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the truth about hijab

The Truth About Hijab

We do get quite tired of assumptions at hearthijab, as do the vast majority of Muslim women. We choose to wear the hijab and were never forced, and neither is it some form of liberation to remove the hijab, or asking for its ban or removal, quite the opposite actually, that would be the ultimate oppresion.

We are taught there is no compulsion in religion, that means we have a choice, and you can see a minority of Muslim women do not wear the hijab compared to the vast majority, so there has to be something in this empowering scarf!

It just so happens that the Virgin Mary also observed hijab and we follow the example set to us by our prophet. All religious peoples following the early teachings of Jesus and Moses would have observed hijab.

We decided it was time to ask some Muslim women about hijab. In this raw and unedited series, grammatical errors and all. From all different backgrounds, what hijab means to them, if they were forced, their challenges and hopefully everything in between.

Breaking a stereotype: White, English Convert to Islam

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you? 

I am a relatively recent (3 years) convert to Islam. As a white, English woman the hijab shows everyone that I am now a Muslim (which prevents awkward invites to the pub). I feel empowered and proud to wear it, and have thoroughly enjoyed taking back my own body and being modest in public.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I find that wearing my hijab can be a source of strength. It keeps me aware of my religion and my beliefs and instead of doing my hair/putting on lots of make up before leaving the house, my final act is to remember my faith. It has also opened up a community - other Muslims say Salam to me in the street which is lovely, especially when you are a revert!

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

I have encountered some abuse wearing my hijab, sometimes my family are not happy when I wear it to family events and when I broke my leg earlier this year I felt more vulnerable with crutches and a hijab. I also dyed my hair recently to the perfect colour!! and yet the world will never know...

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I just remember that for every time someone says something unkind there are many occasions where people are lovely, complimentary of my hijab etc. Also, my decision to wear the hijab is personal, so if I ever feel too worried to wear the hijab then I don't.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 23 when I began wearing the hijab but I converted at 23. It took my several months and started slowly, first just to visit the Mosque and then to see Muslim friends. Once I started wearing it to work it made it a lot easier to wear everywhere else.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I became more comfortable wearing the hijab with some lovely support of Muslim women at work. I also made sure I had some beautiful scarves and colour coordinated my outfits!

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

I don't always feel safe wearing my hijab, especially at night but I live in London in between two big Mosques so there are usually other Muslims or decent people around.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The media makes me feel less safe, especially the reports of increased abuse and attacks. But I still to choose to wear my hijab.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

I have had some instances where people have been unkind or picked me out because I wear one. A lot of the time though, people are quite lovely about it or I don't face any issues with it at all.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish that world could see it as a personal choice, similar to any piece of clothing that people choose to wear. I don't want to be singled out because of it, or to be seen as 'exotic' or oppressed.

A Teenage Perspective: 19 Year Old from London

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am 19 years old, a student from London. Hijab, to me, means covering up in a world that encourages women to do the opposite.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Hijab has helped me in social relations- it's like an automatic barrier between me and haram and I love that.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

18- I went through some stuff and became closer to Allah swt and knew I needed to start wearing it. I didn't really have a first day because I wore it on and off for a month to get used to it before I wore it full time.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I started off small so as not to pressurise myself and realised how normal it was and then there was a day when I decided to keep it on and never took it off Alhamdulillah

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes I feel safe

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Neither.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Nope

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish everyone would understand everyone- especially Muslim sisters, we need to build each other up not tear each other down.

Waasifah, Revert of 2 years

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Assalamu alaikum dear sisters, My name is Waasifah Islam from Bolton, Lancashire. I reverted to Islam two years ago and wore the black abaya and hijab from day 1. I love to wear my islamic clothes because they represent my being a Muslimah. I am so proud and happy to wear both my abaya and hijab. I wear them to prove my love for Allah and Islam. They represent being a Muslimah and I am proud to show the world I am a Muslim. ALLAHU AKBAR.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Made me fearless against non-believers. Allah is protecting me.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

No.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

N/A

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

See above. I was 50 years old.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I had no issues.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Absolutely.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. Allah keeps me strong.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Just the odd individual, in their futile attempt to intimidate me. I now have a little insight of how my sisters and brothers of colour feel through intimidation.

Revert to Islam, Hijab after just 2 weeks

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Beauty, control over my body.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It has helped with the way I behave and carry myself as a muslimah.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes many times, with family and work live.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

With the help of Allah, alot of dua alot!!!!!

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I reverted at 25 years of age, it was two weeks after becoming Muslim.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I don't know how I did it, I just kept trying to find Style and colors that I like to help me love it and embrace it more. By me seeing there are other ways of beauty.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes, Alhamdulilah

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

No, it hasn't. Just to be careful

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

No, no problem

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

Realize the beauty of it, and that showing your body is the only way of being beautiful.

Hijab is an Ice Breaker!

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

It gives me constant reminder that I am a Muslim and what does god want from me as he is watching me.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It has helped me feel at peace as before I would not wear it outside but for salah I felt like two people.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

I think I felt a little shy at first but I got used to it and it felt good when someone random said Salam to you as before no one could tell I was muslim.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I realised it was me that needed to become confident it wasn't about anyone else. I thought others wouldn't see me they would just judge me but I was wrong. Rare cases may take place but you will find majority find the hijab concept quite beautiful and it gets you talking to people who do not know about islam.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

During Ramadan I used to wear it and one Ramadan after it was over I just kept it on to the shock of my family. ( good shock as it was unlikely I would start wearing hijab and looser clothes )

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

When people ask me why I wore it and I told them and there misconceptions were erased I felt like something good was happening just by putting a hijab on. Also I felt more respected by males.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes I actually do and for me it was more about personal shyness I found people to be very positive.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I will not take it off and people always ask me about current issues and it's nice to explain to them about their misunderstandings specially because some do not know what islam is.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Yes they ask me why and when I told them they were ok with it rather then shut them down explain to them it's better.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

When Muslim women respect it so will everyone else but when so many women chose to copy non Muslims how can non Muslims respect hijab it's a two way thing.

Wisdom from a Mother of 2

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Assalamu alaikum my name is Khadijah and I'm a mother of 2 currently studying to be a writer. I hope to publish Islamic children's books one day.Hijab to me is represents honour, I feel honoured when I wear it because it's my way of saying I am proud to be a Muslim, I am touched by the sacrifices prophet Muhammad s.a.w made for us and truly honoured that Allah chose me to be Muslim from birth.It means also means value and confidence. When I wear it I feel like a jewel, something precious and to be protected. I feel confident when I wear it more and more everyday because it shows to other that you can be Muslim but still contribute immensely to the society.Alhamdulillah

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It has helped me connect more with my spirituality and also to let go of distractions or hanging around with the wrong sort of crowd.It has helped me focus on the things that matter in life and work on perfecting inner beauty rather than out.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes, when I was a teenager I felt torn between pleasing people. It was very diffficult but as soon as I decided that I was going to wear it, it was as if everything fell into place. I was surrounded by so much positivity with like minded people and that made me very happy.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I did a lot of istikhara and prayed to Allah to guide me. I wanted to change but I didn't have the courage to. I didn't want to be 'uncool' and when you're a teenager the pressure is immense and everything seems very intense.But Alhamdulillah I got the courage and I have never looked back.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I wore the hijab when I was 10 but on and off. I started properly wearing it when I was 16 and at first it felt odd. I wasn't sure what people would think of me but that changed very quickly. People at the mosque would compliment me on my hijab or a brooch I pinned it with and I made sure I spent a lot of time with like minded people and it just boosted my confidence

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

When I'd meet friends that we went separate ways with I'd talk to them confidently and smile. Afterall, I was still the creative and artistic person that everyone loved me for. All that changed wa he hijab. I think a lot of people thought that if you wear it that's it, you become someone very anti social.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes I do. Sometimes I get stares but I stare back with a smile.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Yes definitely, because a lot of women are being attacked because if it. But I know that Allah will protect whoever asks if it from harm so I don't let it bother me much.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Yes, staring, lots of it.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish everyone would learn what it's all about! It's beautiful and it stands up for women and everyone can learn a thing or two from it.There is a lot of pressure from the fashion industry for people to wear skimpy clothes or very provocative type of clothes but what people don't realise is that it's just businesses trying to make money, overpricing clothes that have been used with the smallest amount of fabric (saving them cost and increasing number of items produced). It's not fashion, it's just good old capitalism and people are buying into it even if they can walk in the heels or breath in the clothes.

