You see this scarf on my head? This little piece of cloth?
It seems to be a problem.
Not for me. But for others.
I wasn’t going to say anything about it but since my blog has readers from around the world I decided to take the opportunity to say what’s on my mind.
I started wearing the hijab about two weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know what the hijab is, it is Muslim attire that concerns Muslim men and women. The concept is the same for both genders but the attire is different. The Quran says:
“Say to the believing men that they cast dawn their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and not display their ornaments except what appears there of, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display them except to their husbands…”
(Holy Qur’an, 24:30-31).
I’m not going to get into the details of this because that’s not what this post is about. I prefer to let people do their own research BUT if I get enough questions about it, maybe I will right another blog specifically about hijab.
First of all, wearing the hijab is not easy. No matter where you live, it will be a challenge.
Luckily for me, hijab in Senegal is considered a beautiful thing. A women who wears the veil is considered strong, courageous, and brave. They are considered true feminists who fight to protect the rights of women and who guard their modesty. Women who don’t wear the veil tend to look up to hijabis and wish to, one day, wear the scarf as well. That is because Islam is understood in Senegal. People know why we wear the veil and what it symbolizes. I like wearing the hijab in Senegal because people look up to you and you are sometimes treated like a princess (^_^)
So the problem isn’t in Senegal. But it is in a lot of other “western” countries. It makes me sad that my Muslim sisters in other countries have to struggle so much because of how misunderstood Islam is. So this blog post is going to be directed more to my other followers from around the globe.
Contrary to popular belief, most women who wear the hijab, do so by choice. Sometimes, even against the will of their parents or spouses. I personally, have never met someone who was forced to wear it. However, I am fully aware that there are women who unfortunately are forced into the hijab and are oppressed.
But that’s not me. And that’s not what Islam or hijab is about.
Sadly, people have mixed their culture into religion making it seem as if women in Islam have to wear all black, can’t go out, can’t drive, and can’t speak their minds.
To those people, I say “keep your culture out of my religion.”
You would think that, with all the recent attacks on Islam and on Muslims, a normal person would run away from it all and try their best NOT to “look Muslim”. But oh no, not I!
The fact that there are so many misconceptions about Islam actually drew me closer to the religion. Hearing the prejudices that people have against women who wear the veil made me want to wear it even more.
The fact that hijab bothers people really makes you question society. Why should every man be able to see everything on my body if I don’t want them to? How does wearing a piece of cloth on my head make me a terrorist or extremist? Why does it bother you so much that you can’t see my hair? Why is it that women can walk around half naked and it’s considered “women empowerment,” but a woman who decides to go against society is considered oppressed?
Hijab is not meant to oppress. It is meant to set women free. It is true feminism. It is saying “NO” to social norms and how society portrays women. It is saying “YES” to freedom of expression.
I leave you all with this: Everything that is precious on this Earth is preserved. Diamonds and gold are deep inside caves. Money is locked away inside safes and stored deep underground. If I were to come to your house, you wouldn’t have your precious jewels and money just lying on the table would you? No. You would have it stored somewhere, covered or hidden, and away from prying eyes. Even your precious Iphone has some kind of protective covering.
We women are more precious than gold, diamonds, money, and Iphones. So why should we be put on display for the world to see?
My life. My body. My choice