Stories & Articles

The Elusive “Why?”

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The Elusive “Why?”

This infamous question always manages to come up. Sisters cower and cringe. Some hang their heads in shame. Others become defiant. Others yet, accusing and some, sad. So, what is this question? Are you ready for it? It is…

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May We Never Forget

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May We Never Forget

I was born and raised in Texas. My family lived in a small, but tight-knit, Muslim community. Before I hit my teen years, I had a half dozen Muslim families I called neighbors. Naturally, with such a secure environment, my friends and I had no hesitation in donning the hijaab. It was simply a part of Islam, and therefore a part of us. As a matter of fact, our mothers occasionally told us not to wear it. “You’re only six!” they would cry. “It is not fardh [obligatory] on you yet!” So much was my love for hijaab then.

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Pathway to Liberation

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Pathway to Liberation

When I recall life before the hijab, it’s as if I remember another lifetime. Although it is a time marked as reality, it is also a moment of my life where I was immersed in a false existence. The freedom I claimed, the happiness and liberation I felt from beautifying my appearance, never really penetrated through my entire being. I may have appeared to be free, but my true essence remained imprisoned by the expectations of a society where people’s approval was a shackle preventing me from living true freedom, mind, body and soul.

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Looking Back

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Looking Back

I grew up in a tight-knit little university town where the place to chill, have fun, and learn was the Masjid. Alhamdulillah, there were many teens and twenty-year-olds for little eight-year-olds like me to look up to. I was always inspired by two particular sisters who were involved in the Masjid, in the community and who always had smiles on their faces. Most of all, I was inspired by the fact they both wore Hijab.

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It is Who I Am

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It is Who I Am

The nightmares were so real. In them, I am walking around in broad daylight amongst the general public, when suddenly I realize something is wrong. I run around, hiding behind big structures, thinking everyone is going to see me. I make it to a deserted alleyway, and then run through the woods cautiously. I take cover behind the trees, my eyes darting about madly, trying to make sure there is no human life in the vicinity, only moving when I feel it is safe. Finally, I reach the precipice of the field and know it’s a few blocks until I can feel safe because the area is open, and there is nothing to hide behind. I’ll have to run as fast as I can and pray that no one sees me. So, I put my hands over my head, trying desperately to cover my exposed hair, close my eyes, and race blindly through the streets to the house I know so well. And then I wake up, feeling exposed, never knowing who may or may not have seen me without my hijab.

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