Hijab makes me a better person

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Hijab is my identity, part of me. Its something I cannot think that I can go anywhere without. It makes me feel confident and more safer. It is something that is bringing me closer to Allah. It stops me from doing or saying wrong as you cannot just wear hijab and be a bad example. Hijab corrects me as a person and makes my character more better day by day it has made me a better person and also also a better muslim. It stops me from sinning.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I feel more beautiful, confident and safe.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes I have struggled alot. I have many friends and family who do not wear hijab and they were also pushing me not to wear. I have worn and not worn afew times. When I was wearing I was happy and confident and when I wasnt I was feeling something was missing and not happy or confident.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I realised that Allah is the one I have to please and non other. So I was wearing it every where and did not care what others had to say or comment.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I remember asking my dad that I wanted to wear an Abaya and he was so happy that he bought me 2 of them on the same day. I was so pleased. I was 13 when I started wearing it.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I became comfortable because there is lots of choice of hijabs and lots of styles. So I never got bored and when I wasnt covering up I was so tired of doing my hair. It was boring and tiring plus it never gave me satisfaction or confidence.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

I feel safe to wear my hijab in any climate it protects me from both heat and cold.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I have never had any negativity from non muslims, it was always from non practicing muslims. I have always been shown respect from non muslims and I have met many people who were very interested in knowing why muslims wear hijab and when explained to them, they were amazed and they appreciated the value of women in Islam.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Yes negative sometimes from non practicing muslims. But also one of my friend whom I have known for about a year she has started wearing it and she says she cannot go out without it.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I would really love to see many women and girls to wear it, muslims and non muslims and see for themselves how more and more beautiful they can look just by putting hijab on and how happy they can feel within themselves.

Niqab put those Muslim Males in place

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I feel like an old woman now but I started wearing hijab just before I started Oxford University. It changed my life.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It served to tell others that I'm Muslim and therefore easily set me on the right track without having to answer the basics: I believe in God, I worship Him, I didn't drink, smoke or do drugs and I don't do boys, clubs or pubs! Sorted!
It also meant that I stuck out as a Muslimah at the freshers fair, so a fellow (rare at the time) hijabi spotted me and signed me up to the then amazing Islamic Society. These people transformed me and my life. Alhamdulillah.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Alhamdulillah, no, I went on to wear jilbab then niqab. Niqab hasn't always been as smooth sailing but no regrets alhamdulillah.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I only found that the problem was attracting Muslim male attention even though most other male attention had been cancelled out. Eek. Niqab was the fix! Haha!

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

It was the day I went off to Uni... So I was 18. I wanted to set myself some limits as I was leaving home. Hijab was my personal policeman.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

It was easier as barely anyone knew me, minus people I had met during interview week. Everyone that knew me either had positive comments if they were Muslim or they didn't say anything!

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yup. In my niqab.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

It has post certain terrorist incidents but alhamdulillah I've never faced any aggression.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Hijab, mostly no, other than assuming I can't speak English (but this was like a decade ago).

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

Sell decent clothing in this country please!

I wear Hijab with pride, it's special for me

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm 18 at university in my first year at the moment. I started wearing a hijab from the age of 11 and I didn't really understand it's meaning and sentiment back then. But now, Alhamdulillah Allah SWT has blessed me with knowledge and guidance, so I know what the hijab means and it's value. For me, the hijab itself has a beautiful concept- it is a symbol of modesty and a gift from God for me. I wear the hijab with pride, it's special for me and I intend to only wear if for the sake of God. Although I must admit, at times I feel naked without it. I wouldn't dream of taking it off!

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It's helped me understand who I am, my identity as a young Muslim. I feel beautiful, elegant and strong with my hijab. Wearing it in solidarity with the rest of the ummah makes me feel at peace and gives me so much happiness. Hijab for me isn't just a veil on the head, it's my character and the way I conduct myself. And of course, it is an act of worship to my Lord.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

At current times, where negativity towards Muslims is increasing constantly, it is tough. I have sometimes felt like a misfit because of my hijab. I've felt discriminated, disliked, and judged.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

For me personally, there are days when I still struggle. But my key thing is to stay positive, I try to keep my head held high and have every faith in God. The thing that is most effective and useful is to have tawaqqal/trust in Allah. He has certainly helped me through this journey :)

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 11. I don't really remember the specific day. But like I said, I didn't really know its value back then. My key pieces of advice to parents would be: don't force your child to wear a hijab- NEVER! If your child is showing interest in the hijab, try to educate them on what it means. This is very important because it purifies their intention and they will want to wear it for God not for you i.e. the parent.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Praying????

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Not now with the way things are. But I try to stay positive and always have trust in God.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Less safe.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Hmmm not so far...

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish they actually knew the real meaning behind it and that it's not just a veil it's who you are. We Muslims need to strive to be better, so that communities are not too afraid to ask questions and be curious to learn more about our deen.

Hijabi from Seychelles: Devotion to Allah

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

My name is Jamila Figaro aged 22 and im from Seychelles. To me, hijab is the outer wear but also encompasses our inner self. Wearing hijab is not about just putting a scarf on our heads; it shows our devotion to Allah, seeking to please Him and fulfill His command. I wear it with dignity and pride;

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It shows to the world my identity without me uttering a word.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes, i grew up in a muslim family but not in a muslim country. It was difficult at school and i refused to wear it in front of my school mates for fear of getting ridiculed.
I also had an issue with hijab a few years back when i started living on my own and was being influenced by society. Alhamdulillah i was able to climb out of that hole.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I read a lot of islamic books; i found that with higher iman, willingness to adhere to teachings of the quran and sunnah came effortlessly. So i focused on uplifting my iman, repented, changed my circle of friends, went to the mosque more often etc

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

Very young; as i was born in a muslim family

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I was able to convince myself that i am wearing it for the sake of Allah alone and not for anyone else. People stared but what the heck, i loved my deen more than i cared about the staring

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Seychelles over the years has grown more tolerant when it comes to hijab
There will always be some against hijab but you cant really please everybody at the end of the day

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

No, never

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Most people are ok with hijab but are wary of niqab

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I think we have to accept ourselves first

Hijab Styles helps Muslimah with Hijab

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Hijab for mean I am proud to be Muslim and it cover means give me confidence

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It have help to be more proud of my self and be more cover and be one with Allah

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes some time and my sons remind me about it

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

By wearing every day and be proud of it

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 37 years and it feel weird and I was not sure so I start watch different design how to be comfortable

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Wearing day by day and see rest of my friend join me

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

More it represents me and my followers Muslim women

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Yes at work people was chock but now they got use to see me more cover and give me compliments

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

Accepting the person with or without hijab but when there wearing hijab they are doing for them self not for public

Muslim Teacher: Hijab starts a positive conversation

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am 24 I've been wearing hijab since I was 14. Hijab is something that gives me my identity and send a message to everyone that I like to keep my modesty, in whatever way I define modesty. As a teacher children ask me what it means and I believe it starts a conversation that is positive about Islam.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It has helped me be proud as a Muslim and have an overt representation of my identity.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

I believe just like imaan, you will always go through tough times with your hijab. But I deal with it by asking myself, will my life be any different or better without it. And I always come to the conclusion that it has been the one thing that keeps me close to Allah. If I were to remove it, living in a western society, I would blend into the background.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I don't make any decision before three days, and within those three days I ask myself why I feel this way. Will I have a sense of fulfilment from removing it, or is it a temporary solution to a temporary feeling or problem.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 14, I started wearing it in the middle of year 9, in a completely white school. I just woke up and thought, "why am I trying so hard to split my two identities; a young British school girl, and a Muslim". I would go out in hijab on the weekend and whenever I saw my friends from school I would try to hide my identity. I decided over that weekend to stop lying to myself.
The first day was scary, will I lose my popularity? will my friends think I have been "radicalised"? How will I explain it?
I wore it before my elder sister, she saw me that morning and gave me some words of encouragement, I wasn't sure if I regretted it or not, I was very nervous.
At school the girls asked me "What happened over the weekend!" And I tried to use humour to answer questions and to make it less serious. At the same time I wanted to educate them on why I wanted to wear it. "I am a Muslim and I want to cover what I feel is my beauty for myself".

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I tried to make it more stylish, at that time in Britain, I was a minority and we didn't have hijabi bloggers. I would try to keep up with my friends and not let it hinder my teenage quest to be cool. And because I stuck to my guns, the girls at school started to respect my decision and my teachers would allow me to talk about it openly and I was happy to.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

I do feel safe, because I have never received any threats or comments. And if I do, I am a strong woman and I won't let anyone bully me to live a different way of life, just because it suits them.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I don't care what the media say, I want to take any opportunity to educate people, and at the end of the day I believe I have Allah on my side.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Some racist comments but I do not take it to heart. At school where I work, children ask a lot of questions and I love the innocence and willingness to be understanding. I wish more adults would ask.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

To be open minded and ask questions, I certainly love to talk about it and so do many Muslims. It's just material afterall.

