My Hijab Story: Struggles, Triumphs & Advice
I am not far gone with my Hijab journey but I hope at the end of this post, my story will inspire you either you are just considering hijab or already wearing it and struggling along the line. Lets hope, few minutes spent reading this post will give you a reason to follow your heart and take that bold step.
This is a journey dear to me and most especially my creator: Allah. Growing up, I’ve always known one day in the future, I will wear hijab. To be honest, as a young girl growing up, this was one of my biggest wishes in life and I am thankful to God, for giving me the courage to live my dream. Contrary to most situations, I wasn’t influenced or forced by anyone at all to get on this modesty journey, all decision was totally mine.
Last Ramadan, I decided to finally follow my heart and pursue one of my most-heart desired journey of becoming a Hijabi after thinking about it for over several years. For real, it has constantly been on my mind in the last 3 years or so. Today, I will be sharing my struggles, achievements and advice so far:
- Don’t rush yourself & Have a time frame: Even though I’ve been thinking about it for years. I gave myself enough time to think it through and pray God lead me through. For me, it’s a big deal and huge decision to take. So, I wanted to be sure I was ready. I decided to start during Ramadan to make my transitioning easy. Just in case I realise it’s for me or I don’t really want it. Taking my hijab off won’t be a big question and I won’t confuse anyone either. But, that didn’t happen – Thank God.
- Take it easy & take it slow: This is similar to my previous point, however, what I mean by taking it easy is not believing because you are wearing hijab now, everything needs to adjust immediately. Even you will struggle with getting used to it. At the beginning, I was a bit scared of going out with it. Not because I was ashamed but simply because I didn’t know how people that knew me before would take it. I think the only person I told directly “I have decided to start wearing hijab” was my sister. She noticed I ordered lots of hijab online which got delivered to the house then asked me what was going on (I will get to how I adapted to the style later). I don’t have many friends, so I didn’t really have to explain to lots of people. Just take things slow and don’t rush to change everything about you because you are now wearing hijab. Start gradually and let things happen naturally. It’s a journey, so enjoy every step of it.
- Prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually: It’s a big change and you surely need to prepare yourself for everything that comes with “openly expressing your faith as a Muslim”. Being a Muslim is far away from having a piece of scarf on your head but the truth is: wearing hijab is directly connected to being Muslim. Especially in today’s world of strong stereotypes both positive and negative. Wearing hijab comes with lots of conclusions from the society, mostly negative. I’ve had someone commented on my picture saying: I am wearing a piece of sh*t on my head or another saying I only wear it cos I am bald and ashamed. And, some people get worse on a daily basis.
Spiritual preparation means always seek guidance and strength. Definitely, there are some things you will have to stop when you start wearing hijab and sometimes when you see your friends or others doing that thing. As a young person, you might feel a bit left out and it can really get to you at some point. Before I started wearing hijab, I used to go clubbing wearing my skinny bodycon dress etc. I don’t see myself going to a certain bar or even clubs anymore, however, to make up for this, I find other modest places I can go to or activities I can do to make me happy and have fun my own way. There are more things you enjoy doing but won’t know until you actually start exploring and searching yourself. Even though you can’t go clubbing, you can still go to friends get-together night, birthdays, hangouts etc… I am sure if your friends respect you enough, they won’t make the situation awkward for you. And sometimes when some important or close people say something that makes you feel left out or bad about your decision to wear hijab, just remind yourself why you decided to start wearing hijab and do not forget you are doing it for no one except for your God and yourself.
In terms of physically, I mean you need to prepare your wardrobe. This is not me telling you to only wear Abaya. No offence but I don’t understand why some modest people only wear Abaya if that isn’t part of your culture or traditional wear. Been a hijabi doesn’t stop you from shopping in Boohoo, ASOS or Misguided. For real, you just need to ask yourself if the piece isn’t revealing and modest enough for you to wear. You don’t seriously need to restrict yourself to ONLY Abaya. Also, there are affordable scarves everywhere, you are not obligated to buy the most trending/expensive hijab on Instagram. Which links to my next point
- Get inspired: At the beginning, I started following Hijabi bloggers/influencers online with relatable style to mine. I knew I still want to be that stylish/trending young woman. So, I had to find a way to incorporate my hijab without losing my personal style. Don’t put yourself in a box. Feel free to dress how you feel comfortable and according to what you think is right for you. Following modest bloggers gave me inspiration on styling my hijab and also motivates me to know I am not alone on this journey. There are lots of young women out there who want to dress modestly but also stay fashionable.
- Free your mind: Overthinking everything was one of my biggest challenge as a new hijabi. But, the moment I started freeing my mind and not thinking for people. My mind became free of all negativity and my confidence started building up. Don’t think: What will they say, what do they think about me, I am the only hijabi here etc. Just stop it. Don’t see yourself as different.I was dismissed from my previous workplace because of my hijab which wasn’t of-course communicated to me directly but was obvious enough for a blind person to see. I was partially given an option to either take my hijab off at the entrance or else I’d lose my job. Well, I decided to stick to my hijab and refused to stay in a manipulative company which triggered the termination of my job contract. The journey will be rough at the beginning but eventually will get better.
- Enjoy the journey: I call it a journey because I believe you need to keep mastering it and getting better. As the day goes, the more I learn and get better. Wearing hijab doesn’t automatically make you a “Holy” person and guarantee you Paradise. I know few things I’ve learned from this journey so far is acceptance, freedom and patience. I have loved to accept and cherish the new me and everything that comes with it. Also, as a “Modest blogger“, wearing hijab as definitely affected the brand collaborations which I would say is fair enough if some brands think they can’t be associated to a “Modest blogger” or “Modest black blogger”, another minority in the modest industry. But, like I mentioned, the best way to handle all the challenges is by preparing yourself for it. I am enjoying the journey and for the first time in my twenty-something life, I am feeling confident, beautiful, strong and bold than ever.
“Hijab has really given me the reason to not fit into any stereotype box anymore. So, start your journey when you are ready! I want to be that change cos I am not what media is portraying.”
Thank you for reading and I hope I am able to inspire you with my journey.
xoxo Maryam – Instagram: @itsmaryamsalam
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