Hello,….. it’s me! Hey Lovelies! I hope you are all doing well. إن شاء الله
It’s been a while, since I last posted a blog. I apologise profusely to those of you who have noticed my absence and have emailed and commented on previous posts asking if I was alright. I am fine guys, thank you for asking.
As you all may or may not know, I’m now in my second year at Uni and things have got a more intense! I had assignments to complete, deadlines to meet and exams to prepare for and I guess my blog just took a back seat for a couple of weeks or even a month. I did not intend for this to happen, otherwise I’d have planned some posts in advance or would have told you guys sooner, I just got kicked right in the face with a load of assignments and deadlines. Anyway I am sure you all are not here to listen to me rant I shall STOP with all the excuses and get right into the actual post.
This post is about World Hijab Day! For those of you who are unaware of this, World Hijab Day was created by an American Muslim Woman named Nazma Khan in January 2013. It is a day where women from across the world of all races, countries and faiths come together and show support for Muslim women who choose to wear the Hijab on a daily basics and experience what they have to deal with.
Here is the link to the video where Nazma Khan provides her reasoning into where the idea for World Hijab Day came from.
I fully empathise with her regarding the racist and Islamophobic abuse that Muslim women face on a daily basis. Whilst some countries have banned the Hijab and others are considering the same, World Hijab Day creates the much needed awareness in democratic societies of this basic right and educates the masses about the origins and reasons for the Hijab.
Today, I am here to share with you a personal experience. Emma is a friend of mine who isn’t Muslim, but wanted support the World Hijab Day cause and wear the Hijab for day to see how it felt. She has always been curious to know about Islam and why Muslim women wore the Hijab. She would always ask me how it felt wearing a hijab, did I feel oppressed, did I feel restricted. I would always tell her I felt none of those things. I knew deep down she wasn’t sure Whether to believe me or not.
When she first asked me if it was okay with me for her to try the Hijab on and whether I would help her put it on.To say I was happy would be an understatement I was over the moon. I was super excited and couldn’t wait for her to experience it for herself. I knew she would help answer all her unanswered questions, as well as gain first-hand experience.
Monday 1st of February couldn’t arrive fast enough when it finally did arrive, Emma was so excited she decided to drive and hour and a half to my house at 6 in the morning bearing in mind she isn’t a morning person at all, trust me it was as surprise to me as well. Mondays are the longest and the busiest day for us at Uni we start at 9 and finish 7 and I was a little worried about this I knew it would be difficult for her to keep the hijab on for 10+ hours, so I told her to take it off whenever she felt uncomfortable she agreed to this.
I asked her to pick out the scarf she wanted to wear. You should have seen her reaction it was like watching a kid in a candy store she wanted to wear them all. The excitement was visible in her eye. After about 20 minutes of listening to her say I like this one and this one and this one, ooh maybe this one, we finally decided to go with a plain maroon scarf with a black border it matched her outfit perfectly. After quickly wrapping the scarf for her we were out the door. 1e were running late as usual.
I looked over at Emma and saw her grinning I asked if she was okay she told me she felt happy, positive and at peach with herself ” I feel like a total different person, it’s weird and hard to explain” she told me. A few minutes later she said “Abidah after you finished putting the scarf on I felt different I felt happy and Secure. How can a piece of cloth that covers your hair make you feel such way she questioned.
We finally arrived at Uni. We had a lecture first I knew everyone would notice that Emma was wearing the Hijab for two obvious reasons. First being there was only 15 girls on our course and second being there was only 2 of us who wore the Hijab. As we walked into the lecture room all eyes were on Emma as suspected, I turned around to her a gave her encouraging smile and she whispered I’ve got this. Hearing her say that made me smile and put me at ease. The rest of the day flow by we went from lecture to lecture than to the seminars.
At the end of the day I asked how she felt she said “I’m sorry” sorry for what I asked ” I always believed that the Hijab signifies oppression. When as a matter of fact it is the total opposite. It is a symbol of the religious belief in beauty through modesty. She went to telling me that she felt more respected “the boys lowed their gaze as I walked passed, they didn’t make any sexual comments and when they spoke to me she looked at my face not my chest” she explained. It made me felt empowered and in control. I wish everyone would understand the beauty of the Hijab I wish more people would realize that the girls who wear the Hijab are normal like everyone else she said. I now understand why women take pride in wearing the Hijab. The value of it is more than just a mere piece of cloth and I have so much respect it. I’m so glad I did this now I have greater appreciation and respect for the all the women who wear the Hijab. As Emma was telling me all this my respect for her grow she was brave to embrace the Hijab for a day. I questioned myself if I would be able to do the same and to be honest I don’t think I would have.
World Hijab Day has definitely served its purpose to create awareness and educate the world about Hijab.
P.S Emma decided to carry on wearing the Hijab for the rest of the week. If you guys want to know how that all went leave a comment below and I shall tell you guys in the next blog post. (Spoiler alert we had a few mishaps).