Tips to start wearing Hijab

Posted on December 23, 2011

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1. It will feel weird when you start, no matter how excited you are. I was EXTREMELY happy with my decision, but once I started there were times when I really, really wanted to take it off. STICK IT THROUGH. No matter how badly you want to take it off in the beginning, DO NOT. Its a natural reaction to change, you want to undo it. I stuck it through in the beginning, and Alhumdulillah, the happy feeling returned. And don’t feel too guilty about wanting to take it off-in the beginning I was upset because I wanted to take it off, upset because I also didn’t want to take it off, and on top of that, guilty that I wanted to take it off. Its NATURAL. As long as you DON’T take it off, and stick it through, you’re doing great.

2. Not everyone will be thrilled about your new decision. This point is in reference to the Muslims (more on non-Muslims later). You may have family members who don’t approve, or friends. With me, my friends were 100% okay, but family…now I know this well, no one has to directly put you down by not allowing you to wear it…sometimes they won’t forbid you, but they’ll make discouraging comments…a word of advice: don’t take it to heart! I know personally that whoever was discouraging me from wearing it wasn’t doing so because they were evil…it was because they thought they were doing what they thought was best to me…don’t prove them wrong by yelling at them, or showing bad manners. You’re wearing the Hijab to be a BETTER Muslima. If you be more courteous, and polite, you will show the person you are changing for the better…and trust me, they’ll come around. However, the bad thing about this is that your self esteem goes low. I know mine went down. But Alhumdullilah, it went back up quickly. If you’re having a hard time coping with negative feedback, PM me, and I’ll help you out!

3. Now, are people REALLY staring at you because you’re wearing Hijab…didn’t people stare at you before you wore one, too? I know personally that for some reason people stare at me a LOT. When I started Hijab I was a little like “Omg she’s staring evilly…he’s staring evilly…” partly due to all the horror stories I’d been fed…then I remembered that, well, old ladies with too much makeup on stared at me even before I wore Hijab!

4. IF they really are staring at you evilly…it will happen. I remember I had two old men glare at me the same day, on two different buses. Instead of getting worried about it, remember that they’re watching you for a show…so give them a show that you want them to watch. The first old man glaring at me, I was telling my friend a funny story. He was eavesdropping, and by the end of my story, he was smiling pretty big. He realized that I wasn’t some scary person preying on Catholic children, but rather just an everyday, normal teenager. The other old man glaring at me, I gave him a smile. However, on a side note, I’m warning you, if a guy your age is glaring at you, perhaps you shouldn’t smile, because it won’t be interpreted as “granddaughter cute.”

5. Nonmuslim FRIENDS/PEOPLE YOU KNOW FROM BEFORE. Oh boy, I was SO nervous. You know something? My friends didn’t really care. I I remember I was getting nervous about extremely RANDOM people. Guess what? They didn’t care! All in all, I think I lost one of my friends…but thats okay, because you know what? I showed her I was the same person, if she couldn’t see what others saw, well, then thats her loss!

6. Nonmuslim STRANGERS. The following applies to everyone you meet as a Hijabi: don’t expect them to come to you. You have to show THEM you’re the same person, just improved. Or if you haven’t met them, don’t expect them to bring out your personality. In the beginning I was a little timid…but then I became myself again…Be yourself! Of course, being yourself is in reference to aspects of your personality that aren’t bad.

7. And…faith. Have faith in others. I’m constantly being surprised…I thought old ladies would hate me now that I wore a scarf, but one day on the bus, this random elderly woman gave me a lucky penny and talked to me…I thought a particular family member would be discouraging, but instead, they turned out to be really proud of me! A lot of my non Muslim friends compliment me on my scarves, when I thought they’d be weirded out by it.

8. In the beginning, you may find that you are having scarf malfunctions. I certainly had mine…which made me really upset…but have patience…it takes time to realize which style of pinning is most practical and suits you best. I’ve seen many people say that wearing Hijab makes you ugly, something I REALLY disagree with. A scarf is supposed to make you more modest, not ugly. So experiment. Although I strongly urge you to not pin your scarf the way that only covers your hair and shows everything else…I really think Hijab is meant for other areas, too, not just hair.

9. My confidence definately improved, and yours will too, inshAllah. I was kinda getting caught into the whole teen self esteem thing, which is “The more guys that stare at me in the mall, the better person I am.” Now I never got REALLY into it, but it was beginning to show up. Wearing Hijab made me so much…happier. I didn’t care! I knew no one was looking at me, and man, it was pure BLISS! That being said, there will be, unfortunately, some males who I’m guessing find Hijabi girls extremely interesting, for experimentation I guess…it doesn’t get past staring, just ignore them or give them a dirty look. Don’t curse them out, though! And I’m only saying it because I’ve seen it happen.

10. You improve as a person, too. With hijab, I stopped wearing short sleeves, it just didn’t seem right walking down with a scarf over my head, and all my arms showing. But besides modesty, you improve in other aspects, too. You become politer, more compassionate…there’s a constant reminder! This tip and the previous one are on this list so whenever you’re down about your decision, you can cheer up again! Another reason you become a better person is because you’re more conscious about the image of Muslims you’re representing…its your duty to show others that Muslims are (excuse me for lack of a better word) good people. You will remember more diligently to say thank you to the bus driver, and to carry other people’s books for them.

11. Once starting, pick a date, and make no excuses. I remember I walked in Friday, hijabless, to the library, to get a job. My starting date for hijab was Saturday. Monday I strolled in with Hijab. Yes, it was awkward, yes it was weird, but the reactions were great…and the awkwardness passed.

12. Be prepared. Know why you’re doing it. And honestly, it would be wiser to have a more thorough answer than, “God asked me to.” Here are some of my reasons: “It brings you closer to God-remember how Mary wore the headscarf?” “It shows that women should be respected for who they are, not how pretty they are.” “I’m wearing it to be closer to God-you know how nuns wear their habits to show their devotion to God?” “Its for modesty, and it definately improves your confidence, as well as making your purpose in life more clear. You aren’t here to worry about men finding you attractive.” The reason making comparisons to other religions is good is because other people will see it as less foreign.

13. Not everyone is prejudiced. Really.

14. Smile. This is in accordance to tip 4. I’m restating it because I was reminded of the importance, even more. I’ve had people glare or stare at me, and they softened up when I smiled.

15. Don’t let the hijab limit you (in terms of things that aren’t haram). If you wanted to be a kindergarden teacher, don’t let the thought of the parents freaking out stop you. Once again, I’ll repeat, this comment is in reference to anything that isn’t Islamically inappropriate. All I mean is don’t let the hypothetical reactions of people scare you into not doing something you wanted to do. On the contrary, you should push the boundaries even more, to pave the way for hijabis behind you.

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