Today I am going to be discussing a topic which is extremely close to my heart.
For those of you who are not familiar with this term or significance of World Hijab Day, I will try my best to explain it.
What is Hijab?
One of the most visible symbols of Islam is the dress of a Muslim women. The word describing the head scarf is the Hijab which literally means veil or barrier. Hijab is religiously mandated and is part of the Islamic tradition of dressing modestly. It is important to note that the practice of modest dress and behaviour applies to Muslim men as well. The Hijab is worn by Muslim women in front of men who are not close family members. Hijab’s purpose is to shift the focus away from a women’s physical appearance towards her character as an individual. For more information click here .
World Hijab Day (1st of February) is a day of awareness and recognition for the “millions of Muslim women who wear a Hijab and live a life of modesty.” (This is a direct quote from the World Hijab Day Website, you can find out more from this link. )
Living as a Muslim in Australia has definitely had its extreme highs and lows. I am proud to say that I live in a country which is known for its Multiculturalism, where most people are accepting of others’ religions and cultures. I have had the privilege to go to school here and continue my studies in university with my Hijab on. Most people who I have encountered over the past 5 years were so encouraging and interested to find out more about me and my Hijab. There were also the minority of people who chose to be rude and ignorant about my choice of Hijab. I have come across people who would have a disgusted facial expression when looking at you, those who yell out from their car window rude insults about me and my religion and on one occasion someone moving their hand bag away from me because they thought I was going to steal it at the airport.
This is a photo of the first day that I put on my Hijab about 5 years ago. I was so nervous about how was I going to look, if I going to fit in and most importantly what people were going to say.
A lot of people were pre deceived into thinking that I was forced to wear the Hijab and that my parents had forced me into putting it on. These people would quietly whisper into my ear saying: “Were you forced’? or “Did your parents force you?” I was extremely angered by this response and would just simply say: “If you really think that I was forced to wear a Hijab don’t you think my older sister would be covered before me?”. Then they would have absolutely nothing to say in response to that.
This photo was taken one month later. I was slowly discovering the styles of hijab that best suit me.
My parents were supportive with every decision that I made. They sat me down and explained that they were there to guide me through the way. One thing that they asked that I will never forget was whether I was ready. I am so thankful that my parents asked me this question. Without second guessing myself I responded in an assertive manner with a big YES! I understand why my parents asked this question. They wanted to make sure that I was 100% confident with my decision so I would not regret it later on in life and end up taking my Hijab off.
I was experimenting with different scarf materials and styles.
I usually get questions about my transition from not wearing a Hijab to wearing it. Let’s just say that it was the easiest changeover! I never used to like styling my hair nor did I wear revealing clothes. I went to a school where it was compulsory to wear a Hijab as it was part of the uniform and my mother also wears a Hijab. It was in my surroundings so it was quite an easy development for me.
Finally, many people think that the Hijab is ONLY a cloth on your head to cover ones hair. No! Absolutely not! When we are wearing the Hijab we are not only representing who we are as a person but also a representation of our WHOLE RELIGION. We must not only cover our hair but also preserve our modesty with our appearance,actions and behaviour.
I have never looked back since I started wearing a Hijab.
This Hijab is part of my identity!
This Is My Story.
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