This one is for all my non-hijabi Muslim sisters: I love you. And I don’t think you’re a bad Muslim. Or a slut. Or that you must sleep around. Sometimes my non-hijabi “born Muslim” friends tell me that I make them feel guilty because if a convert is strong enough to wear hijab, they should be, too. But please, don’t look at it that way – (gul “mashaAllah” though! LoL).
There is nothing more beautiful to me than when I see a group of Muslim girls hanging out – one Yemeni, one Syrian, one Somalian, one Indonesian, one white Czech girl (that’s me!) all in diverse forms of hijab: a niqqabi, a couple of hijabis, a conservative dresser without a scarf, and one with a tank top and short shorts… And please know, the niqqabi may be the worst Muslim out of all of them.
The point is, we’re all on our own path. And the way we dress is only one part of Islam. There are so many other facets to Islam that in the scheme of things, it’s only a small piece of a much larger, blessed puzzle.
Now, I don’t think I’m a better Muslim for wearing hijab, no, but I am more of a representation. I can’t go wherever I please without representing the second largest religion in the world, and when people have this preconceived notion that I am oppressed, it’s a lot of pressure to surpass their expectations of me within a few moments of interaction.
Wearing hijab makes me go out of my way to do nice things for people – although I would probably have done them without hijab, I want to make sure people see how nice Muslims can be here in America.
I remember one time I was eating lunch and I saw an old white man- literally he was probably 100 years old – struggling terribly to stand up off a chair to sit in his wheelchair – his wife had left the restaurant to go shopping in the small strip mall so he was alone. He was wearing a Veteran hat and I was praying to God when I got up to help him, he wouldn’t refuse the help because I’m Muslim. He also couldn’t speak. He let me help him without any hesitation. And, when I got him settled, he kissed my hands. Being the sap I am, I started to cry like a baby. But, I realized that no matter what he watches on television about how bad Muslim people are, I just changed his perception of Muslims – probably forever – just by having a scarf on.
Muslim girls who don’t wear hijab don’t usually have all that pressure, or at least I didn’t feel it before I wore hijab. When you’re at the mall and you cuss like a sailor, no one knows you’re Muslim. If I so much as roll my eyes at someone, I’m being judged based on our religion. You’re just a rude girl, I’m a rude Muslim girl.
It is quite possibly the only piece of fabric in the world that can make me a spokesmodel just by putting it on my head. But at the same time that it is pressure, it is also a gift- one that stems from the greatest gift of all, one Allah Himself bestowed upon me- being Muslim.
May Allah (swt) make all of us the best representations of Him that we can possibly be – no matter what we wear.