Hijabi Work Wear: Bright Colours

Don’t be afraid to go BRIGHT.

When its dark and gloomy weather outside, colours will lift your mood and make for a better work day.

Top: New Look, 15 pounds, Scarf: New Look, 7 pounds, Trousers: River Island, 30 pounds, Wedges (not picture): ASOS, 30 pounds.

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Muslim Women Stand Up!

I have worn Hijab all my life.

Well. Not ALL my life ūüôā

I started wearing it for fun when I was 10 or 11.

I admired how it looked on my mother, my aunties, my older cousins.

In the same way a little girl wants to put on make – up and high heels, because she cannot wait to be all grown up and dress like her mother or big sister.

I also wanted to wear Hijab sooo badly.

In fact I used to steal my mother’s Hijabs. And wear them in my room, looking at the mirror and making cute faces. ūüôā

My mother would tell me not to wear it because I was still too young. In fact, many times, she would make me go back to my room to take off the stolen Hijab or abaya (Islamic outer dress) I would stomp off to my room muttering in disgust. Lol. Other times, she would just shake her head and indulge me.

I have loved Hijab for as long as I can remember.

I love how beautiful it is.

How the woman just shines with …an inner glow of …righteousness. Noor.

Headscarves can be black. Or white. Or multi-coloured. They can be little triangles, or strips of long cloth, or even massive swathes of fabric. Cotton, or silk, or satin. Polka dots, leopard print, plain black.

They can be called: Shela, Ilhaaf, Duppata, Scarf, Hijab, Voile.

So many names. So many varieties.

All with the same message.

I.

Am.

A.

Muslim.

Woman.

I have ALWAYS been proud to be a Muslim woman.

Even post 9-11. Or 7-7. I kept my Hijab on.

1 week post 7-7, in London, I walked with my Hijab-covered head held high.

And so did many other women.

Every day, we put on a little triangle or square piece of cloth on our heads, and head out into the world.

To do Jihad.

Jihad-un-nafs.

Jihad in Islam means to fight, yes. But not necessarily to fight with another person.

The battle between you and your conscience is also Jihad.

In fact, it is the biggest jihad. The toughest jihad. A Jihad that we  have to do every day.

For Muslim women, one of the biggest Jihad is, the Jihad of the Headscarf.

We ignore the looks.

And the sneers.

And the cold shoulders.

The people on the bus who will not sit next to you.

The extra security checks on flights.

The co-workers, and class mates who keep away from you. Who exclude you from events/friend groups because they fear you and do not understand you.

The shuffling in an elevator, as people try to keep as physically distant from you as possible.

The sympathetic looks from kind old ladies.

Somehow, those sting more than the evil stares.

Please, dear world.

I am not oppressed.

I am Hijabi. And Proud.

This little piece of cloth on my head.

It means I serve my God.

It means I preserve my chastity.

It means I value myself. I am worth more than my looks.

It means my religion considers my intellect and personality worthy. More valuable than transient beauty.

It means I am proud.

Proud to be Muslim.

So this post is dedicated to all the Hijab wearing Jihadists out there.

Every day, you walk out of your house, and face the world with your shoulders back, and your stride purposeful.

Allah sees you.

I see you.

MashAllah.

Muslim Women.

Stand UP!

Stop Looking Up My Skirt!!!

Really now.

STOP LOOKING UP MY SKIIIIIRT!!!

Ok, not really. LOL.

You see, as a Muslim girl, we wear extra layers of clothing: A hijab (headscarf), long sleeves,¬†baggy trousers,¬†voluminous top/dress. Sometimes we may even throw on an abaya (outer Islamic female¬†covering)¬†Basically, according to Islamic¬†law, only¬†a¬†woman’s¬†face and hands should be visible. Most of us have covered our heads since we were around 11/12 years old. Basically all our adult lives. Without it, we would and¬†DO feel nekkid.

So every time¬†you ask me HOW MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE underneath¬†my scarf, that’s the equivalent of you asking me WHAT COLOUR MY PANTIES ARE?!! or WHETHER YOU CAN LOOK UP MY SKIRT!

Seriously.

I have heard it SOOO many times.

‘What does your hair look like?’

‘How long is your hair?’

‘What colour is your hair?’

Oh FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!

Its. None. Of. Your. Business.

What I choose to cover up is suuuuually (surely) my business and mine alone.

What difference does it make if my hair is long/short/black/blonde – you aren’t going to see it. Period. Deal with it.

But its difficult for people to deal with it. In a society where we judge others by appearances, people feel short-changed¬†when they do not have enough ammunition to judge. It’s like you have effectively blindfolded them. And you are forcing them to accept you as an unknown entity. They don’t know if¬†you are :

  • skinny?¬†¬† *she is too thin! Must be anorexic!*
  • Or curvy? *She is waaay¬†too fat. Gosh. Does she diet/exercise?*
  • If¬†you have straight hair? *She probably straightens her hair chemically*
  • Curly hair? *Hmm, does she have African genes?*
  • Short hair? * Is she a Lesbian?*
  • Long hair? *She probably, almost definitely¬†has extensions!!*
  • Or coloured hair? *She can afford a¬†to re-do her roots every two weeks¬†in this economy, must be raking it in!*
  • etc etc etc

So hey, when someone asks me what I have underneath my headscarf, my response varies depending on the lunar cycle. I may be blonde and short-cropped one day,¬†while the next day I may shout : ‘Purple dreads!’

Eventually they stop asking. They have to get to know me to make an opinion.¬†And inevitably they¬†realize …emm…it really doesn’t matter what my hair looks like.

I’m crazy anyway. LOL.

Hijab is beautiful.

Happy Ashura Day y’all (16th Dec)

xo

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