An Accidental Tuesday, OR: A Very Hijabi Story

Fifteen years ago, I started wearing the hijab. Everyone I knew at school reacted because not only did I start wearing a scarf, I started wearing it on a Tuesday.

A lot of Muslims girls think about the hijab for quite a while before they decide to don it for the rest of their lives. I totally respect that. I didn’t though. I sort of just started wearing one because 1) My mom bought some scarves and 2) my older sister started wearing it and OMIGOD maybe I should wear it too?

So I was a bit terrified when I walked onto the high school campus on a Tuesday back in January 1996 wearing a white scarf. I have to say, even though I didn’t think about it and wearing it was almost a spur of the moment decision, I’m glad I did start wearing it when I did. When I put on the hijab, it made me reevaluate myself. I realized I couldn’t be a hypocrite and I had to become a better Muslim. Wearing the hijab got me on that path. I’m nowhere near perfect (like seriously, faaaaar from perfect, my friends) but I truly believe that I’m a better version of myself because I started wearing the hijab back then.

Here’s what I didn’t realize would happen: That even though I started wearing a hijab for myself, I would end up representing all Muslims. That I was not ready for.

And… one more thing I didn’t expect – some people think I’m automatically judging them and their “Muslimness*” because I wear a hijab. I don’t, I swear! Just because I wear a hijab doesn’t mean I’m better than someone else who doesn’t wear one. Generally speaking, no Muslim has the right to judge another Muslim (or anyone else) for anything. Ever. That’s what I honestly believe.

Anyways, here’s to 15 years of wearing a hijab. I have officially been wearing it more than not.

And maybe one day, just maybe, I’ll finally figure out how to wear it properly.

*Muslimness is a made up word.

6 thoughts

  1. Salaam,
    Congrats! I think we should come up with our own celebratory days like national hijab day for the hijabi’s ….ok maybe I am dreaming but it would be cool nonetheless in a day where the allure (esp depending on culture) to wear the hijab might not be as high as not wearing it. We should celebrate in a modest way of course our happy choice at covering. Who knows I could be imagining the impossible but I am fist pumping in the air for you milestone of 15 years

  2. Salaam, thanks! I was entertaining the idea of a very low-key celebration but I figured I should just celebrate it the way I started wearing it, without any fanfare, hehe. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years though!

    Btw, I totally appreciate the fist pump so thanks :)

  3. Salam
    I can totally relate to not being ready to represent all Muslims. When I started wearing it, I had no idea that I would have to answer for all Muslims in the world. I have been wearing hijab since 2003 and its really hard to believe its been 10 years already. Congratulations on your 15 year anniversary and hope you have many more!

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