“You’ve taken your scarf off?” The controversial conversation
Hijab is first and foremost a religious act that Muslim women and girls choose to accept and follow.
It is a form of worship and an important part of a Muslim woman’s identity.
Putting on a Hijab and stepping out into the world is no small feat; it can be a scary and daunting choice; with it comes the promise of a greater reward.
There are guidelines in Hijab, specific males it does not have to be worn in front of and certain situations where you are permitted to take it off if you choose.
When I decided to wear my scarf at the age of eight, I knew that it was a significant decision, I knew that I could not revert on my decision.
Hijab is not just the scarf on your head; it is everything that comes with it
It is how I come across, the things that I say; my Hijab makes me a representation of Islam; that is the duty I carry, whether I want it or not.
I have always detested the phrase ‘Hijabi’ because it has connotations of a very-specific group of scarf-wearing girls, whose ideas and views I do not agree with.
Over the years, we have seen some of the biggest Hijab-wearing women in the media take-off their scarves.
While I understand It’s their choice; I don’t have any right to judge their decision; It’s sad to see that the positive representation that these Hijab-wearing women were giving us, is slowly slipping away.
While they were in the limelight, these women were paving the way and changing negative attitudes and misconceptions surrounding Hijab.
Many of them had created safe corners of the internet for scarf-wearing women, where they formed communities and inspired hundreds of others, intentionally or unintentionally, to follow in their footsteps.
People tend to forget that they don’t get to choose if they want to be a role model or not; their actions have greater impacts.
What I found to be most disturbing about some of the most well-known Hijab-wearing women, who went on to take off their scarf was that they had benefitted immensely from the business and marketing of Hijab.
Several of these then Hijabi’s had their own scarf brands and made an immense amount of money from the sales of their extortionately priced scarves.
With the rise of social media and everyone titled as an influencer, it’s more important than ever to look back on morals and values.
These Hijab-wearing women used their platforms to create huge communities across the globe.
It seemed that when they reached a level of fame and notoriety, their scarves came off.
Suggesting they could not reach the next level or do anything more because of their Hijab.
Once their Hijab came off, they had more avenues to pursue partnership deals and ads.
In some cases, it came across as a publicity stunt to gain likes and become a topic of conversation.
I looked up to one of these Hijabi’s; It was because of her that I changed my narrative around the Hijab- that there were no limitations, and I could pursue a career in any field without my Hijab being a barrier to my success.
Seeing her take off her scarf was sickening; I felt so much sorrow; I could not believe that this had happened.
I was scared for the hundreds of others who would follow her and did follow her.
Hijab is not a fashion accessory, it isn’t a trend; it’s not something glamorous that you can opt to wear on occasions when you feel like it.
Hijab can mean something different to everyone, each person has their journey, but it is a very difficult decision to justify going against.
When you choose to wear Hijab, whether that be at eight or 58, it should be a well thought out decision that you feel you can commit to.
If you are deciding to wear a hijab, take time and consider what your true intentions are.