Hijab helps me live a deeper life

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am a muslimah living in England, in my late twenties.
Hijab is a way of life. It is a constant reminder that I am a follower of Islam, that I fear my Lord, and to constantly watch and improve myself.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Hijab has given me an identity. A belonging. Self worth. It has given me all this, with the power to disengage with peer pressure, society and cultural demands. It has allowed me to be me for who I am and to live a deeper life with non superficial focus. To focus on serving, on my actions and words, and my journey in this life towards the next. It has detached me from the need to 'dress to impress' and given me a higher perspective and confidence.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

All praises due to Allah alone, alhamdulillah no. I know for some sisters it is their jihad, and I thank Allah that this is not one of my struggles, and I ask Allah to make it easier for those sisters who are struggling to fight their demons in this affair.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

N/A

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

about 4 yrs old. I loved hijab. My sister wore it and my mother did and I always wanted to be part of that and just like them. From about 6 yrs it was solidly on.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I think your environment, those outside influences, are of the greatest importance in the hijab journey. My mother was a revert, and my father was a loving man who was peaceful and had a beautiful balance of Islam. When you grow up into a strong household where the deen is a way of life and is peaceful and gentle, everything about the religion you love.
I thought hijab was the most beautiful thing, and something that every woman was worthy of. It was like a gift from Allah to us, and I love modesty.
I think I am generally a type of girl who does not care much for fashion and makeup and how others perceive me. I think that makes it easier.
If I was into fashion and makeup etc, hijab would be more of a struggle because it is going against other things you love and therefore have to sacrifice, and as humans we find it hard to make sacrifices.
I think you just have to look at the bigger picture of it all, and love yourself for who you are- a muslimah, and know that the love of God is the greatest thing you have and would ever need. This feeling gives you enough happiness and confidence to be able to carry out the obligation of hijab much easier, God willing.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

I know it can be bad. I have had people swear, point, make fun, and spit on me because of Hijab. I don't get phased by this sort of ignorance, because I know the greater the jihad- the greater the reward, inshaAllah.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I think there is more awareness about hijab and Islamophobic attacks, so in a way it is a good thing, because maybe there are more people now that may be willing to help if there was an attack on a hijabi. I also thing the hijab is becoming more universal- everyone has now seen or heard about hijab-which makes it more normal and less of a 'foreign object'.
However, at the same time, there is more hate crimes, so it is understandable to feel less safe, and that's why some sisters take off their hijabs during these times. Alhamdulillah nothing has happened to me as of yet and I am blessed to be in a multicultural city, and I do no use public transport so it is safer for me. However yes, you are more aware of it, and I don't know how I would react or feel if I ever was attacked because of my Hijab God forbid, of course it is something to be shaken by, but hopefully nothing of that sort happens. Trust Allah, and know everything happens for a reason.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

In the early days yes, even by my non muslim friends. People would say why wear it, you look better without it. Pakis go home, etc. There was a lot more racism and unfair treatment. However now there are more muslims and hijabi's, as well as more hijab awareness, things are a little easier alhamdulillah, or at least in some ways.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I just wish people let it go. A lot of sisters love the hijab and choose to wear it. There is no need to 'free us'. I think in this day and age, where there is no rules, no morals, no ethics, so much feminism, fighting for this agenda and that, so much sexual references and sex and provocative imagery, it is almost understandable that they look at us with pity and sympathy with a need to free us.
But we are free, and I'm pretty tired of needing to say this again and again. Hijab does not hinder me. Hijab is not pushed on me.
I am happy to be me. I am happy to be modest and covered. I am happy to not have to seek approval from the eyes of men. I am happy to be respected and heard out, rather than gawked at for my body or looks. I would find it suffocating and extreme pressure and stress to have to adhere to society, to men, to 'look good', to seek approval, to pin my self worth on how I look and the responses I get from those around me. No, not all non hijabi girls or non muslims feel this way, but I'm just saying, this is the general standard. I think when you please God and need nothing more, it helps with your confidence and self image/ body image.
So yes, please respect my decision and know it is mine alone, and I am much happier and healthier with this choice :) Each to their own. I respect you, you respect me :)

Hijab lets me be who I am.

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am currently studying to become a primary teacher in Scotland. I lead a multicultural youth group and I also work as part of an online magazine. For me, my hijab is an effective daily reminder to remember what the purpose of life is, how we should behave, I feel that my hijab lets me be who I am.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

The hijab has helped me to be confident for my differences. It has helped me to educate others about my religion and my thoughts and opinions.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

In this time and age, there will always be a minority who leave a remark. I have had people going past me and whispering ISIS and things along those lines. I had two options. Either to re-think about it and make me upset or move on. I chose to move on. Comments like their's mean nothing to me anymore as I know media is a strong influence.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Keep yourself busy with aims and goals. That's what I do to stop overthinking. Forget what people say and do. They dont have an inkling of what you go through on a daily basis.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I started wearing the hijab when I was 15 at high school. From nursery to university, I have been living in a non-Muslim community and I have felt that my non-Muslim friends have supported me throughout my decision as well as now.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I always had many practical questions about my hijab when I was young. Like, what do I wear when Im swimming? How will I continue wearing my hijab during exercise? Will people ignore me for my hijab? All these questions were answered after I overcame them myself. You think you're restricted at first when it comes to the hijab but trust me, you begin to feel yourself. People will love you for who you are, not what you look like. And Oh my, it definitely takes away the time wasters in your life. You finally have people who support you for the person tou really are.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Even though media is portraying people who wear the hijab negatively, I dont see why we should stop wearing the hijab. It's our choice to wear the hijab and the media shouldnt even influence that decision. If worse comes to worse, let family and friends know where you are and dont travel alone if you dont feel comfortable.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Media is media. The world is becoming a hard place to live in for everyone. I feel unsafe at times but that never lets me stop going to places I want to.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

No, in the community I live, I have been respected for my decision. People keep to themselves in their lives whilst respecting each other's differences. I appreciate that very much.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I think that media should be more aware of the messages they are portraying especially since TV, phones and the internet can be accessed at a young age.

Muslim Female Lawyer: Hijab for me means power

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am a Muslim female lawyer living in the UK. In my early 30's, happily married and mother of 3 beautiful children. Hijab for me means power, freedom to do what I want and most importantly, keeping my promise to Allah of hijab of the heart, mind and soul. I feel proud to be a Muslim in the west, even with the increasing islamaphobia, because I follow the true path from my Lord.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

As a teenager and in my early 20's, I was always fascinated by the hijab but never had no courage to wear it. I was afraid of what my family and friends and the general public would think of me. My feelings were always about what others thought and not what I wanted. I was lucky to be able to perform Hajj during the first year of marriage and going on a religious journey helped me realise that as a Muslim woman, there are certain rules we have to follow as these are the rules set by Allah. Who are we to argue against His law? After wearing it, I felt I had finally caught up with what I had always wanted to do. Wearing hijab is not just about physically covering your beautiful hair, it's about protecting your modesty and your delicacy as a woman. People have respected me more and I have also found people have trusted me more. Hijab has helped me move forward in life towards my spirituality and away from the illusion of the world.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

There have been a few times in my legal career that I have felt misplaced amongst the non religious white lawyers but it has helped me keep a step back rather than jumping in and wanting to be like them. I have liked feeling and being different.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Remembering Allah and making dua especially during difficult times. Looking back and reflecting on their life and my life as a Muslim wearing hijab. I've much preferred my life.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I wore hijab at age 26. I wore it constantly during Hajj and immediately wore it after returning home to the UK. I was very nervous about wearing hijab at the first day in the office as its not something I'd spoken to my work colleagues about beforehand especially as I was new in the office anyway. The first day I read lots of dua for Allah to give me strength. Everyone was really nice and welcoming and maybe a little shocked too as they didn't know how to deal with it. After about 1 hour I was so into my work that I forgot I was even wearing it and the rest of the days was spent like that too! Eventually people started asking me why I was wearing it and I spoke to them openly about Islam and they were very welcoming.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Time makes you comfortable - you need to get used to it yourself, putting it on and off, who you should wear it in front of etc. By experimenting with different colours and outfits I became confident.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes mostly. Hijab is the identity of the Muslim and now and then I feel out of place if someone stares but a smile or hello puts them off track! Kindness kills. Try it!

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

It's made me more weary and conscious but at the same time it's given me confidence to stand up for my deen.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

None alhamdulillah

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

People can support gay and lesbians and support wearing bikinis so why can't people support covering yourself ! The public need to be more open about accepting people who choose to dress modestly _ it's their choice

Hijab makes me think of my actions.

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a mum of two..never thought I'd be saying that.. my kids have actually helped me get back in touch with my Deen..it must be the emotional bond between a child and mother for wanting the best for your child and for them to look upto you and feel secure and protected.. that's what hijab means to me (protection) it's like a barrier from all the evil in the world.. I know it sounds so surreal but wearing a hijab makes you think about every action you do.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Hijab is a way of life it's actually made me feel more empowered and feel like there's a purpose to this short life we are leading.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

For a very long time since school days when I use to hate wearing a hijab. I wanted to fit in with the crowd.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I guess there comes a stage in life where you realise what's important in life and I guess my kids was it.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I use to wear it to school that was my first experience but wasn't mature enough to understand why I was.. and at 29yrs old I had started to wear the hijab whilst pregnant with my second child and I remember wearing it to my appointments at first and then I just kept it on.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I think it just came to me eventually.. and feeling beautiful within my self first was important.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes I just get on with things

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I try not to divulge to much into media.. so just take each day as it comes

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

No

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

Everyone has a choice In what they wear.. and we should be more accepting of that.

