Muslim women wearing Hijab are often claimed to be oppressed, suppressed or having no choice of their own. My Hijab My Choice hopes to clear this misconception with real life stories from Muslim women connected to Hong Kong.
Saidah Oliver, a Filipino who had spent much of her life in Hong Kong, used to mock those wearing Hijab until she became one who embraced the attire.
Back then, in my days of jahilyyah (ignorant) days, as a non-Muslim, one of the things I’m totally ashamed of doing was laughing at those women who wore the headscarf with long sleeves and long dress, even during the summer time.
I found it being a ridiculous physical appearance of a woman.
I used to think why do these Muslim women do that and what really pushes them to carry that outlook!
I used to simply shake my head and claim they must be out of their mind!
In February 2009, I was guided to Islam from Christianity. Wholeheartedly and with full conviction, I believed that there is only One True God worthy of worship – Allāh and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last and final Prophet.
Guess what happened next? Right after saying the Islamic testimony of faith, the first thing happened the sisters who were around me did was that they put on me the head scarf. It really surprised me!
But that moment, my heart felt content and I was convinced that I’m on the right path.
And from that moment on, I knew all I had to do is to learn more about this choice I’ve made of embracing the only religion accepted by Almighty Allah – Islam.
Hijab doesn’t carry one terminology, it signifies a lot of different meanings. If we talk about hijab generally, it indicates our outer and inner personality which covers our character, manners, inner feelings (like for instance how we should feel and think towards other) and how we dress up from head to toe.
Undoubtedly, wearing my hijab is my choice, just like being a Muslim is. Alhumdulilah.
With the covering of my awrah (intimate body parts in Islam), it makes me hopeful of fulfilling the first identity that I am one of those who submit and with this I can represent my Deen.
In the initial stages, it was not easy. The attention and looks I got from non-Muslims with their sarcastic smiles was difficult to digest.
But I remembered how I used to be putting myself in their shoes. I was totally ignorant of what is the wisdom behind wearing the hijab.
I was ignorant to the fact the hijab carries a form of protection and even comfort for Muslim women who strive to please Allah.
One has to reach the level of understanding the purpose of wearing the hijab to truly know the benefits that comes with it.
I comitted myself to wear my hijab as a choice, as my crown of being a believing woman who strives to obey the law of Almighty God and to maintain my faith in Him. I’ll leave you all with one a quote I hold close to my mind:
To lost my job is more beloved to me than to lost my hijab.