Looking Up: A Reflection on Hijab

Picture of Adeeba Jafri

Adeeba Jafri

Adeeba is the author of several books including The Baby Garden, A Zoom with a View and Show Yourself.

My decision to wear hijab did not happen overnight. It took months of overthinking and overplanning.

I’ll start on Friday.

Maybe next Friday.

I need to pray properly first.

I need to read more Qur’an.

I need to do more research.

I’ll wait until the weather gets better.

One more lecture.

One more Khutbah.

One more month.

One more year.

When it comes to wearing hijab, the discussion usually revolves around the before and the after. No one talks about the moment it happens. No one talks about that crippling fear of what the family will say. What the husband will say. What your neighbor will say. What your friend will say.

Though the scarf is light on our head, the decision weighs heavy on the heart.

The first day that I put on my hijab, I ran out of the house crying. I walked into my high school and kept my head down, avoiding any type of conversation at all costs. It took me days until I could finally lift my head and speak to peers I had known since kindergarten. Looking up was the hardest thing to do.

To my dear Muslim sisters, the decision to wear hijab will be your most personal struggle. Don’t underestimate it, but don’t look away from it. If, and when, you come to that crossroads, don’t just talk to sisters about how they prepared for it. Ask about the moment we donned it. That is a conversation worth having.

This post is part of a collaboration about #hijabinislam. Make sure to read what some other sisters have to say about their experience with hijab.

4 Points about the Hijab by @knowledgedunes

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow by @Umm Afraz Muhammed

Finding my Identity in Obedience by @level10muslimah

Hijabi Girls Can Too by @Jeddehmom

Podcast Story for Kids by @mrshashimi

My Hijab Makes Me Feel Empowered by @muslimah_mina

A Letter to my Teenage Self by @the.osemommey

Qur’an Art Journaling 33:59 by @ilmaeducation

My Hijab Poem written by a 9 y/o by @sunnah_hearts

“Now You Wear Hijab”: A Complimentary Poem for Muslimah tweens by @atfalnaeducation

How Do I Impress the Importance of Hijab in my Child by @motheringthenest