“Is it Your Choice?”

22

The commands of Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala should be followed, not just because we have been told to, but because of the love we have in our hearts for our Lord.

I’m not quite sure why I find so much inspiration at school but it might be because there’s so much diversity and, alhamdulillah, my school celebrates diversity. The school is filled with students and staff of all colours, languages and perspectives – it may not cause perfection, but it makes everything interesting. Generally speaking, people respect and tolerate multiculturalism, but they also question it. Instead of arguing over it, we absorb it, understand it and move on, insha’Allah.

Staring into a textbook during a muggy math lesson, I sat at a table counting down the minutes. I peered to my left to look out the window to see the dance of the falling Autumn leaves – crisp and golden with only a slight hue of green remaining. Jemilla and Hannah, two girls sitting at our group table, were discussing their distinct hairstyles. Jemilla had brown hair, extremely curled and Hannah had pearly white waves. They were talking to a boy, Johnny, who had perfectly flat, bright, ginger hair, when Hannah turned to me and looked straight at my hijab, a question fluttering in her eyes. Abruptly, Johnny looked at me too and blurted a question, a question that consisted of only four words. Those four words empowered me and made me smile.

“Is it your choice?” he asked with curiosity, humility flooding his eyes.

I fell silent, smiling on the inside when I noticed both Hannah and Jemilla were waiting for my reply as well. So I took a deep breath, took one last look of the poems of the falling leaves outside, and said, “It’s completely and utterly my choice and mine alone.” Inquisitiveness sparkled through and I continued smiling. “Hijab is important to me and I do this because it’s my choice, my will. People need to understand we’re not forced into it at all and all this oppression nonsense – is nonsense.”

I cleared my throat feeling empowered and at peace in my hijab, fiddling with the scarf-ends, the tassels tickled my hand and I thought about the four-worded question. It echoed through my mind and the feeling I experienced proved that hijab is my dignity, my right, my peace and dare I say it – my love.

When someone chooses to do something, they are flooded with power, which sparks a flame of passion. We are truly blessed to have this choice – so we mustn’t take it for granted. Our souls will always be free and hijab is a part of my soul. It keeps me safe, secure, gives me an identity, makes me feel peaceful. It makes me smile blissfully and reminds me I am never alone and that Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala is always with me. It reminds me of who I am and why I am here. Yes, to cover is my choice because when I covered my head, I opened my mind and my heart to Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala. Hijab is my smile.

Open your minds, sisters, and smile.