Thank you to everyone who read my previous blog post “My hijab and abaya Story” and sent me messages regarding their own personal abaya or hijab experience. It surprised me how similar my story is to the vast majority of people who messaged me. Let’s get right into this:
Q) What age did you start wearing the abaya?
A) It was 3 years ago so I was 20 years old or young I should say.
Q) What motivated you to wear the abaya?
A) I think when I was younger, nobody in my family wore the abaya, my mum would wear a long dress but that was more to do with our cultural fashion than for religious reasons. Then slowly all the women in my family started wearing the hijab properly and the abaya and it had a positive effect on me, not that I ever felt pressurised to wear it from my family since they know they can pressure me to do anything. I just had the mentality that its now or never really.
Q) What difficulties did you face when wearing the abaya?
A) None really, at the time it was my ego, 100% it was my ego stopping me from going that one step closer to Islam. I kept thinking “oh im not going to look good”, “oh im going to get judged” and a million other silly things in my head. Looking back they really weren't struggles, at the time I thought they were but it actually wasn’t; its just a case of getting it on and going on life with it.
Q) Did your parents force you to wear the hijab?
A) The straight answer is no. I never really understood this notion of parents “forcing” their child to wear the hijab or abaya. My family has never been like that and even in the past when I did wear it on and off, my parents did not say anything and let me do what I wanted and supported my decision. At the end of the day, if my parents forced me to wear the hijab, it would never work out in the end as it wasn’t my own decision so the only thing my parents did was teach me and guide me to make my own correct decision which has worked out best for them and for me.
Q) What’s your favourite colour of abaya?
A) Black! I love black abayas!
Q) Did people see you differently after you wore your abaya?
A) Not at all, in fact it was probably just me being worried that people would see me differently because I saw people wearing abayas differently through my previous stereotyping of hijabis and people who wear abayas. I guess to a extent, I was moulded to have this image from the area I grew up in, the school that I went to and seeing people around me at the time.
Q) How was the feeling when you first wore the hijab? Also please say my name Nikita!
A) Hiiii Nikita!! Erm…the first time I wore the hijab…I cant even remember to be honest, It was some time ago but I do remember it being exciting, weird but exciting that I could go out and buy different colours of hijabs like it was a new accessory. Now I don’t even notice it, it’s just become normal.
Q) Have you ever felt any prejudice from anybody for wearing your abaya?
A) Hmm, only a very small handful of times. I remember this one occasion where a guy had walked past me, spat on the ground and yelled “CURSEWORD MUSLIMS!”. Being the loud mouth that I am, I turned around and yelled “EXCUSE ME?!”, everybody around me turned around and looked at both of us. After that incident, I made a decision to just ignore any negative comments people make, if someone says anything I will ignore it. It will only affect me if I let it affect me so I just don’t have time to think about negativity any more.
Q) Do you wear the hijab just to cover your head?
A) The hijab for me symbolizes many things then just covering my hair or neck for modesty. Every time I look at myself in the mirror or when I have to fix my scarf, I know I have chosen to wear it for the right reasons for myself. God has commanded me to cover my hair but there are many other commands I should be following and the hijab reminds me everyday to follow them too. Even during certain times of the month when I am not able to pray, wearing the hijab still increases my love for my faith and closer to God knowing I am still fulfilling my obligations in other ways.
Q) Do you wear your hijab for religion or for fashion reasons?
A) Love this question! I wear it for religion and only for religious reason. It has become a fashion accessory as I wear it and I do match it with my outfit whilst also making it modest. I have always been into fashion but I always remember, the only reason I wear my hijab and abaya is for religious reasons. This does not mean I cannot style it a little which I do within boundaries!
There is still loads of questions I didn’t answer, I might have another Q&A soon if you lot want it! Maybe I can do a live stream on YouTube for direct question and answering. Follow KhaleejiAbaya on Facebook to stay updated if this happens. Thank you all for taking the time to send questions to me!