Have you ever felt like a dozen hands were just trying to grab and tear away your hijab from you?! Like they were trying to rip a part of you away because of their disillusional ideas?!
I just feel like someone is always trying to take my hijab away from me. It’s not about the media but the people around me. Whether it’s my parents (who blankly disapprove) or my friends who give me weird looks. I don’t understand why it has to be this way. I don’t comment on their clothes altogether, I remain completely ambivalent about it because I know it’s their choice. Sri Lankan culture is very conservative so from a small age we see people wearing clothes which cover their body, recent years have changed as “westernisation” started. Now, it’s not uncommon to see short skirts and sleeveless tops. But coming from such a culture I don’t understand why it’s so weird for them to see a girl covering her body, despite the current change. If anything the change should be looked at weirdly, not the traditional look.
I’ve had some conversation with my mother regarding it and she has been very clear about her stance on my hijab. Although she doesn’t come out and forbid me she extremely dislikes it. She’s normally very open minded and intelligent (even in her own religion she understands and practices the true philosophy and not the made up customs) but when it comes to the hijab, she finds it primitive and unnecessary. Her words were “You don’t have to wear it, I know plenty of Muslims who don’t”, followed by “You can wear it after you marry but your still so young”. I don’t know how to correct this, it’s ignorance at its core but how to you correct your mother? I’ve tried explaining it to her but it doesn’t seem to work. Her story is that Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s time was different and now women don’t have to be afraid so they don’t have to cover up. Is it really that different? Women are abused and raped everyday, so much so that somehow we have become desensitized to it. Women are sold and bought for prostitution. Women are used to sell products. The simplest thing which might not seem like much, women are led to feel uncomfortable about themselves by the media when they portray beauty as glowing skin, slim waistlines, fair skin, and the list continues. All this is what my hijab fights, but she doesn’t see it.
My mother constantly complains about my outfits and how they are too loose and cover too much of my body. Really? Covers too much? When did that become a problem? She says it’s a phase and I will have to stop being self concious one fine day. I’ve explained to her that there is no such issue, and what ever happens I won’t stop covering my hands and legs because I’m Muslim. That part of the conversation always seems to go right over her head.
Then there are the sisters who look at me weird because I wear hijab. Why is it weird to find a revert who wears hijab? In America it happens all the time! In fact I think it might only be in Sri Lanka that the norm for Muslimah’s is to adorn their scarf just around their neck instead of the proper hijab. They can make me feel unwelcome to the Muslim community all they want but they can’t take my right to wear my hijab. That’s mine. Isn’t it? Then I have people who instead of supporting me say “it’s ok, you don’t have to wear it” or “Just put it around your neck, that’s enough”. That’s not what I want! I want someone to push me and say “yes, what your doing is right, don’t give up!”. I want someone who can encourage me and support me. Where can I find a person like that? Because it’s really getting annoying to have so much negativity around me.
I’m sure somewhere in this world there is a girl being forced to wear a hijab/niqab (I’ve heard the media give statistics, never paid attention), but I’m a girl begging to be able to wear it. Why is there no statistic for people like me?
But I have to admit sometimes I do feel like a hypocrite for adorning the hijab. Because the plain truth is I can’t wear it all the time. My parents would have a fit if I did. And I don’t have the luxury of moving out of the house. I can only wear my hijab when I go out alone, never when I am with my parents. Even then I have to worry about meeting someone who might know my parents. Alhamdulillah, Allah has made it easy and protected me from such a situation, but the result is, sometimes I wear it and sometimes I can’t. I mean either way my body is fully covered ( I keep it that way all the time) , it’s just I can’t wear my hijab (head scarf). But it feels so wrong that sometimes I think maybe it’s best I don’t wear it at all. Then somehow that seems like taking one step forward and two steps back. So I fight it and remind myself that all I need is to protect myself from at least one non-mahram seeing my hair (in this case), that would be enough of a reason to at least wear my hijab even just for 5mins.
I love my hijab so very much and I long for the day I can wear it without feeling like someone is trying to stop me. Honestly when I started wearing it I didn’t think it would be this tough. But I think it’s just one of those love stories where if you love it enough you will fight for it. And I am completely in love with my hijab! It’s a part of me now, probably the best part.
What was that Katy Perry song?! Ah yes, this is the part of me that you’re never gonna take away from me! 🙂