Posted in Hijabi Adventures

Words From An Ex Hijabi

Dating as an Ex Hijabi is very interesting and sometimes frustrating, well in all honesty dating, in general, is frustrating. I started to notice a pattern or a common theme with Muslim men.

With Muslim men, I placed them in two different categories, and honestly by the end of the first conversation it was easy to categorize. The first category, are the men who believe Muslim women have a choice regarding wearing the hijab but expect when it comes to their wives. The conversation always kind of starts the same, “Why don’t you wear Hijab” or “Have you ever wore the hijab”. I give my reasoning and for the most part, they agree with me. The longer the conversation continues it somehow circles back to me covering my hair or well modesty in general. They may slip into the conversation about how they imagine their future wife in hijab, or how their mothers expect their future daughter in law to cover.  Needless to say, that will never be me, especially not for some man.

The second category is the hijabi bashers. They never ask my opinion about covering, but assume that I hate the hijab and hijabis, which is one of my pet peeves. I have tremendous respect and love for hijabis, especially because I know how hard and the dedication it takes to wear the hijab, especially in a non-Muslim country. Hijabis get enough negativity from ignorant people, they don’t need it from Muslim men, who I believe shouldn’t have an opinion about a woman covering, but regardless you should keep your negative opinions to yourself.

You know what I find funny, the sub-category of hijabi bashers, that end up marrying a hijabi. I find that they want to date or play around with a non-muslim or someone they perceive not to be religious, but when their ready to settle down they find a nice hijabi.

Of course, not every Muslim man fits into those two categories, but the majority I have encountered do.

Posted in Hijabi Adventures

Questions to a Hijabi

You know sometimes I miss being a hijabi, it was like being a part of sisterhood in a sisterhood. An unspoken bond, that only women in hijab will truly understand. The crazy thing is I even miss all of the silly questions I used to be asked. At the time they used to drive me insane or make me feel self-conscious, but now it just makes me laugh at all of the ignorance.

Some of my favorites questions were: Do you sleep with that thing on your head? Do you shower with it on? How do you get your hair done? Why do you get your hair done? Those never really bothered me and honestly, I was asked at least one of those questions once a week. Depending on my mood dictated how sarcastic my response would be.  The funny thing was I did feel like I was covering 24/7 as a black Muslimah. I would wear my hijab out during the day and then at night going to bed, I’d wear my satin scarf. Regardless of that fact, I was still annoyed being constantly being asked those questions. 

On the other hand, the questions that actually offended me were: Are you forced to cover? Did you get that scarf as an initiation into your terrorist cell? Is that a symbol to show that you’re married? Questions all along those lines. I can’t say it was necessarily the questions that bothered me, but regardless of my response some people just looked at me with pity. Like oh, this poor girl is being oppressed, and that was the furthest thing from the truth.

Looking back at it now, I realize I learned young that there’s a lot of ignorance in this world, and I can’t let that affect me.

Posted in Hijabi Adventures

Coming out of Hijab

I remember the day my mother sat me down and told me it was time to start wearing the hijab full time. I don’t recall having much of a reaction, because I knew the day was coming, and in a way, I thought I was mentally prepared. I was about 12 years old, and at the beginning stages of puberty, and I really had no clue, what I was getting myself into. 

I initially began wearing a hijab with the correct intentions and reasoning. I knew, wearing the hijab was a sacrifice I was making for Allah(SWT), and I will seek the rewards in the afterlife, insha’Allah. In the meantime, middle school was not the best stage of my life, and being the only hijabi did not help the situation. Looking at the rest of the girls using their hair and revealing clothes, well uniforms to help enhance their beauty; I felt like the ugly duckling. I was going through a very awkward stage with my body, from chubby to skinny, and my face was filled acne. The only thing the hijab did in my opinion, highlighted my imperfections and make me stand out. With all of that being said, I was still happy and proud to be a hijabi, because it was in my heart. 

One thing I did learn with age and maturity, wearing hijab is not just placing a piece of fabric on top of your head and covering your hair; you also need to dress modestly as well. That was actually a hard lesson for me to understand. I could never fully wrap my mind around covering my arms, and other clothing requirements. 

As a result in high school, I began to ask questions and do research for myself. Wearing the hijab was still in my heart and I loved being a hijabi, but I realized it was no longer for the love and sacrifice, I was making for Allah(SWT), instead of for the identity and style I created for myself in hijab. I spent my senior year researching modesty and hijab in Islam, and formed a new definition, and was ready to take a step out of my comfort zone.

I decided to go into the next chapter of my life, I’m going to become an overall improved version of myself. I wanted to impact the world around me and make a difference in my community. Knowing and still valuing the lessons and principles I learned as a Muslimah, modesty was still very important to me. I finally came to terms with my definition, and realized wearing a hijab may not be apart of it. I was ready to test out my new theory, and experience life without the hijab.

I  may no longer wear hijab or clothing that covers my body, but my actions and how I portray myself to the world is how I am a modest Muslimah. I care more about the way I carry myself and treat people around me, than necessarily what I wear or don’t wear on my body. The question of whether or not Muslim women are required to wear a hijab will always be a debate. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be back in hijab. Regardless, I am still a proud Muslimah, and happy with the decision I made.