Baaria Basit, London
Hijab is such an important part of my life now, that the thought of stepping outside my house without a headscarf and a decent coat is utterly unthinkable. In fact hijab is what makes me, me. Most girls my age want their eyelashes done, their nails done, their eyebrows done. They want clothes that show as much skin as possible. They want anything that says “look at me!”. However I could spend hours looking at abayahs and crinkle scarves and hijab tutorials. I believe in wearing hijab in a way that is modest and acceptable, but also in a way that makes me feel good. After all we wear hijab for ourselves, so what is the point in it if we are not happy about it and are not doing it out of our own will?
Although most girls start proper hijab once beginning high school, the Quran states no age as to when we should start. A girl should start wearing hijab once she is educated to the reason behind it. Putting a scarf on your head and not being able to explain why you are wearing it is pointless. Wearing hijab in the western society is difficult and challenging, as women are starting to wear less and less. My dad has always told me that girls are like pearls. The beauty of a pearl is protected and covered by a shell. This protects it and stops any harm from happening to it. In the same way the hijab/headscarf/niqab is a girls shell. It keeps her away from any evil.
Instead of forcing hijab onto girls, parents should educate them about the reason behind it. They should also pray their daughters develop the passion to observe it.
Although I am passionate about hijab now, this was not always the case, so I can understand why some girls struggle to observe it in this society. It is hard, and sometimes the way society views you matters, but when it comes to your faith, pressure from society shouldn’t bother you. But we’re human, and we can be intimidated by it. I was. I had planned to go to high school with a headscarf. It was a fresh start and conveniently no one from my primary school was going to my high school, so no one would question me.
I owned only one plain black scarf, which I wore loosely around my head when going out with my family, not really caring if it slipped. My dad always had to tell me my scarf was off my head, yet I was aware. I would dread my classmates seeing me, scared they would judge or ask in front of my parents why I was wearing a scarf. In fact this scared me the most. My parents finding out. I would think about this all the time, and realised it lined up. My parents would see me without my scarf and ask me about it. I would have to lie. Then the fact that Allah sees everything, even if your parents don’t, scared me even more. This was never my plan. What was I doing?
One boring Sunday afternoon I was watching some videos on YouTube. I came across a video of some hijabi vloggers. This intrigued me, and I watched many of their videos. I was in awe of their confidence and courage. They wore a hijab in front of the world, with such confidence, regardless of how people view them. This made me question myself. Why was I afraid to wear a hijab in front of a few students? They can hate on me. They can judge. They can jeer and mock. But at the end of the day, Allah is pleased with me, my parents are pleased with me and I no longer need to worry and will feel initially proud of myself. These people are not going to be important to me in 20 years from now. Yet Allah will be. So will my parents. So I made my decision. In Year Ten I am going to observe hijab.
So I got a new black crinkle scarf for Year Ten and chucked away the other one that had for so long lived at the bottom of my bag. Allah had given me a second chance at a fresh start, and I was for sure going to take it. My first day wearing a hijab to school was my best day of high school. So many people told me I looked beautiful, and how the hijab really suited me. I was surprised! All this worrying and stressing was for nothing. My prayers had been answered. Alhamdulillah from that day my faith in Allah has only gotten stronger and stronger.
Praying to Allah for the strength and confidence to wear hijab in our society is so important. May Allah give every girl, that struggles to observe hijab, courage. May Allah make us all strong Ahmadi Muslim girls that can be role models.