As a Muslim girl wearing a hijab (headscarf) people are often curious about it. They always have some questions related to how and why I wear it. Thus, I decided to answer the most frequent questions I get and hope that it’ll enlighten you and make you understand our culture a little bit more.
1. Why do you wear it?
The truest and simplest answer is to please God. According to our religion, we (Muslim women) are obligated to wear a scarf and dress modestly. Thus, we wear the scarf along with clothes that cover our bodies.
2. Were you forced to wear it?
No, it was entirely my choice! I personally started wearing it at the age of 10 and for a silly reason. I saw my aunt wearing beautiful clothes like skirts and dresses with the scarf and I wanted to be like her. At first, my parents thought I was joking and they told me not to put it on because they were afraid that I was too young to make such a decision. But I was stubborn, so I started wearing it and till this day, 18 years later, I hadn’t taken it off a single day!
3. When should women start wearing it?
Girls are supposed to wear it after they get their periods (aka puberty). It is considered a sign that they have become adults and they are responsible for their actions before God.
4. Do all Muslim women wear it?
Of course No. Just like any other teaching in Islam, it is related to one’s spirituality and how much they practice their religion on an everyday basis. I have women in my family who wear it and others who don’t. It’s up to them to decide if they want to wear it or not. Moreover, not all women and girls dress the same. Some wear Abayas (long loose dress) and some wear it more casual with pants and skirts. It is merely a personal preference.
5. Do you wear it at home?
No, we only wear at home if we have guests or strangers. But among family members (parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles) we can remove it.
6. Isn’t it hot in the summer?
Mmm.. what do you think?! Yes, it is hot but as all things are in life, once you get used to it it becomes second nature. Moreover, we wear different clothes in summer and winter. In summer, we wear lighter cooler fabrics. In winter or colder weather, we wear heavy ones to keep warm. Nowadays, there is a whole fashion industry for dressing modestly. Modanisa, for example, is one of the largest online shopping websites for Muslim women around the world.
7. Does it prevent/ keep you from doing things?
Well.. no. I study, travel, workout, drive, follow my dreams and live my life as any girl at my age would. You just have to adjust things, not to quit living! Now there are successful hijabi women all over the world doing their own thing. Ibthaj Muhammad, a member of the United States fencing team and Sirin Hamsho, an award-winning renewable energy engineer are two of my all-time favorites.
8. Once you wear it, can you take it off?
Technically, yes. The best scenario ever would be wearing it forever (after giving it some thought and being convinced you can handle it). However, if any girl chooses to take it off, then she can.
9. What about your hair? Do you take care of it?
Well.. yeah! Just because the public can’t see it does not mean that we should not take care of it. We clean it, cut it, dye it, style it and have fun with it when we want to. This is also the case with other “ feminine” activities ( shaving, waxing…). The only difference is that we don’t show it.
Related: What Do Muslims Do in Ramadan?
10. How do you put it on?
This needs a tutorial, and yes there are different styles for wearing it!
Here is the simplest one:
11. Do you get treated differently because of it?
Well.. unfortunately, sometimes yes. Especially at airports when I travel. People are somewhat suspicious of me and tend to run extra checkups and ask too many questions. Moreover, some people may be condensing thinking we are primitive for covering our bodies. They may give a strange look or look away in disgust. They just don’t see that they have a double standard. If a girl chooses to wear nothing, then we get to choose to cover and both choices should be equally respected!
In conclusion, wearing a headscarf is a personal choice. It is about dressing modestly to please Allah (God). It is definitely not a sign of oppression or closed-mindedness ( we cover our hair, not our brain LOL!). On the contrary, it is a way to encourage people to connect with you on a more intellectual and personal level!
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog.
If you still have more questions/ comments about wearing the headscarf, please write them in the comments!
I’ll be glad to answer them!
Until next time, be kind to yourself!