“Did your father impose that thing on you?” “Do you sleep in that?” Some would ask me as soon as we started acquainting. Perhaps my pastel pink chiffon hijab was too cute to go unnoticed. In the eyes of others, I am either oppressed or voiceless. Nothing else fills my shoes better than those words for them.
Of all the people in the world who wear scarves, Muslims get the most of criticisms and bashings. It is an everyday struggle for a hijabi wherever she is to explain to people regarding the why’s and how’s her wearing such a thing. But as a Muslim, we are obligated to make everyone understand why we chose this path and how beautiful the road that we are taking.
World Hijab Day or WHD is created for these and many other reasons. We understand better when we experience first hand. WHD invites women from all walks of life to experience being a hijabi for a day – from all the struggles to the comfort it brings.
This is indeed timely with all the hate and bigotry going on around us. We have high hopes that love, understanding and coexistence will be achieved when we educate ourselves with each other’s beliefs by walking in their shoes.
Moreover, there are also people who misunderstand the idea behind WHD. They view it as a religious day rather than an interfaith awareness day. This day is special because we invite our friends, co-workers, etc to experience “us.” This is our own form of answer for the universal call of inclusivity.
On this day, we ask Non-Muslim and Non-Hijabi Muslim women worldwide to observe Hijab for a day. It will be a day for everyone willing to experience what it’s like to step inside the shoes of a Hijabi. Our hopes are no less than that. We wish you will gain a wealth of knowledge and experience a slightly different definition of FREEDOM.
Feel free to send in your WHD stories to us on www.hijabimag.com/contact. We will be glad to share them to the world.