This is 2016, which means I’m nearly 3 years wearing hijab. I have to say, wearing hijab is one thing I am grateful of and has helped me to be a better person. It’s only a piece of fabric and covers my hair and ears but the effect was huge.
I think I’ve mentioned why I wear hijab before, but this time I am contributing for Liyana’s World Hijab Day blog series. You’ll be getting more details of the reason and pardon me for getting a bit religion-ish for the sake of the post.
The Early Days
Back in 2013, I was in the middle of a stress. Problems and conflicts was clouding in my head and suffocated me for several months that I decided to find a peaceful place to escape. I need a neutral atmosphere, somewhere where people did not do anything but be in their peace self. So the best place I can think of was the mosque in my workplace.
It was working. I loved the place. I can’t wait to get to the mosque every prayer. The place also made me more focus on praying. I also made some new friends, those who come to the place regularly. They were all lovely people and decent. And then, one day I find myself realizing that I am the only one (or few) girl/s that did not wear hijab in the mosque and even my work space. I never really aware of it, but it bothered me like never before. And suddenly, I just feel more naked than ever. I feel the need to cover more, cover my head and arms. I also felt ashamed that I have exposed my awrah.
The urge to wear hijab actually came first during my elementary school, but I decided that I was too young to wear one. I did entered an Islamic school since kindergarten and wear it everyday for uniform. But it was obligatory, never from my real intention, though I must admit I felt more peaceful wearing it.
I told my intention to my boyfriend (now husband) and he love the idea. I also told my sister who already wear hijab for several years. She was supportive. I asked her to accompany me shop for hijab which she agreed to do.
Then, I told my mother and other sister. To my surprise, they responded quite cold about it. They said what most people (who misunderstood the concept of wearing hijab) said, ‘You should work on your akhlak (perfectness of moslem, best I can describe) first.’ Well, I was disappointed on their reaction. Later that I learn, wearing hijab is actually an obligation for moslem woman and our perfectness as God’s servant has nothing to do with it.
But I was told that before you wear hijab, there’s always a test to make sure you really want it. I considered their reaction as one.
Finally Wearing It
After I got over my disappointment towards it, I began to search for hijab models or tutorials. It was the days where in my country, hijab fashion began to rise. Pinterest was really helpful. I think it’s the only Pinterest board that got many followers on my account (I didn’t even use the tutorials anymore).
There’s plenty, plenty of styles and models to wear hijab. That what made me excited, because there’s fashion aspect to look into. It wasn’t the days where hijab is this boring fabric to wear anymore. You can customize it to your own style. It was fun to find the style that work for you. I remember trying some and captured it on my cellphone.
But doubts came clouding my head that in the moment I wanted to wear it, I didn’t. Maybe it was a response for my doubts after receiving such guidance (to wear one), I got sick. I felt horrible because I chickened out, that after I got sick I decided to just wear it.
The first day I wore it was when I shop the second time with my sister. And I didn’t stand the heat (you know I live in a tropical place). I took a picture of my hijab for my husband and he loved it, even showed it to his mom and she loved it. I think my Father loved it too, since he smiled seeing me wearing one. I think he wanted to express his happiness seeing me wearing one, but I turned away (shy me!).
On Thursday, one of two days in a week in my office to wear uniform. Those who wear hijab should wear blue hijab on Thursdays, but I didn’t have one yet. So best similar color I have was Tosca. I wore it with my favorite tutorial (at that moment) with my uniform.
People at work congratulated me, some unfortunately minor ‘friends’ were reacting cynical. But lots of friends loved my transformation. Some even teased with saying, ‘Assalamu’alaikum, Bu Haji (a name you call for women who have finished their Hajj prayer)!’ Well, every good friend supported the change.
I also changed my profile pic for my social media accounts, so there’s no turning back. Many likes as a response. I was grateful. But this new hijab look was probably not the best first way to wear hijab, since it wasn’t practical. Some closest people recommended me to wear classic bergo (instant hijab) first, but I think the style was unsuitable for working days (or my style standard that moment).
Of course, the first days was not easy. The temptation to remove it again was there. And there’s the heat. But I couldn’t turn it back, since I have shown myself wearing it. My sister said that it’s normal to have that temptation as also a test if you really want to wear it. Luckily, I worked in an high air-conditioned working space so I only felt heat on way home or to work, or lunch hours.
There was adjustments in terms of dressing yourself. You usually only think about one or two piece of clothing, now it’s three at once. In the early days, I also didn’t have much hijab collection to match my clothing (which also lack long sleeves ones). It was a challenge, but I passed it. Many hijab tutorial also can be complicated to wear in such busy day. In the end, I usually pick the simple ones or fix it later in the work toilet. It was funny if people see me come with different style after I came out from the toilet, Lol.
What impressed me was guys actually have attention towards how women wear hijab. My male friends gave me some good advice. Some advised me not to wear hijab with leggings or too many shocking colors at once. I learned that hijab comes with ‘a package’ that your whole body must ‘covered’ in a way not to attract male attention. Hijab best comes with modesty and decency. It did not cover your beauty, but in fact makes you look more graceful and womanly.
I feel much more calmer after wearing hijab. Back in my teens where I decided not to wear hijab after graduating junior high school, I got whistles and some harassment (I hate to remember) from guys in the street. Now, I don’t worry anymore and I don’t have to make ‘cool face’ to make guys stay away from me. Men certainly have more respect for me, automatically. More importantly, my husband loves me more for wearing one.
I have friends who recently wear hijab share their stories with me, which is a cool bonding way for making good friends. Some wanted to know my hijab tutorial. It was nice.
Now I think my hijab style is getting simpler. I work from home and only go out when I need to. I think I am interested to wear longer hijab, but it’s still on progress.
I don’t think I can push any moslem woman to wear hijab, though it is the obligation. I think it won’t work ideally without your real intention. If you do have some urge to wear reading this post, wear it and worry about other things later. You deserve peace, and more importantly you value yourself for wearing it. If you feel by wearing one will make you further for getting the man to approach you, you are very wrong since by wearing hijab you actually attract the good man to approach you.
Hijab or veil actually is not for moslem only. I read that Christian and other religion also have some women wearing it. Perhaps the purpose is almost the same, to cover more.
Hopefully this post can help any woman who is thinking to wear hijab, or any positive influence.
Got any comments? Or thoughts? Please be nice 🙂