Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hijab


I am about to make the most important decision of my life: I am planning to wear the Hijab.

For those of you who do not know what is a Hijab, here is a simple explanation taken from Wikipedia: "The common meaning of Hijab currently is of "modest dress for women," which most Islamic legal systems define as covering everything except the face and hands in public." In other words, the Hijab would represent the kind of modest dress for Muslim Women such as a veil that will cover the head, hair, ears, neck, and upper torso but also loose fitting clothes that will not allow the body shape to be recognized.
A Muslim woman while dressing should be modest. She should not reveal her features to the world except for other women and male members of her close family ( husband, father, brothers). She is not suppose to unveil in front of every man that can become her husband and this include: uncles, cousins, friends and so on.
For years, I knew that as a Muslim woman I was expected to wear the Hijab. However, being into fashion myself, I found it hard to follow this recommendation. Wearing the Hijab would mean that I had to give up wearing short skirts or sexy tops. Moreover It would mean that I had given up on lively passions and would concentrate on becoming a very pious Muslim woman. The Hijab does not only represent a dress code, it is also a way of life. And I knew I was not ready to change my way of life anytime soon. I am sinner what can I say?
Lately, I started to think about wearing the Hijab. A series of things happened that triggered this thought. The wife of one of my husband's friend was wearing the Hijab. She does it very loosely but she was still covering herself better than I was. I asked her about it and she said that she started to wear it after her husband asked her to do so. It was a new way of life for her and sometimes she even resented wearing it. (She was pregnant and hot so I could understand her lack of patience towards covering). Nevertheless, the more I was with her, the more I started to think that wearing a Hijab or at least a scarf around my head was not so bad. I liked scarves anyway.
After that came Ramadan. During the Holy month it was a"hypocrite" habit of mine, to cover my head with a scarf whenever I would go out. This time I kept the tradition but even after Eid, I just could not stop. Whenever I would go out, I would wear a scarf to cover my head.
Soon enough, I became to notice women wearing Hijabs around me, at the grocery stores, at the mall, while driving. It seems like they were everywhere. It shook me the same way I was shook to see pregnant women popping everywhere when I became pregnant. I would look attentively at those Hijab wearing women, noticing their styles. Some like the Ethiopians just wear loose clothes like long sleeves shirts and floor length skirts and wrap a scarf around their heads. Some other like the Arabs I think, wear the Hijab with fancy fashionable clothes. And some other groups will cover themselves with a black cloak like in Iran.
And finally, my husband in his path of becoming the perfect Muslim, asked me if I was considering wearing the Hijab. I answered that I was but that I did not need pressure from him. It was a very important decision that would take on my own. And I knew it would be something that would not happen overnight so I needed him to be patient.
And here I am today, still thinking about it. I am scared of what wearing the Hijab will mean for me. It will mean that I am ready to let go of the existence of earthy pleasure and concentrate more on becoming spiritual. It would mean, no more mini skirts (like I was wearing some?), no more tights jeans, no more going to the hair stylist to have my hair done (actually, the last thing would be good coz I would not need to spend money on that), no more going out dancing ( I have not been going out dancing in 4 years anyway).
More than having to let go of my earthy pleasures, I am scared of what my family and close friends will react. In my family no one wears the Hijab. My father who is a Muslim and my Mother who is christian are set on me being decent, but they never said anything about wearing a Hijab. My Dad used to consider Hijab wearing women like people who think of themselves highly because they thought that by wearing the Hijab they were following the right path, and women who did not were on the wrong path. He thought that only wearing the Hijab did not guarantee a free pass to Heave. I do not know what he will say now if he saw me wearing a hijab. I know some of my friends would be shocked and Hijab wearing ones would be thrilled for me, but I know that overall they will support me in that decision.
Most importantly, I am afraid of what people at work will say. I have never reveal to them that I was Muslim-I thought that it was not relevant-. I do not know how they will react. Furthermore, I am scared of what job opportunities I will have if I decide to look for another job. Imagine the look on people's face when I showed up at interviews with a suit and a Hijab? I know they cannot refuse me employment based on that- it is illegal- but they can always say no to me pretexting my lack of skills or experience.
Finally I am scared that I will get into wearing Hijab and decide one day that I was tired of it. I am the type of person who needs constant change. I hate having to have the same hair style for more than a month; I grew bored of a topic for research after 3 months. I never seem to stick to something I start like running twice a week. So imagine how I must feel about it particularly when I know that it is not a light matter like a hair style but something that may decide my future after death.
With all these fears, I think that I want to wear the Hijab. I am just confused as the how and when. I am in the process of doing it: I am wearing a scarf everyday when I go out, I stopped wearing short skirts or open necked tops. I am purchasing scarves and long sleeves tees. And for the last two days, one of my favorite activity is to check this blog called hijabstyle in which a Hijab wearing woman from the UK is letting us know how to wear a hijab and be fashionable. She just opened my eyes into so much. I was so happy to discover her blog which is my new fashion magazine.
Over all, I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about it. And someday (soon hopefully INCHALLAH), I will let you know that I became a Hijab wearing woman no matter what the obstacles and the fears. My best friend used to tell me that once you put your mind into doing something-that GOD approves of-, HE will make things easier for me to achieve them no matter the obstacles. And I believe her. So let the miracle happen.

2 comments:

African Hijabi said...

c'est marrant, tu as exactement les memes reflexions que moi !! vraiment similaires (reaction des amis et parents, reflexions sur le fait de changer souvent d'avis, abandonner certaines choses qu'on aimait comme la musique et les fêtes par exemple). et on lit les mêmes blog loool A ceci près que je ne suis pas mariée !
en tout cas ton blog est trés interessant,je suis ravie que de plus en plus de soeurs sénégalaises s'interessent au hijab.

concernant le hijab,j'ai lu quelque part que tu trouvait qu'au sénégal les voilées portaient parfois des hijabs trop voyant .que voulais tu dire par la? il y a til des couleurs à éviter? je demande parce que je suis en train de faire le plein de foulards et j'ai acheté du rose,du violet etc...comme mane da ma eupeul torop loool je voudrais pas acheter des milliards de foulards qui soient pas trés "hijablement correct " loool

en tout cas merci pour le plaisir que j'ai eu à te lire et bon courage sur la route du voile, Yalla na la Yalla diapalé.
bisous !

Assy said...

African Hijabi
merci pour ton commentaire.
Je suis retournee au pays recemment mais je suis rendue compte que certaines Hijabi portaient des Hijab en paillettes qui sont tres voyant. Je n'aime pas juger les gens mais je sens que c'est trop "eupeul" quand meme. Le point de porter le Hijab est d'etre modeste. Bon je ne dis pas de porter des habbaya et hijab blacks comme en Arabie Saoudite mais faut savoir se faire discrete. De mon cote, j'adore les couleurs donc je collectionne les foulards. Tu peux en avoir de toutes les couleurs si tu preferes mais si ton style est discret tant mieux. Je sais seulement que tu ne me verrais jamais avec un foulard en paillette. peut etre une simple bande en paillette mais pas entierement et je ne le mettrai que pour des fetes pas for every day use. You can keep on reading and Good luck to yourself. Thanks

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