Hijab Anniversary!

31 May

Today is my hijab anniversary. A year ago I made the decision to wear the hijab. Hmm the decision wasn’t entirely mine – keep reading. After recently traveling to war torn Somalia where I was forced to wear it – as in “you better put the hijab on in Dubai before you reach Somalia or you’ll be beat!”. Well, I wouldn’t say forced but the action was heavily influenced by mother. I couldn’t stop thinking about my mother’s words as I boarded the flight from Amsterdam to Dubai. Experienced a little bit of a culture shock – I’ve never seen so many covered people in my life! There I was with my funky curly hair and a scarf wrapped around my neck – I like to call modest chic. So, I march into the washroom and threw on an abaya (the long Islamic dress) and the hijab. Feeling a little awkward, I put on a little more make-up and glossy red lipgloss. The message: I’m a Western Muslim woman.

I leave the washroom and head over to the check-in. They greet me with “assalamu alaikum”. Hold on! I didn’t get this before. Ahh now that I LOOK like a Muslim, I’m greeted as one. I get it…It all makes sense!

I wore the hijab for a month in Somalia and as soon as I landed in Dubai on my way to Toronto, I did the reverse. Went in the washroom and took it off. Fluffed my hair a little, threw on that uber-chic scarf and painted my lips red.

As soon as I got home from the airport I felt as though something was missing. Ah yes – the hijab! I went through all the holiday pictures and noticed that I look fabulous wearing the hijab. So, I told myself that I would wear the hijab as long as I didn’t have to compromise my personality. I wanted to know how I can be ‘me’ and wear the hijab at the same time. That meant hours of Youtube ‘How to wear the hijab’ videos. I wasn’t convinced. I didn’t want my hijab matching my bracelets, or worse, the stitching of my outfit.

One morning, I fluffed my curls and headed to my sister’s school to update their registration. Oh sh^t! They go to an Islamic school. Oh man, did I feel out of place! My mother and I take a seat in the waiting room and wait for the Brother Principal Imam Man to call us into his office.

He takes one look at me and says in a very strong Pakistani accent “You veear the heejab and I give you job”. He offered me a teaching position but the only condition was that I would cover up – I accepted! You have to understand that I had just graduated and was terribly broke. Being the person that I am – I took it as a sign (I’ll fill you in later on my terrible teaching experience).

So, thats how my hijab adventures started. Mind you, I’ve had weak moments where I took it off but those feelings soon subsided.

Here’s to a year! InshaAllah many more!

~ Hanela Dagane


3 Responses to “Hijab Anniversary!”

  1. Black Muslimah June 3, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Wow. So I recently just accepted a job at a Muslim School and I am not a jilbab person but now I have to be. I never thought I’d be wearing jilbab on a daily basis but starting in August I really won’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t really mind though, as I get to go shopping and the jilbab’s here are really beautiful, feminine and with bright colors. lol. Anyways MashaAllah at your story! May Allah make your journey easy on you ameen!

  2. Black Muslimah June 3, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    By the way sister, Assalaamu Alaikum!

  3. Hanela June 6, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Walaykum Assalam,
    Accepting that job was one of the best things that has EVER happen to me. I kept praying for a sign and then I was offered that job. I’ve been wearing the hijab since. I hope the transition to the jilbab is smooth for you. You’re right, a great time to shop too 🙂

    Look luck with the job inshaAllah and rock that jilbab lol!


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