Why I Wear My Hijab

Hijab can mean different things to different people, but the general definition is clothing Muslim women use to cover parts of their body, mostly their hair but sometimes also parts of their face. Likewise, people can wear hijab for many different reasons like religious beliefs or cultural backgrounds. This is why I love wearing my hijab.

1. Faith

 

Wearing a hijab is a personal choice that women make everywhere, and its sole purpose is tied to the religion of Islam. I chose to wear my hijab in fourth grade, when I was beginning to really understand the faith and what being a Muslim meant. Putting on my hijab everyday reminds me to pray and fast and save up for Hajj, but it also reminds me to be kind to others and not give in too much to the materialistic things of the world. My hijab keeps me humble and connected to something bigger than myself, and that is the first and foremost reason I chose to wear it.

 

 

 

2. Freedom of choice

As much as being Muslim is part of my identity, so is being American. The First Amendment of our Constitution protects our right to religion, and so I feel comfortable in having an outward marker of my religion on my head always. I also recognize that women around the world are forced to wear the hijab in many Muslim countries, and I am grateful that being American grants me a choice.

 

 

3. I can be me

 

 

Sometimes people enforce stereotypes on hijabis before knowing them. For me, this is actually liberating. I like disregarding my appearance and have my personality speak for who I am. If this disrupts any stereotypes people might have applied to me, then that’s great. I enjoy proving that hijabis too can be smart, funny, and kind. My hijab is how I hide from the world; it’s my way of showing who I can be.

 

4. No bad hair days

(see full cartoon here)

Wearing a hijab is so much easier than doing my hair everyday. Sometimes I’ll even wear an abaya (a long, loose overgarment) because I can wear it over my pajamas. Also, my hijab protects me from the cold and rain. My ears and neck are never cold, and though I do get sweatier in the summer, it’s totally worth it.

 

5. Community

When Ilhan Omar got elected to office this past election season, I cried. My hijab makes me conspicuously Muslim, and though I have always been proud, the recent spike of Islamophobia in this country scares me. Since I began wearing a hijab, I have grown closer to the Muslim community here and at home. I love having friends of all cultures, but my Muslims brothers and sisters make me feel connected and comfortable. Seeing Omar as a public figure or seeing another hijabi or any Muslim on the street and saying “Assalamualaikum” (peace be upon you) despite being strangers makes me feel like a part of a community tied together by something unbreakable: love and pride.