I expect gifts. EXPENSIVE gifts. Just kidding ;)
Five years ago today I started wearing hijab full time, Alhamdulilah!
I know it may seem like a silly bit of excitement, and I "celebrate" it annually (you know, poppin' bottles of grape juice), but it was truly one of the most impactful decisions I've ever made.
When I was in high school and in college, appearance was everything to me. I cared how I looked at all times. I would be mortified when I would sleep at a friends house and they would see me without makeup or without my hair perfectly curled, for example.
And then, when I learned about hijab the first time, I said, and I quote, "I could NEVER wear that!"
I was wrong.
Then, after studying the concept more and trying it out myself, I understood the importance and the meaning of hijab in Islam. It soon felt so much more comfortable to go somewhere with it on than it did to go somewhere without it.
I remember "practicing" wearing hijab on a car trip once just to see how other people would react. Would they stare? Would they avoid me? I was interested to find that, largely, NO ONE CARED.
It didn't even matter if someone cared though, because I knew I wanted to wear it.... and so, on August 1st, the first day of my first Ramadan five years ago, I started wearing hijab.
Yes, the first day at work was a bit awkward.
Yes, the first day of college my senior year was awkward.
Yes, seeing my grandparents the first time was awkward.
And then, the second time wasn't so awkward anymore.
I'm so so so happy to wear hijab and represent Islam on a daily basis, even if it's scary in today's world. From the absolute bottom of my little heart, it makes me a better person.
It makes me want to help people carry their groceries. It makes me want to hold the door open for someone an extra few seconds away from the "normal door holding range." It makes me want to show people how kind Muslims truly are.
It's not just for show, of course, but an added benefit that keeps me excited every day when I wrap myself up like a burrito.
I can't believe it's been 5 years since I've been "hair-less" to most of society.
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
"I don't think I'm a better Muslim for wearing hijab, no, but I am more of a representation. I can't go wherever I please without representing the second largest religion in the world, and when people have this preconceived notion that I am oppressed, it's a lot of pressure to surpass their expectations of me within a few moments of interaction.
It is quite possibly the only piece of fabric in the world that can make me a spokesmodel just by putting it on my head. But at the same time that it is pressure, it is also a gift- one that stems from the greatest gift of all, one Allah Himself bestowed upon me- being Muslim.
May Allah (swt) make all of us the best representations of Him that we can possibly be - no matter what we wear." <3
May God put modesty, one of the qualities that He loves, in the hearts of all women AND MEN around the world.