I am taken aback by the ghastly comments like the title of this recent blog post on the Tribune Blogs-Satan would urinate in your hair? Why do we scare little girls about sexual predators when they ask us about wearing the hijab? Why is it considered a symbol of oppression? A foreigner is inclined to label it a symbol of oppression if we force little 6 year old girls to wear them and to always conceal, conceal, conceal! Children’s movies like Mulan, Brave and Frozen spread messages of women empowerment and self-determination; imagine what goes on in the mind of that little child growing up? She wants to explore and run freely without the thought of someone ogling at her weighing down her individualism. Unsatisfactory responses towards the concept of hijab left me with ever-morphing beliefs about wrapping my head.
So after some introspection, an Umrah (which was a very big blessing, Alhamdolillah!) and reading this wonderful book called From My Sister’s Lips, I came to believe the beautiful part of this concept. The 13 year old me could not have grasped the serenity that came with embracing the hijab. I no longer wore the hijab as an imposition but as a sacred part of my identity. I used to wait for weddings and parties at school where I would flaunt my hair-dos but even if that desire still lives inside me, I no longer chase that desire. This sacrificial belief comes from a deeper attachment with one’s spirituality (which, in most cases, does not exist in one’s teenage). I do make mistakes, here and there. I’m not perfect. I forget to pin it properly sometimes, I wear a shorter red hijab just because the blue one wasn’t matching with my clothes. I’m still learning, and not preaching. There are so many versions of hijab out there and there is no mention of a specific type of clothing for women in the Ahadith or Quran so I respect everyone’s version of modesty.
Hijab to me is a wonderful way of expressing the spiritual revolution that I went through (it wasn’t abrupt, it was a slow, thoughtful process to challenge the dogmas created inside my mind against all mentions of hijab– I perceived it as a patriarchal idea). Most of my understanding was intuitive and there is no scientific explanation of this concept. It’s just that I do it for myself now. I don’t think guys stare at me lesser because of my hijab, I also haven’t even felt like I look ugly in it.
I feel liberated from the fears of being judged for not wearing a hijab and from the fear of someone harassing me for not wearing a hijab.
So no, I’m not wearing it with the weak belief of someone who thinks that Satan will urinate in her hair if she doesn’t.