Friday, September 25, 2009

First time I wore hijab.

You know, I don't think I've ever told you guys about the first time I wore hijab. On a random trip to the Goodwill one day, I found an abaya (the black one with the pretty velvet decoration on the sleeves) and a purple/orange/white-striped shayla hijab. I laundered them and fixed a tear on the abaya, and wore them to go out to lunch with a friend the next day.

As was our usual custom at the time, we went to lunch at our favorite local Indian restaurant (which I've mentioned before). The waitress who took us to our table was all smiles, she complimented me on my hijab, and we ordered our drinks and got our food. After we left the restaurant, we walked a few shops down to the Indian grocery store so my friend could get some mango chutney.

There was a group of 6-8 guys (of Middle Eastern/Indian origins) blocking the side walk. As we got closer, the guys who saw me poked their buddies who didn't, or said something, or whatever, and they all moved completely out of the way. Gave us lots of space. They were very nice, very respectful. After we'd passed, they went back to their previous locations and continued their conversations. We went to the store, got what she wanted, and left.

That was it. It was a very nice experience. My friend said "Those guys saw you as one of them, rather than "other", like most Americans are. I don't think they would have moved if you weren't dressed like that."

It was cool. I felt totally respected, totally comfortable, and I was treated like a lady. After that, I started wearing hijab as often as possible (even though the heat sometimes made it nearly unbearable).

Anyone care to share their "first time wearing hijab" story? Or first niqab story?


  1. Hmm...first hijab story?

    It was my last birthday, and we went out to dinner. I wore a dress-as-tunic over slacks and a khimar hijab. My grandmother wished (again) that I'd stop covering up my hair. My mother told me it made my face look fat. Random people stared. And then the pin I was using popped out (it was too short and I had it pinned too closely to my chin) and I lost it, so I had to tie it back behind my neck.

    Second time (first time with jilbab), I tried a 'no pins' way with a shayla. I kept having to adjust it, which was kind of annoying, and then, my car broke down and I had to ditch the whole outfit because my parents didn't know I'd snuck out looking like a Muslim. :)

    Thus far...Amber in hijab in public seems to precurse some sort of problem.

  2. YAY Heather you had a great first experience. I wish I could find an abaya at goodwill lol.

    Mine was good but I was with a group of muslims and not really "out in public" so to speak because we went straight to the mosque. But I wore an abaya and shayla and LOVED IT. No issues with anyone on the street except for this older man that kept starring at my friend and I while we tried to find out where her brother went. I dunno if he was shocked because we were dressed in abayas and scarves or because we spoke english LOL. I'm hoping to test out hijab in a more public setting soon....I'm sure it will be quite entertaining.

  3. Hm...the actual FIRST time I wore hijab was to a late-night Bible study and it was completely ignored because people were shy about bringing it up (though most of them have since talked to me about it).

    The first time I was actually out in public in hijab was for class. A few people knew me but didn't recognize me, my professor thought I'd become a Muslim and cornered me in class to ask me about it, then cut me off when I said no and tried to actually explain my reasons for wearing it. Most of my classmates hadn't had class with me before, and assumed I was a Muslim just taking a few classes there for some sort of inter-religious study or something, and they treated me very differently. It was strange, and cool. I expected stares and was prepared to be embarrassed since I can be really shy, but instead I quickly forgot it was even unusual for me and just appreciated the way people would do things like ask before they touched me, hold open doors, and just generally be more polite.

    I've wondered quite a bit if the modest dress itself causes that reaction, or the fact that it's so rare so they assume I must be more conservative and/or from some culture they don't understand. No way to really test it, since it's likely going to stay a rarity. :)

  4. Oops, looks like I posted my first time story in the wrong place... Under the next thread...

  5. Great stories by all. Enjoyed them! :)

  6. hmm...For me, it was this past winter semester at college. I had been researching Islam and focusing on hijab and the role of women and I had just watched a video showing a simple, cute way to wrap a scarf. At this point I had seen so many cute pictures I just had to try it! I didn't leave the apartment then but I liked how it ended up feeling and looking. Since winter semester here is quite cold I used that excuse a few days later to wear hijab outside.

    Nothing special really, since a.) it was winter so no one really though twice about my wearing a scarf on my head and b.) I went to a religion-owned school anyway so you don't see much immodesty on campus as it is (no massive amounts of cleavage, short "skirts", etc). Since then I've been acquiring more and more scarves! (^_^)

  7. Like many of you, I was Christian the first time I started wearing the hijab. Unlike most of you, I was an officer in the US Army. : ) hahaha...

    I suppose the first time I wore my scarf out in public, was in Germany. No one seemed to notice or care, because they tend to mind their own business (unlike in American Culture).

    But, the first time that I wore my scarf somewhere where I would see people that would care/mind, or people I knew, was onto a military base in Germany. If you could have seen the face of the Airman at the gate that had to salute me, you would have laughed.
    See, when going on bases in Germany, the gate guards salute officers whether or not they are in uniform or civilian clothing. So, yea, he had to salute this LT wearing a head scarf like the Turkish women at the dry cleaners... But, I have to hand it to him, he gave me one heck of a salute and didn't even hesitate. Good Airman!

    While shopping in the PX, I was a bit uncomfortable... but I got used to it and started to feel more comfortable since I knew I had a right to wear whatever I wanted to; heck, I had earned it with my own tears and sweat. No one had the right to tell me to take it off, and no one did... From that point on, I think I wore it all of the time, except when I was in uniform, of course (I know my limits). ___Stephanie

  8. LOL! That's awesome! Welcome to the fun. : )

  9. hmm there was no "first time" as such for me - i was used to wearing hijab when visiting mosques with muslim friends. I wore hijab during travel in the Gulf. And i gradually worked my way to up hijab while living in germany. For me the big first was coming back to Australia. I told a couple of close friends and my mum while I was living in germany so they knew- but for everyone else it was a big shock. The first 6 months were awkward- the first week especially. Friends, family, even lecturers/professors at uni- from weird looks, looking uncomfortable to straight out asking what was going on, the reactions varied. My younger brother especially hated it. Christians especially were very wary and awkward because they viewed it as "muslim"- most of them were completely unaware of christian headcovering/hijab!
    it's so amazing to me even now ( a year and a half later) to see so many people blogging who are in the same boat!! I still don't know any covering christians "in real life" so thank God for my online sisters!!

  10. First time?
    I wore it to school without my dad knowing(he hates Islam and i reverted) and then the school told me I had to take it off or I'd be expelled.

  11. i wore hijab since i was 12, so its not really a big thing since im living in a muslim country, but i can share my experience wen i wore niqab for the 1st time, i wore it not because of islam or anything, i wore it because i dislike people( malaysian or arabs)to stare at me wen i go out with my bf (arab) , its very annoying where i know they are talking about me ( not sure whether its a good or a bad thing) so to prevent it i wore niqab an abaya n no 1 say a shit about it and any freaking stares from others, but i was only 19, im typical asian size, small n short haha, so basically,if im goin out for date with my bf ,so abaya, hijab n niqab r my outfit, sumtimes i totally forgot dat im wearing 'em, so most taxi driver thought im an arab n they completely spoke in english only with me, n it was a good thing, i feel SAFE