As I get stronger and rebuild my life from where I landed after the breakdown I had, I am spending more time learning more about Islam and having a stronger interest in Islam again. Maybe not to as quite an extreme sense as I was when I was losing my mind, but in a moderate, more solid basis.
Ever since I came to Islam, I’ve struggled with the hijab issue. It’s not a question of whether I agree with it or not, as I whole-heartedly love hijab and think it is an important signifier of a muslim woman, a proud expression of her own identity, but I still have not made that identity fully my own.
As much as I love hijab, I shy away from it because I’m just not confident enough to wear it and not care what others think. That sounds so hollow to write it out that way, but that is the deep down truth of it. If I didn’t care what others thought, if maybe I lived in an area that wasn’t 100% non-muslim, would it be easier for me to wear it? If I had a stronger hold on Islam, would I be more inclined to wear it and not care about others, only on Allah? I don’t know.
One thing I do know is that I’m not alone in this struggle. There are other converts like me who have the same internal jihad as I do with whether or not to wear hijab. Some may say to me, “it’s just a piece of cloth” but before you put on that piece of cloth, no one pays any attention. Once you put it on, you are marked as a muslim. It creates interest, intrigue, curiosity. In some cases, it creates anger in others that perhaps do not understand our religion and religious beliefs.
I know when I wore it before, I felt people’s stares. And they did stare; I wasn’t just imagining it. Like I said above, it can create curiosity. Which is a good thing, but can I handle the extra attention? I’d like to say that I can, but I just don’t know if I’m strong enough yet…