The other day, a friend of mine sent me a text telling me about something “beautiful” that had happened to her that evening. She was on her way home, when a bus drove past her. On the bus was a hijabi (a Muslim woman that wears a hijab), and as the bus drove by, the hijabi smiled at her. Like most people would, my friend was trying to figure out whether or not she knew the lady who had just smiled at her. At this stage, the bus had gone and my friend had actually forgotten to smile back. Fortunately for her, she managed to catch up with the bus when it stopped at traffic lights. She made eye contact with the hijabi and she (the hijabi) gave her the warmest of the smiles. This time, my friend smiled back.
This little story of hers actually made me smile, as it reminded me of one of the beauties of being a hijabi. Many times, I have had the same thing happen to me. It’s quite a beautiful thing to pass a stranger and have them smile or utter the words “As- salam alaykum” peace be upon you, to you. You could be having a bad day and it could be just what you need. A smile goes a long way. The hijab allows people to recognise you as a Muslim. It also allows fellow hijabis to recognise you as their sister in Islam. You have an automatic connection to sisters all around the world, not just sisters from the local mosque. You have sisters that understand you on a different level. These sisters understand the personal struggles that we go through every day, as hijabis. I’m sorry, but only a hijabi can understand the betrayal you sometimes feel when your scarf decides to go all AWOL on you. On the other hand, only a hijabi can understand the protection and inner peace you feel from wearing the hijab. With social media, you don’t even have to meet a sister, to be accepted as a sister. There are so many sisters that I have connected with online due to the fact that I recognise them as sisters and vice versa. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying one has to wear the hijab in order for one to be accepted as a sister in Islam. You don’t even have to be a Muslim to get a smile from us. However, wearing the hijab instantly allows other Muslims to recognise you as a Muslim.
Personally, being a hijabi makes me feel like I am a part of something much bigger than I am. Wearing the hijab can be difficult, but little smiles from fellow hijabis are a reminder that I am not alone in my struggles. It’s amazing because sometimes I forget. I’ve been wearing the hijab so long that it has become a part of me. When I go to put it on, I don’t think about it. It has become a subconscious habit. But when a random person smiles at me, for no other reason but the fact that they recognise me as their sister in Islam, I remember. I am reminded of one of the major blessings of wearing the hijab. Alhamdulillah.
Thank you to my friend/sister, for reminding me of how lucky we are to be Hijabis.
Till next time