On World Hijab Day, here are 5 reasons Muslim women choose to wear the headscarf

On World Hijab Day, here are 5 reasons Muslim women choose to wear the headscarf

Each year on Feb. 1, millions of Muslim women across the world share not only pictures of themselves in the hijab, but why they choose to wear it. The hijab, a headscarf worn by women who practice Islam, is often seen in the Western world as a symbol of oppression. In order to combat this narrative and highlight the resilience and strength behind the hijab, World Hijab Day was created in 2013 to foster religious tolerance. By recognizing Muslim women and inviting individuals to wear the hijab for a day, Nazma Khan, a New York resident, hoped to bridge the divide between those who wore the hijab and those who did not understand its significance.

“Growing up in the Bronx, in NYC, I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab, ‘she reflects. ‘In middle school, I was ‘Batman’ or ‘ninja’. When I entered University after 9/11, I was called Osama bin laden or terrorist. It was awful. I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves,” Khan shared on the World Hijab Day official website.

While the movement itself has received criticism from some for treating the hijab as a fashion accessory, others have applauded the movement for giving space to hijab-wearing women who consistently face systemic and faith-based oppression. Wearing the hijab for one day does not give insight into the hardships and discrimination hijab-wearing women face daily, but it allows for solidarity and support of the idea that what one chooses to wear is their choice. An estimated 190 countries take part in the movement each year.

We can’t ignore that there are women who are forced to wear the hijab, but this day highlights the importance of the freedom to express one’s choice in clothing. In a world filled with discrimination, World Hijab Day highlights the reasons why women and girls choose to wear the hijab and reminds us that no matter how one dresses, they can accomplish anything. Your choice of attire should not restrict what you want to and can do.

Across Twitter under the hashtag #WorldHijabDay, women of all ages are sharing their selfies and photos in hijab. Here are some of the women and their stories.

“I mostly started wearing hijab because of the fact that I started in Islamic School in fourth grade, a time where students wore the hijab in class. I felt like a hypocrite not wearing it outside, then happened to have a dream where an angel came to me and told me to wear the scarf. So from that day onwards, I did. At the time I happened to only have a navy blue two-piece that was a part of my uniform. No one really thought I would go through it and continue with it especially being the first in my family,” said Nawal Mustafa, a medical student who lives in New Jersey.

Happy World Hijab Day! 11 years strong ❤️ pic.twitter.com/j4NFPDVopp

— Nawal Mustafa (@nawalmustafa_) February 1, 2021

“I think it’s so important for Muslim women to represent their religion and as I move further in my career I believe it will be a symbol of hope for young Muslim girls that you can do or be anything you want to be,” Mustafa added.

This #WorldHijabDay let’s recognize all hijab-wearing athletes who are breaking barriers and reaching their full potential through sport. Together, we can help level the playing field for all girls. Check out the #MadetoPlay Hijab Playbook developed by @Nike ♥️ pic.twitter.com/FwZz6lOAte

— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) February 1, 2021

On #WorldHijabDay, we want to recognize all hijab-wearing female athletes who are breaking barriers and reaching their full potential through sport. Together, we can help level the playing field for all girls.#MadetoPlay Hijab Playbook developed by @Nike & help change the game⚽️ pic.twitter.com/RcN2epIli7

— Jawahir Roble (@jj_Roble) February 1, 2021

Happy #worldhijabday !! When I first started wearing hijab nearly 6 years ago, I would find myself struggling to explain why I wore it to friends, family, and strangers who asked. I would try to come up with a way to say it that would make it make sense to them. I was afraid of pic.twitter.com/6HbgMPU1Ok

— Katie Haseeb (@katiespalette) February 1, 2021

This young Muslim cross-country runner was disqualified from a race in Ohio back in 2019 for wearing hijab. A week later, she broke her personal record in another competition. #WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/YrLtBHn01C

— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 1, 2021

Hijab is so beautiful 🤍#WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/Qi3PyWKq02

— Asha🧚🏽‍♀️ (@ashaaa) February 1, 2021

There are 643 images in our digitized collections of women wearing head covers/veils. See them all here: https://t.co/y1SVbU5KW1 [Images featured from Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Tunisia] #WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/YDXZYuUrrc

— Akkasah: Center for Photography, NYUAD (@Akkasah_NYUAD) February 1, 2021

“To me, the hijab means so much. It’s a physical reminder of the way I choose to represent myself, my strength, and most importantly, my way of showing devotion to my religion and God”#WorldHijabDay #WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/bu0k4mI7RE

— 🧕🏾hauwa🧕🏾 (@hauwaonicake) February 1, 2021

#WorldHijabDay My thoughts: Let me start this by saying I have been wearing a headscarf since I was 20 years old. That’s more than two decades. I am the “first” woman who wears hijab to be on national television as a sports regular commentator.

