“Muhajaba” not “Hijabi”

“Hijabi”; HUH?! You know these moments when you are that type of mood where you question everything? “Who am I?” “What am I doing?” “What is the goal of my life?” Well, in answer to the second question, I am currently writing my second post. The third question has an answer that is too philosophical to even try to write, it’s the first question that I’m writing about… “HIJABI?” When I looked in the mirror (again) and asked myself, “Who am I?” I thought of many answers, one of them was “hijabi”. I did NOT like that answer. So, what is a hijabi exactly? Why use that word? I mean, yes I do wear a hijab and that is a source of pride and contentment in my life, but why “hijabi”?

I do not deny using it before, I just did not really think it through. It is not an insult, and many people use it in good heart, but it holds such discrimination. That word has recently become an epidemic, “hijabi”, “hijabis”, “hijabi clothes”, blah blah blah. I hate the word. Hijab is part of who I AM. Hijab is part of my identity. Hijab is a way in which I keep my Allah inside my heart every second of the day. Hijab is, hopefully, a way to my Creator’s Jannah. Hijab is not my name, though. I’m not “hijabi”, I don’t introduce myself saying; “Hi, I’m hijabi, and I * age * years old.” It is quite obvious I wear a hijab, yes I am a “muhajaba”; but “hijabi” makes me feel like a scarf.

Okay, so if you are a funny person, do you say “Hi, I am funny-pants.”? If you are egocentric do you talk about yourself and say, “Yeah, and because I’m an “ego-centrical” I blah blah blah…”. NO. Why? Because this is part of who you are, its not part of what you look like. You can say “Yeah, and because I’m a brunette I thought red would be better” but you don’t say “Yeah, because I’m friendly I thought red would be better”. Hijab is me, its part of my personality. Hijab makes me who I am, hijab brings me closer to my Allah. Hijab has been the cause of many friends I have made, friends that Allah sent to me, friends that will pull my with them to Jannah. I am a muhajaba, yes, that just expresses the fact that I wear a scarf over my hair, but the hijab itself is a hijab of the soul, the heart, the mind. I am not a hijabi, because I am not the hijab itself, it is part of me, but not all me. “Hijabi” puts me in a box, one that could give an image of me that is not correct.

Yes I wear the hijab, but that does not make me like every other girl who wears a hijab. I am different, I have a high-pitched laugh that embarrasses the heck out of me, I have a really strange voice when I’m embarrassed (which is usually right after I laugh), I panic easily, I hope too much, I’m really sarcastic, and I ADORE my hijab. I believe my hijab is not just a scarf, and I believe that my Allah has saved me from so much by giving me the gift of the hijab. But I am NOT a “hijabi”, because I am not a creature which is duplicated into many, different looking girls who are called “hijabis”, I am not the same as every one of them.

There is also another thing, my beloved Allah has taught me not to group people, not to make assumptions about people. Who am I to know about what is in their soul. Yes, I do believe that the hijab is a direct order from Allah, and who am I to deny Him, and I do believe the hijab is in the best interest of every girl if she wear hijab on her hair and keeps it alive inside her heart. But I also believe that I have not been created to judge girls who do not wear a hijab, I do not have the right or authority to do so. Who am I to tell that she does not have a better heart than me? And even if she didn’t, who am I to judge her? Who am I to put girls into groupings, “hijabis” and “non-hijabis”. How can I discriminate against either one like that? And how am I supposed to allow any other person to do that?

Hijabi is a word that brings us apart, hijabi is a word which makes some girls without the hijab despise girls with it. Hijabi is a word which could have been a reason to push girls away from hijab. Yes, I am a muhajaba, just like my art teacher was a brunette, but I am not a hijabi. I am not similar to every muhajaba out there, and I am not different from every brunette out there. I may look different, I may have pride in my hijab which she doesn’t, but I do not know what is in her heart. And nobody can really understand what is in my heart.

I love my hijab. I find my pride and joy in my being a muhajaba, but that is because hijab is also in my heart. It is all because of my Allah, I do not take any credit for it, and I never can. My Allah brought me here, and he will take me to his Jannah. My Allah has taught me to hate the discrimination of the word “hijabi”, but not the people who use it. My Allah has brought me here. Who am I? I am a muhajaba, not a hijabi. Who am I? I am a really short, like really short, girl with a hijab, an embarrassingly crazy laugh, a power to blush like my life depended on it, a sarcastic sense of humor and a love for my hijab and Allah that surpasses everything else.

5 thoughts on ““Muhajaba” not “Hijabi”

  1. Heya,
    Interesting post! You mention that hijabi is a word that may make some girls without it, dislike those with it. I just wanted to express that it also works the other way around too. I know you have mentioned that “Hijabi is a word which could have been a reason to push girls away from hijab”, but it’s not quite the same as acknowledging that for some girl’s who do wear hijab and identify themselves as a “hijabi” they can hold very segregationist views against those muslim girls who, as you correctly infer, Allah has not yet gifted them with the beauty of wearing a scarf (externally- since they may still guard their modesty figuratively). xo

    • Hiii,
      You are very right, I tried to mention that while writing the post but my thoughts got carried away in a different direction. I think, that all in all, nobody is allowed to judge others, this is not what Allah has taught us nor what He wants from us. Allah has gifted me and many other muhajabas, and I believe that girls who have not been blessed with hijab may have been blessed with many other things. Modesty starts at the heart, and spreads outwards, hijab starts in the heart. And no one knows what is in the heart other than Allah.

      • That was so beautifully put it gave me goosebumps. I’m humbled and in awe of your reflections, not least because they are in concert with mine, but because I was beginning to lose hope that some Muslims have become blind sighted of this fact. This is that primarily, we are supposed to be selfish with the religion and internalize its teachings upon ourselves. The aim is to strive to become more pleasing to Allah from our own character and not necessarily by preaching it to others. We only have control of ourselves. The dawa comes naturally from sincere internalization of the faith, as the good manners which it promotes become examples for others to follow. Whether we inspire others to change for the better is, as you say, a gift from God.

        Thank you for your thought provoking and comforting words!
        Leila xo

        PS. Not to worry. I know all too well the struggle of getting carried away and lost in ones written thoughts! 😉

      • Wow, I really have no idea what to say, Leila. You truly made my day. I am so happy, I cannot believe what I am reading.
        I hope there are many Muslims out there whom are like you, who understand their religion and its teachings as you do.
        Thank YOU for your encouraging and understanding words. You give me faith in Muslims.

        With love,

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