Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for the fun, parties, beaches, and the questions. Every year, as summer nears, I get into gear to answer a lot of, “Aren’t you hot??” or, “How can you be dressed like that when it’s 90 degrees outside? I would never do it if I didn’t have to!” or, “Man, you should take all those clothes off in this heat, you’re in America now, you don’t have to dress like that anymore!”
Ever since I made the decision, yes, I chose this by my own will, to wear the Hijab, the Muslim women’s veil and long dress, I’ve gotten a lot of looks, remarks, and well-meant advice.
But, see, the thing is, I was born in Little Rock, Ark. I moved to Indiana when I was about two-years-old. The way I dress has nothing to do with where I’m from and everything to do with what God has commanded the Muslim women with.
When I was getting ready to enter fifth grade, I begged and pleaded with my parents to wear the Hijab. They said I was too young. I said I was ready to do it. In the end, they relented, and it’s been a decade now that I’ve been wearing the Hijab, and I haven’t looked back.
In fact, rather than limiting me, the Hijab has given me freedom. It has allowed me to build myself as a woman and to focus on my inner-self rather than my outer appearance. Don’t get me wrong, outer appearance matters too, but it doesn’t matter one bit if there is nothing substantial inside. I haven’t been prevented from going to school and getting an education or working because I am wearing the Hijab or because I am a Muslim woman..