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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

I think it’s needless for me to say that it’s very common to find a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. A hijab is a head covering worn by Muslim women.  

As a Muslim myself, I feel I should discuss why Muslim women wear the hijab and why it is significant to our faith. 

It’s a common misconception that wearing the hijab proves that you’re a good and true Muslim. That’s not necessarily the case. Being a good Muslim means being a good person. The five pillars of Islam are a profession of faith (believing in one God), prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. To put it in simpler terms, as long as we are good people doing the best we can, we are good Muslims. Wearing a head covering doesn’t automatically make you a good Muslim. The hijab represents something else.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Muslim women who wear the hijab are not just covering their hair. Think about it for a second. Have you ever come across a Muslim woman wearing a hijab while sporting jeans shorts and a spaghetti strap? Probably not. The likelihood of seeing that is pretty small. You’re more likely to see them wearing longer articles of clothing (long pants and long-sleeved shirts, or a long skirt or dress, etc). You see, the point of the hijab is to remain humble and modest. They’re not simply covering their hair; they’re covering their bodies. 

Now, this might be perceived as sexist: why only the women? Why not the men? Allow me to explain.

When we’re little girls, we don’t have a developed body. We’re flat, living in the nooks and crannies of societal standards; we’re not very noticeable. But as we grow older, our bodies become more developed. We grow bigger breasts, our hips begin to curve, our thighs become slimmer. Basically, we go from cute to sexy. 

Due to our developed bodies, Muslim women wear the hijab to remain humble with themselves. Our bodies are personal for us, and once they’re developed, it’s easy to notice. Hence the hijab, a representative of modesty not just in terms of our personality, but of our physical beings as well. It also shows we don’t necessarily have to show off our bodies to look beautiful. A humbleness with yourself – with your body – is also very beautiful. For this reason, I find the hijab very stunning and significant. 

But there is something else that I should point out.

Most of you might have heard that it is a requirement for Muslim women to wear the hijab. Based on my profile picture, you might have noticed that I don’t wear one. I have an explanation for that, too. 

Technically, yes, Muslim women are supposed to wear hijabs. But – please make note of this because it is very important – it should never be forced on them. 

Wearing a hijab is a bigger commitment than you might think. When you start to wear the hijab, it can’t be taken off. Not in public, and not in front of other people (unless they’re your family). You are constantly covered from head to toe in fall, winter, spring, and summer. A Muslim woman has to be ready to make that commitment. It’s not something that should be forced on her. 

Unfortunately, it was forced on me in elementary school. The school wanted to encourage girls to become hijabis. Here’s the thing: we have to wear it during prayer and when we read Qur’an. I am all for that, of course. But to wear it constantly is an even bigger commitment, which is why we shouldn’t be pressured into doing it until we are ready for it. To be forced would take away that readiness. 

This is why Muslim women wear hijabs. The commitment, in my humble opinion, is admirable, and the symbolism behind the hijab itself is something that I find beautiful.

Nawal Jasey is the Writing Director at the Her Campus UWindsor Chapter. She is responsible for scheduling writers for article postings as well as writing articles herself. Prior to this, she was part of the writing team as a simple writer. Her content normally depicts entertainment, life experiences, and personal cultural and/or religious topics. Nawal attends the University of Windsor as a senior undergraduate under the English program, where she mainly studies different branches of English literature including Victorian, Renaissance, Restoration, and more. Furthermore, she studies creative writing to pursue her dream of becoming an author. She attends several reading events hosted by different authors to help inspire her creative writing. She has independently published a fiction fantasy novel and continues to write more stories for the future. In her free time, Nawal loves to read and write fiction and epic fantasy novels. She would rather shop for books than for clothes any day. She is an anime and manga lover and considers herself a massive and proud nerd. She enjoys baking and playing the piano (not at all professionally) while cuddling her adorable kitty named Sabo.