Me and My Hijab – The Beginning

2 Jun

Being born into a Muslim family doesn’t always mean you will be the best Muslim in your class and for me, to some extent that was true a lot of the time. Culture plays a huge part in the life of a Pakistani- Kashmiri child’s life, or in fact every one, young or old, that’s just the way that it is. I think for me, there was always a huge imbalance between my culture and religion and there was never a line drawn between the two. So naturally my journey began when I began drawing the lines.

As a fifteen year old girl in a western society with a hugely cultural lifestyle I was having issues with my identity. Muslim? British? Pakistani? No wait I’m Kashmiri right? There had never been any lines drawn, and for me that was hard to deal with. In the Spring of 2010 I decided I was going to figure out who I was.

The first thing that happened was Islam. I began to pray 5 times a day and to realise my religious and spiritual identity. Then came the desire to wear a Hijab and to show the world that I was Muslim and I was proud.  This decision was one I made on my own as I wasn’t prepared to be forced into my religion like I know many girls still are. That’s where the idea that a Hijab signifies oppression comes from. I wanted to prove the stereotype wrong.

So on the 19th of April 2010 I began my first day of work experience with my Hijab placed nervously on my head. My work placement was at my old primary school and for me that made it a symbolic day. It was a fresh start, like I was going back to the beginning and I was in control. I was a little afraid to walk into an environment where I’d spent so much time as a different person but the reaction I got was so normal it was like nothing had changed. That made my first day so much easier.

For the next two weeks I worked in two different places the first which I loved because of the children I worked with passed way too quickly. The second I was in a completely new environment, a doctor’s surgery, where I was accepted as if I had been a part of their team since the day it began to exist.

The more difficult part was yet to come, my first day back at school and the slow process of meeting family members who had not yet seen me in my Hijab.

As a teenager the rise and fall of your Imaan sometimes causes you to make irrational decisions but through the tough times, which I will tell you all about, my Hijab only made me a stronger, more empowered young woman. The most important part of wearing my Hijab has become the empowerment and the confidence it brings me which in turn becomes the lifeline for my Imaan and always brings me back home to Islam.

~ San’aa Sultan

Read more about San’aa here

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3 Responses to “Me and My Hijab – The Beginning”

  1. Black Muslimah June 3, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    ” The most important part of wearing my Hijab has become the empowerment and the confidence it brings me which in turn becomes the lifeline for my Imaan and always brings me back home to Islam.”

    San’aa these words are so powerful. I feel the same way about my hijab. Even when my faith sometimes falters, wearing hijabs serves as a reminder and snaps me right back in line. May Allah make your journey easy, Ameen!

  2. Black Muslimah June 3, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Where are my manners. ASA!

  3. San'aa Sultan June 3, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Jzk Sister, I’m glad that you understand just how I feel. I hope that other sisters can benefit from reading this too and realising they are not alone. Inshallah. May Allah make your journey easy too. Ameen.

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