Azizi Khalid

April 15, 2021

Hijab and Our Daughter


This is Sumayyah. Our firstborn. She is eleven years old. 

This Ramadan marks her second anniversary wearing a hijab. I think that is one of the hardest things to do as a Muslim living in a non-Muslim land. It makes you different. Stand out in the crowd, especially if you are the only one wearing it at school.

While most people in Australia are polite, you do get the occasional stares, glares, funny looks, and sometimes insults. We were worried about how our daughter would fare with the hijab on.

We decided not to make hijab a big thing until she reaches puberty. But the training must start early. We focused on two things; prayers on time and understanding the wisdom of every ritual.

When Sumayyah started praying regularly, she found it a hassle to bring a hijab in her bag just for prayers. And sometimes she forgets to bring it when we travel.

She had to pray with a rag on her head. It wasn't the best thing to pray with. She realised that it would be easier just to wear a hijab properly and always be ready to pray. We sometimes need to pray at a park, in a changing room at a mall, or at a parking lot.

But wearing a hijab at family outings and school are two very different things. At school, she is going to be the only one wearing a hijab. And considering that she is a school athlete — a sprinter, cross country runner, swimmer, and cricket team vice-captain — we, the parents, thought it might be hard for her.

My wife always says, "When the why is clear, the how becomes easy." We always stress the importance of understanding the reasons behind a ritual that we do. We would talk about the importance of modesty. Modest yet confident. While there is nothing wrong to look pretty, that shouldn't be the main focus of life. As Muslims, we have bigger goals in life.

Two Ramadans ago, Sumayyah came to us and said she thinks she wants to wear the hijab to school. And alhamdulillah, she's been wearing it ever since. We are still not fussed about it. She doesn't wear it to go swimming. Or at home when there are guests. But I can't imagine the strength that she has to be the odd one out at school.

May Allah bless you, Sumayyah, and keep on the straight path.

Azizi Khalid
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