One Step Closer

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With a new stage of life ahead of her, Anum Zia reflects on how a new commitment to hijab became an important part of her life.

There are questions that ultimately go through the mind of every Muslim girl and woman at one point or another in her life… “Should I wear the hijab or should I not? When should I wear it?”

For me, it was a matter of knowing that by wearing the hijab, I would be a step closer to jannah, by Allah’s mercy. When I was battling with whether or not to wear the hijab, and at what point should I start, my older sister became an unexpected source of inspiration for me. I feel like I got lucky. I was about to start tenth grade in a completely new high school, and it was like Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had given me an opportunity for a fresh start. I had been anxious about the prospect of hijab all summer; I wondered if I would make good friends that would be receptive of me as a hijabi. I wondered if people would treat me differently. And then before I knew it, it was the first day of school.

As I got ready for school that morning, I willed myself to step out the door wearing the hijab, and since then, I have not looked back.

I feel like wearing a hijab is only half of what people see of you. Just because you wear a hijab does not mean you automatically become an “oppressed woman” in front of others. When you present yourself as someone who people can relate to, someone who can have a good time, and someone who does not let anything come in the way of her deen, the hijab will be the least of your worries because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will give you strength no matter what obstacles come your way.

Alhumdulillah, it has been seven years since I first put the hijab on my head, and each year I feel more and more comfortable in it. It has become such a big part of who I am that I cannot imagine stepping out the door without it now. It is like a second skin; one that protects me in a way that only my Lord can.

You have to remember that along with the responsibility of wearing a hijab also comes the responsibility of being a walking, talking example of the Muslim woman, which means setting proper examples. By fulfilling the correct requirements of hijab, you can become an inspiration for someone else by presenting yourself in an elegant manner – just like my older sister became an inspiration to me when I was younger.

When others see you as graceful hijabi, they will perhaps think twice about how Muslims are represented.

My dear sister, if you are uncertain about wearing the hijab, just know that there is nothing to lose. Yes, in the beginning you might feel hesitant and uneasy, but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will guide you. Ensure that you present yourself in a dignified way because as banners of our faith, it becomes our job as Muslim women to amend the perception of the “oppressed Muslim woman” with an image of one who is confident and poised.

The only things we lose are perhaps a few bad hair days… and I think everyone can do without those!

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala give us all the courage and confidence to wear and continue wearing the hijab with unlimited grace and beauty.

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