This is my first year celebrating World Hijab Day as a hijab wearing woman, and I feel so special!
To give a short back story about myself: I am half Moroccan, my ‘American’ side is Greek, Italian and Irish. My parents decided to live in Morocco to raise a family. Although I’ve never seen my dad miss a prayer in his life, and he made sure we prayed and fasted, we grew up without wearing hijab, and it wasn’t on my mind.
After I moved to the US to finish my studies, I made some wonderful friends that boosted my Imaan. I started to appreciate Islam in a whole new way, and slowly started to change my way of dressing: my hemlines got longer, and my clothes looser. I started to contemplate on hijab, but didn’t have the courage to go through with it. It wasn’t until the San Bernardino shooting, that I felt so upset of what people were saying about Muslims, that I decided to wear it. The thing is, I made the decision based on anger, not for the sake of Allah. Then, I stopped wearing it because of an Islamophobic comment at my work. And my dad (of all people) suggested I take it off.
Needless to say I was heartbroken. I thought my dad would be proud of me. But Allah is the best of planners, He knew and I didn’t know.
About two years went by after that incident, and life got in the way. However, there was always an empty hole in my heart, that no matter what I did, it wasn’t helping. Though the concept of hijab never left my mind, I started to actively think about it again all day, every day. I started listening to lectures and blogs on hijab, all of them had the same message: do this for the sake of Allah swt.
Then it hit me, if I’m going to do this, my intentions need to be right. My heart needs to be right and my head needs to be right. I need to do this solely, completely for the sake of Allah swt, no one else. Not for my dad, mom, or husband.
After that realization hit me, I started crying tears of happiness and excitement. I put in my mind that Allah swt will be protecting and guiding me. The conviction and peace that’s in my heart makes me feel empowered, and happy, Alhamdolilah!
True Hijab Story By: Nora Merlo Murcia, student