In my previous post I talked about my journey (I know, dramatic word choice but I feel like it fits) to hijab.
In this post, I want to start off by addressing the two biggest issues I had with hijab growing up:
- Why do I have to wear a headscarf, while guys don’t have to?
A (terrible) way the hijab is presented to young girls is often times as something they need to do to protect themselves from the gaze and bad intentions of men. This type of mentality never sat well with me, especially once I visited Pakistan and Saudi Arabia where I saw men staring at women who were even wearing niqab and essentially covered head to toe.
Once I researched the headscarf in the Quran, I found that Allah tells men to lower their gaze BEFORE He tells women to cover themselves (24:30-31). That shows that those two ideas are independent of each other. Allah does not ask women to cover themselves because “men can’t control themselves,” but because He knows that covering will help the woman herself. Often times the significance of men observing hijab is overlooked when talking about hijab in Islam, but it is important to remember that Islam also teaches men to display modesty in both their appearance and their actions.
Also, it is important to realize that, yes, Allah has not asked men to cover their hair and we can argue how that’s “unfair” but if we believe Allah to be our Creator, The All-Knowing, then we cannot really play this game of: “how come he doesn’t have to do that? how come she gets to do this?” If Allah asks us to do something there is obviously a great deal of wisdom behind it, even if it is not apparent to us all the time. After all, who knows us better than our Creator Himself?
2. My parent(s)/elder(s) told me to wear the headscarf, but I don’t want to/don’t have an opinion about it yet.
LOOK INTO IT!! Don’t be afraid to do your own research. We have so much information readily available to us through the internet (make sure you are looking at reliable sources, and at the end of the day always look to the Quran for final proof).
Looking back, I realize if I had kept my headscarf on as an act of pleasing my parents then slowly looked into it and changed my intentions to wear it for Allah, I wouldn’t have been doing a bad thing. Obeying your parents (when they ask you do a good thing) is an act of obedience to Allah, so if you start out wearing the headscarf for them, I don’t feel like that is a terrible thing. But at the end of the day, we should constantly be seeking out our own knowledge and coming to our own conclusions and doing things with the intention to please Allah.
Lastly, I want to give some general advice to those struggling with the headscarf:
(1) Look into the headscarf and come to your own conclusion, but do NOT put off looking into it (like I did). When you come to your own conclusion, and do something from your heart, it holds so much more weight and importance to you and even makes the act easier for you.
(2) Surround yourself with individuals of strong faith who bring you closer to Allah and push you to do things that will bring you closer to Him. If you do that, doing things for Allah will become easier for you.
(3) Pray. Ask Allah to help you and guide you and make your struggles easier for you.
(4) If your heart is leaning towards wearing the headscarf but you aren’t 100% sure yet or are scared or hesitant, just do it!! As cliché as it sounds, there’s no time like the present and we don’t know how much time we have on this Earth. So if you’re leaning towards it and need a push, here is your push: just do it!!
(5) Always try to improve yourself and always increase your knowledge. As long as you are trying your best, I firmly believe Allah will reward you for your struggles.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or other concerns you might have about the headscarf. I hope my words did not offend anyone and I pray that Allah makes all of our individual struggles, whatever they may be, easier for us.