Don’t just make a hijab a cloth on your head; make it your entire wardrobe, your personality and your lifestyle. 

Sometimes, we focus on a single thing too much when it may not even matter that much.  Think of the auntie who is quick to rebuke you for the acne on your face and tells you the home remedy she has that can cure it in days.  Think of the mother who scolds her daughter for not covering her hair but doesn’t say a word to the low-cut shirt or the skinny jeans.

Why is this the case?  It’s partly cultural, of course. But it’s also this narrowing definition of hijab as a piece of cloth that covers our hair. We don’t think of it as a transformation, as a behavior, as a personality. As long as the strands of hair are covered, we’re okay, right?


Just like we prepare ourselves for an interview or an exam, we have to prepare ourselves for hijab everyday.  And that doesn’t always start with how you wrap a cloth around the head.  It can start with whether you’re going to wear the shiny red pumps that click noisily with every step, whether you’re going to choose the skinny jeans or the skin-tight leggings.  It can be deciding if the low-cut hot pink tee is cuter or the long dress with a silver tight belt around the waist.

We shouldn’t be quick to advise a sister to just wear the hijab—or to just start covering her hair.  We should also include the  suggestion that she try and wear more modest clothing, because that too is practicing hijab.  Modifying the wardrobe can sometimes be a more daunting task than adding a hijab to the attire.  Of course, it’s a good first step that a sister decides to wear the hijab even if she has not modified her wardrobe yet.  But everything takes time and change is gradual, not always immediate.  However, we focus so much on telling our sisters to start covering their hair when hijab isn’t limited to that.  The work doesn’t end there.

So hijabi or not: take a peek into your wardrobe and give yourself a tiny makeover.  Toss out the skinny jeans, the skin-tight leggings, the low-cut tops, the really short scarves.  Save those for an all-girls gathering, or maybe for the time when you don an abaya.  But when you’re in public, dress wisely. Make sure you wear loose clothing that doesn’t exaggerate your curves but disguises them.  Avoid bright colors and those sassy lines like “Juicy” on your sweatpants.  And think about it—when you are standing in prayer in front of Allah, do you honestly want to dress that way?

Whether we prefer it or not, the way we dress is part of our identity.  If we are blessed to be a part of the Ummah that our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) strived hard to create, if we are the servant of Allah the most High, we have to be ready to commit and uphold this honor.  At the end of the day, you want to be happy and comfortable, but most importantly, you want to dress modestly for your Lord.