By: Jennifer (Sumayah) Fayed

Hijab is the easiest decision that I made in Islam next to my conversion. I thought that starting to wear the headscarf would be difficult… but Alhamdulilah it was not. I remember how I first started to wear hijab. I was living alone for about a month in a room which the landlords were Indian Muslims. They were very sweet and kind people. I had made my decision to go attend the mosque for the first time, but first I needed to know how to wear hijab so I wouldn’t disrespect the Muslims in their place of worship. One day, I went knocking on their door not knowing the Islamic etiquette and I asked the woman, “Do you know how to wear the scarf?” She smiled and said, “Its easy just pin it under your chin”. I then told her, “Isn’t there a different way of wearing it?” insinuating that I liked the style of how some Muslim girls would wear it. She further told me that she didn’t go out much so when she did wear it, she would just pin it under her chin, but didn’t know other stylish ways of wearing hijab. I went home and had a big black pashmina made out of cotton, and did as my landlord suggested. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I looked really silly. I spent hours in front of the mirror trying to figure out how to wrap this piece of cloth around my head. I just didn’t know the secret, “agh…” I thought let me go shopping and see if there are easier scarves out there. It was going to be a more challenging search than what I had anticipated.There were square, rectangular, bright, solid, patterned all kinds of scarves. I searched everywhere and not knowing any practicing Muslims I was left to fend on my own. I didn’t know how to begin in wrapping the scarf. I was so confused.


I finally entered a store where I think the salesgirl knew I was perplexed. I told her I needed a Muslim scarf the easiest one that they had available. She looked at me weirdly and told me this is what we have. She showed me a two-piece hijab that was white with lace on the trimming of the two pieces. So I said “Thanks, how much?” I was so ecstatic when I walked out the store I had bought my first hijab. I couldn’t wait to get home and figure out how to put it on. How difficult could a two-piece hijab really be? When I got home I took the package out of the bag. I ripped the plastic open, and I was very excited to see how it felt and looked out of the plastic. I was facing the room mirror when I put it on. The thing was that I didn’t know that the lace part goes on my forehead not behind my head. I put it on excited I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I thought I looked so pretty in my new hijab. I looked at the lady on the package and realized that I was wearing it the wrong way. My first of many trials in Islam, good thing I was alone and no one was there to laugh at me. That same day I went to the mosque, and I loved how hijab made me feel. I remember walking in the street and people giving me hateful stares. I jumped on the train and noticed that almost everyone in the train cart was looking at me (talk about the pressure). My favorite thing about wearing hijab was the feeling of security and freedom.

It was the first time in my life that a man didn’t yell and holler on what a hot babe I was. It was as if I were invisible to the opposite sex. I honestly had this sense of liberation in my heart. I didn’t know what a beautiful feeling I would have while wearing hijab. I very shortly discovered that hijab was a blessing from Allah (swt) His divinely wisdom in protecting the woman.

Allah (swt) says (Interpretation of meaning): 33:59 “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

One of the purposes of hijab is to protect women and to elevate us from being viewed only as sexual beings. I saw this everyday when I wore hijab. If I had to talk to a man he wouldn’t see me anymore as this piece of flesh. I was seen as an equal and they would be captivated by what my mind possessed. I was so proud of this achievement. I was taught in the past by my society that feminism was the capacity to do things better than men, and that there was nothing wrong in using my sexual appeal to attain my personal ambitions. After discovering hijab, I realized that these concepts that western society has, only inhibits women’s true beauty and intelligence.Western society has cast this veil over women to promote their ideology of what women should be. Everywhere you look in the west you are constantly bombarded with the idea that sex sells and some women naively fall into this trap. This is one of the astonishing concepts of Western society. It connects political oppression with moral negligence. This relationship has been brought about by many rulers both past and present. It’s a means to keep people preoccupied with their own desires and vain obsessions. They do this in an effort so the people won’t be interested and would be very distant from public affairs. In my opinion, I feel that the prophet (pbuh) had predicted or seen what women would be consumed with centuries later.

There’s a hadith that Abu Hurairah narrates that the messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:“I will not be a witness for two types of people who are destined for the Fire: people with whips, like the tails of cows, who beat the people (i.e., tyrannical rulers who are the enemies of their own people), and women who, although clothed, are yet naked, seducing and being seduced, their hair styled like the tilted humps of camels. These will not enter the Garden nor will its fragrance even reach them, although its fragrance reaches a very great distance”.

Islam came over 1400 years ago to free us from this form of slavery that society has marketed. We no longer have to be society’s puppets. Allah brought and revealed hijab to safeguard us from many afflictions and adversity. Alhamdulilah, I am so honored and blessed that Allah (swt) has unveiled my eyes so I can see the true ways of society and see the virtues of being a Hijabi. May Allah (swt) guide and safeguard us from worldly
desires and reward us with the gardens of paradise, Amin.


© 2006 Jennifer Fayed Authorization is given by author to share and use for purposes of dawah (invitation to Islam)for non profit publications. If use is for other than non for profit purposes please contact author for other rights which are reserved.

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