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What will happen if I take my hijab off?

September 23, 2008 by commonplacer


“What will happen if I take my hijab off…?”


Dear sister (I think it was a sister) who typed this into a search engine which directed it to my blog somehow, I will try my best to answer this question…


If you take your hijab off and step outside, the wind (if there is one) will most probably sift through your hair.


As you sit there typing this question, “what will happen if I take my hijab off”, you are probably feeling anxiety, a small amount (or large) of guilt and true confusion. You have sought something…you wish to know what is right. Period. ?


I feel like being philosophical and theoretical now. I feel like telling you about the things I’ve learned about women, men, beauty, sex and beer. I feel like writing a Dove commercial for you. But if I tell you these things, it will feel like I am hitting you over the head with something.


Instead I can tell you what it feels like to be confident.


The confidence I feel when I am unhijabed is spectacular. It is as thick as mascara and yet as light and flippy as fringed-to the-side-hair-bangs. It’s as tight as my gym membership. It feels so good to know wearing the right cut and moving the right way has such a powerful effect. But I have to tell you…it is mostly based on the things I stroke on, point out to my hairdresser and fork out to the curiously capitalist yogis. It comes out of bottles and is continuously re-defined, matched to the undulating forms in magazines, screens, celebrity-sighting restaurants and the weirdly captivating mannequins at Zara. But, I am a woman with a penchant for such things so I exult in this confidence…only I am choosy.


I know me and I know if I choose to spent my whole time unhijabed, I will drown in my own confidence. I’ve almost literally drowned once when I was a child so I know the feeling of almost utter suffocation - except in this case, it would be suffocation by self-absorption. I know I will eventually forget God. So I quietly wrap a cloth around my head, adjust various clothing items, utilize some safety pins and step out of the realm of the manufactured into the realm of the simply refined. My thick, light, flippy, tight unhijabed self is shelved, reserved for the ones who truly will enjoy it the most - myself and my man.


The confidence I feel when I am hijabed is spectacular. It appears so slight in its stance but its fortitude is often unmatched in a room of other women. We, hijabis, know this secret - the ones other women tell us: we are the strongest, most confident women they have ever met…we? Yes, we walk in a train of women who wind around the world and fade back in time into the streets of Yathrib and beyond. Wearing the hijab, I always remember I belong to a sorority of women who believe. And who buy in to certain things - lots of things in fact…but mostly we buy into the fact that the Creator of our bodies, hair, beauty and femininity knows about them the most. He knows about its use and abuse - by others, by us, by society.


He knows about women, men, beauty, sex and beer. And about Dove commercials. And about how much we women have bought into the idea that the use of our sexual beauty is our single most powerful tool. It is a powerful tool but, publicly, only in the hands of those who are endowed with it and endowed with it in its current en vogue model - full lips? check, long legs? check, flat chest? strike.


Instead, I choose to buy into His idea of leveling ourselves…of using our covered beauty to collectively wield a more powerful tool: that of autonomy over the swaying, constantly changing, ghettoing definition of womanhood. Oops, I’m sorry if I slipped into the theoretical and the philosophical…


The confidence I feel wearing the hijab is my confidence-of-choice. It is the one I select to utilize in moving through a world so fragile in its perception of the goals of life. Should I have chosen the confidence of my unhijabed self to manoeuvre through life, it would have been harder for me to hold on to this deen and its single most beautiful goal: to earn His pleasure through worship and through serving His creation.


So sister, if you take your hijab off and step outside, the wind (if there is one) will most probably sift through your hair. Simply because the merciful Creator of that wind let it be so.


Posted in Allah, God, Muslims, hijab, hijabi, islam, women | No Comments

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