All Sold Separately

12

The act of deciding to wear hijab is often a one time decision, but the reason behind hijab needs to be constantly remembered.

I remember back in grade seven, my friend always used to lecture me about hijab. I had just begun wearing hijab, and I really did not understand it. I wore the scarf, yes, and I wore long shirts. Okay, but what else? What more can you ask for! That was my mindset.

When my mother told me it was time to wear hijab, I didn’t hesitate. I loved the concept of hijab and admired my mom and my sister for wearing it and, in my eyes, looking so beautiful. I always like to dress my best and match everything, from my hijab piece, to my socks, to my rings, to my school bag. That’s how I am.

When I began wearing hijab, I was the only one in my grade even though I was living in a Muslim country. It made me more eager to pursue wearing it because I was respected by my friends and especially by the boys. Boys in middle school and high school are our biggest distraction and digression from keeping firm on the path and striving to maintain our haya and chastity.

A couple months later, a new girl came to school. And she wore hijab. I felt like she took my place, all eyes were on her. So I thought, “Hey, we should become friends.” Soon enough, we became the bestest of friends. We had our ups and downs, which made our friendship much stronger. I loved her, and till now, she means the world to me. What I loved most about her was that she was very honest with me for my own good.

One day, on our ride back home, she looked me straight in the face and told me; “Dania, hijab isn’t just your scarf. It’s the way you act!” It was around five years ago when she told me this, and we parted ways, both moving far away, and yet those words, still send shivers down my spine. Hijab isn’t just a veil on your head. No, it’s much more, and attaining all of it is a blessing from Allah. Those words shook me, and I mention it every time I talk about hijab because they are so true.

Recently, when discussing how we should be cautious when dealing with the opposite gender, another friend told me that over the years she has learned that hijab comes with no batteries, all parts sold separately, including haya. Since I’m in my last year in high school, I see the element of haya decrease bit by bit as newer generations enter the school. Girls with hijab begin to loose their awareness as to why hijab is on their heads, why we wear it at all. It’s to help us keep our haya. Haya is something very hard to achieve, but it’s really a fruit of eman.

I struggle with the aspect of haya day by day so I say this to myself first and foremost. The tricky part of hijab isn’t putting it on your head but enduring it through ups and downs. It’s continuing it and remembering its purpose to guard one’s chastity in all situations. To remember that hijab will teach me to lower my gaze and keep my voice down. It teaches me to keep my distance from boys at school and to remember that Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala is watching me at all times. Hijab isn’t just a cloth on your head, and you should aim to make it more than that.