What an interesting idea to write about muslim women's freedom to wear hijab! It's World Hijab Day, February 1st, so I'm going to talk about how muslim women celebrate their freedom in wearing hijab.
I should thank Allah for what He has Given us here in Indonesia: a freedom to wear hijab in almost all work spaces. We can find hijabis almost everywhere. They may be students, teachers, civil servants, police officers, doctors, lecturers, etc.
Back to years when wearing hijab was still very 'dangerous' here. Some hijabis couldn't go to school unless they took off their hijabs. Some muslim girls couldn't reach their dream jobs because they wore hijabs. Some ought to obey the rules of their work place and did an on-and-off in wearing hijabs.
I myself faced hard years as a hijabi. Even my Daddy (Allahu yarham - May Allah Loves him) didn't agree at first and said that I would take it on just for several days. My Dad said, "Quran says that hijab is better but to wear usual cloths are just one level below it: good. That way, wearing non-hijab isn't bad."
My Daddy was wrong. The verse he meant was Al-A'raf (chapter 7) verse 26 below:
"O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember."
I cried inside my heart, hoping that my Daddy would understand. Alhamdulillah, later he became one of the best protectors I had in wearing hijab.
It's understandable now why he once refused my hijab. He was a national air force officer at the moment. And it's no secret that there was a bad islamophobia inside the institution around 20 years ago (long before 9/11 attack). I felt the pressure of being a hijabi as we lived in the air force housing complex. I can say there were only a few muslimah dared to wear hijab.
At that time you couldn't get your driving license (even if you had passed the test) if you wore hijab for your photograph of the license card. You must put your hijab off during your turn of the photo session which was run in a public area.
You had to sign a specific letter when you put your photograph with hijab for your graduation certificate.
How sad. But, alhamdulillah, slowly but sure, Allah's Will, hijabis started to be seen here and there and gained their freedom little by little.
What about now? We really should thank Allah, there is no problem to wear hijab. The biggest matter now is how and when we wear it. There are great quantity of hijabis. But, how about the quality? We should question it.
Many students wear hijab to schools but they put it off immediately right after they get home. They change their clothes to shirts, show their hands, legs and hair off. They do it as if it's no sin to wear hijab on-and-off. How pity.
Not only students who do that. Many, many muslim women do the same. They go to work wearing hijab, then put it off when they get home. I say, hijab is just like a uniform for such muslim women. Double sad.
So, could the word 'freedom' mean different for them? Could it be "free to choose between wearing it or unwearing it". Innalillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. I hope I'm wrong. I hope they are struggling to find ways to wear hijab everytime they go.
What about other hijab stories from other Muslimah Bloggers around the globe? Find out in these links: