When I was a junior in high school, I decided I would wear the hijab ‘cause all of my good friends were starting to wear hijabs too.Then I realized, I never really had a reason aside from ‘oh my friends did it so I did too’. To me, that wasn’t a good enough reason. It wasn’t enough to make me feel confident in it. I didn’t know what hijab was, aside from the cloth, or what relevance it had to me.
Growing up, I wasn’t ever forced to do anything. But, I think I also practiced my religion because I was told to rather than out of my own understanding and acceptance of it. I never asked why, I just did what was expected of me from my parents, not God. I prayed when I felt like it (usually after hours of my moms nagging). I fasted during Ramadan ‘cause my parents told me to, etc. It had no personal meaning to me, it had no personal value.
So, as soon I as took the hijab off, I decided I’d find out more about hijab and Islam. That way, my decisions, were more concrete.
Come senior year - I was in one problem after another. I was in constant internal conflicts. Restless. Uneasy. Isolated. I was ashamed of the decisions I was making. The way I was living. I wanted control of my life ‘cause it was spiraling downward fast. But thanks to my mission to gather knowledge I was slowly overcoming my obstacles. I found peace. I found a safe haven. I didn’t really feel alone. Islam was reassurance.
I practice Islam not because my mom nagged me rather ‘cause I saw my own beauty in it.
My freshmen year of college, Dec 06, 2011 - I officially decided to wear the hijab. Up until then I was constantly going to lectures/events/etc. I was on the rise, one blessing after another came pouring my way. But I was also in a relationship. All throughout I wanted to wear the hijab but to know I was doing what I was doing…and then to be wearing the hijab didn’t sit well with me - so I held off.
Dec 05, I broke it off with the sucka (okay, I shouldn’t say sucka, he was a really good hearted fellow and very understanding and supportive- but yeah knowwww) and then Dec 06 I threw on my hijab!
So, why do I wear hijab?
I wear it as a reminder of who I am and who I want to be in the future, insha’Allah. It keeps me in check. It is a barrier between me and unwanted attention from people I could care less for and massive amounts of money blown on haircare.
I kid you not, my pride and joy used to be my hair. I guarantee you no one had nicer hair than me in high school. Hell, no one has nicer hair than me in college. (Insert slow motion Pantene hair flip) Now, if I do my hair, it’s not to maintain that rep, rather I do it now ‘cause I know I’m da cutest. I like how it reigns in respect without me having to demand it.
It became a mindset. To be honest. To always try to do the right thing. Help others. Know you represent Islam, so try to do whatever you can to make God happy - in turn making those around you happy.
The transition was, alhamdulillah, easy. All my friends supported it. Those who failed to understand, faded off on their own. I became a part of a close knit community of those who respected me, my decisions, and have done nothing but provide help, comfort, and love.
In summary, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. If it’s something you want to do. DO IT. But only for you and for the sake of Allah. You will find hate but the immense love you find will make up for it. People will discourage you but those that matter will encourage you. You have to define what it means to YOU. Or else your decision will falter.
Keep good company. Honest company. Who aren’t afraid to go out of their way for your well-being, in return do the same for them. When you question your wearing the hijab, you as a Muslim, these are the friends that remind you of who you are and why you do what you do.
As for your family, be understanding of them, and be patient in trying to get them to understand you. It’s all about communicating. Voice your concerns/beliefs. But also listen to theirs. Talk it out. It won’t happen overnight, rather gradually.
Have the right intention. You mentioned you want to wear it because “b/c of religious reasons and because I like being modest and controlling what is and isn’t on view to the public)”
You don’t owe me any explanation. At the end of the day you answer to Allah!
Keep your chin up! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And on that note, I hope I helped. I feel like I ranted. Haha, if anyone else can help this sister out, please do, iA!