10 Muslim Women Share & Explore Their Evolving Intentions Around Hijab
Jan 18, 2023
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Editor's note: It's our annual #LikeYouMeanItHH beginning-of-the-year reflection time! What does it mean to "wear it like you mean it?" We invite you (and ourselves) to renew our intentions and reflect on what our hijab (and faith and other areas of our lives) mean to us.
“Have your intentions changed since you started wearing the hijab? If so, how?”
We posted this question to you on Instagram, and boy did you respond – in ways that inspired us, made us smile, got us thinking and, honestly, also made us feel emotional and want to give you a hug and offer words of comfort and encouragement. Because as any woman who wears hijab knows, our intentions and what our “why” is for wearing hijab doesn’t necessarily stay the same as we continue to wear it.
We go through various ups and downs. Some of us remain steady in our intentions and convictions. Some of us feel a loss of connection at some point. Some of us find renewed intent and purpose and closeness with Allah (S) through our hijab journey. It plays out in so many ways for us all. So, have your intentions changed since you started wearing hijab? If so, how?
Here are how 10 of you answered the question, and here’s what we want to share with you.
1. Yes! Being a better representative of my religion. Working on my “inner” hijab as well.
Image source: Pixabay
Haute Hijab: We love the way you have worded this – “Working on inner hijab.” Hijab isn’t just about our outer appearance but our character and mannerisms. We have to ask ourselves if we’re proud of our work (with our deen) thus far. Would Allah (S) be happy with us if we were to meet him now? What do we think He’d be unhappy with? What are WE unhappy with? Whatever your answer is … that’s what we all need to work on.
2. Yes, I began wearing it as an armor for protection; now I wear it for my love for Allah (S) and trust in his mercy.
HH: That is so beautiful. So many women we’ve spoken with talk about how hijab is a means of strength and protection, and that’s fine. But like you wrote, hijab itself is a piece of fabric or part of a way we dress, and that can’t really physically protect us in ways that relying on Allah (S) and trusting in His mercy can. When we wear hijab for the sake of Allah (S), for our love for Allah (S), it’s just a beautiful thing.
3. It has gotten better. I’ve stopped caring that everyone is looking at me.
HH: We’re so happy to hear that, Alhamdullilah! Hijab is deeply personal. It’s between you and Allah (S). It shouldn't involve other people’s opinions, just like your style choices in other aspects (your tops, pants, dresses, etc.) don’t and shouldn’t concern other people.
4. I lost motivation to wear it, but I still do … it’s a struggle every morning.
Image source: Pexels
HH: Our relationship with hijab is not linear – neither is our relationship with our deen (religion). It fluctuates, and that’s okay. You will have days where you feel your deen is strong and others where you’re struggling. But just remember, if you *want* to better your deen and are sad about your current relationship with Allah (S), that in itself is a great sign and a great place to start bettering your relationship with Him (S).
5. Losing the bond I once had, and I now think about removing my hijab.
HH: We hear you sis. We all probably know someone who has struggled with their hijab or stopped wearing it all together. As Bibi Watts wrote in this piece for our blog, “Hijab is often referred to as the headcover, but entails much more. It’s part of a larger concept of how one dresses, speaks and behaves altogether. It is to be known as Muslim, and indeed that itself can be a difficult kind of living in our society. The pressure of beauty standards in the West has everyone second guessing themselves constantly, more so around how we dress and adorn ourselves in public spaces.” Blog writer Hakeemah adds, we have to do better with how we support each other and think about our hijab. How can we nurture our bond with Allah (S)? It takes constant work and intention. The minute we begin putting that relationship on the back burner, the harder it can become for us. We pray you can take the time to sit with your feelings and turn to Allah (S) with your pains.
6. No, Alhamdulillah. I still do it for God. But I can be better about keeping it more tidy and modest.
HH: Aw, that’s wonderful. There’s always more we could do to better ourselves. The most important thing to remember is that everyone’s goals will differ based on where they’re at in their deen right now, and that we shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves (or others). Our deen is beautiful. Here are some different goal examples:
  • Praying on time or praying all five in general.
  • Reading a page of the Quran every day.
  • Learning about the meanings of Allah’s (S) 99 names.
  • Doing charity work once a week/once a month.
7. Originally I wore it because of pressure from friends. Now I wear it for myself.
HH: That is the only way to do it – wear it for the sake of Allah (S) and wear it for yourself. If we’re wearing hijab because all our friends are or our family or friends are pressuring us to (and please know, there is a difference between family and friends talking about hijab and modeling hijab versus pressuring someone to wear it), then inevitably struggles will come.
8. I used to wear it out of obligation. Now it's love, and it took exploring what hijab is [what it means, what it represents].
HH: It’s so good to hear you say that. Sometimes we wear hijab without really understanding why we are doing it or out of an obligation without knowing the why behind it. But the more we take to explore what hijab means, and what it can be for us, how it can be a means (but not the only way) to strengthen our relationship with Allah (S), the stronger our love for it can grow. As Hakeemah says in this piece, “Committing to hijab – whether we are new(er) to Islam or are a born-Muslim – [can] become a part of the growth we experience as we try to increase our iman and get closer to Allah (S).”
9. Yes, I resent it a lot now.
Image source: Pexels
HH: This makes us sad. There is so much to explore around this. Why do you resent it now? Do you feel like you have to be a “public Muslim?” Do you feel like people are reflecting their own insecurities or misconceptions onto your hijab? It definitely can be a struggle, as several Muslim women talk about here. And sometimes it can feel like if other areas of your faith life are imperfect, why should you be wearing a hijab? But that’s not the case. We love you and we’re praying for you, sis. We want hijab to be a source of empowerment, comfort and closeness with Allah (S), and we pray that whatever is making you resent it can be eased out of your life.
10. Yes, now I make more of an intention to incorporate my religion into my every day.
HH: Mash’Allah, Alhamdullilah and good for you, sis! It fills our heart to hear this and inspires us to also renew our own intentions around our hijab and to our faith practices and our deen. May Allah (S) bless you, and may He bless us all and continue to help us manage and overcome our struggles, forgive us for our shortcomings and keep us close to Him. Ameen.
Has your intentions around your hijab changed or evolved from when you first started wearing it? If so, how? Share with us in the comments below!
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