There was this girl on campus; she owned the turban before Yuna, Ascia Akf or Dina Tokio ever did. She was quiet and always kept to herself but never failed to get noticed everywhere she went. She was bright and oh-so-pretty. But she didn’t know it.
Next semester, she took it off. That girl, was me.
I didn’t think it was a big deal when I took it off because I knew a piece of cloth on my head didn’t change me as a person. I was confident that I knew who I was. Or so I thought…
Soon after I removed my hijab, I started paying closer attention to my appearance. I took every opportunity to dress fashionably. Before I knew it, there was this voice in my head saying, “since you’re not wearing it, what’s the harm in showing a bit of skin? Show the world you’re an empowered, confident woman!” I explored sleeveless tops, cropped tops, skinny jeans, tights, skirts, then mini skirts, then before I knew it, it came to dangerously plunging necklines. I enjoyed the attention I received from my male friends and strangers. I fed off that attention and dressed to please them and boost my own ego.
Then one day, I looked in the mirror. And I couldn’t recognise the person staring back at me. I hated it. And it scared the hell out of me. I started beating myself up for taking off my hijab. I felt lost and confused, like I didn’t even know I was drowning and know that I did, I wanted with all my life, to see the light at the surface.
Not too long after, I woke up with the most natural feeling of wanting to put on the hijab again. I have never taken it off since. I took the time to re-establish my connection to God, fall in love with my religion and find myself.
I now know who I am.
You know how they say, If you take one step towards God, He’ll come running towards you? That, is exactly what I felt.