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To Wear Hijab - To Be Free

Submitted by Marjana on Wed, 28/09/2011 - 01:41
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“Are you mad? Do you want to be a slave?” – said to me my friend when I told her about my desire to wear a head scarf.

“It is ugly, you are making a nun of yourself,” told my sister with an air of reproach when I came to her in hijab.

“There are so many Muslims but they wear normal clothes,” told my mother, “I insist that you should not wear things like this. What will people say?”

These were the words I heard from my closest friends and family after I had revealed that i had intensions to put on hijab. Yeah, this was a fight. I real fight for the right to wear hijab.

Before Islam I thought that Muslim women are poor victims of oppression, that they have no rights, that they are ignorant and their only mission is to run a house and give birth to babies. However this was one of the first stereotypes broken in my head. Before Islam I had sympathized to Muslim ladies, and after I started admiring them. Noble way they behave, speak, smile, walk – everything is amazing.

I started wearing hijab not at once after I had accepted Islam. When I felt that I want being one of the noble women and I knew my way to this through Islam it was still difficult to put on hijab. Without hijab my religion was not full but the inner barrier did not let me put it on easy. I was afraid of social opinion, of my friends and group mates attitude, of my teachers reaction. If I had put on hijab then I would had been the only girl in hijab in the university. And at first this barrier was my main problem. Anyhow I was wearing much more modest clothes then before. I used to wear a long skirt or a dress, refused jewelry, perfume and shoes on high heels. I was no longer a slave of fashion and advertisement; I was a slave of Allah then.

When I put on hijab for the first time I realized that my fears were unreasonable. Yes, some my friends were surprised and asked me plenty of questions. The most common question was “Did you get married to a Muslim?” and having got a negative answer they seemed even more surprised. In people’s mind it is a Muslim husband or father who makes their wife or daughters put on hijab; it is like a sign of oppression.

Of course may be there are such families in the Muslim world when wives and daughters are made to wear veil. In my case it was my own will. I no longer cared what people think of me, I was a success to overcome this psychological complex and felt relieved of it.

But the greater fight was ahead. My mother did not want me to wear hijab; nor hijab, neither long skirt. She did her best to persuade me to change my preferences in clothes, refused to go out with me when I was in hijab, tried to spoil my clothes. She did not like hijab and sincerely believed that if somebody of her friends and colleagues had seen me in this strange garment then her reputation would have been destroyed.

To say that this situation was very hard for me is to say nothing. Islam teaches us to respect parents and obey them in any case even when they are wrong. But obeying mother meant to disobey Allah!

And We ordained upon man concerning his parents; his mother bore him enduring weakness upon weakness, and his suckling is up to two years – therefore be thankful to Me and to your parents; finally towards Me is the return. And if they force you, that you ascribe a partner to Me a thing concerning which you do not have knowledge – so do not obey them and support them well in the world; and follow the path of one who has inclined towards Me; then towards Me only is your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do. (31:14,15)

I was in front of a choice whether to obey my mother’s will and refuse of my soul by disobeying Allah, or to fight for my rights for freedom to wear a scarf. I preferred the second.

Only Allah knows how many heart-to-heart conversations I had with my family, how many prejudices were destroyed, how much stress and nerves we have spent from both sides. Anyhow Islam won.

“Whatever they tell you be strong,” says my mother to me now. I have a great moral support from her in any situations.

This is just amazing how Islam with its pure ideology and clear arguments can change hearts and minds of people in a better way. There are so many examples of when the enemies and foes of Islam are becoming avid supporters of it; when they understand Islam from inside and remove the veil from their minds. The same happened to my mother.

In spite of all the goodness I have mentioned above I’m not free to wear hijab in my country. The rest of doors are closed for me as I’m labeled a terrorist, a religious fanatic, or an oppressed lady who needs to be liberated. This is how the society treats me. But this problem is not already under my control.