Hijabi from the USA: Keep the Creeps in Check

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a 20 yr old writer and university student living in the united states. For the most part, hijab is a form of protection for me.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It has helped me in that whenever I see creepy men (or even just men I don't like) I feel so relieved that I'm covered and he can't see my body and therefore not have gross thoughts.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

I struggle with hijab most in the summers because I sweat a lot around my neck and it starts to itch and get sticky. And then people will stare and wonder how is she all covered like that in this weather. That's why I love fall and winter when I can cover super comfortably.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

On really hot days I try not to go out, I'll even sometimes reschedule to prevent being so uncomfortable while out. And I don't think there's anything nothing wrong with that. I've also considered moving to a Muslim country after I get married so that I won't feel left out, and I'll feel confident going out even on hot days, because all other women are doing it too and we're all in this together, for Allah.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I started wearing hijab when I was 17, so it was really difficult compared to girls who start wearing it at like 11 or 12. Ramadan is the best time to start wearing hijab, because people are already trying to be as religious as they can. The first time I did it was when, so like, my family had to go some place, but we prayed before leaving home. So after praying I just didn't take the scarf off my head and casually left home like that with them. After a couple hours out my sister was like "are you gonna keep that on?" and I was just like "mmmm I guess :)" and that was all. alhumdulillah.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

ALL of it is in the mindset. If you believe in your reasons to wear hijab strongly, that will be your motivation to go out with a solid confidence. I'm confident in that I imagine what would happen if someone asked me "why are you wearing that?" and I'll boldly defend myself. it's a way to reassure myself of the reasons why I wear this

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

No I don't. I still go out because I have to-- but I'd be lying if my anxiety levels haven't increased, especially at night. I feel safe when I have my husband or my dad, or grandpa, or uncle out with me.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

definitely less safe. but i wouldn't be any safer if I wasn't in hijab. the plight for women in general has become more and more dangerous.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

thankfully no. no one has attacked me in any way

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

honestly I can't answer that because the world won't change. The impressions made can't be undone. so the only thing I can do is save myself as much as I can. I try to go out with a male family member as much as I can (i.e. go do groceries with my husband and not by myself). I also really want to move to a muslim country, because in ch.4 v.97 of the quran it says the world is spacious for us if we were oppressed. So that's what I plan to do.

New Revert, New Hijabi

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a recent revert and began wearing hijab over a month ago.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Hijab was the next step for me in my spiritual/religious life. It has helped keep me humble and modest, which was what I was striving for when I began wearing it.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Since I've only been wearing hijab for a little over a month now, the only time when I struggles with hijab was the first day. This was mostly because of all of the questions from my friends and family I was receiving and it was overwhelming. However it was also because I didn't like the way I looked the first few times wearing a headscarf because I wasn't use to having my hair covered.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

My family and friends have gotten use to seeing me covered, alhamdulilah. As far as how I felt about the way I looked, it takes practice to firstly, wrap your scarf in a way good for your face shape. And two, I simply got use to it. I got use to it in about a week. I know I haven't been wearing it in a long time, but it feels normal to me now, like this is the way it should be.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 19 years old (still 19), and I started with a simple wrap around. The night before I told my family that I would wear it to college. I maybe got two hours of sleep that night, I was so nervous/excited. People I knew did a double-take, even people I didn't know stared at me a lot because they weren't use to seeing me in such a way. But it was great, they got use to it.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I became comfortable wearing the hijab knowing that this is what God wants from me and this is the way it should be. It is the other people around me who are not normal, not me.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

When I first began wearing hijab, I found myself thinking twice before taking a trip alone to the store or not wanting to be alone at school. However, knowing that hijab is for me to be able to go out in the public and do the things that I have to do, gave me confidence to not let my fear oppress me.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The recent media has not made me feel more safe to wear hijab. The media has done nothing but to try to put down muslims and take the voice away from muslim women. We are either terrorists or oppressed, and if we tell people we are not oppressed, they say we are brain-washed. There is no real way to win over the media but to simply live your life.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

I have noticed when going to the mall, the annoying kiosk workers don't bug me anymore or try to lure me to their station to sell me something. People also get surprised when I tell them I attend a gym class.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish people would see that we as the human race are in relation to one another in one of two ways. One, we are either sisters/brothers in faith, or two, we are sisters/brothers in humanity. Only then, will the world becoming much more accepting of each other.

Hijab: I have felt upmost peace and Solace

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Adorning the hijab means presenting yourself appropriately in the eyes of Allah SWT. Allah has given us beauty, which we should respect, which in turn honours Allah SWT.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I always dressed modestly but didn't wear the headscarf. I am 35 years old. I only started wearing the hijab in April this year. My beloved father passed away earlier this year, and this has brought me closer to my Imaan. I found praying namaz, reading the quran, adorning the hijab all this has assisted me to cope with my father's loss. I realised my only eternal relationship is with Allah, who I will never lose and I want to please him with my best efforts. I have also performed my Hajj this year. I thank Allah swt for his immense blessings upon me.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

No. From the point I felt the "hunger" to wear the hijab I have felt upmost peace and solace from Allah. I love wearing the hijab. My whole wardrobe has changed. I am still the same person, same rights and choices and same independence and freedom in life. I still go to the gym and still interact with mixed genders and people from all walks of life.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

No struggles. Allah has made it so easy for me to embark upon and maintain this commitment.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 35 years old. After losing my father I went under. The depression and despair consumed me. I struggled to move on. I realised then that everybody will leave me one day, but Allah wont. he is there for me eternally. I wanted to please Allah in every way I could. I considered wearing the hijab, dedicated myself more to praying namaz 5 times a day. Since February I have completed 7 khathams of the quran. I am on my 8th khatham. I have also performed my hajj this year. I am happy with Allah's guidance. My husband assisted me with taking the step to wear the hijab. He was worried I was taking it too fast. He recommended I wear the hijab and trial how I feel and any reactions in a different town first and then see. He was impressed with how I "took it in my stride naturally". from this day (which was in April) I have continued to wear my hijab. I love the way the overall changed attire is so feminine and looks ever so elegant and graceful.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I bought different colours and materials and co-ordinated them with the appropriate overall attire. i.e. short scarf for the gym and maxi scarves with long skirts.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes of course. I am still the same person and very vocal and stand up for myself. If anyone gives me any grief I will not hesitate to speak my mind.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The media has had no impact on me. I live because of and for the sake of Allah, and nobody else.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Yes. My non-muslim friends and work colleagues have been the most positive and supportive about my hijab. They always pay compliments about my choice of clothing and style, yet simplicity. They see my personality and character before my appearance.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

As one non-muslim said to me not long ago "the headscarf is such an under-rated piece of garment; I think it looks beautiful". And that's all it is a respectable, beautiful and elegant garment which pleases our Creator first and foremost and thereafter creation.

Revert to Islam: Romania to London

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Al hamdu'lillah,I am a reverted sister but I wasn't wearing the hijab after reverting...After reading what Allah commanded the women to do,I started wearing hijab and pray 5 times a day. Hijab means power and protection,but not everywhere sadly. I am originally from Romania and over there,people stare at you and are avoiding you. The country itself it s islamophobic..so it may be dangerous ,at least this is what I was thinking.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I currently live in London and it's a lot more easier to practice my religion here than in Romania(I can pray at work or on the streets,and I am free to wear my identity as muslimah.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

The only problem I had with hijab was regarding my own security( I didn t wore the hijab in Romania when I was going on holiday-for the first year-but al hamdu lillah I am doing it now and I do feel strange overthere.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

The idea I have on my mind when wearing hijab in Romania is that I am obeying Allah's commandments,even if that goes against people's concept of what's good or bad.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I started wearing the hijab 1 year after converting and I was 27.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I become comfortable by knowing that I am doing the right thing,as the Quaran says we should draw our veils over our chests in sura Noor 24:31 And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

In London yes,I feel truly safe wearing my hijab,because people arround here don't care about what you're wearing.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Media should have no negative impact on you as believing woman.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

As I said,in Romania is bit difficult for new muslimas to wear their hijab,but by the passage of time,we will all be able to do it and be proud of it.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish everyone would understand that being muslim it is a real blessing,not a burden... and stop making it look like so.If only we would all understand that we've been gifted with islam. Al hamdu'lillah, I am muslim and I am proud.

Loving Friendship leads to Hijab

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am 25 years old. I started wearing hijab at the age of 13. Hijab means a lot to me. It reminds me of Allah. It makes me feel close to Allah. It helps me stay focused to the things I know I should do. I love wearing hijab!

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Hijab reminds me of Allah. I get reminded of how much Allah loves me and that He always wants the best for me.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Alhamdulillah, I have never struggled with the hijab. Even when I feel that some strangers on the street gives me som strange looks, I dont care. Some people will judge you no matter what.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I overcome every struggle with the belief that Allah will help med get through it. And positivity of course!

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

13 years old. It started of like a "friend thing". Me and my friend talked about starting to wear it. Then we just started. The first day I was av bit nervous. But I got used to it fast.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I became comfortable fast. May be because I had my family and friends by my side.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes, always!

