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Why I choose to wear a hijab

I am asked many questions regarding the scarf on my head.

Many people are just curious and that’s OK.

They apologise for asking questions and I tell them it’s fine. I would rather they ask me the questions directly than try to find the answers elsewhere.

So why do I choose to wear it? Because I want to. Not because my husband or my parents make me wear it or that the religion pushes me to. I choose to wear it. I was given a choice and I took it.

Many families and many cultures do things differently.

Girls are given the choice when they hit puberty to wear the hijab but my mum never asked me. She knew I would have told her ‘no’, like the rebellious teenager I was.

I was given the opportunity to wear it when I was engaged at 17 (a whole other story). My mother-in-law had asked me – and she had also asked her children as soon as they were of a mature age. She took a different approach with them. All her girls wore the hijab when given the choice.

I wear the hijab to cover myself from the gazing eyes of men. Some women might like  men looking at their bosoms or their posterior and some women don’t. The women who don’t like it, cover up modestly. I cover up so that there is no chance of that happening. Unless a huge gust of wind comes and blows my hijab up.

The way we see it, is that my body is not for the gazing eyes of other men. My body is only for my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I do get men and women staring at me but not for any sexual reasons.

A lot of people will tell you different reasons why they choose to wear a hijab. Some will say it’s to please God, which is true, some will say something totally different.

No one should ever be forced to wear it. If they are then they are not wearing it for the right reasons. Some people will want their young children to wear the hijab and I see that as more of a cultural or traditional thing. I don’t. I have four young daughters. I will give them a choice if they want to wear it. If they say no, I won’t push it. But what I will do is teach my children how to dress modestly without the hijab.

I know I said this earlier but I have to emphasise on the fact that other cultures are different and other families in the same culture are different as well. Even though they follow the same religion they have their own way of doing things.

It’s a choice to wear it and it’s a choice to remove it too. I have thought about removing it but I think I would feel very naked if I was to take it off. I think about the opportunities I’ve missed because I wear the hijab and this makes me want to take it off. I have missed out on jobs because some people are scared of it. I am an educated woman with a diploma and experience but they couldn’t see past something I wore on my head.

Wearing the hijab isn’t any different than others wearing clothes. It’s a part of my wardrobe. I have different colours and styles and I can bling it up for weddings and special occasions.

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13 comments so far -

  1. None of you choose to. You have been conditioned from childhood to wear what your religion dictates so really why else would you wear hijab except to please religious friends, parents and acquaintances.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Salz. We are all one and we are also individuals. It’s lovely to hear your individual reason for wearing the hijab. One day all of us sisters will be be strong enough to respect another woman’s decisions, whether it is the hijab, parenting style, brand of pram, breast or bottle feeding (the list goes on!).

  3. Thank you for this detailed explanation.

    The concept of modesty is something I’ve found very interesting since moving to the Western world.

    In my country of origin it’s a very patriarchal society, and so it’s considered the woman’s job to stop men staring at her (or making rude remarks, or touching without permission, etc.). Men are seen as practically wild animals who cannot control their sexual urges, so if a woman is not modestly dressed, the unwanted attention is her fault and serves her right.

    However in the West I’ve encountered a different approach, that says it’s not the woman’s job to cover up but the man’s job not to stare. That the woman does not bear responsibility for the men’s actions – the men do.

    At first this second approach seemed to me weird and unnatural, almost amoral. But over time I grew to embrace and prefer it. I don’t go naked in public, I probably reveal as much as the average person, but when I see someone staring in an interested way, I no longer feel ashamed.

    What do you think?

    • Bingo! The whole Islamic concept of women covering themselves comes from the teaching and belief that men “can not help themselves”, and absolves men of all responsibility in this area. It is deemed to be the woman’s fault if she is inappropriately touched or abused, or even ogled! The Islamic view of women is frankly, archaic and destructive. I know it’s not popular to criticize religious beliefs, but of course they should be criticized, just as we don’t hesitate to criticize political beliefs. Sam Harris makes some very good points about Islam in general.

