Hijab Day: What is it?


Photos by Nabiha Ajmeri and Maariya Quadri

Muslim women all around the world are recognized for wearing the hijab on February 1st. 

The hijab in Arabic means “veil”. It’s a form of modesty and symbolic of faith in God. To recognize the women all over the world that wear hijab, Nazma Khan, a social activist from New York, established February 1st as World Hijab Day to encourage women of all religions to try on and live the experience of wearing the hijab for a day. 

Western culture/media tends to give off the wrong message of women being forced to wear the hijab as a form of oppression, but  the simplicity of it is that in Islam, God has told women to wear the hijab and dress modestly, so we do. 

Here’s what the hijabis of Glenbard West had to say. “Many people think hijab is something women are forced to wear in Islam, but that’s not true. Yes, you have to wear it because it’s part of our religion but forcing something upon someone is also not part of Islam” according to Senior Arisha Attar.

The main goal for World Hijab day is to recognize women that embrace the hijab and to open up non-hijabi women to try it on for one day. Wearing hijab in modern times now is very difficult as some may feel out of place, but according to Junior Saania Iqbal “[I am] Very confident. I’m never ashamed of wearing the hijab in public.” 

For many women, wearing the hijab is no daunting task, especially if they’ve been accustomed to wearing it since a young age. “I started wearing hijab when I was in 5th grade” shared Ms. Iqbal who’s proudly been wearing her hijab for 6 years. 

Ms. Attar expresses she has many, many positive memories associated with her hijab such as, “parties, styling our hijabs, and just having fun with my friends, no matter what we’re wearing.” 

This February 1st, I invite all women of different backgrounds to keep an open mind and, if you’re interested, to try on the hijab and live the experience of a hijabi woman for a day!