I understand- wearing the hijab IS a struggle, especially when you feel beautiful without it. Personally, I believe that struggle is the where we are most rewarded for wearing it. I have been wearing the hijab for 20 years (since I was 10) and I although I’m “used” to it, I don’t think it comes easy or that it’s meant to be easy.
One thing I noticed is that you said you believe you’ll be happier without the hijab because you will get more attention. I understand this too. However, I would really like to encourage you to find other ways to get attention from others. Let people be impressed with your mind, with your personality, with your humor, with your interests, with your kindness, with your honesty… whether you choose to wear the hijab or not, I strongly encourage you to impress people with something other than looks. Remember- looks come and go and as cliche as it sounds, beauty is only skin deep.
There will be people in your life who appreciate your beauty, but they will know you for so much more than your beauty. Your female friends, for example, or your family and a spouse (in the future). It’s completely normal to want to feel beautiful for those people who know what a great person you are: your beauty will only be the cherry on top, rather than what captures their attention.
Islam in its definition means submission to Allah swt. This submission is not always easy. Many people struggle with different aspects of the deen. When it “appears” easy for a woman in Hijab to wear it, know that she may be struggling in other aspects of her deen. And as my advice would be to ANYone struggling with ANY aspect of their deen, whether it is hijab or prayer or fasting, I would say go back to the roots of why you’re doing this. Learn more about the names and attributes of Allah swt, and try to focus on your relationship with Him, and you will remember why this struggle- albeit difficult- is still important to you.
Know there are girls and women just like you all over the world! There is even a Facebook group called Surviving Hijab that helps support those who are struggling with it. I recommend you join such support groups.
I admire that you’d like to continue to wear the Hijab. It is not an easy decision to make. I pray that you find comfort in it ??
Thank you for reaching out to us! I am sorry that you are struggling with your hijab, but know that you are not alone. So many hijabis in our community go through this–even those who chose to wear it themselves, and are confident in it, go through periods where they doubt or struggle with it.
I myself, don’t wear the hijab yet, but I can still relate to how you’re feeling. I would like to wear it one day, but the main thing that is making it so challenging for me is that I don’t feel confident or secure enough with my own self-perception to wear it. I feel like my hair is one of my strongest suits, and it definitely makes me feel more confident.
It’s almost like a protective shield or comfort blanket that I hide behind. I don’t even feel comfortable wearing a headband to pull my bangs/hair back, or pulling it up in a bun/ponytail, nevermind completely covering it with a hijab. Heck, it even took me so long, and a ton of convincing for me to finally change my hair style and the way I part my hair. And now I absolutely love it (although my anxiety at the salon was at an all-time high, and it definitely took some getting used to).
While I am still struggling with my own securities, I have come a long way with loving myself. One thing that I learned to do less of is searching for other people’s validation or approval. The only validation you need is from yourself, so that’s what I would urge you to look for and work on instead. Because when you do find it, and when you do grow to love yourself, and embrace even the parts of you that you dislike, it will be so freeing, and feel so much better than any compliment you will receive from others.
I admire you and others like you for wearing the hijab, especially from such a young age, and especially during the times we’re in. Social media and the emphasis it places on beauty and superficiality in general has made girls strive for unrealistic standards of beauty, and feel their insecurities even more strongly. It has made girls even feel insecure about things they never thought about before.
I understand how hard it is, and I can only imagine how much harder it is for those who wear the hijab. Just know that the hijab does not take away from your beauty, and if anything, it enhances it. Trust me, even though I don’t wear it myself, I know there is so much more value in wearing the hijab than in receiving attention, validation, or compliments from others, because those things are surface level and only run so deep, whereas the value and positive impact the hijab has on you in this life and the next is so much greater than that, and is more beneficial in the long run.
I tell myself that all of the time to convince myself to wear it, but I know that my struggle in taking that step is also rooted in my struggle and connection with the deen. I think that may be the same for you because the two are not mutually exclusive.
They don’t necessarily always happen at the same time, but I do believe that a stronger connection to God and Islam will enhance one’s connection and relationship with the hijab. Similarly, I think wearing the hijab can push one to learn more about the deen, and grow a stronger connection with more knowledge and understanding.
That is something I am working on each and every day. I am trying to pray more consistently, to read more Quran, and really understand the deen, and develop a stronger connection with the hope that it will guide me to wear the hijab one day.
Go back to why you wanted to wear the hijab in the first place, and start there. And then also think about why you want or need that attention. And like I said, work on your relationship with God and falling in love with the deen, and iA that will help you fall in love with the hijab again, and yourself, too. I hope this advice was helpful, and I hope that you will stay strong, and grow to love yourself with the hijab as much as without, if not more.
A podcast I think would be helpful to you, and that you would enjoy listening to is Journal Hijabi. It is a podcast created by Sereen Qader, where she shares her story and experiences about the hijab, as well as those of others. She also discusses a variety of topics related to the hijab within our communities in order to bridge people’s understanding of and connection with the hijab. Tune in on iTunes and Spotify, and follow their page on Instagram!