This weekend marks my 25th year of wearing hijab. This year has brought on a lot of challenges in terms of holding tight to what we believe in. There have been too many stories to mention or to force my mind to conjure up. I am here to celebrate my loving affection to my hijab.
My daughter is 12. She started to wear her hijab when she was 11. She asked to start when she was 6 or 7, but I wanted her to start because she really understood the meaning of wearing this crown of Islam. I did not want her to start out of imitation of me or anyone else. As times move toward extremely scary, I would be lying if I said I was not scared for her. Thankfully, we can have more than one emotion course through us at any given time. I have a lot of hope and when I can talk to myself enough, belief that we will definitely be ok.
I can’t live my life in fear of being who I was born to be. I can’t live my life thinking that my family and I will be accepted any more or any less in society if we abandon what we believe. God is truly the best of Planners. As the years have sped by, I have not only accepted Islam as my religion because I was born to a Muslim family, I have accepted Islam because I believe whole-heartedly that this is the right way for me. This shouldn’t translate as close-mindedness, or plain out snobbery. This should translate as, open-mindedness in understanding that everyone is different and everyone chooses the path they think is best. Islam is not a religion of compulsion. That is why wearing the hijab has to come as something a persons’ heart yearns for. Hijab is a mere reflection of what should be present on the inside. This does not mean that every girl or woman that wears hijab is purer than butterfly’s milk, but it does symbolize her own yearning to be better and closer to God.
As my children grow up, I welcome all conversations, even that of hijab. I pray that they will always feel comfortable enough to come to me one day and say, “Mama, I’m tired of wearing hijab. What’s the point?” Now that they are getting older, my research is becoming deeper in trying to put logic to action. My 12-year-old hasn’t come to me with this question in particular, but I can only try to imagine the conversations that are to come.
My hijab is 9,125 days old this weekend. I have more than 10,000 reasons to be thankful for it. Sometimes our blessings and miracles come in ways we don’t know. Sometimes they come in forms we never knew were blessings, but I know for a fact that 10,000 reasons and blessings is a very low ball for the long long tenure my hijab has served my body and soul.
May all of you have a plethora of blessings as you journey on your spiritual routes to understanding our ever-changing, exciting and sometimes very scary world. May you all have the strength to carry on and be forces of good. Ameen.