Guest Post By: Nadia Chaudhry. Nadia is an aspiring multi-passionate entrepreneur. She wants the world to know about digital entrepreneurship and exactly how you can live a lifestyle that is completely location-independent with the ability to turn any place with an internet connection into your office. She talks about this mobile lifestyle and more on her blog: http://www.nadiachaudhry.com.
When I wake up in the morning, I put on my superhero outfit. It’s my cloak, my mask, my secret weapon, all wrapped into one. A superhero’s identity is hidden, but when you see their garb, you know exactly what they stand for. It’s a proclamation of their beliefs. It doesn’t necessarily hide them from view and may even seem to point them out deliberately. However, this gives them unimaginable power, the power of an idea, which cannot be destroyed. It’s my hijab, the scarf I choose to wrap around my head because I am a Muslim.
Just like a superhero, it makes you stronger.
Let me tell you why I wear it: It makes me a stronger Muslim. Do you think a superhero would be as powerful without the costume? The costume makes the superhero. Superman. Batman. Spiderman. The first image to your head was their costume, wasn’t it? When Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, or Peter Parker puts on that outfit, do you think those moments mean nothing to them. You can just imagine that as they put on those clothes, they are mentally preparing themselves for what they’re about to do. Heck, in the movies, they have whole scenes where they’re just putting on their outfit. Aren’t those powerful scenes? When Bruce Wayne becomes Batman: we see the costume in its glass case, we see the bat symbol on his chest, he puts on the suit, he tugs on his gloves, pulls down his mask, and you see the ripple of the cloak. It is the moment where his beliefs, values, and identity truly becomes manifest. When I put on my scarf, I go through the same mental preparation every day, whether I realize it or not.
Every day the hijab reminds me of who I am and what I believe in. Let me tell you the most powerful thing it does: it protects me from me. It reminds me of what I stand for, which gives me that extra push to do the right thing and be the right person. It helps to prevent me from temptation because it compels me to be stronger. My faith is attached to this tangible object that symbolically wraps my mind in a certain attitude. The hijab is much more than a scarf.
Just like a superhero, wearing it comes with responsibilities.
With great power, comes great responsibility. I am a symbol. Wearing the hijab means you have to live your life a certain way, at least, you’re supposed to. When you wear the hijab, you represent Islam, just like a superhero represents justice. Everything you do will show the world that this is what a Muslim does. You have the responsibility to show the true image of Islam.
Just like a superhero, certain evils run from you while others are drawn to you.
You know the blessings of wearing it, just as well as the consequences. It’s no easy thing to walk out your door with it on. It keeps certain evils away from me, evils that would otherwise tempt me. It invites the right people to me. Other Muslims easily approach me and say “salaam.” It’s a powerful, underestimated initiator for sisterhood. In many instances, I am welcomed as a sister or as a daughter. I remember last year in Ramadan, a Muslim man with his family paid for all the ice cream my friends and I bought. He left before we even knew and we couldn’t thank him. May Allah reward him for his kindness.
Yet, at the same time, the hijab can draw other evils. Just like a superhero, some bad guys run at first glimpse, but others want the fight. Mainly, I am talking about the people who are drawn to us by hate. I have never personally been caught in a situation too extreme, but we’ve all heard the stories. Some girls are ridiculed and harassed (Hint: Just like a superhero). In those moments, we need to be strong and have a good support system around us that encourages us to keep going.
It’s true, donning this outfit can be hard, but there are much greater blessings and rewards. So, don’t be afraid to be a superhero.