When I first started wearing hijab full-time, I didn’t think it was a big deal. I constantly wondered why we had to wear hijab in the first place – after all, I would think to myself, it’s just hair. Wouldn’t it have been more prudent (astughfirullah) to command women to cover their faces, instead?
I was wrong, though. Of course I was. And I still clearly remember the event that changed my mind.
A private Islamic school in my community was holding a “Sisters’ Night” – an all-girls night where we would be permitted to don flashy dresses and let our hair down for all to see. My friends, sisters, and sisters’ friends were all going, so I was excited; I even had a “little black dress” to wear. I expected to have fun, but I didn’t know that I would finally have an answer to a question that would change me, my perception of hijab and Muslim women, and my life.
Excited, I dashed to the entrance of the building at the designated time, flung open the door, and gasped… I didn’t know anyone there. Wait, I did! In fact, upon closer observation, I recognized quite a lot of the faces I had thought to be unfamiliar at first sight!
Subhan’Allah! What a difference flowing hair and bright colors make. It was then that I realized, not for the first time, that Allah is All-Knowing. The girls were stunningly beautiful, especially the hijabis who normally wore very loose clothing and dull colors. Certainly, everyone had let their hair down in every sense of the phrase.
I had always loved the hijab, despite my doubt, but now I wear it with ten times more pride. Instead of laying out my beauties for all to see and enjoy, I’m reserving it only for certain people who are allowed the privilege. And my thoughts about the head scarf always lead back to the same analogy – diamonds. A bullet-proof, glass case is to a diamond as the hijab is to a girl!
And when you ask them (the Prophet’s wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and their hearts.’ (33:53)