Written by: Umm Adam
There are reasons for wearing the hijab, first and foremost is obedience to Allah. Then there are all of the evidences we are given in the Quran and Hadiths. But this isn’t about those fine and true evidences this is one women’s conclusion of the benefits to her life by wearing the hijab, found during the last 22 years of personal experience.
I first started wearing the “scarf” right after I became a Muslim. I was in America and I was trying to fit my new faith into my old life, a very uncomfortable experience. I did not do well with that I was constantly feeling like I wanted to rip it off my head! But I didn’t. I was stared at, pointed at, whispered about and generally made to feel like a freak. All of that I didn’t care about… What bothered me was that I truly felt like it wasn’t a proper way to cover and I was having all the wrong intentions about it I felt like I was trying to look like an old Hollywood actress! ! I did not. I wanted my intentions to be for Allah but I had no clue how to properly wear it. And since my husband’s experience was limited to the “older women wearing hijab” only, my single source of experience in Islam was no help. After visiting Egypt and seeing women wearing the khamar, a long head covering down to my fingertips, I decided to try this. That lasted awhile but brought with it all the little problems like what to wear underneath. No short sleeves because the arm raised up exposes itself. And what about the wool cap that women wore to hold it in place? But at least it was better than the dozen pins one needed to keep the scarf in place!
Then I went on Hajj. So amazing to see women wearing the full abaya, scarf and niqab! I fell in love with the simplicity of it. I know that sounds odd because it was adding an abaya and niqab to an already sticky situation. But the freedom I felt when I first put it on was incomparable. I no longer had to worry about what my scarf looked like or if my khamar would get blown up by the wind or the pins or caps. I already loved the feeling of not worrying about if my hair was in style or if my clothes suited an already sad societal standard. Now I didn’t even have the worry of the “scarf style” or the color of my khamar. I put on my black abaya, black scarf and black niqab and never looked back.
Westerners look at women wearing the hijab and think how oppressed we must be. I feel so sorry for them for not having the freedom to not care what society thinks about their outward appearance. Because I have this burden lifted off of my shoulders and I have the great blessing of being able to focus on the important things in life like my spiritual life, my husband, my children, my home, my family, my friends and of course myself.
Now I can dress how I please, wear styles that suit me, put my makeup on, play dress up with my girls with only our fun as a judge! Then I toss on my abaya and go run my errands or visit a friend without worrying about the world judging me. And I hope I can give my daughters this same lesson and blessing in their lives.
Surah An-Noor, Verse 31:
وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.
(English – Shakir)