Hello, my beautiful friends 🙂 How are all of you feeling today? I hope you’re well, cuz I’ve got quite the post for you! World Hijab Day is just ’round the corner on 1st Feb so I decided that it might be fun for a little blogging collaboration in celebration of this day. A lot of the times, the people I meet are curious about my hijab – why I decided to wear it, when I decided to put it on, etc. I’m sure many of you have had some of these questions in mind as well so today, as part of this collaboration, I will be sharing my story. At the end of this post I will also be linking you guys up to a few other bloggers who have been so kind in joining me in this little project. I hope that these different experiences will give you some insight into our relationship with our faith and how each of us personally found meaning through the act of donning the hijab.
My decision to start wearing the hijab came rather unexpected. Before then, I always told myself that I’d wear it after I get married and settle down. The trigger to don the hijab came mid-2010, just a while after my late grandmother passed away. I’ve never experienced a loved one’s death before then, and that experience really shook me. My late grandmother took care of me when I was growing up and for me to lose someone who played such a huge role in my life… I don’t really have the words to describe it. I don’t think I’ve gotten over that loss, even up to this day.
That experience made me lose my bearings a little… I was lost for a while and in the months after that, I came to the realisation that life is short and you can’t live any bit of it with regret. Not that I didn’t know that before, but these things took on a whole new meaning when the harshness of reality kicked in. I remember I was on a train home when the thought hit me out of nowhere and I told myself, right then, right there, “I am going to put on the hijab.” Perhaps it was my new life motto pushing me to take the plunge, but looking back, I think it was a way for me to deal with that loss. At that point of time, it was my way of shutting out the world and giving myself time to heal and grow, before I was ready to step out again.
At that time I was also grappling with lots of insecurity issues – I was very much aware of society’s standards of beauty and I felt like I couldn’t match up. I pegged my worth to that unachievable standard, which led to a really low level of self-esteem. I felt that donning the hijab was a way of rebelling against it, and in a way, that helped me to work on the other parts of me that I was neglecting up until that time. Quality of thought, social skills, creativity, leadership… I explored all these other facets to my identity which helped me to grow as a person and overcome a lot of my insecurities. It was a little while after that when I started experimenting with fashion and beauty again. I realised that I could create my own definition of beauty, and that in itself, was an act of empowerment that I’ve come to associate with the hijab.
It’s been close to 6 years since I made that decision. Whenever somebody asks me the question, “Why do you wear the hijab?” I think that I will always recount the memory of losing my grandmother, because that really was the trigger point. But thinking about it right now, I think that the hijab has truly helped me to find myself. It was only after putting it on that I found the courage to dig deep and uncover all these little parts of me that were hidden and gave them opportunities to shine.
The hijab empowers me and teaches me that there is so much I can offer the world, so much I can do to make it a better place.
And for that, I am truly grateful.
Explore other hijab stories:
Why I’m Wearing Hijab by Andina
Why I Started Wearing the Hijab by Zubia
Why I Started Wearing the Hijab by Veena
Why I’m Wearing the Hijab by Fads (Updated 26 Jan)
Why do I Wear the Hijab by Wallflower Hijabi (Updated 26 Jan)
Why I Prefer to Wear Hijab by Kai (Updated 28 Jan)
(more to be added to this list very soon!)