Muslim girls: Not Yet Ready for Hijab?
By Hibbah Khan

March 2007
I have been wearing the hijab for almost 2 years now. Now you’re probably expecting, “It didn’t just happen overnight”…however, for me it did. As many are already aware, wearing a hijab is a big responsibility and most girls think a lot about it before actually putting it on, because not only does it change your look, but it also alters your mind, personality and soul.
When wearing a hijab, one is making a big commitment. But this shouldn’t discourage you from wearing it. It should be an encouragement, because you are challenging yourself. Many girls use the excuse: “I’m not ready to wear a hijab yet”, but if you don’t think you’re ready now, then you’ll never be. Ask yourself if you’re even doing anything to prepare yourself for it. Think about this for a moment: waking up, getting ready for the first day of high school and just putting a piece of cloth on your head, without having any previous knowledge about it, nor even knowing its meaning or what it portrays. Doesn’t sound like a lot of preparation, does it? Yup, that’s exactly how I started. My sister had encouraged me to wear it and I knew it was compulsory in religion to do so, so I thought if my sister could do it, so could I. Because the decision was up to me, I was really confused. I couldn’t make up my mind so I thought I’d just try it on. Doesn’t mean I have to wear it for the rest of my life. I was also unaware of the ‘rules and regulations’ for wearing a hijab. I used to wear t-shirts and only have my head covered on school property. But I wasn’t guilty at all because my parents were aware of this.
On the first day of classes, I noticed I was the only hijabi in the majority of my classes. I felt very uncomfortable and dejected. Because I was immature and not aware of what I portrayed, I ended up making mistakes. One of the biggest was hugging a guy. Back then, to me, this wasn’t a mistake or, in fact, anything big. Now that I look back at it, I feel like a hypocrite. Covering my hair while showing off my arms? Wearing a hijab in school while wearing capris outside? Representing the symbol of purity while hugging the non-mehram? Slowly, I started to realize what my hijab symbolizes. It not only was protecting my reputation but representing all hijabis. Hijabis are constantly being judged. One look at me and many people would assume a thousand things because they base their knowledge on other hijabis they have come in contact with. That is why I have to be strong and have my own unique identity; to prove those people wrong.
I had always thought wearing a hijab would have no affect on me, but personally, it has turned me inside out. Not only has it helped me differentiate right from wrong, but also made me a stronger person overall. I have never been discriminated for being a hijabi and maybe that’s because I feel daring for wearing it. It has made me stronger mentally, emotionally and even physically. It takes time but slowly you get there. There’s no point standing in front of the staircase and saying you will never reach the top if you don’t even make an effort in climbing them. Just like constantly saying you’re not ready to be a hijabi yet, when you’re not even trying change yourself. It’s not as hard as it seems. Start slowly; start now. Make your statement boldly and the readiness will just come to you.

Back to Article List