Hijab or veil, whatever it’s called all over the world, it denotes the same meaning, a modest dress, which includes the covering of the head.
My decision to wear the hijab was not an easy feat! Yes, I am a Muslim (born and bred of a multiracial heritage), but that does not mean that ALL Muslim women don the Islamic garb! I started quite late (early to some), at the DIFFICULT age of 18 or 19! Why is that?
Well, back in the days (20 years ago to be exact) when I made a promise to Allah SWT that I’d put on the hijab if I’d done well in my Lower Certificate of Education (LCE) or SRP as it was famously known then! Alhamdulillah, I managed to obtain 12 aggregate for my SRP. That was quite an achievement for me during my pre-/mid-rebellious stage and having gone through a different or a more liberal education system. Erm, I did recall cutting a few religious classes back then! How ironic!
Anyways, the year passed by and I had moved on to a different school (out of force!), a residential school right at the edge of the city center. It was another 2 difficult and dreadful years for me as I had to share my life with 6 other students in the dorm etc! What made it even worse was my parents weren’t close by, they left me to fend for myself while dad took the job in Delhi! I was reeling in anger for I felt lonely and abandoned! However, I slowly came to terms with my “independence” and “freedom” and started to ignore my studies. I was more engrossed in reading novels rather than my studying for History or Science! You see that was my way of rebelling! When D-Day arrived, I was practically shaking in my “boots”. I told myself, I’d be lucky to pass my papers and I couldn’t imagine braking my parents’ fragile heart. You see, I recalled myself barely studying but I somehow managed to pass my O-Levels exams!
My life was practically in shambles as I had no idea what to do with my life, where to go? I asked myself, was this the consequence of breaking my promise to God, the one I made 2 years ago? I believed so! However, I didn’t want to put my parents into another difficult situation (financially). This time I listened to them, reluctantly so, although they did gave me a choice, to study at a private or public institution. I chose the latter, and was luckily enough to be accepted! That was when I decided it was time to finally don the hijab!
Uh…the first few years wasn’t easy as most of my college mates weren’t wearing them and I was still feeling uncomfortable having something covering my head! What more when you have to think of clothes to match them. So the initial stages were like … now you see it, now you DON’T! It was like that, for a few years until I was more comfortable and confident wearing the hijab.
Flash forward – I keep telling myself, you feel more secure wearing them than without them. Plus, you need not worry about those BAD HAIR days! =) I’m now more than happy shopping for scarves and shawls, there are just too many to choose from!