Noor Mastura: My Relationship With The Hijab Strengthened Because My Mother Did Not Force It Upon Me

I remember the first week I started wearing the hejab. I was ready to take it off by the second week. My friends laughed at me. Mind you, they were Muslim.
My friends who weren’t Muslims however – were incredibly supportive. Yes you Sumalatha Navan .

My mum was the happiest when I wore it. My sisters followed immediately and wore it too. So when I came back home one day and plopped myself at the dining table and blurted out to mum that I didn’t want to wear the hejab anymore, I anticipated drama and was so ready to rebut with a host of carefully constructed responses.

Mum was cooking but when the bomb dropped, she didn’t flinch. And without hesitation she said, okay. And I thought it was one of those ‘Mum-okays’ – you know that one – “okay fine, but don’t ever come back to this house again”
But no – she actually meant – okay.

And I said “Mum, I’m really going to take it off.” She stopped stirring the ladle, looked at me straight on and asked “Did I ask you to put it on?”
“Why did you put it on?”
“Because I wanted to at that time”
“And why do you want to take it off now?”
“Because I don’t feel right. ”

And she said the magic words I’ll always thank her for.
“It was your decision then, it is your decision now.”

But I still felt that she didn’t get it. She didn’t think i would actually take it off. We were meeting her friend at a mall that afternoon so she took off first and i told her I’ll drop by after.

I left home without the hejab. When I saw her and her friend, she looked at me as if nothing happened. It was so weird for me. Mum was actually okay with this????

She sat and talked and laughed and ate like everything was alright and nothing was amiss. We left and went to the station to catch a bus home. While waiting, mum and I took selfies together and she was happily smiling and holding me and hugging me like I didn’t let her down.

Even till this day, i don’t know if I did.

But I’ll tell you what I know. I lasted 3 days without the hejab. I made my decision and I’ve never looked back. Today, I’m as comfortable as I am with it or without it. And it is my sacred companion.

If my mum reacted otherwise – I honestly don’t know the kind of relationship I’d be having with my hejab. If any.
But this gratitude that comes with the freedom to choose – either way- is priceless.

And one can only hope that through this process, we are blessed with the likes of my mum, my friend and this dad right here. (See link for story)


Source: Noor Mastura

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