab to repression of freedom, i mean, wearing a veil doesn’t necessarily mean someone forced me to wear it, and besides, when i wear the veil i’m only covering my body not my brain.
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