No one has come out and just asked me why I’m wearing a scarf on my head …wait – now that I think about it, shortly after I converted, I visited my momma several times while wearing my hijab and she did ask, “What, you’re Muslim now?!”
Is Wearing it a Personal Choice?
Wearing my hijab or scarf has been a personal choice. I’m going to say this again – It is MY choice to wear it. My husband isn’t forcing me to do so. It’s not where if I don’t wear it, I can’t be on the team type thing either. It’s one of the ways I’m choosing to worship God.
What’s Under That Hijab?
Do I miss wearing my hair out? At times I do. I have natural hair that, about 3 years ago, I’d cut all off. (This was at the beginning of My New Way of Life). As Brene Brown says in her book Gifts of Imperfection, I was having – not a midlife crises, but a midlife unraveling. I can go on and on about this, but I digress…for now.
Was the Decision Easy?
The decision to first wear my hijab came with apprehension and questions like what would others think? If I’m not mistaken, I started wearing it just on Fridays when I went to Jummah prayers. But it was really weighing heavy on me to wear it all the time, but yet, I still didn’t; I was still worried about others…smh.
So the start of 2018 came around, and my New Years resolution was to wear my hijab to work. I probably stayed in the mirror for 30 minutes and that’s after watching who knows how many YouTube videos, just trying to figure out how to wear the thing right. Alas, I got it right, well kinda.
How Did Others React to it?
I first wore my Hijab to work, and as I walked in the hallway I could feel the 👀 on me, and all I could do was smile…nervously.
My students didn’t know what to do or think. I was teaching, but they were doing no kind of learning lol. After a few days of wearing it, a few of my bolder students finally came out and asked why I was wearing the “scarf”. I told them why, and that was about it.
But one of my students – let’s just call her “Imani” (meaning faith. It’s a name I’ve always liked), she’d made this decision even easier.
She was one of my African American Muslim students who, too, wore a hijab (she was probably the ONLY African American girl who did); she was in my 5th period Math class. When she came walking down the hall and laid eyes on my wrapped head, the biggest smile came across her face. And as she passed me heading into the classroom, I greeted her with assalamualaikum!
Faith Helped Me
Many months later her mom and I happened to be attending a Quran class. She and I shared with the class how she and I knew each other. She then told the class that Imani had come home, so excited that she had a teacher who was Muslim, Black, and wore a hijab, too. She and I both cried; I had no idea that I’d made that much of an impact on her and her family, Alhamdililah!
And from then on, Imani and I made sure to greet each other with assalamualaikum and a smile.
The choice to wear my hijab is for my obedience to God and to represent that I am NOT living my life for others; I’m submitting to the will of Allah and that’s something I am proud to do.