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I dont care about what the media has to say about this matter.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Some stares. But where dont you find judgemental people?

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

By asking US hijab wearers questions about how WE feel about the hijab.

Revert: Hijab is Protection

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Im revert and for me hijab is protection

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Its made me value myself and see how way i dressed before was attracting wrong attention! Now i feel protected by hijab.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes my family still struggle to accept my hijab so i cant wear infront of them

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I took step by step first wearing longer tops and a scarf as a "chuni" around neck or head when in public and just slowly progressing from there.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

Its been nearly a year.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

i wanted to better myself as a muslimah thats why i went towards hijab and once wearing it i saw the protection it gave me. I wasnt attracting wrongful eyes or approached wrongfully and it made me more confident and made me feel stronger and understand my worth

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes i do.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The hijab makes me feel safe, society today doesnt.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

No. majority freinds etc accept my hijab and help guide me with any issues

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

Lower prices on abayas, as single mother and a revert paying £20-£30 for one abaya isnt afforable but some from ebay with stretchy material are cheaper ones to get. It would be nice if people understand its value and not be scared but some people no matter what you say just dont care or wish to listen.

Hijab protects from pressures on women

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Im 23 years old and in my eyes i feel hijab means to conceal your desires it means to protect you from the dunyas changing view of what a woman should be its a constant and lasting view of what it means to be a muslim woman protecting herself from dunya.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Hijab helped me get closer to Allah it filled my heart with so much love for Allah, i stopped caring about what i was wearing and cared more about who i was being also if i was being someone Allah loved i kept craving to do more for the sake of Allah. It has now been 3 years i have been wearing it, the first year i was wearing it was the best year of my life and still is till this day.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

I struggled before wearing it because oddly i was self consious i cared so much what i would look like it was such a big decision i didnt want to make it but alhumdulillah i did and then i did struggle a little bit while wearing it because i just wanted to wear it as normal but there were sooo many styles and bumps and humps i was overwhelmed because i thought i was the weird one or un pretty one l.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I remembered why i wanted to wear it, i wanted to wear it for the sake of Allah i wanted Allah to turn to me in my grave and say i know you did this for me and i love you i wanted to make him happy reminding myself of that always helps me get over it.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 20 it was during ramadaan i remember being so dramatic and planning the day i would wear it lol i wanted it to be a friday just to make it that much more special, i remember watching a lecture saying in the grave we will have this light or being or something made up of all our good deeds and i wanted one of mine to be wearing my hijaab for the sake of Allah, the first day i wore it was really funny i remember i kept laughing to myself it was weird when i saw myself in car reflections but then i got over it and i was happy. I noticed men would lower their gaze when they saw me and sisters wolud greet me it was amazing alhumdulillah.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I just kept doing it and i surrounded myself with good company as i used to be in bad company i was around girls who wore their hijab and hated it they would tell me it was the worst decision for me, being around good sisters who also wore hijab who also loved their hijab helped me realise its not as scary as i used to make it out to be it was normal it didnt change me i was still me just a modest and happier version of myself.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Honestly in my own area i feel fine i feel like my manners and character carry me and people notice that more than anything and are comfortable with me, when i entered an area that i knew wasnt a fan of muslims i carried myself with that same mindset of character and manners i got a few stares but other people responded well to me but alhumdulillah i didnt let it deter me i just got on with it.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I honestly ignorantly dont pay attention to it which is both a good thing and a bad thing, its a good thing because my views arent blinded i know why im doing it and i dont focus on the views but its also a bad thing because im not learning about the things other sisters are going through.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Not really, in my everyday life i will get one or two stares rarely from non muslims other then that they smile back at me and the muslims will greet me which is nice and the men tend to lower their gaze which is such a compliment because it shows love and respect.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish they would see the beauty of it and how freeing it is, i wish they would stop following the rules of free sex and nudity and accept that we dont all have to be in skirts, dresses, shorts and whatever else to be free, learn for themselves what hijab means and the respect and love that comes from it. The world needs to realise we arent prisinors nor have we lost our personalities and spirits, beauty and character can not be hidden by cloth its more oppressive to be told im losing my identity, when wearing hijab gave me my identity back in a world where people are struggling to find themselves.

Hijab reminds me to be the best version of myself

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

The hijab to me means my obedience and submission to Allah. It's a constant reminder for me to embody what islam teaches and be the best version of myself to all those around me. My hijab means empowerment as it forces people to judge me not by my appearance but instead my character and intellect.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It has given me confidence as I am not made to feel as though I have to conform to societies expectations but rather it's okay to be different.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Thankfully i have not had any struggles as Allah has given me the perservance to continue and with time I just loved more wearing the hijab.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Reminded myself constantly why I was wearing it, and thought that with struggle there will come ease.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was very young and wanted to copy my older sisters. And due to this it made it easier for me to continue wearing it as the hijab became part of my identity.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Trying out different styles and getting inspiration from muslim bloggers and youtubers.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes I do because I feel as though I have the protection of allah. Along with this I live in a very multicultural area and so someone wearing the hijab is not very uncommon.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

It has definitely made me feel less safe, as muslim hate crimes have increased. The media have perpetuated this negative image of islam that this has automatically translated in Muslim people especially women in hijab facing the brunt.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Not really people tend to be very tolerant.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I think by embracing religious diversity the world will become a much more tolerant place. And whilst people's perception of the hijab and what it symbolizes may be scewed,just normal interaction with women in hijab will prove that although there are differences in the way we dress and what we believe, difference is not always a bad thing and it's what makes the world a much more interesting place.

Hijab makes me stronger from peer pressure

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a 17 year old from America. My mothers side is Morrocan and my fathers is Swedish and German-American. Hijab for me means modesty and not breaking into peer pressures.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I've learned from hijab that I don't have to do what people think I should do. It's taught me to be my own woman.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Sometimes I feel like when I'm wearing hijab, I'm covering myself up and restricting the person (me) behind the veil. There's also a lot of expectations of older people, like my foreign family that I feel I have to meet.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I remind myself who I am doing this, myself. I chose out of my heart to put it on to get closer to the Creator.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I started wearing hijab at 16, right before Junior year. The first day was a mess. My immediate family doesn't wear hijab (only my grandma) so the day before I bought 3 scarfs from the dollar store and practiced all night. Even then I went to school (without pins!) and my hijab kept moving and I looked like such a newbie. Luckily, no one in my school really had ever seen a hijab so they didn't know better.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I practiced and got better and doing different styles. I bought clothes with my hijab in mind.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes and no. I already have anxiety so I do get nervous BUT, I have never had a bad experience. Many people have told me how good I look and asked me about my mothers culture (which being pale and blonde no one ever asked me and I very much welcome the interest) Also many older woman (many who cover there hair in church) have been saying how nice it is.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

To be honest, it's made me feel more safe, because now it's not just Muslims and Arabs that are being made out to look bad, it's anyone (thank you trump). This has made many people understand now how many Arabs and Muslims feel in America. It puts us all in the same boat.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Most are positive, a few were indifferent or weird (questionably offensive) comments. Luckily nothing bad though.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish people looked at me the way they look at nuns.

Hijab reminds me to give the best representation of Islam

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

My name is Donna and I reverted to Islam 8 yrs ago. My journey to wearing hijab took some time, but as my Iman grew my desire to wear hijab grew.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

hijab identifies me as Muslim. It is my daily reminder that I represent my religion and to give the best representation of Islam that I can. For some people I am the first Muslim they have spoken to, what I say and do is important.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes!!!! Hijab is a discipline and not meant to be easy. But each day wearing it and knowing you are pleasing your creator makes it worthwhile.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I pray. And I remember that Allah swt know what is best for us.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

As a revert I was older. I was 4 yrs and I started to wear Hijab on a visit to Tunisia to visit family. I was very shy to start with but seeing how proud my family were gave me the strength to continue.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Wearing it during that holiday where most women wear Hijab gave me confidence to wear it in the UK. I kept telling myself each day that people would soon get used to seeing me wear it. It took time but now I'm just me + my Hijab ??

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

It's not always easy and I have had nasty comments. Some people are anti Islam. But over time Allah swt have blinkered me to them. A smile can work wonders so be open and smile.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Media do not help. I cover my hair not my brain. I'm not forced by any man to do this. I wear it to please my creator.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Many times, good and bad. Some think it's terrible that a white British woman covers. Some are interested as to why I cover. I will chat to anyone and explain my reasons.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

To remember we are all human and have feelings. We should all respect each other. Hijab is beautiful. And should be seen as such.

