This year marks the 7th year I have been wearing hijab. The one question I get asked the most is “Why do you wear hijab?”.
Today I thought I’d talk about some of the reasons why I wear the hijab. These are my personal reasons pertaining only to my person. Not all Muslim women will share all or even some of the same reasons I do and I would suggest that you ask hijabis for their personal reasons for wearing it because they are all fascinating.
In Islam wearing a hijab is mandatory.
Allah tells us so in two particular verses in the Quran and that is enough for me to follow his commandment.
وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (Quran 24:31)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (Quran 33:59)
At the time of the commandment most women already covered their head with a scarf but left their chest exposed so the commandment came to increase what they were already doing if you look at my session on history it’ll make more sense.
Wearing the hijab makes it clear to everyone that I am a Muslim and I come in Peace 😉. It has become part of who I am and taking it off would feel like I am denying my identity and I would feel naked and exposed without it.
You know how in Black-ish Dre talks about the nod black men give to each other as they walk by? Wearing a hijab feels a bit like that. Whenever I pass a sister with a hijab I feel companionship and sisterhood. I feel a sisterhood towards all women it just gets more enhanced when I am around my hijabi sisters.
If you google women’s clothing throughout history, women have been wearing modest clothing and covering their head for thousands of years. Virgin Mary wore Hijab, nuns wear hijab. It has only been in the last two centuries that women have had the choice to wear what they want. I choose to wear Hijab. I also choose to respect a woman’s choice to wear whatever she wants with no judgement.
In Islam there is a great history of free and empowered women. The Prophet’s wives all had different roles and personalities. Khadija r.a. a great entrepreneur, gave the Prophet (saw) the strength to accept the message and gift bestowed upon him and believed in Allah and the Prophethood even the Prophet (saw) himself was able to come to terms with his calling, making her the first muslim. Aisha, although the youngest, was the most beloved to the Prophet and after his passing she remained chaste and told of his legacy and Sunnah. I like being part of that history.
I am one of those people who falls ill a lot. I used to get sore throats all winter and throat infections. Doctors advised me to wear a scarf around my neck but as soon as the weather changed and I didn’t have a scarf I’d get ill. Since wearing the Hijab I don’t think I’ve had a throat infection. I’ve have gotten it and got sore throats but not as ofeter or as bad as before the hijab.
I also don’t get sunburn anymore are I used to before wearing hijab, even with factor 50.
My hair is healthier since I started wearing the hijab. I don’t have to worry about sun or wind damage to my hair, it never gets stuck on my lip gloss and because I wear a headscarf I no longer spend hours on my hair giving me more time to dedicate to my family, work and education. I have to say that these days my hair is shorter and more practical to manage. I guess the most important point is, when you wear a hijab, wether or not everyday is a good hair day and no one knows but you. 😉
The weather is something that has surprised me! In the winter, I don’t feel the chill on my head or neck and wearing hijab is like wearing a scarf and a hat rolled into one.
I the summern I found that the scarf is cooling, as the sun doesn’t hit my head directly. Same goes for wearing long sleeves. When there is a a breeze it flows through my hijab and the sleeves and cools me. 😎
This is a no brainer. I no longer need hair mousse, hair spray, hair spf, I no longer feel the need to spend extra money for a shampoo that will make my hair bouncier or shinier. Although I do spend money on headscraves, they last longer than hair products so I am saving money.
I choose to be an active participating, free voting Muslim woman who wears the Hijab. I stand by my views and choices.
As a free woman, born free, in a free world, to free parents and having married of my own free accord I choose to wear a headscarf and I revel in that freedom.
I am tired of people pitying women wearing hijab. I personally don’t know any woman who has been forced to wear hijab. It is true that some women are oppressed and made to cover but some women are also drugged and sold to the sex trade (I mean, have you not seen Taken? If you haven’t you should – Great movie). Some women are beaten until they miscarry, some women are made to give up their new-born baby girl. These are the issues we should be focusing on. Hijab is not meant to divide women’s rights, it is meant to raise a barrier against these oppressions and empower women. Now I and not saying that we should all be walking around wearing hijab. (Actually imagine if for one day we got together are wore hijab! It would throw men and it would be hilarious to see people’s reactions. I digress.)
Women should be free to wear whatever we want, however we want. In fact isn’t it funny that in this respect we have more choice than men yet we let this choice divide us? How dare anyone try to dictate what I can and can’t do whether it is covering my face or go top less? My body my choice, right ladies?
There are so many women’s issues of inequality that should unite us that sometimes I think the issue with the Hijab or Burqa is like smoke being blown into our eyes to stop us from seeing the real picture. The real picture is one of inequalitiy and discrimination that women have to endure every day. Every day women feel they have to apologise for sending their children to nurseries, because they have to work, or for being at home looking after the children rather than “contributing to society”. I hear women saying they are sorry for not being home to put their children to bed or sorry that they didn’t cook dinner or finish a report, that should take six week, within a week. I have never heard a man say sorry for not being there to put the kids to bed or make dinner!
I could bore you with theories ( if you want them please contact me and I will be happy to do so) but all I will do is ask these questions:
- Whilst we are going around in a circle attacking the hijab wearers or being defensive about wearing Hijab, who is fighting for our women rights?
- Who is hearing our issues and ensuring they matter when making law and employment policy?
- And wouldn’t our time as women be more productive discussing how to improve our standing and free us from structural discrimination rather than worrying about a piece of cloth covering our heads?
i’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Photo provided by Helena AR Collections.