An insight into my hijab journey

Hey my loves! I want to discuss something that people online have been raising questions and issues about my hijab (scarf) and how I portray it on social media. This isn’t a hate post where I’ll complain, but its a chance for those who don’t wear the hijab or don’t understand to see where i’m coming from and as always i’ll be 100% honest. I also want to talk about my journey into wearing it full time out and about and some of the issues I face with modest clothing.

If you follow me on my Instagram you’ll notice that I have my hair out in some of the older posts and people have asked whether I’ve just started wearing it now and some have been really mean calling me all sorts of things from “hypocrite” to “whore” to “part time hijabi”. I’ve heard it all. Im not mad at these comments but I think it comes from frustration or confusion and the mentality that once you choose to wear a hijab that’s it. You cant ever show your hair. Sometimes when I look at someone’s feed and they inconsistently wear a hijab I feel a tiny bit uncomfortable too but never to the extent where I would call them such horrible names. That’s bullying. Therefore, to these comments both the hateful and curious one’s I say that im going to keep these pictures solely because  I think they showcase makeup at a time where i didn’t always wear a hijab and its a look that I just cant recreate, I got lucky, but unfortunately im not wearing a scarf and that’s that.

Looking back to when I was a teenager if I remember correctly I started to wear the hijab in year 7. For the wrong reasons unfortunately and not realising what a massive decision it is and what it means by wearing it. Embarrasingly i’ll admit that I only wore a hijab when I couldn’t figure out how to style my hair. So as soon as I found a new hairstyle I took it off and when I get bored I started to wear it. The cycle continued until year 9 when I was taught what is required of me as a young muslim woman. I also felt stupid and bad when I heard school kids calling me a part time hijabi and i’ll also admit that I wore the hijab again (this time for permanent) so I could feel better and not be made fun of. I wasn’t exactly pressured by my family, I don’t remember my mom telling me you need to wear the hijab. It was my peer pressured, “i need to do this because everyone else is and I want to be a good muslim” 14 year old decision that I thought was great at the time.

Moving onto teenagehood I struggled between wanting to wear loose off the shoulder tops and cute knee high boots and tousled hair and then wanting to wear an abaya and then wanting to wear cute Asian clothes. I was stuck between these different personalities and I didn’t know which one to choose and who I was really. On special occasions I always took my hijab off so it still wasn’t permanent. In a professional environment for example interviews, university presentations or assessment centre’s I feel like I stand out so much. I remember being at an assessment centre in the summer where I was the only hijabi there and I was constantly thinking, “i hope they take me seriously” again and again and again. It was all rubbish and in my head, yet I felt so different and sort of, “not fitting in”.

I realised that if I feel like this then it must mean im struggling and I need to have a reason to wear it and be happy choosing this. Before I started my blog, I made it my mission to be absolutely consistent and always wear a hijab in every selfie so im putting out a consistent image of myself. I also did some further research as to what a hijab would protect me from, why we’ve been asked to do this and imagined who i would be without a hijab. And i came to the conclusion that i would be someone else, i wouldnt be me. My behaviour would change, my dress sense, the way i carry myself, the way i speak even. I absolutely hated the idea of being someone else, my hijab is my identity, my personality and i wouldn’t change it for the world. Eventually I founded the right reason and was happy with it too!

The issues i have with modest clothing

Quite often i find myself struggling to find modest clothing that i love and i feel confident and glamorous in. Wearing a hijab isnt just restricted to covering your hair, its becoming modest in all aspects for example clothing. Sometimes i see a modest clothing brand on Instagram and i get so excited until i see the price and just get taken aback at how utterly ridiculous it is. I dont understand the thought process behind the pricing when modest, stylish clothing should be so easily accessible. So if there are any modest clothing brands out there or are reading this please do keep the customer in mind and make modest clothing just as easy to shop for like regular clothing!

Its still a struggle at times where im tempted to take a selfie with my hair out and I still have a long way to go. Its a learning process that so many hijabi’s can connect and bond over and its beautiful. Let me know if you have any further questions and be sure to follow my blog for instant email notifications whenever I post!

See you in my next post Queens!

Love from Sahibah x

 

 

Life with a single parent

Scratching the suface of an unfortunate journey, i wanted to share what life feels like growing up with a single parent. A reminder to those who are like me that we can get through it, we have and we will, and to shed some light to those who were fortunate having a normal childhood.

