Friday, 9 July 2010

Loving hijab

I love wearing my hijab and couldn't dream of life without it now.

I reverted to Islam in 2002 Alhamdolilah, (I say reverted because of course we are all born Muslims, pure and sinless). In 2007 I decided to start wearing hijab, I know it took me five years getting to that point, but that's another story.

When I first started wearing it I noticed immediately how people start behaving towards you. Generally men give you more respect, a wider berth in shops etc, drop their gaze and speak politer, and this applies to men of all races and backgrounds. With women however, I found many would often judge me and assume I was an immigrant and didn't know how to speak English. When wishing to communicate with me for whatever reason, they would gesture with their hands and facial expressions, only for me to reply, "oh I see, you would like me to ...." whatever the case may be. They'd stare back at me dumbfounded thinking, oh, she speaks fluent English.

I was recently out with 2 ladies who are Muslim but don't wear hijab, (at least not yet anyway inshAllah), and a Iranian hijabi Muslimah was standing at the same bus stop as us and started giving me a strange look, she kept looking at me and then my companions and just could not help herself from giving us what I frankly can only describe as a dirty look. It made me feel very uneasy and uncomfortable and I knew why she was doing it. It was because I was wearing hijab and they weren't. I couldn't decided whether I should ask her about it or just ignore it. Before I could decide, our bus came and since I was in a rush, I took the bus and went. But since then I have been wondering what the right thing would have been to do. Should I have politely asked her why she was doing this, or just ignored it?

I believe hijab has to be something the individual decides. They need to want it and chose it and love it. And fellow Muslimah's should encourage this through love, kindness and insight. Not through forcing or ordering someone to do it.

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