— I remember Tom Brady’s MAGA hat (@_shireenahmed_) February 1, 2021

Yes it’s HOT, it’s HARD, It’s Different, But I LOVE wearing it..🖤#WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/OKcJ4B6Ark

— فرح (@AyasraFarah) February 1, 2021

Lemme drop some of my cute hijab pics rq #WorldHijabDay 💗 pic.twitter.com/Is2zvC6fAR

— ♡ (@callmealaa) February 1, 2021

Putting on the hijab will always be one of the best decisions I have ever made. Allah swt has blessed me in so many ways Alhamdulilah & obeying him is the least I can do. My Hijab, My dignity, My respect, My honour. #WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/cShP11qViV

— Ⓣ (@txpali_) February 1, 2021

Today is #WorldHijabDay. It’s been a privilege to work with @PCUAmireddy inorder to design a #Hijab suitable for our muslim women in the police! Everyone should be able to practice their religion in a work place but also be themselves!!@NYorksPolice @NYP_ACE@WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/Y1cwZKuNg2

— PC Arfan Rahouf (@349Rahouf) February 1, 2021

#WorldHijabDay—“I wear it proudly. It has become a part of me for many years now. I am not oppressed to wear it nor do I consider it a sign of weakness, instead it is my shield and my protector. Millions like me feel good and confident in it.”-NIHA LAKHANI#EndHijabophobia pic.twitter.com/ly1UJLFJ8E

— World HijabDay (@WorldHijabDay) February 1, 2021

#EndHijabophobia— “Ending hijabophobia would empower women of faith to be unapologetic about their identity. It would give them permission to feel safe in public spaces so they can freely worship and devote themselves to God.”#WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/24NNX6sE3y

— World HijabDay (@WorldHijabDay) February 1, 2021

It’s #WorldHijabDay 🧕🏽 I put this image of women from all walks of life – barristers, doctors, athletes, women in uniform… What you chose to wear and how you chose to cover up shouldn’t prevent you from growth, career choices & your contribution to then🌎 🙌🏼 @WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/xnU2Xu3Izf

— Sadiya (@PrettyLScarves) February 1, 2021

In a world filled with discrimination – happy #WorldHijabDay to the women and girls who choose to wear one and continue to break barriers! We see and respect your strength pic.twitter.com/rlRbOOLLdV

— Khaleej Mag (@KhaleejMag) February 1, 2021

On #WorldHijabDay, I’d like to bring back this piece that I wrote for @TheVarsity in 2018 to answer many of your pressing questions about the hijab. As I say in the piece, I DO feel hot in it but the heat pales compared to the oppressive ignorance and Islamophobia I face everyday pic.twitter.com/kCM2v09Gsj

— lady ze̶ahaadown (@notzeahaa) February 1, 2021

#EndHijabophobia— “Hijab is my power that keeps me empowered. No, I’m not forced to wear it, I choose to. For, it’s not just a piece of cloth. It means so much more to me. Ever since I started wearing #hijab, it has become a part of my identity. It’s my crown and my pride.” pic.twitter.com/la0rF77v8f

— World HijabDay (@WorldHijabDay) January 31, 2021

I grew up seeing all the beautiful strong women in my family especially my mother 🖤 wearing the hijab and wanted to be just like them. I begged to be allowed to wear it and finally won when i was 6 and have been wearing it ever since, alhamdallah 🖤#WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/yrWFJlGeNz

— emaniii ♡ (@Eman_inanc) February 1, 2021

#EndHijabophobia—“Hijab does not limit us from advancing. We can still work and be creative. Even though the hijab covers our body, it doesn’t mean it stops our thoughts. We also have an open mind. Don’t be afraid of us.”#WorldHijabDay pic.twitter.com/sMZOowq7AJ

— World HijabDay (@WorldHijabDay) January 30, 2021

Today on #WorldHijabDay we celebrate all the Muslim women in our life and acknowledge the #strength, #courage, #faith and determination they commit to every day when they choose to wear their hijab. May you find the #beauty and ease in your journey. #hijab #mychoice #myright pic.twitter.com/txB0P9Vexm

— Naseeha – Muslim Youth Helpline (@NaseehaHelpline) February 1, 2021

In a world filled with discrimination – happy #WorldHijabDay to the women and girls who choose to wear one and continue to break barriers! 💪🏿 We see and respect your strength 💙 pic.twitter.com/RDXPTRibl1

— Islamic Relief (@IRWorldwide) February 1, 2021

To see more of the beautiful photos people across the globe have shared to celebrate the hijab, check out the day’s official page, @WorldHijabDay, on Twitter. Have any photos you’d like to share? Feel free to drop them in the comments below!

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