Why do you wear a Hijab?
Why don’t you let your hair out?
Doesn’t it seem to you that you are being silenced?
Don’t you feel oppressed?

These are just SOME of the questions I am asked being a Hijabi Woman by friends and
family both. Even at times people on the street stop me and ask that. To be honest, I
was always fascinated by the Hijab before I hit puberty. Religion was never the first
reason why I started doing the hijab (but now that I understand the importance of it, I am
happy that I did it at the right time) Coming from a strong Muslim background, I had
seen Hijabi women all my life. For me, the Hijab was a symbol of tradition and culture.
Religious worn by Muslim women, the Hijab is a veil or cloth that is used to cover either
the hair or the entire face. It is an Arabic word that literally means “partition” or “barrier.”
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Hijab. People of different religions
see it just as it is; a cloth covering the head of Muslim Women.
For me, the Hijab is not just a cloth or veil, it is so much more than that. I have Muslim
friends who do the Hijab for fashion, or because of family pressure or they think that’s
what we Muslim women should do! Today, I will tell you what the Hijabi meaning is for
me! We cannot deny the importance Islam gives to the Hijab or covering up of both men and
women alike.

In Quran, there are many instances where Allah has asked Muslim
women to cover up. For instance,

in the 31st ayah of chapter 24 Surah-i-nur, it is stated
by Allah that:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their
modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what
(must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their
bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands their fathers, their
husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their
brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their
right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children
who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet
in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye
all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.

For Muslims, the hijab is a principle of modesty, morality and privacy. It is not restricted
to the dress code only but also includes your behavior. I won’t lie when I say that the
concept of Hijab is personal and still open to interpretation. As the ayah above clearly
states, covering up is necessary for Islam. Different people have different takes on it.
Irrespective of what people think, being a Hijabi does not pull me down. It gives me a
sense of empowerment.

Every day, I wake up, adorn the Hijab and go out. This makes me feel so independent,
confident in my skin. I walk the roads with full confidence that I am following the order of
my God almighty. The best thing about being a Hijabi woman is the connotations that
come with it. Surprised, are you?
The majority of people have a very negative image of Hijabi women. As I mentioned
earlier, I have had so many people come up to me and ask why Muslim women are
oppressed or why we do this to ourselves? Initially, I used to get upset. But now, I feel
proud that I am an ambassador of my faith and religion and can clear their
misconceptions. I love telling them about my goals and ambitions, what I have
achieved, what I would like to achieve and so on. Many of them are surprised about
how much in common we have!

My hijab and being a Hijabi woman has now become my identity. It is who I am.

This does not mean that I have a perfect relation with my Hijab. There are days when I don’t
want to wear it, days when I don’t want to be associated with it, days when I just want to
go out and not be stared at. That thought that so many other Muslim women do not
adopt the Hijab crosses my mind and at that time I so want to do the same. This is when
I turn to this Ayat

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they
should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most
convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is
Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The Hijab is not for God, it is for us, our protection, and our privacy. It is freedom from
the gaze of men, judgment and comments of others. Now, I don’t need to dress a
certain way to be accepted in society. People identify me with my Hijab and know that I
am a Hijabi woman.

In the end, I would say Faith is not restricted to a headscarf. In Islam, it is important
to cover up properly for a sense of security. For me, it means a lot. Whenever I see
myself in the mirror, it gives me a sense of immense pride and satisfaction that I am
doing what my Almighty asked me to do. I am following my religion.
Not only does it show my devotion towards my religion, but it is also my strength.
Wearing the Hijab was a battle I have won (living in a non-Muslim majority country) I
request people not to judge a book by its cover, don’t judge me on how my Hijab makes
me look, but go beyond that and see how it makes me feel; independent, empowered
and even beautiful.
Even though I do have second thoughts, the Hijab is inseparable from me. It has
become an integral part of my personality and I can’t imagine my life without it.

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