My Religion, My Hijab, My Choice

31 May

I still remember it like it was yesterday. My mother was dropping me off at school that day. My hand trembled as I grabbed my book bag and bolted from the car. Today was going to be monumental. At least in my eyes it would be.

You see I’d been thinking about converting since September. After 9/11 occurred I was even more resolved to convert. I knew that the Islam I studied wouldn’t condone what happened so I forged ahead. I bought hijabs and a small Quran (the Islamic Holy book), now I was just waiting for the right time to begin wearing it.

That morning was it. I can’t remember why my mom was dropping me off that day but I was determined to wear hijab. So I had tucked it away neatly between a few books and once I was out of eye shot, I slipped it onto my head.

I thought the world would feel different once I put on the scarf that would identify me with the religion of over 1 billion. I didn’t, I still felt like the same me and more importantly I definitely didn’t feel oppressed. I guess in a way I felt liberated.

In school, everyone asked me if I’d converted yet, I told them not yet, but soon. When I returned home that night, I began the arduous process of taking out my fake hair. I’d been told that it wasn’t allowed and I wanted to enter my new religion starting out on the right foot.

A few weeks later, after adjusting to my new religion and wearing hijab off and on, I took my Shahada on November 9, 2001. I went against the orthodox Christian teachings that my father (a preacher) and mother had instilled in me and found something that spoke to my soul.

I’ve been wearing hijab ever since, with one relapse in the summer of 2002. I will not say that it hasn’t been a struggle, especially coming from my background but it’s been a struggle worth fighting for. I take great pride in being a hijabi and having people recognize it not only as a symbol of my faith but also as a symbol of my freedom. It was my choice.

~ Keziah Ridgeway

Read more about Keziah here


One Response to “My Religion, My Hijab, My Choice”

  1. Lesa Abdullah June 6, 2011 at 1:17 am #


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