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World Hijab Day – My Hijab Story
Today is World Hijab Day and I’m participating in a blog hop with some other sisters to share our experiences with Hijab and why it’s important to recognise this day.
What is World Hijab Day?
World Hijab Day was founded in 2013 and occurs on 1st February every year.
It’s a day set up to bring awareness to people about Muslim women, start a conversation and even allow women who don’t wear Hijab to try it out!
My Hijab Story
My Hijab journey came the long way around.
I always wore Hijab to mosque school but never to Secondary school, and would whip it off as soon as my dad dropped me off.
We were always modestly dressed but I never really found myself wanting to wear Hijab at school mainly because none of my friends did, and I badly wanted to fit in.
When I got to college, I made the commitment at 16 to wear it on the first day of college.
Some of my friends were surprised at this development, but most were fine with it because underneath, it was still me.
The 2nd day of college 9/11 happened and that day changed my life.
Overnight I went from being invisible to being the spokesperson for all Muslims everywhere and trying to defend a terrorist act in the name of Islam.
For a 16-year-old, that’s pretty tough to do.
By the 4th day of college, I’d had my Hijab ripped off on the bus home and a drink thrown into my face.
I faced a lot more of that kind of abuse not just around that time but for the next few years after that until I eventually became a little more streetwise and able to step away before a situation escalated.
It’s my responsibility to give positive Dawah and knowledge about Islam, not to get hurt doing it In Shaa Allah!
Why Do I Keep Wearing It?
If I’m really honest, I’ve spent the last 17 years wearing Hijab and I just cannot see myself without it.
I’m also very aware of what a privilege I have in being able to choose to put it on or to take it off.
So many women around the world don’t have a choice to take it off or don’t have a choice to put it on and practice their religion freely.
I wear it not just because it is now such an ingrained part of my identity, but also because it is now a political statement, a message to the people who would rather see me staying indoors and not representing my religion.
Every time I go out, I CHOOSE to be a visible Muslim woman even though I am aware of the risks that it entails.
It’s a tough world but if I hide away it’s not going to break down stereotypes and barriers and inspire other women to interact with us and find out more about our faith in a peaceful, compassionate manner.
WHAT DO I WANT FOR THE FUTURE?
I’d really like a peaceful, kind world where people appreciate each other’s differences and respect them whatever way they choose to practice.
I hope this post gave you an insight into my Hijab journey, and please do go read the stories of the other ladies in this blog hop.