      • Hi Deb I think you missed that Miss N was talking about two different cultural experiences she had regarding the issue of modesty. She did not discuss religion or link either experience with a particular religion. Furthermore, Islam does not absolve men of responsibility in this area, rather Islam liberates and honours women. I don’t know who Sam Harris is but I’m guessing he is not a Muslim woman so perhaps you may consider going straight to the source for more accurate information. You may be pleasantly surprised. You seem genuinely concerned about women’s welfare which is commendable but you may be able to apply this concern better if you connect with those you are concerned about and you can’t connect if you are operating from misinformation. As the original story writer stated, we all do things differently. We may approach modesty on different ways as women and have different views on the matter but bottom line is regardless of culture or religion or opinion, surely all women deserve respect, dignity and equality. Islam has Hijab to safeguard the respect, dignity and equality of women. Just because others may do it a different way doesn’t mean that Hijab is oppressive or demeaning for women choosing it out of free will. Just a few things to consider. All the best, Miranda

        • Miranda you just got that 100 percent right all we hear about is how wrong it is etc poor women etc. These women chose this they are happy and it’s their tradition lol

      • I am sorry I couldn’t help but reply to this. In no way is it the womans fault if she was to be beat or harrased or looked at because of what she is wearing. No. If anyone actually knows and understands the rules of the religion perfectly they would tell you this woman must get a divorce and leave her partner and take the children with her.

        Unfortunately there are not many people (sheiks) that have this view though.

        How do I know because someone very dear to me is going through this situation right now and she’s been to a couple that wont help but has now found someone who knows,

        That stuff I think is or was more relevant to the time of when the culture began and has never evolved with the culture like many countries did. Times are changing though and people are learning.

      • Wow I think it’s your choice if you want to dress modestly or in code’ to say hey don’t look at me, I wear what ever I want not because I want men to look’ at me because the hijab is not my tradition, so it’s not someone’s place to judge me for wearing whatever and it’s not someone’s place to judge others for wearing traditional clothing!!

        • Sorry that was suppose to read:

          Wow DEB’ I think it’s your choice if you want to dress modestly or in code’ to say hey don’t look at me, I wear what ever I want not because I want men to look’ at me because the hijab is not my tradition, so it’s not someone’s place to judge me for wearing whatever and it’s not someone’s place to judge others for wearing traditional clothing!!

  4. Thank you for sharing. This is an interesting subject, and I think people of any background can relate. We all at one point or another experience unwanted attention that makes us uncomfortable, and what to do about that is a relevant question.

    So if you’re in an all-female setting, or alone with young kids, or at home, would you then not feel like you need to wear it?

    Do you think it would be good if men were also to cover up more of themselves to protect themselves from the gazing eyes of women (well, and other men too sometimes!)?

    • In an all girl situation it is ok to show our hair and wear skimpy clothing. in a situation where there are only children around it is also ok to not wear it. It;s only when the child becomes a teen that we can’t show it. there are certain rules as to who gets to see and can’t. Basically we can show our hair to anyone we can not marry. so i can not marry people like my son, uncles, grandfather, father in law, our own father, our brothers, nephews. its not a 24 hour thing. We can take it off as soon as we get home around our husband and children.

      As for the men they actually do have a dress “code” they have to abide by. They actually shouldn’t show anything from the belly button to just above the knee. I’m not sure if you’re a NRL fan but if you have ever seen the footballer Hazzim Elmasri he almost always had longer black tights under his footy shorts.

      Hope that has answered your questions 😀

  5. thank you for sharing. I hope that more people will respect you for the person you are not the item of clothing you wear. More people need to realised it is just an item of clothing no different to some wearing a hat to keep off the sun, a bandana to keep the wind out of their hair, a hairband to dress up a style or a wig for a complelty different look.

  6. Hi, I am of different religious background to you but I think the most important thing to outline is each to their own and respect. Do not judge and celebrate our differences and also we could seem all so different but we are all the same in one main way we love our kids, they are our life! And we want them to be happy and safe

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