Hijabis, non-hijabis, borrow a niqab or make your own from an old cotton pink t-shirt! It is time to don the veil, and give yourself a super-hero nick-name. Our niqabs hide our identities and our abayas are our capes! It is time to go undercover to spread the word about empowered muslim women everywhere making a difference. Even if you are not a niqabi, and even if you don’t even wear hijab I want you to wear niqab, get your friends to wear niqab, and join me on a secret mission; he he he. What you are wondering, might Alix be about? Well, she was about the lunch room today at work, and she heard Sacha talking.
I do not wear niqab at work. In fact, I rarely wear niqab. I don’t like it most of the time, because I know, it is the thing about Muslim women that people in my country who don’t know any better fear most, most about Islam, and most about hijab (which I wear all the time and love!). People who hate hijab believe it is just an excuse for niqab. They hate what they don’t know. The best way to relieve this fear is to integrate with them and allow them a way to see what is important to you as something that is harmless. No, I don’t want every Muslim woman out there to wear niqab all the time, but I want you to wear it after you hear the following story: I will never forget how, after work, I emerged out of the bathroom at work, fully veiled and totally made-up underneath to go on my way to a party, and I turned the corner in the hall, and poor dear Sacha jumped nearly out of her skin. “My God!” she exclaimed clutching her heart. “I didn’t know you wore that!” “I don’t,” I tell her. “I only am because I am wearing too much make-up. It is not very comfy.” It was true. My niqab was sold for tourists because no western woman in Oman ever wore niqab for sure, and it was sewn crooked so part of it cut up into my eye. I told her the story of it and how I felt like superman, changing in a work stall into my party clothes like he’d use a phone book. This lead us to a discussion of having superpowers and which ones we’d like to have and which ones we’d definately want to do without. I told her I already have superpowers, and that power is just being able to relate to people who don’t speak my language, and to teach those who fear or are unsure of me everday just by my simple stupid job, that women from my religion are not suppressed. I said da’wa, relieving fear, was my real-life superpower. She said survival was her’s. I had to rush and I had no time to ask what she meant. If people saw niqab in a funny way, would they be afraid of it? If they equated it with a swash0buckling hero like Zorro instead of the Taliban and stonings? Laughing in a hallway, Sacha stopped being afraid of my hijab by laughing at my ill-fitting niqab.
I want to make the lives of sisters everywhere easier and that is why one of my ideas is to start a niqab club. You don’t have to wear niqab in real life but when you go out, you put it on, along with other sisters, each in her own individual niqab, and you go out and do good deeds. Feed the homeless. Volunteer for something. Be an everyday hero. If people stop being afraid of the niqab, or can at least look at it in a less-negative way, than the lives of all of us everywhere will be easier, and a little zakat alon the way never hurt anyone. That is how Sacha today gave me the greatest idea! She told me how she got her superpower:
Sacha is a surviving cancer patient. She underwent chemo-therapy and lost all her gorgeous blonde hair. Sacha wore wigs and scarves but the wigs were just too hot in the summer and at a cousin’s wedding she just went, hell, it’s too hot, I don’t care, took the wig off, and sat down next to some bald male relatives. She tells us all this while laughing. Alhamdulilah! I say when she finishes her story, because I like Sacha, and she is one of the few women at my work that doesn’t look at me occasionally like I am less than them. I think about if I had known her back then, how easily this hijabi fashionista could have helped her transform her awkward chemo wardobe. Then I thought….. Ladies!
Why don’t we hijabis volunteer with the chemo-make-over clubs and teach cancer patients how to wear hijab all the cool ways we know how? and reach out and touch another woman’s life? If you ask your doctor or contact a clinic in your area I’m sure they’ll be happy to have you involved! Help show another human being how a peice of cloth, whether it be a niqab, or a hijab, or even the loss of our beauty and hair, is the least of things to fear in this life? How friendships, community, and faith, are so much more important.
LOL. Find yourself a niqab, get your girls to do the same, and start your own niqab club. Believe me, even being a sometimes superhero niqabi changes more than you know….