Hijab makes me feel closer to Allah

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am a 20 year old female living in England. By wearing the hijab I feel closer to Allah, it is also an expression of my faith and a sign of modesty.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Wearing the hijab has helped me increase my imaan. It has also helped me to "control" myself in certain situations as I know by wearing the hijab I am representing islam and muslims.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When I first started to wear the hijab I did used to struggle with it, as I used to always have my hair out etc, and I used to miss that, however now I don't.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Whenever I struggle wearing the hijab, I always say to myself 'you're doing it for the sake of Allah, it will be worth it in the hereafter'. Also, I used to watch different islamic lectures on youtube which used to increase my imaan and make me realise why I'm wearing the hijab.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 18 years of age when I decided to wear the hijab, and I'm so glad I made that decision. Since my early teens, I always had the intention to wear the hijab in the future. In the summer holidays during Ramadan, one day randomly I decided to go and buy some hijabs with my sister. Ramadan finished I still didn't wear a hijab. Then I was fasting the Shawwal days and was going to go out and I thought let me just wear a hijab and see how I feel etc. And Alhamdulillah ever since then I've been wearing the hijab.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

When I first started to wear the hijab, I got transferred to a girls sixthform. This helped me alot to feel comfortable wearing the hijab as majority of the girls there used to also wear the hijab. Also, I just tried different hijab styles to see which one suits me the most and which style I feel most comfortable in.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Not always, but in my city I kind of do feel safe. This could be due to my city being very diverse and multi-cultured. However, the city my university is based at, I do feel kind of unsafe.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The media has made me feel less safe to wear the hijab outside as islamophobia is on the rise due to variety of reasons.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Not really, however there was this one time where these men were walking past me and my friend, and they said 'take off your hat', besides that nothing.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish the world could see that just because I wear a hijab does not mean I am any different to them. I still am a human being.

US Military revert: Hijab is TRUE Feminism

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am an American revert to Islam. I came to Islam while on duty in Saudi Arabia for the U.S. military. Hijab to me is TRUE feminism and individuality. Observing hijab as given me a sense of whatot really means to have self-confidence and sef-respect.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I have learned how to focus on the things that are truly important and letting my personality shine through. Living in a society where hijab is frowned upon and misunderstood, you really learn how to not care what others think.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When I first became Muslim, I struggled to understand what proper hijab was and finding balance between hijab and my work since I am in the military.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I overcame those struggles by studying Islam and surrounding myseld with Muslimahs her obserbed proper hijab. But none of this would've been possible without Allah SWT.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

Respondent skipped this questionQ6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?
Respondent skipped this questionQ7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?
I live in a small southern town. I have been verbally attacked at a local park and receive stares on a regualr basis. None of this will stop me from observing hijab. I am just very selective about where I go until we are able to move to a more diverese place in shaa'llah.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The media perpetuates lies and has the sole purpose of dividing and misinforming people. The media has NO influence on my life and decisions whatsoever.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Respondent skipped this questionQ10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?
I wish the world would realize how backwards they are by continuing to judge people based on their physical appearance. How is it a "modern" society when people are not allowed to be who they are without facing bigotry or forced into a category?

Hijab is my best friend

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am a twenty year old university student living in Austria. The Hijab is like my best friend and it guided me throughout most of my life.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

To outsiders the Hijab might be just a piece of cloth on my head but to me it is a life saver. For instance when I was in Highschool pretty much everybody was drinking, smoking and dating it it wasn't for the Hijab 24/7 reminding me that I am muslim and that there are things I wasn't allowed to do, for my own well being of course, maybe I would have given in to peer presure. So till this day I am really grateful for it!

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Of course I would be lying if I said no. Living in country where muslims are the minority it can be diffuclt to fit in. I couldn't bond with a lot of people because my interest didn't include partying, drinking and daiting when I was in School and that was pretty much everything everybody was doing. Also I had to get used to getting stared at and having random people commenting on my hijab or even Islam negatively.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

At first it was pretty hard and I got discouraged but with time I realised that giving in to these people would mean that their opinion of me and my religion is more important to me than Gods opinion of me. And lets be real these people ain't gonna save you from judgement day.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I started wearing it pretty early I think I was 10 going on 11 years old. I was really nervous to go to school even though it was the first day and nobody knew me without it but I just wasn't very used to it. In the end I realized nobody cared so that nervosity died down pretty quickly.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Through fashion. When I first started wearing it I didn't feel pretty and that went on till I graduated Highschool. After Highschool I started caring more about what I wore and started trying diffrent kinds of hijab styles and since then I am really confident. So for me being fashion forward helped a lot.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

I don't particularly feel safe but I am not scared to go outside. Yes sometimes I don't feel like going outside but that's just how it is right now for us muslims. I would just take precautions when going out. I never go out on my own after 7 pm and I'll have someone pick me up when it's getting late outside. Also being attentive of you surroundings is important. But I guess these things apply to women in general and not just muslim women. The rest leave to Allah swt.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Less safe sadly but it's inevitable

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Well now a lot more people stare at me and I have had some bad experiences of getting verbally assaulted but these things have been happening to me since I have started wearing the Hijab I've had old people throwing rude comments at me when I was just 11 years old, which is pretty sad. On a positive note though it made me really strong mentally and I am really good at dealing with rude people without getting upset afterwards.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

The Hijab is just a piece of cloth, yes it represents a religion but in the end it is just clothing. unfortunately the media has conditioned people into thinking that hijab equalls oppression, yes there are people being forced into wearing it which is wrong but there are also people that want to wear it and are forced to take it off (I have muslim friends who want to wear it but their parents don't let them). The public only sees those stories of women being forced to wear it so they automatically think that a woman wo wears the hijab must be oppressed. I wish people would be more open minded to understanding the hijab and why we muslim women love wearing it.When people see me they think the hijab limits me when in reality it has saved me and I am forever grateful.

Kenya: Hijab opens up Greetings from other Muslims

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm married and have two sons and live in Kenya. Hijab to me means being modest, and most importantly obeying Allah.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I feel protected and in charge of myself and my decision. I'm happy people can identify me as a Muslimah. It feels great to meet other muslims who you don't know personally but they say Salaam to you.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Oh yea, lots of time. I live and work on a farm, loved my hats and boots and jeans. I used to feel odd when we have meetings. It sometimes gets difficult when you stick out like a sore thumb! Took a while , but not anymore. I feel proud to be a muslim alhamdullilah

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I searched for help on the net, to see if other muslimahs out there are struggling and who could relate to what I was going through. What helped me most is reading more about the hijab and what it says in the Quran.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I'm in my early 40s, I started wearing the hijab and abaya only 5 months ago. I remember my first day, which wasn't very hard, because I wore it at work and I got a really good response from the staff. Most of them were impressed. The challenge was the first day that people outside work saw me, it was a shocker for most.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I think just knowing why you're wearing the hijab makes you confident. The fact that you're obeying Allah, and the vibe you put out makes you comfortable. Automatically people respect you for your decision, and it boosts your confidence.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

I feel safe.... atleast so far.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

When I hear and read about how the ummah is being targeted I feel really sad but that's a test in itself.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

There are good days and bad, Alhamdullilah.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

We live in a world where we judge each other. I wish we would stop judging and accept each to its own.

Single Mother: Safe & Secure in Hijab

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a 22 year old single mother. I dreamed of wearing the hijab since the age of 14. Hijab symbolizes my effort to be close to my religion. It makes me feel safe and secure as well as give me confidence about myself as a person.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Generally I feel more confident since wearing it. It has made me less focused on trying to fit in or worrying how I look. People see me for what I am a Muslim and I feel better for it. I was really shy growing up because I felt people were always judging me. But now I feel like if people are talking to me and conversing with me it is genuine because they can already see me for what I am.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes. Even as I write this today in going through it. I struggle everytime a new story comes out in the news against us. I struggle within my own family - I've been told it is better for my wellbeing if I took it off

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I go back to the reason Allah swt instructed us to wear the hijab. I look at the references in the Qur'an to remind myself. I say to myself even though it can be difficult Allah knows and I say to myself inshaAllah on the day of judgment I can be proud in front of Allah that I kept it on. Even though sometimes it sucked, even with people staring and judging I still did it for you.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 18 when I put the hijab on. I did always dream of putting it on as a young girl so I was proud that I was finally wearing it. I put it on at that age under a little pressure from my husband but I know I would've put the hijab on later in my life anyway

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

The first years wearing the hijab were tough. It was hard to know how the hijab should be, what material etc. I put it on in the summer so I found it incredibly hot and sweaty. But as the years went on I developed my own style and discovered which hijabs were best for me.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Generally yes. There have been times I've worried if someone staring at me would say something but AlhamdulilAllah its never been too bad. Travelling however is a pain. Security are more cautious and thorough with me in comparison to when I didn't wear it. But after a while you get used to it. Now I just smile and tell them to take all the time they need

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Honestly yes. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. My heart breaks a little everytime a new story pops up in the news. Here we go again I tell myself. One morning a news story broke out, I was travelling and people stared and whispered. The bus was extremely busy and the only seat left was one next to me ...no one sat on it. I felt vulnerable and exposed

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

I've never had anything major. The only main incident was when I was shopping in north London. A group of boys were walking in a line and each one shoved me as they walked past. Not my best moment

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

If anything I wish they accept the fact that you wear it. I understand the media has made us seem scary but we really are not. Even my own mother who knows me fears for me. She tells me I should take it off to avoid being looked at as a terrorist. Honestly we are just normal people practicing our faith like any other religious person would do. We go home and relax like anyone else.

