’m sharing my hijab story with you today, not because it’s special per se, but rather to shed light on some struggles some of us do face before wearing our hijabs. Maybe we can spread awareness of what non-hijabis go through, stop judging them, just embrace their fears, reassure them that they’re not alone, and show them the real beauty of hijab.
I wore my hijab 20 years ago. I’ve loved the concept of hijab ever since I was a little girl, but in all honesty, many in my inner circle and my community were not fans of the idea. You would assume that wearing hijab is easier in the Middle East, well, not necessarily so! I’ve heard it all... “You’re too young”, “you’ll look old”, “you’ll become different (negatively was the connotation, as you can imagine), “you’ll stop caring about your looks”, “it’s too hot”, “you’ll take it off later”, “who said hijab is really a must in the first place?”, “you will limit your job opportunities”, “you want to cover in front of X, Y, Z?!!!”, “hmmm, is that a way to save money on your hair and beauty?”…ugh, the list was endless, as I’m sure many of you have heard or gone through.
I had my first baby, and we were living in Tunisia for a couple of years. Back then, Hijab was not permitted there, but I would be allowed to wear it since I was a foreigner. And here came my other challenge; I would literally “stand out” and I wasn’t sure how this would affect my daily life there.
Then one day in May, I was sitting home with my baby, contemplating hijab over and over again. I asked for Allah’s guidance and as I opened my Quran, I read this Ayah (105) from Surah Al Ma’ida:
"يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ" .
(O you who believe! You are responsible for your own selves. He who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right path. To Allah you all are to return, when He will inform you of what you did.)
THAT was my turning point. It hit me that I should even care about people’s opinions when it comes to me following my Deen. I realized then that it is Allah’s blessing that I’m seeking, not people’s approval. I wore my hijab that day, and my love for it continues to grow Every. Single. Day, Alhamdulillah.
One of the main reasons I started this business, is that I wanted to create a kind of an oasis for us, not only for hijabis but also for those contemplating it. A place where we can feel the Joy of Hijab, a place that understands the concept behind it, what it stands for, and the many hats we wear on a daily basis. You’re heard here, your struggles are taken seriously, and your wishes truly become mine.
Comment below about your journey, my friend. How did you wear your hijab? What was your turning point? What’s stopping you from wearing your hijab? What’s your biggest challenge? What is something you wish we could offer, change, increase, stop? Would love to hear your thoughts, and remember, someone out there might find her answer in your words.