The only memory i have of my dad before he left when i was just a toddler, is us watching tv. Im not sure how i’ve clinged on to that to be honest, it might be a dream or a cluster of random memories sewn together, but i like to think of it as a memory. To summarise life after he left, it was as if my childhood was set on fire. It was a nightmare that im glad i was too young to fully understand, unlike my older siblings. I remember being put to bed and waking up in a random car. It was my dad trying to take me away with him after he left ( apparently he loved me the most). Waking up in random cars, being pulled between two parents every other night, the screaming, the fights, the chasing him around every weekend, knocking on door after door after door hoping he would come back. It stayed like that for years. Now as an adult i regret all the time we wasted chasing  a dead end when instead we should have let go and moved on.

I cant really blame my mom for chasing him. She was taught her duties as a wife and a mother and nothing else. She wasnt given a proper education and she depended entirely on her husband (as everyone else did at that time, it was the norm). So i cant imagine how devastated, lost and confused she must have felt waking up the morning after he left. Having to handle 3 kids and a house that came with a tonne of responsibilities and new things she had to learn. I cant imagine how scared she must have been. Thinking about it brings a tear to my eye. It was devastating.

So that was life for my mom. Learning how to be completely independent. Toughening herself up, thinking like a man to survive in a strange country with her 3 daughters she fought to protect every single day. Sometimes she tells me stories that are too painful to hear… She tells me how she used to move furniture against our bedroom door, she was paranoid thinking we would get robbed. She stayed awake the whole night, scared with one child in one arm and one in the other. Sleeping for just a couple of hours and waking up when it was time for school, and then a full day of chores and responsibilities ahead of her. Deemed unfit for work, she did her best to provide for us. Even if i didnt get that laptop i wanted for my birthday she always made sure i got something. The sacrifices shes made for us are countless, from carrying me on her shoulders in heavy rain to a doctor to waiting outside in the cold to collect me and my siblings from school and mosque every day. She had a choice that night when my dad left. She could have ditched us too and moved back to her country and lived her life. But she didnt. Such is the power of a mothers love. Through the cold and the wind and the snow she raised us and shes applauded for it.

“So what does it feel like?”. I used to get asked that quite a lot. Its living a life but with a deep emptiness.  Put simply its a hole in your heart that no one can fill, no hobby can distract you from it, no epic love of your life can take the place of. Its a scar that never fades. I actually do have a scar from a fight i was caught in between my parents. A splinter of glass hit my cheek and it formed a scar. A reminder of my hell. Its the little luxuries in life ive wanted but never had. Having two parents attend parents evening, a shopping trip with my dad, little family holidays, the comfort of knowing i have a protector. Those are the luxuries i would kill to have and luxuries no one should ever take granted. Phrases like “daddy’s little girl” were a mystery to me too. However, me and my sisters had to toughen up and fend for ourselves to survive.

I’ll never forget the sacrifices my mother has made. Even now when my dad has sort of come back and wants to be more involved, his efforts are nothing compared to what he put us through. At first when he made contact, i was furious, i didnt forgive him for years. How could anyone? Eventually i softened up (only because my mom told me to, otherwise im ruthless when it comes to forgiveness). I thought if my mom has the strength and courage to forgive him then i should too. However i dont think he’ll ever know the extent of the damage he caused. Psychological studies have proven children from broken familes, from single parents find it difficult to have healthy long lasting relationships. And its true. We’re paranoid in thinking we’ll get betrayed, having low levels of trust and just the eternal emptiness hovering around us.

Anyway thats enough dullness. We got through it and yes it was hell and i would kill in a heartbeat for the chance to have a normal childhood. But it was meant to be. I’ve seen things no child should see, pain no child should suffer through but as a result, its made us stronger, wiser, faster and appreciative of tiny blessings most people overlook. If one day i grow to be even half the woman my mom is, i would be pretty damn proud. Because even the brightest diamond could never repay and amount to the favours and sacrifices shes made. That any mother has made.

What we can do is be appreciative and let them know that. Let them know that we’re thankful, and we honour and love them before its too late. I hope i’ve shed some light on an unfortunate situation that some people have to face and accept as a part of life.

See you in my next post!

Love from Sahibah x