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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hijab: The Bond We Share

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

The first time I felt ashamed I didn't yet start wearing hijab was at a cafe with a Muslim friend who wore it. She was getting stares from others and although she could have been more graceful in her confrontation with them, I had no clue what she was going through since no one could tell I was Muslim. I felt how unfair it was to her that she was alone at our table in feeling the negative stares.

It was one of the things that helped push me to slowly start wearing hijab. Shortly thereafter I started to really feel a bond with other sisters who wore it as well.

It was the bond I felt when I was new to wearing hijab--I was so self-conscious of the people who would stare--but all of that would disappear the moment I would see another sister and we would exchange greetings and smiles. Mashallah.

It was the bond I felt while in the London Heathrow Airport, and a sister came to speak to me while I was in the restroom freshening up. We ended up spending about 3 hours together chatting, laughing and having fun while we were both waiting for our flights. Mashallah.

It was the bond I felt in China, waiting for my connecting flight to Japan, where other Muslim sisters and I ran into each other and we greeted each other, and then exchanged some pleasant conversations about where we were from and where we were going. Mashallah.

It was the bond that I felt in Japan, at a subway station, off on the other side of where I was, I saw a group of young sisters, who noticed me at about the same time. Then came the biggest smiles on their faces--you could see the excitement in their expressions--to see another sister, in a country where there aren't all that many Muslims. Although we could only wave at each other, I said "as-salaam aleikum" to them in my heart :) Mashallah.

And it is a bond, while in Munich, where there were many Emirati sisters in hijab and abaya, with whom we exchanged smiles from a distance, and with some, "Salaam aleikum"as we walked past each other. Mashallah

And it was the bond I definitely missed, while traveling in Italy earlier this year, where most days I never saw a women in hijab (in fact I only saw one every few days), in a country where I felt a lot of negative stares (I do just want to let everyone know it wasn't so bad I could not enjoy my vacation there, but it was definitely noticeable.)

It is so nice to be able to easily recognize another Muslim sister wherever you go. The bond may be less enhanced in highly Muslim-populated cities and countries, it definitely is still there. It is the bond of knowing we are inshallah doing it for Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we are going through similar struggles and experiences, both positive and negative, in whatever places we encounter each other in.

This post is not to criticize sisters who do not, or do not yet wear hijab. Inshallah Allah gives all of you who are considering to start wearing hijab the strength and patience to do so, and that you will soon get to experience this bond we share. You are strong enough to do it. I know you are :)


  1. thanks for your support..
    1 day i will wear hijab :)

  2. This post made me cry.. Subhana'Allah! you know, outta of all religions, us Muslims are the only ones that can tell what religion we are. Just by the head scarf. What a beautiful beautiful post. I felt the same way as you, in Germany. Subhana'Allah.

  3. mashaAllah, love this post! I totally understand the bond and the excitement you feel seeing other sisters in hijab. I lived in a small town with 5 or less people in hijab so it was exciting to see any if I went out or went on a vacation somewhere else =) alhamdulilah I live in a very muslim populated area now yay <3

  4. ann, inshallah ((hugs back))

    Texan in UAE, yes, it is wonderful to be able to recognize each other wherever we may be. And it is a strong bond we have, isn't it? :D

  5. Asalamu aliakum!

    What a beautiful post <3 I loved it <3 MashaAllah <3

  6. oh i looooove this post ! its soo true mashaAllah! I always feel this when im traveling. Or even here.

    Big hugs to u! great post! love u loads

  7. Assalam alaikum!

    A lovely picture!

    I used to feel the same when I lived in non Muslim countries. I was always so happy to see women in head scarves! Like seeing some of my relatives. And we are in a way one family, one tribe, one community- a Musim ummah even though we are of different backgrounds, skin color and speak different languages. One of the things that attracted me to Islam was this bond between Muslims. Before Islam I lived in the world where women were rivals... And I saw that Muslim women were... sisters. I wanted to be like that too - a sister for another woman.(and with Islam my attitude towards other women did change a lot)

    I'll never forget seeing two American Muslim women of Arabic descent. It was in one of Chicago malls. they were probably a mother (or a mother in law) and a daughter. Both wearing elegant beige/ lilac abayat with matching headscarves. They looked like ladies, elegant, modest and respectful, serene. I gazed at them secretly with curiosity, wishing I could be a part of their decent world.

  8. Asalamu Alaikum, Aww Mashallah beautiful post. I know how that feels! It's an awesome feeling.

  9. just checking if it works.. =))

  10. sis Zaiynab--oops sorry I forgot to reply to you...

    living in a small town does really enhance that bond, doesn't it? And its so nice to know there are others who understand the strength it takes to wear it and any negativity you may receive from it.

    Amina, welcome to my blog, thank you :)

    OmAbdullah, It is so nice Mashallah!

    "And we are in a way one family, one tribe, one community- a Musim ummah even though we are of different backgrounds, skin color and speak different languages."

    Yes!! Mashallah :X

    Amira, welcome to my blog thank you!! :)

  11. MashaAllah, I love this post! And obviously, all of us hijabis would know exactly what you're talking about.

    Wow, it seems like you do alot of travelling sis, inshaAllah one day ill get the same experience too. :)

  12. heart/and/soul,

    welcome :)

    inshallah you will :)

  13. awwww i love this post. this reminds me the time my family and i were at new zealand. i was 17 that time and that time i wasnt fully wearing hijab bcoz my mum was concern of our safety since im the only daughter wearing hijab in malaysia( but still not full time wearing. P/s: i can say it was jahilliyah time =)) ) while we were at the market, my mum was standing alone waiting for us because my sister and i were looking for some souvenirs to buy. and then she saw a group of african muslim women were looking at her. she just smiled at them and they smiled back. n she told us that maybe they were happy to see a muslim lady around as u know its quite rare to see muslim and for sure they were wondering where on earth my mum came from since she was wearing a mother goose hijab ( its da square hijab n my mum would tie it up in a shape of a ribbon under her jaw) and might think that she is chinese because she is fair n has small eyes but not really the almond shape of eyes

  14. Assalaamu Alaikum!!

    Thanks Twizzle for commenting on my blog :). Masha'Allah what a nice post, and I totally second the awkwardness of traveling in Italy while wearing hijab.....very uncomfortable.