[This blog is run by three hijabi sisters, living in London, Ontario]
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We received an email from a dear reader who, although she is not Muslim, wanted to try wearing the Hijab for the sake of research. We encouraged this experiment, asking only that she share her reflections at the end of her day. This is the message she shared with us, and insha’Allah, it will have the same, moving effect on you as it did on us. May Allah guide her and grant her peace.
"My One True God Can Beat Up Your Arab Myth"
I was very pleasantly surprised. The hijab itself was comforting to me. I had on loose-fitting comfortable clothing from head to toe. I didn’t worry about my hair style coming apart. I didn’t have to constantly adjust my belt-line. I have a tendency of sucking in my stomach when I walk across the room, but today I breathed freely all day long. In fact, any discomfort I experienced from being stared at occasionally, was entirely outweighed by the personal comfort of being covered so completely and naturally. I find it interesting that trying to dress as a modern Western woman, in the way we’re encouraged by the media to dress, is so entirely UNNATURAL and horribly UNCOMFORTABLE. Not to mention that the styles are often only flattering to an ideal body type that many of us do not, and will not, have.
Some people stared, primarily children and older people. Other people made eye contact and actually were very friendly. Some people who know me talked to me, and asked me about hijab, and I had many interesting conversations. It was a very pleasant experience. What I was overwhelmed by was how much of wearing hijab is an internal experience. Maybe it’s something that can only be experienced by a woman who has lived for years outside of hijab. Western women who see hijab as a symbol of oppression should think about the feeling of trying to keep low cut jeans up. I find those darn jeans far more oppressive. In fact, I’m going to continue to wear hijab for now. I am sure there is still more to explore.