Things I ALWAYS hear while wearing my hijab

Senior+Sana+Khan+wears+her+hijab+proudly+with+her+friends%2C+Khusna+Rachman%2C+Islah+Abdulmalek+and+Lena+Elamin%2C+despite+the+curious+questions+that+she+gets+daily.
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Things I ALWAYS hear while wearing my hijab

Senior Sana Khan wears her hijab proudly with her friends, Khusna Rachman, Islah Abdulmalek and Lena Elamin, despite the curious questions that she gets daily.

Senior Sana Khan wears her hijab proudly with her friends, Khusna Rachman, Islah Abdulmalek and Lena Elamin, despite the curious questions that she gets daily.

Xenia Merchan

Senior Sana Khan wears her hijab proudly with her friends, Khusna Rachman, Islah Abdulmalek and Lena Elamin, despite the curious questions that she gets daily.

Xenia Merchan

Xenia Merchan

Senior Sana Khan wears her hijab proudly with her friends, Khusna Rachman, Islah Abdulmalek and Lena Elamin, despite the curious questions that she gets daily.

Sana Khan

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“You’re in America, you know you don’t have to wear that right?”

“Aren’t you hot in that?”

“Can you just show me what your hair looks like?”

“Does your dad force you to wear that?”

“Do you shower with that on?”

“Do you sleep with that on?”

“You look so much prettier without it!”

“Why do you wear a scarf, but your sister doesn’t?”

I have heard pretty much everything a girl with a scarf on her head can hear. I’ve heard the assumptions, the misunderstandings, the genuinely curious questions, the dumb questions, and more.

So I thought the first step toward changing these assumptions and questions people have, would be to educate you on the hijab. The hijab is a type of head cover worn by Muslim women all over the world. However, not all Muslim women wear a hijab, and in most of the western world, that is their choice and theirs alone.

Yes, I am aware that I am in America and not Agrabah with flying carpets (even though a shocking number of people not only think Agrabah is real, they also want to bomb it). The United States was founded on the premise of religious freedom so I am free to choose to wear my hijab here.

Of course I am hot in my scarf in the warmer months. You know why? Because everyone is hot, it’s summer in Washington, DC! Taking off my scarf isn’t going to make me less hot, but if you are so willing to help me, then please follow me around with a fan all day.

No, I am not going to show you what my hair looks like. You know why? Because my hair is sacred. It is the same exact thing as gold found in treasure from the bottom of the sea, and if I show you my hair, you will be cursed for the the rest of your life. I wear the hijab for your safety.  Really, it has nothing to do with my religious beliefs.  In fact, the entire galaxy revolves around you.

No, I do not sleep nor shower with my scarf on. (I mean when I do shower, I use Hijab and Shoulders, but that’s besides the point!) As soon as I get home or when I’m around only girls, I throw my hijab off and let my long, Rapunzel-esque locks roam free.

Um, thank you? Yes, I am aware that my luscious hair that has been with me since birth is prettier than a cotton scarf on my head. But if I’m being honest I don’t care. I mean c’mon, I wear sweatpants every day.

Because I wear a hijab and my sister doesn’t, people get confused all the time. But the truth is, every person who wears or doesn’t wear a hijab is different and they all have their own reasons for doing so.  I don’t judge anyone for not wearing one, so why would you judge someone FOR wearing one?

So no, I did not start wearing my hijab because someone forced me to put it on my head, and I did not start wearing it because I’m oppressed. I wear it because it is my representation. I chose to wear the hijab for myself and for God. I am a proud Muslim girl before I am anything else, and my hijab is a daily symbol of that.

I started wearing my hijab in the sixth grade because I was inspired to. Everyone around me wore a hijab, including my mom and some of my closest friends. When I researched the hijab and what it was about, I saw confident glowing women and I told myself that I wanted to be just like that.

As Islamophobia grows in the US, I wear my hijab more confidently. I know that I’m not a terrorist. I know my religion is not violent, and I’m not going to allow the media to portray me as an oppressed minority or make me feel as if I cannot achieve my ambitions in life because of it.  

My hijab empowers me and gives me the strength to speak up about my religion when people make wrongful judgments. It has taught me that I should value myself and that beauty comes from within. And that is the real answer to all of the questions that I am asked.

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