I genuinely felt respected and to this day I still do

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Hijab means to me what social security means to a country. It's a protection from the lustful glimpses of others and it's also a reminder to myself to keep my gaze low aswell. It's more than just an identity which tells everyone that I am Muslim. It allows me to submit to the will of my creator. Like Muhammad Ali once said that wearing a hijab is like the case of wrapped and unwrapped sweet. Ones protected and precious whilst the other is devalued because it's open for all eyes to see and glare.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Massively. I was offered a modelling job even though I was wearing a hijab by a non Muslim company when they scouted me in a shop, I was behind a counter so all they could see was my face. I rejected it because I know that's why I wear a hijab to protect my beauty. Had I not been wearing one I would have probably considered it.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When I was in high school until the first year of college I struggled because I felt like I didn't look fashionable enough or as pretty as the other girls. Once you go further into the religion, you realise looks are fickle thing. They fade. Character is something special my friend.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

When I was 18 I became more religious, I didn't wear any makeup so I suppose that broke my ego and desire to look good. To be honest I never wore makeup ever so my advice to girls would be if you want to wear a hijab then don't wear makeup with it. By God it defeats purpose of hijab. Also you will find it much easier to overcome your struggle. Go into religion more further and see the true beauty of Islam and ikhlaak.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

11 almost 12 first day of high school. I genuinely felt respected and till this day I still do

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Age and research

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes 100%
Never had any negative comment personally

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

The same in fact I feel a stronger desire to wear a Niqab now inshallah one day soon

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Nope

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

The world loves looks and lust. I doubt it will ever change its getting much worse. 100 Years ago even non hijabi non muslims were much more modest. You have to accept that people will disagree because they feel like we r being oppressed when in actual reality we are breaking away from the shackles of our desire and egos. That is true liberation. Be strong and do what u believe is right and gods word even if the world turns against you.

Feminist, Hijabi and Empowered

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a 23 year old American grad student, hijabi, and feminist. To me, hijab means separating myself from the male gaze, allowing me to be myself despite what society wants of me. It also means spiritual growth and the ability to finally experience sisterhood with other women rather than feeling competitive. It means not owing anyone anything and truly owning my body. It means empowerment, personally, politically, and above all, spiritually.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I have less stress with hijab. Hijab has protected me from anxiety as well as male predatory behavior. It is a constant reminder that I must better myself, spiritually and in every aspect of my life, but that society isn't the measure of improvement.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When I first started wearing hijab a few months ago, I struggled with explaining the change to those around me. I got several questions, some of which weren't very respectful, and a few comments on how people missed seeing my hair, but in the end those who matter in my life understood. I have also experienced some Islamophobia in public, but remind myself that their criticisms are just ignorance.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I had to put some thought into my approach in explaining adopting hijab to people in my life. The best advice I can give is to tailor your response to people around what you know about them. And ultimately, those who don't want to respect hijabis didn't respect me as a person to begin with and shouldn't be considered much of a loss. Sometimes there's good reason to accept rejection. The comfort of hijab itself helped tremendously as well. Society isn't the final arbiter of my value, and hijab serves as a constant reminder of that.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 23, just a couple months ago, and I remember the anxiety that overwhelmed me on my first day to class in hijab. I wanted to disappear into the background to avoid the stares and questions that would inevitably ensue. Luckily, my professor primarily researches religion and spirituality and was very sensitive to the issue. He made me feel very comfortable. Just knowing one person understood gave me the strength to proudly display that I am a hijabi in the Southern US.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I found a few people willing to accept me with hijab. I also studied to improve my own understanding and inner strength and conviction in wearing hijab. I read other women's experiences and started following hijabis online to remind myself I'm not alone. But ultimately, hijab itself will change you and make you stronger.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

This is an odd question in that my response is mixed. I don't feel safe, but I do it without a second thought anyway. For me, with my white passing privilege and college education, hijab is bigger than bigotry. I am aware that hijabis who don't pass as white and have less financial flexibility in the US might feel somewhat differently.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

It is mixed. There had been more coverage of Muslims doing good in communities and Muslim women being proud hijabis, but there's still so much push to associate Islam with the word "terrorism," so it depends where you are. In larger cities with more of a Muslim community, the increase in positive media coverage does make me feel safer, but in areas where Trump is heavily supported it makes me feel much less safe and I have to watch my back constantly.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Yes. I've had people attempt to tease me in restaurants and have even had some people lecture me about their views of women in Saudi Arabia. However, I've also experienced people approaching me in public to pay me complements, and once was even invited in a small town to enjoy some birthday cake by people at an office when I was doing business. In subtle ways people will show support. In less subtle ways, they show bigotry, but if you're attentive enough you can pick up on the positive messages too.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish people would be more educated about what Hijab actually means and what it means to individual Muslim women to wear Hijab. I wish people would become more educated about Islam and Muslims in general. Ignorance breeds intolerance and hate, but awareness and education has been shown to break those barriers down.

Hijab shows I am proud of my faith

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I am a convert muslim, and a mother of four young children. Alhamdulilah my hijab shows my children and my community that I am proud of my faith.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Wearing hijab has opened so many doors of friendship and sisterhood! I know that when I wear hijab other muslim sisters will say salaam to me and that makes me feel connected to one big beautiful family!

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When I first started wearing hijab I felt like everyone was staring at me; maybe they were but it's not necessarily a bad thing, maybe it opened something in their heart, started making them think about islam.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Remembering that I am wearing this hijab for the sake of Allah, everytime I wear it I am praising Allah.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

As a convert I started wearing hijab a bit later than most muslims. It was about 5 years after I made my shahada, so I was about 23. I had been wearing it around muslim friends but not around my work or family and I was sick of living a double life! So I made a decision that this was the time to wear it full time!

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Once other sisters recognised me as muslim I made so many new friends and they are people I am still friends with today mashallah.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Alhamdulilah I haven't had any bad experiences, although I have a car which I think makes going iutand about easier.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

I think the media is very ignorance about muslim women, and generally tries to scare people into panicking. I try to avoid it and I feel much better for it.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

No alhamdulilah.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I would stop the negative media image of islam, focus on positive aspects. As individuals we have to remain strong throughout these testing times, and show that we are still happy to wear hijab. Be prepared to answer questions by people at school/work, and remember your answers could be dawah for them!

I feel happier wearing hijab than when I wasn't

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

By wearing a hijaab I am fulfilling one of the fard of Allah SWT. I feel happier wearing my hijaab than when I didn't wear one

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

I feel much happier and content. I knew I was doing wrong when I didn't cover and felt guilty at times but Alhamdulillah that feeling has gone since I started covering

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

No Alhamdulillah never because when I made the intention to start covering I knew exactly why I was doing it and it was the right time.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Respondent skipped this question

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 21 years old. Alhamdulillah I made the intention that I would start wearing my hijaab after completing university and I did. It was a long time ago when I went to university and it was rare to see anyone covering their hair. So I wanted to wait till after university.Yea I remember the first day I wore it and I felt so happy because I was doing something right and Insha'Allah Allah SWT would be pleased with me :)

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

It just happened with time and the more I got questioned about why I was wearing it, it made me more happier and confident

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Oh yes, Alhamdulillah

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

It hasn't really bothered me much. I love my hijaab and wouldn't change it for anyone

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Up until now, Alhamdulillah never

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

Accept each other for who we are...Also, if people can walk around wearing inappropriate, revealing clothes and it's acceptable then why isn't it acceptable to wear a beautiful piece of clothing on your head.I wish people would understand that Islam is a beautiful religion and wearing a hijaab is one of the requirements of a Muslim woman. There is a good reason why it is expected for us to cover. Please let us be who we want to be.Some other religions have certain requirements for dressing in a certain way or not removing hair from different parts of their body and they are not looked upon in a bad was so why is it different for a Muslim women wearing a hijaab

Young Hijabi Point of view: Helped me build my personality

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

i am 16 years old and i started wearing hijab at the age of 13.Hijab is compulsory on all girls who have reached the age of maturity and i am just performing my duties as a muslim girl.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

hijab has helped me build my personality.Non muslims recognise me as a muslim girl and wherever i go i am respected

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

you may at times feel so but the reward that awaits us in the hereafter gives me patience and endurance.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

by the advice of my teacher who is a halima and she is the one who has encouraged me to wear hijab .Every girl in my family wears hijab which gives me a sense of belonging to Islaam and gives me patience

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

i was 13 yrs old,the day when i got my birthday.It was a memorable day as a little girl from my family started wearing hijab

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

by time,i became more comfortable and when i did Umrah for the first time ,this had increased my confidence seeing all ladies in hijab

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

alhamdullilah ,it's a little hot here but I can manage with the heat because this heat is nothing compared to the heat of Jahannam

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

media has made me feel more safer and comfortable about wearing hijab.In fact through media we are shown dressing codes of girls wearing hijab which boost our confidence.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

i was more respected

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

recently at university ,there was a hijab day event where non muslim women tried on hijab for the first time and recognise the beauty of wearing hijab.Such an event should be carried very often to encourage muslims to wear hijab and for non muslims to accept islam

Hijab was MY Choice

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

Hijab = Covering of the Hair & whole body, w/ loose Clothing in showing modesty; as Prophet Jesus's mother Mary dod out of Humbleness to her Lord.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Humble me as well 2 the Straight Path in staying a Muslimah

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Always, esp right when I started to wear it at age 12 in elementary school & it was Totally my choice, Not parents or Any 1 else.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Prayers 2 Allah that kept getting answered as He's the Most & Totally Just ;-)

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

12 yrs old

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

No Way, more comfortable.

