Wearing hijab has meant a lot to me, especially given that I have been wearing it since I was 10 years old. What would make me stop? What would make me continue? Yes, of course Allah is why I continue, but what if I’m numb to life and religion? Hijab became part of my life, tradition and everyday being. What would make me stop? Why are these questions and thoughts of taking hijab off? Is it the devil or is it me? Never would I, and even if I wanted to, I could never have the will power to take it off. It is me, it is a part of me, but I have been trying to make Hijab who I am and what I want to be in life. Since I was 10 I’ve had many role models, not only my mother, but my sister, cousins, my Islamic school, teachers and majority of my friends. Islamic Foundation was a big part of the reason why I wore it in the first place, and I felt it was time even though I was only 10 years old. Who would ever think when I was 10, I would come to make one of the biggest decisions for the rest of my life. Growing up, finally having more of my own identity in college and coming from an Islamic school and straight into college I never realized how hijab actually forced me into the spotlight. I went to private university where the majority of my classmates were white Caucasian. I stood out everywhere I was, worse than a sore thumb. There was very few like me there, however, I did not want to be portrayed as one of those Muslims. How ironic is it for me, as a Hijabi, to see another sister and not wanted to be associated with her. You might wonder why. I am not one to judge anyone and I leave that to God and God alone. I wanted to be represented as an “American”.
I was born and raised here and fashion is something that I am interested in. Growing up and becoming who I am today is with my Hijab and will be until death Insha’Allah. I will tell you this, it is hard. People may think it’s easy, but for me it’s not. First I do not like the attention, but I cannot escape that now, nor will I ever. I will still be looked as different or a minority.Growing up I never saw anyone really care about fashion or how they dressed or in other terms my style. As my interest in fashion developed, my ideas of role models changed with it. My mom, sister family, school and friends are not my role models anymore when it comes to hijab. I felt lost, because I felt as if I was trapped between two worlds that didn’t understand me. Dressing nice and be able to wear fashionable clothes is something I care a lot about, and perhaps I shouldn’t. But that might possibly be #myjihad.
I felt that I was yearning, wondering, and confused all at once. I tried to wear jilbab or wear a skirt but I can’t, nor will anyone understand why not. I tried wearing my scarf in different styles that may have worked for me, but it still didn’t click. I wasn’t aware that it didn’t click until later on. People would see me and never say anything, but finally I was approached and confronted. “Are you planning on taking off your hijab?” I was upset and hurt at the same time for so many reasons. How can she think that? Is this what everyone is thinking? Is this really the next phase before taking it off? Am I going to take it off? Millions of questions came through my head, and I kept questioning myself. What is the problem? Why is hijab a problem? Should this be an issue? I didn’t understand what it was, but continued on with my life and search. Later, I joined Instagram, and I am not an internet person. I don’t really like social networking and I told myself that I would not join anything else, but after long debate I joined. All I had to do was post pictures and follow people; seems simple enough. Not too many questions or comments just positive reinforcement. I now I am addicted to Instagram. I log on twice a day and started following motivational quotes, which has become my main focus and source of inspiration and strength. Then I came across Ascia, and she had tons of followers. She has a website called, Hybrid Headpiece. She lives in the Middle East, and she models clothes. At first, I didn’t want to follow her because I felt it was too showy, but I followed her anyway because I’m not one to judge. I began looking at her pictures and her outfits and realized it’s exactly type of clothes I wear and the fashion that I like, and most importantly she was wearing hijab! This finally clicked with me. It finally made me see another side of hijab that I hadn’t seen before. The side that says not only a way that looks good and fashionable, but I’m able to see a manifestation of what we believe in. It was finally an inspiration. I was able to have a person in my life that I can relate to, who dresses the way I want to. Never in a million years did I think I would have someone inspire me especially on the internet. But it did, and I truly believe God has opened my eyes and told me to never lose hope or faith. Thank God, I haven’t lost faith and God willing I’ll never lose faith. And, for now I am pleased, happy and finally content with the word Hijab.