The "H" Word; How to Speak to Your Daughter About Hijab
The “H” Word! What is the “H” word you ask? It is that word that many teen girls dread hearing as in their minds they believe it will turn their worlds upside down and turn them into someone they don’t know or want to know. It is that conversation that they might come up with every excuse they can in order to escape it. They may even offer to do chores to seem busy! It doesn’t have to be so bad, here are some tips for how to talk to your teen daughter about…HIJAB!
Why we wear hijab
Nothing is more frustrating for a teen than hearing “because I told you so”. Teens are easily influence by the media and those around them that it is essential for them to hear the REAL reasons we wear hijab or they may end up believing what they see on TV. We all know it likely won’t be positive. By explaining to your daughter, that hijab is meant to protect her, and that it is a sign of modesty and respect for Allah (swt) as well as a sign of respect for herself, it is one of many forms of worship, she should be more likely to wear it with pride or if she hasn’t put it on already, be more likely to want to.
Be sure to explain to her that wearing hijab is not just about covering your hair and body. It is a way of life. The hijab is an outer representation of who she is on the inside. It is how she speaks to people, interacts with people and she MUST understand that she is an ambassador for her Deen. She must understand that she is representing Islam and she is playing a very important role in the world for her Ummah. It is her personal Jihad. By explaining everything clearly for her, you will not only appeal to her, but also give her the tools to answer to anyone who may question her practice.
Hijab is not a hindrance
It is not uncommon for a teen or any woman at that, to believe that wearing hijab will hinder her ability to go out and participate in life in the fullest way. She may believe that she has to give it all up. Show your daughter examples of women who did not allow their hijab to keep them from doing what they love to do like Team USA Olympian and fencer Ibtihaj Muhhamed, 2012 Summer Games female athletes swimmer Sabine Hazboun and runner Woroud Sawalha. If there is a specific sport she loves to do, then help her to make her hijab work with it. Not into sports? No problem! We have Muslimahs taking so many major roles and rocking their hijab at the same time! Noor Tagouri, Dina Tokio, Mona Haidar, Dalia Mogahed, Malala Yousafzai and the list continues!
How to “wear it well”
As you are out and about, if you see a sister who is really working her hijab make a conscious effort to point it out to your daughter. Although hijab is not a fashion, it can be fashionable. For most teens their appearance and how others will perceive them weighs heavy on their minds so as a parent it is important for us to work with that. Take time to look online for different hijab fashion blogs, and magazines. Have her follow different Social Media accounts that showcase different Muslimahs showing their outfit styles. My favorite is @Hijab_Fashioninspiration. Watch a few tutorials on YouTube so she can see how to tie her hijab in many different ways and show an interest in which styles she feels she could make her own. I do my own tutorials on youtube; ModernMohajaba and I encourage any new mohajaba sisters to try these new styles. It can be very overwhelming and intimidating in the beginning.
One step at a time
The idea of putting on a hijab and all that comes with it can be very scary. Wearing a hijab is a journey (a long journey for some) and we all find what feels right on our own. Give her the freedom to slowly improve how she wears her hijab. Keep encouraging her. Perhaps that means she starts with ¾ sleeves and progresses to long sleeves. Maybe she starts with pants and long shirts and moves on to skirts and dresses. Giving her guidance while giving her some freedom will show her that she needs to take ownership for her practice find her own way.
Hijab can be worn in so many ways and I truly believe you wear it best when you make it your own. If your daughter is a girly girl, then the colors, and accessories she wears should reflect that. Perhaps, your daughter has an artistic side. The hijab styles she chooses and how she pairs them with her clothes, should reflect that. Remind her that as long as she is modest her own personal and style, personality and her creativity can surely shine!
Remember: Allah is beautiful, and he loves beauty
For a Full Video on my Tips for Speaking to Your Daughter, see below: