Mariam, a 14-year-old muslimah who just entered high school was feeling very nervous and scared entering into a new school environment. On top of this she found herself struggling with students accepting her as a Muslim. Faced with these two conflicts, Mariam found herself lost and unaware of how to go about these issues. It wasn’t just the students causing problems; it was also other factors within the high school that were causing Mariam to struggle with her finding her place as a Muslim in high school. Mariam is one of many students facing conflict in high school. To help overcome these issues and give insight into the problems that today’s Muslim youth is facing in the education system, Imancipation has decided to release a new series called “The Muslim Nation within Education”. Through this series, we hope to target some of the mainstream problems that young Muslims are facing in today’s society.
This is the second post in the series, and like the first post, is written by younger NYM sisters currently in high school…
When a Muslimah takes the step in her life to begin wearing the hijab, it’s a big one. Some are young when they make the decision, while others are older. When one starts wearing the hijab, there is a point in their life when they will be asked the big question: why do you wear it? This question is quite often asked by those who find it confusing as to why you would choose to wear the hijab in the first place. To them, it seems out of the ordinary and contradictory to societal norms.
Hijab continues to be an ever-confusing concept to many people, especially in high school where you stick out like a sore thumb in a crowd of people trying to blend in. Therefore, when the opportunity presents itself, people won’t hesitate to inquire as to why you wear the hijab. There’s an endless number of answers you could respond with, but I often ask myself what’s the best one? Better yet, is there a specific answer that’s better than every other? Well, unfortunately a lot of sisters are unsure of how to respond.
However, the ‘best’ response may be a lot simpler than one thinks.
The answer could be as simple as saying, “I wear the hijab because my creator, Allah SWT, has commanded me to.” There is no going wrong with this answer because it is absolutely 100% true. It is clearly stated in the Quran,
“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That will make it more likely that they are recognized, hence not teased. And Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very Merciful” (33:59).
Saying we are wearing the hijab because Allah SWT commanded us to, is a beautiful answer as it shows our submission to our creator. As seen in the hadith, narrated by Safiyyah bint Shaybah (R.A) that ‘Aa’ishah (R.A) used to say:
When these words were revealed – “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” – they took their izaars (a kind of garment) and tore them from the edges and covered their faces with them. ( al-Bukhaari, 4481).
This is a clear confirmation of our iman and of our will to follow the commandments of Allah SWT.
So, the next time someone asks you why you are wearing the hijab, reply with the answer that truly encompasses the reason you are wearing it. And remember, the goal of your answer is not to please the one asking you, but to please the One who commanded you to wear it.