Exploring the reasons to wear Hijab or take it off.
Posted on November 18 2018
Thank you for being patient with us as we migrate our blog posts to our new website!
Ever since we at Covered Bliss have extended our blogging platform to related themes and discussions that both our readers and customers would enjoy, we decided to dedicate it towards positive, uplifting and relatable content. This can be in assorted forms, whether simply encouraging an affirmative thought or progressive action. We hope that it can be of benefit.
Persistently, there are so many questions regarding hijab. Whenever a woman wearing hijab is shown in a short video (even when the subject matter has nothing to do with hijab) you can bet that there will be comments about her hijab. Some may be unpleasant while others are just uninformed about what hijab is. Please understand that while we are not scholars, we created this post for anyone who wants to learn more. A brief introduction of what hijab is, why it is worn and a confidence boost for struggling Muslim sisters.
There comes a time in a Muslim girl’s life where she crosses paths with the idea of Hijab. This may be at the recommended age around puberty, or it may be any other time where she considers wearing it. To simplify the definition of hijab: It is basically a silk scarf, it could be purchased from some kind of Middle Eastern Bazar, here at Covered Bliss or even mainstream stores like Forever 21. It is wrapped around (arguably) one of the most beautiful traits a woman can have – her hair. Some girls are eager to put it on while others, like it in theory but find it difficult to practice if they are living in a Non-Muslim country, or for another reason. Alternatively, some women could wear it for over a decade and then decide to take it off while others may reject the idea of it completely but still adhere to their Muslim identity.
To expand this definition, hijab itself means “partition” in the Quran but was coined as the term meaning headscarf. Furthermore, it can be a visual barrier, a physical barrier and an ethical barrier. It can basically refer to a way of being modest, beginning with the appearance (covering hair, body with looser clothing, etc ) and continuing to be a way of practice (in speech, in behavior, in presence, etc). Every hijabi woman is her own individual and is on her own journey with hijab, which is not really up for placement by the average Joe (or Ahmad, or Aisha...).
Do you have to wear it, though? It’s vital to understand that there are two parts to this question that is often asked. If you’re asking about from a religious sense, then conventionally the answer is yes. It’s a significant part of my religion. If the Quran and Sunnah commanded me to wear it, and I believe that the Quran is the word of God, then I’m going to wear it. Not for any man or any person; Regardless of if I’m single or married, whether I live in Santa Claus, Indiana or Jerusalem, Palestine, whether I’m in the center of my community or if no one I know is watching me. Whether I have a social media account or not; If I wear hijab, I wear it for God. That is the conviction of my faith.
However, what if there’s a clause to that question, like, “Do you have to wear it or you will suffer a consequence from someone?” Then that the answer is no, or at least it should be no. It should be understood that Hijab (like anything else) is YOUR right, YOUR choice and a decision for YOU to make. If we are “free” to wear as little as we want, we should also be free to decide to cover whatever we want. You shouldn’t feel pressured to conform to society’s standard of dressing or style regardless. Now, unfortunately, we say “should be” because for some people, their situation can affect this part of their answer. Maybe their spouse, parents, siblings, relatives, community, city or even country imposed them to wear it against their will. But from that perspective, it wasn’t really their choice. And when they are free from that authority, they then truly make their choice (to continue wearing it or not). And we do hope that everyone gets that choice, because to be mandated to do anything at all, can taint even the idea of wearing hijab. It isn’t practical nor intelligent.
But what will it mean for me to wear it? Well, that can depend on where you live, for starters. It doesn’t automatically make you a walking representative of Islam. It’s important to recognize that hijab doesn't say, "I am Islam" it says, "I am only a Believer, a Muslim.” It may also be helpful to relay that statement to someone who makes you feel like a spokesperson. You can do this simply by stating that you don’t represent all women who wear hijab when you are asked general questions like, “Why do you wear that thing on your head?” “What happens if women take it off?” or “Why do some women cover while others don’t?”
Can you wear hijab even if you don’t feel religious or follow all the rules of Islam? Some common misconceptions of hijab include that it is for “perfect” women (when in reality, NO ONE is perfect), or that it is for a certain “type” of Muslim woman (when it’s for anyone and everyone) or that it is a spiritual destination (when it is simply part of the journey, which Sister Yasmin Mogahed beautifully explains this here.)
We hope this was beneficial and for our hijab wearing reading, we wish to conclude with Three Tips for Hijab Wearing Confidence:
Choose good quality, comfortable AND beautiful hijabs. It's no secret that when you look good, you feel good! Make sure your standard for hijabs matches the one for your clothes, shoes and other accessories. It's JUST as important!
Understand that it's your choice, not anyone else's. If you don’t feel like you have made the choice to wear it, but do wish to wear it, renew your intention to God and it may help you feel confident about it.
- Don't be discouraged. Understand you can really accomplish anything you put your mind to, and the Hijab is not a limit. The only limit you have is the one you place on yourself.
Lastly, understand that wearing hijab is not the only thing that makes you a Muslim. If you think that hijab isn't for you, reach out to a good friend or someone you trust for support and understanding. Know that you can (and should) still continue with other practices of Islam and there is no need to isolate yourself or feel judged. Your decisions are yours to make, your life is yours to live, and in Islam, we are taught to use our gifts of guidance as well as our own intellect.
May Allah (SWT) ease the struggles of all Muslim women who face challenges when it comes to wearing Hijab.