Several ages ago, this apparel was the modest form of dressing many knew, it came to be accepted naturally as it didn’t defy basic Human rights neither did it trample upon the safety of others. It came to be known with the Muslim female as a recognised way of life for a set of people.
Just like the wave of the wind, some do not notice until it becomes swirling. Success, it began to record and progress it began to exude. This covering gradually began to gather discuss, it began to receive criticism just like any progressive idea. And those who had once admired and accepted this form of dressing began to see it as a form of threat and every attempt to undermine and relegate it to the trash became a trending idea.
Growing up as a child, I didn’t imagine a world where I’d be judged by my choice of clothing and my decision to cover up. I never saw a society that threw caution to the wind by denying me a right to what I choose to wear, I never envisaged a government that will close her eyes to the cries of her people and deafen her ears to the plea for justice.
I have grown up to see the right being judged wrongly, I have lived to witness the innocent becoming the accused, I have witnessed the oppressed being adjudged the rebel, I have seen open forces against progress, I have lived to see suggestions in good faith branded as plans against the leaders and my ears and eyes have tire out of the daily twist and turns in the lives of ordinary people. But I will not be a witness to shattering the hopes of future leaders because of their choice to appear in a way not alien to the world but just being used against a people because of the hypocrisy that underlies their fears.
When did the Hijab change what it used to be? How did it become an issue in our schools? When did it become a threat to life? How come we allowed ourselves to be carried away by the seeming belief that it was all going to be fine? We are a peace loving group of people who have proclaimed Islam as her religion and the Hijab as a form of dressing and a means of recognition for the female folks. Yearly, we have continuously raised the awareness of what the Hijab is and what it is not. It may have been wrongly used, it may have been abused but No it will not be refused on the basis of the abuses!
We have recorded success; the Hijabs are in the ministries doing wonderfully well, the Hijabs are in the hospitals tending to patients and giving them hope. The Hijabs are in the universities and teaching sectors giving life to education and the belief of a brighter tomorrow. The hijabs are in the legal profession fighting for the rights of the denied and getting justice for the deprived. The hijabs are on the field as engineers, the hijabs are moulding lives and changing the face of history. Open your eyes to the Successes and stop the Stereotype!
What we have is peace, what we share is love and what we seek is nothing short of this. The Hijab is harmless. The covering is never a barrier;never has been and never will be. Histories will rewrite itself on the golden pages of time. Strong women will be made, selfless souls will be built and steadfast students would be moulded. For every struggle that we put forth shall not be in vain, they will only be a way to tell the sweet stories of our pain. The days might seem long but the journey of success is one that never stops half way.
To every beautifully adorned sister in Hijab, it may be tiring and you feel like giving up. It may seem frustrating that you feel pulling off is a better option. It may seem like a lost battle but remember that this is your way of telling the world that you’re sure of who you are, that you are certain of your identity and you own your choice to Cover! I join every voice today and always to say Let the Hijab Be, Let the Hijab Reign, Let the Hijab Stay!
– Bushrah Olagunju is an author and a motivational speaker. She writes for Muslim News