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Exploring identity on PhD in Parenting.
32 My Islamic Life July 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm
As the mother of two Muslim daughters, I can remember the first time each one decided to wear their Hijab out in public. The older one decided that she just wanted to continue to wear hers after we had left the Mosque. The younger one wanted to wear one to school. DD#1 took hers off after we had walked around Target for a while and I put it in my purse, fixed her hair and that was that. DD#2 took hers off while at school, but I’m assuming it was no big deal since she goes to an Islamic school.
At first I was uncomfortable. I kept thinking that people were looking at us. I look, dress and act American. I wasn’t sure how to handle my Hijabi daughter’s request. But I took a deep breath and accepted that it was her choice. She was trying on a persona, a costume – she was playing dress up, making believe she was a character. My daughters don’t fully understand the meaning behind the Hijab, they know that they are supposed to wear one while praying, but they don’t understand why some women choose to wear one all the time, and some do not.
I spoke with one of my Muslim friends about this thing that my daughters do when they choose to wear Hijab out. She said, don’t make it a big deal. No one who wears Hijab thinks it is a big deal when they see someone who is under 14 wearing one. They understand it is a way of emulating someone, akin to wearing a princess dress, or a doctor’s scrubs, walking around in mommy’s high heels.
I don’t know how I will feel if and when they decide to wear Hijab full-time. I will do my best to be supportive, pick out pretty scarves and modest clothing for them to wear, and learn all I can on how to tie one in the most flattering and fun way. But I won’t really know until we cross that bridge. But I tell you, the thought makes me a little verklempt.