Hijab: Mum you're beautiful

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a single mum of 3. I wore the hijab fully when my daughter was born. Prior to that I'd worn it on and off at school for my parents happiness. I felt like it didn't suit me. And I didn't pray and I loved music and I adored all the 'wrong' things.I have two boys and a girl. It was the birth of my girl that put things in perspective. Islam isnt about denying yourself the things you love and feeling hypocritical by following or representing yourself as a Muslim. It's alot of things. Islam is a vast ocean and some of us may never fully 'know' it. We'll always ask a more learned person for help. But truthfully, make a ripple in the vast sea that is Islam. Choose
One thing. For me it was salaah and my hijab. I wanted to make salaah a priority to help guide my children and discipline them. I wanted my daughter to be comfortable in her hijab and treat it like a second skin.This is what hijab became for me. My second skin. It defines that i took a step to embrace the religion that guided me to become a better person. And once I wore the hijab I felt like I gave up a lot of insecurities. I became free. I broke stereotypes. I love that my kids say 'mum you're beautiful.' My non muslim friends have asked why I chose it and I said 'because it's a new beginning for me as a Muslim.' Alhamdullilah

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

It keeps me and my attitude modest. Modesty isn't just clothing it's a way of life. You don't flaunt your hair, so you don't flaunt your riches. You're moderate in your spending, talking and you keep your achievements close to your heart. It's made me better and humble.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When my non Muslim friends do
Something as a group and it doesn't accomodate the hijab I decline. It's not a struggle.Also I have kids and the pins are a hazard as they kiss me and cuddle my head.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

If something doesn't fit in with wearing a hijab eg: my friends meeting at a bar, a short skirt etc, than understand that it's not a way of the life you've adopted. You can go/wear it but you're just violating your own expectations of yourself.Jersey scarves require no pins. They also cover everything required. Head to chest.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 29. I wore it on returning from the maternity hospital.The first day in public I felt odd. Like all people would see is my hijab. But I realised that no
One saw my hijab. They just saw a lady shopping, a lady bike riding, a lady with her kids. It's now become a part of me.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I don't like embroidery. The camel hump so girls adopt is haram so I don't do this. I just found a material I liked and brought lots of colours.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes. I'm a strong person. I've survived domestic violence. I can survive a little hate. It's not happened though.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Media is trying to create an 'us'abd them,' divide. Don't fall for it. It's never influenced me.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

No.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

You can't change a persons outlook. They need to realise that a garment on our head isn't a sign of oppression or hate. I wouldn't try too hard to be honest. There's only our Creators view of us that matters.

Hijabi From Senegal: Hijab helps me forsake my bad habits

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

1. Assalam aleikoum,
my name is Kaba, I am the second child of four siblings. I am originally from Senegal, a country located in West Africa. Currently I live and study in the United States. For me, hijab means submitting to the command of Allah (SWT). As we know, the teachings of Islam emphasize on modesty and decency; hence, hijab is an embodiment of modesty. I came to this understanding of wearing the hijab not long ago. Initially I had a superficial understanding about the concept of hijab due to my lack of knowledge about my religion. I grew up in country where majority of people are Muslims; however, some teachings of the religions are diluted with cultural practices; and also some negative influences from the West. In my country majority if not all women to do not wear hijab until after marriage. Even in that case, they only wear a headscarf to cover the hair. As a result, I grew up believing that the hijab was not obligatory for single Muslimas. Alhamdoullilah traveling to the USA and learning more about my religion helped me understand the importance of the hijab.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

1. Alhamdoulillah for allowing me to wear hijab. Wearing the hijab has helped me become a better Muslimah. What I mean is that I started practicing the deen properly (I pray that Allah continue to guide us all to His path) by praying at the appropriate time and learning more about Islam. I tried by best to forsake some of my bad habits.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

When I first started wearing the hijab I felt a little bit different and I felt being judged by others; I think these were merely my own weaknesses.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

1. Alhamdoulillah I prayed to Allah and ask Him to make it easy for me. As it is said du’a is the weapon of the believer. Always pour your heart out to Allah and ask Him for guidance.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I stared wearing hijab last December and I was 25 years (Alhamdoullilah). I should mention that my fiancé (now husband Alhamdoullilah) was a big influence; he encouraged me greatly to wear the hijab. At first I would just tie a scarf on my head like a turban; this went on for about two to three month. During December break; when I returned home to my family, I started wearing the hijab correctly by covering my hair including my ears and now my bosoms.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

I became comfortable once I prayed and made du'a to Allah to make it easy for me.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Alhamdoullilah I feel safe wearing the hijab.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Alhamdoullilah I am feel safe wearing the hijab more than ever.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Alhamdoullilah not such reactions and I pray that Allah protect us all from the fitnah of the ignorant.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I wish the world would understand that hijab is fulfilling part of our religious duty and submitting to our Creator. I cannot speak for the entire world but in America people are free to practice any religion; as such we are practicing our religion and should feel free to so without any inconvenience.

Non Religious Feminist hopes more females wear hijab

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm a feminist and not religious and don't wear a hijab yet, but I did wear a hijab to support women that wear them for World Hijab Day and it's opened my eyes to the positives of wearing them.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

I overcome my struggles by wearing a hijab for a day and it's totally changed my view of them.

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

On World Hijab Day earlier this year in February but I haven't worn a hijab since them but I do want to. I'm 23.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

It's hard to explain, but it was a liberating experience.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Safer.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

Not really but I only worn it for a day so far. Although friends and family seems a bit different towards me.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

I can't believe I'm actually saying this but hopefully more women wearing hijabs in all countries, hopefully all women will wear them.

Hijab Challenge got me on hijab

Q1: Tell us about yourself & what does hijab mean to you?

I'm 22 and my name's Amy Louise, I'm English born and raised and white European. I'm not religious.

Q2: How has Hijab helped you in your life?

Not exactly sure how my hijab has helped me in life but It's part of me now.

Q3: Have there been any times that you struggled with hijab?

Yes especially when I started wearing the hijab, I struggled a lot with wearing it.

Q4: How did you overcome those struggles?

Time

Q5: How old were you when you first started wearing hijab and how did you start wearing it? Do you remember the first day?

I was 21 at the time so only last year and my work colleague is a Muslim and she wears a hijab. I asked her why she wears a hijab and all she said was that she challenged me to wear a hijab every day for 30 days and I'd then realise why she wears a hijab. I originally said no and was a bit blunt when I said it and this upset my colleague - I apologised but she said if I did the 30 day hijab challenge that would prove to her that I meant it when I said sorry. Actions speak louder than words. I eventually agreed to the 30 day challenge and she was very happy and told me not to let myself down by giving up on it before the 30 days were over. I was told I had to wear a hijab when at work all day, when out in public, when in the company of strangers, and even when with friends and family with the exception of my parents. The only times I didn't have to wear a hijab was when home alone, or in the company of just my parents. This is the way she wears her hijab so I promised to do the same. I also promised to make sure my hair and neck covered at all times and wear clothing that covered my body so no more short dresses or crop tops etc for 30 days. This was the beginning of my journey to wearing a hijab.

Q6: How did you become comfortable wearing hijab and how did you increase your confidence?

During my 30 day hijab challenge I struggled a lot with wearing it for about the first week or so, I felt strange, not myself, uncomfortable, out of place, very self conscious and hated having to cover up so much. About 2 weeks in I was a lot more comfortable wearing my hijab, more confident and relaxed and after 3 weeks it felt natural and I was starting to understand why my colleague wears a hijab. By the time the 30 day challenge was over my hijab became part of me, I was in love with my hijab and modesty, had so much respect and admiration for my work colleague and I felt exposed and uncomfortable when I tried to leave for work without my hijab, I stepped out my front door froze, stood for a minute, turned and went back in my flat and put my hijab on making sure I looked modest and felt more comfortable with it on. These days I even wear my hijab when home alone and when with my parents too, I only take it off for baths, showers and bed time. All women should have to do a 30 day hijab challenge they will benefit greatly from it.

Q7: Do you feel safe wearing your hijab outside, in the current climate?

Yes.

Q8: Has the recent media made you feel more or less safe about wearing hijab?

Neither really.

Q9: Have you had any reactions from the greater public regarding your hijab?

More so from family and friends than I have strangers to be honest.

Q10: How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?

All women wear a hijab for 30 days like I did. I'm not sure how many other blondes wear hijabs but all should try it.
How would you wish the world could change to be more accepting of hijab?
Understand that the hijab is part of our religion, not what we're hiding or part of a radical movement.

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