If you put "hijab" into Google search, you will get a very simple definition right off the bat.
"noun: a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women."
It is in fact that, but hijab is so much more than just that. By limiting the meaning to just a piece of fabric we use to cover our hair truly takes away from how vast and deep the meaning behind the word "hijab" truly is.
Much of how we refer to hijab lends to that definition also, so it is no wonder most people do not understand how the concept is much bigger. When I first started wearing hijab I had that very simple definition in my mind.
* I was going to start wearing hijab. Obviously as I was going to wear it, it had to be a piece of clothing.
* I would put on my hijab. If you are putting it on, it must be something physical you can wear.
After a number of years as a Mohajaba, my definition and reason for wearing hijab changed. I became more enlightened about how meaningful the hijab actually was and how that meaning for me would change time and time again. In the past 10 years, it changed from a way to obtain modesty and please my Lord, to a symbol of my identity as a Muslim woman and finally to a way to start conversation and dialogue with others. For any woman hijab holds many meanings and it is incredibly personal, sometimes difficult to put into words or articulate.
I decided to find out what people thought the meaning if Hijab was. On my recent IG stories, I proposed a question:
"Hijab is not only a head covering; it is...." Here are some of the amazing answers I received from both Muslim and Non-Muslim Brothers and Sisters:
- The way you think and the way you speak...it's respect
- Ibadah for His Sake
- My identity; a visible Muslim woman
- Your energy
- My crown
- A way of life
- Inner and outer modesty
- A part of me
- A lifestyle. Modesty. humility, humble, modest, self respecting
- A way of living; Hijab of the tongue, manners, etc.
- A lifestyle
- A way of life
- Part of your body
How amazing is it that there can be so many different meanings for hijab. Again, it stems from the personal experiences, understandings and where along her spiritual journey the Mohajaba is. Everything about Faith is personal. So personal. It is a direct relationship that we have with our Lord. Nobody can begin to even understand that relationship. That's what makes it so special.
How would you complete the sentence: "Hijab is not only a head covering; it is...."