Twenty Dollars


How much is your hijab worth?

“If I paid you ten dollars, would you take that off? How about twenty dollars?”

I stood there in shock. Did my grade five teacher just offer me money to take my hijab off? For class pictures?

“One day. Just for class pictures. That’s all.”

Being in grade five, I didn’t know what to think or how to respond. All I knew was that I could not agree. My hijab was worth more than ten bucks or even twenty, a price he later changed the bargain to.

I denied the offer, not knowing I made a decision that would support me for the rest of my life and hereafter, insha’Allah. Not knowing the gravity of what I thought was a simple yet awkward question. Not knowing that on that day, rather than selling myself to my teacher, a person whom I respected immensely at that time, I instead sold myself to a greater, Supreme Being.

And that deal is still oh-so-worth it, alhamdulillah.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Suratul Baqarah, verse 207:

But there is [also] a kind of man who would willingly sell his own self in order to please Allah: and Allah is ArRa’uf towards His servants.

In this life, we’re always looking to make the best deals, grab the best sales, and get the most for the least amount. Doing this, we sometimes end up sacrificing more than we should. Was all that time and effort standing in line on Boxing Day really worth this shirt on sale I haven’t worn yet? Would taking off my hijab for a five minute picture be worth the twenty dollars and pleasing a teacher I haven’t seen since?

The funny thing is I moved a short while after this incident and have never seen the yearbook. My picture with hijab is probably in it – and I have no regrets. This piece of cloth bothered him so much that he didn’t want it engraved in time through a picture. Was it wrong of a teacher to ask this? Yes. Do I regret it? No. I have learned so much in retrospect. My deen has been engraved for me along with the picture.

Hijab is more than just a piece of cloth. I could have taken off my hijab if I had treated it exactly like a piece of cloth, like it’s just some accessory I can add and omit and manipulate as I see fit. Or I can treat it like an extension of me—an extension of my deen, a part of my life, which cannot be adjusted in any way.

Sisters, you, yourselves, your lives, your choices in the deen are worth more than twenty dollars. They have no price tags. So sell your life to the highest bidder. No being on this Earth can give you all you need and deserve. Only Allah can. And He’s waiting for you, waiting for your struggle, waiting for your du’aa, waiting for you to call upon Him. He’s waiting for you, my dear sisters, so don’t disappoint Him.