Coming up to having worn the hijab for almost 9 years, I’ve had my good and bad times with it, and the good times only started recently (3-4 years ago).
Why do I want to call majority of my scarf-wearing years, bad?
My initial perception of the ”hijab” was, that it’s something that symbolizes a ”Muslim woman” – women who wear a headscarf are ”good women” because they’re obeying God. Which is why my 13-year-old self chose to wear it, basically to be categorized as one of the ”good girls”. I will not lie, upon wearing the hijab I felt superior to girls/women who I, at the moment thought weren’t wearing their hijab. I honestly think this is a general mindset amongst scarf-wearing women in the beginning of wearing it. You feel like a better Muslim, you feel ”religious”, you feel you’re probably going to go to heaven (lol), you feel you’re almost perfect in the eyes of God. So ridiculous.
Society has labeled women into ”good girls and bad girls”. A good girl must look a certain way, and so must a bad girl. Firstly, can we throw this mindset out the window? It’s false, toxic and VERY unislamic. It’s judgmental and quite frankly sexualizing. You judge a female’s dignity by the clothes she’s wearing.
Like a lot of newbie ”hijabis”, I felt closer to God. I felt like my scarf helped me keep up with my prayers etc. and now, almost 9 years later I can go months without having prayed, because the matter of the fact is that a headscarf does not reflect your Imaan, it simply can’t reflect your Imaan? Also praying every prayer doesn’t mean your Imaan is at it’s best, because everyone can pray every day, but do you actually feel like praying? Are you praying out of the love or fear for God? This is a whole different topic I’d love to cover if you want me to.
Coming back to the topic – religion doesn’t actually entertain these superficial ideas of spirituality humans have created. A headscarf doesn’t make you more ”religious”. You might think so in the beginning, but that’s all delusional and you will realize that with time if you haven’t already. Where in the Quran did a headscarf promise you religious superiority? Nowhere.
You know what the most beautiful thing was about the 500+ replies I received on Instagram about the hijab? That every answer was different, and I couldn’t fault the answers one bit because no person reads the same book with the same eyes and mind, and I’ve genuinely started to value this mindset more and more.
What is “hijab” even, if you feel distanced from God upon wearing it? I wore what people would call “proper hijab” a few years ago, and I did NOT feel close to God. In fact I was judgmental and very self-obsessed with the idea of me being “religious”. (hate that word btw). so how does that even make me better? The scarf I thought would lead to my spiritual victory planted venom in my heart and soul instead. With that being said, people who do wear jilbaabs and niqaabs can be perfectly in tact with their spirituality. It definitely isn’t black and white.
Hijab is about balance. You have to balance your hijab.
I genuinely feel more close to God now than before. I feel more in tact with my spirituality, and I am certain in the way I wear my hijab. This is how I feel comfortable and close to God. I genuinely don’t believe that my way of wearing hijab is more correct than any other way of wearing it, because a different person can wear the hijab like I do and feel like absolute shit, spiritually, for wearing it like that? A non-scarf-wearing woman can be more of a “hijabi” than I am.
I’m just going to point out the elephant in the room, yes, I do believe that there’s a dress code for women in Islam (as there is for men) but, I believe that this dress code can be interpreted in different ways. I wear the scarf because I believe in it, I wouldn’t wear it if I didn’t, but I also believe that a woman who doesn’t wear a headscarf can be just as much of a “hijabi” as me. Even more.
I wear a headscarf because I’ve worn it for almost 9 years and it’s become a part of me. Literally. I know if I was to take it off, I would regret it instantly simply because I would feel uncomfortable with not wearing it.
By wearing the hijab like I do, I’m not trying to feed into superficial ideas of what Imaan is, which is why it upsets me when I see comments like “I love how you don’t show your hair like other hijabi bloggers” – people might come from a good place, but the inherent idea behind comments like these aren’t very nice. A headscarf cannot be the only criteria of “hijab”.
I want to dismantle this idea people have of scarf-wearing women. We are not perfect Muslims and people need to stop putting us on a pedestal. We’re NOT perfect examples of Muslim women lol. Also out of everything that is prescribed for us in Islam, Muslim men LOVE to talk about a woman’s hijab, but if we were to ask them about their roles in Islam they would have to open the book and search for it. Mard to chahte hi hai, ke un ki chale hamesha. Chahe deen mein ho ya ghar mein. (Translation: Men always want to have the final say, whether it be in terms of religion or in terms of household).
MODESTY is much more than our materialistic definition of it. The biggest symbol of modesty is manners.
People associate different interpretations of the hijab with changing the word of God. Muslims in general, are very intolerant of different opinions when it comes to Islam, so of course they would be even more intolerant when it comes to Muslim women. One thing I’d like to point out is how people are soooooo quick. SO quick to call a woman all sorts of names when she takes off her headscarf. It’s not the end of the world. If people take off their scarves, let them. They might be more of a hijabi than those who wear a headscarf.
Let me remind those who’re not aware, the Quran talks about men’s hijab before the women’s, and that alone speaks volumes.
Hope you enjoyed this read!