Monday, 1 February 2016

The hijab is my crown feat. Fatima Hachem El Hamoui

Ryan Jacques
 Fatima Hachem El Hamoui (also known as The Positive Muslimah) is the writer of The Positive Muslimah blog. Fatima is a Lebanese/Canadian, coffee-loving, web-developing and web-designing, blogging Muslimah who loves to inspire Muslimah’s all over the world to keep them motivated and have a positive attitude in life.

Key Word Meanings
Alhamdulillah = Praise be to Allah (swt) / Thank Allah (swt).
In Shaa Allah = If Allah (swt) wills.
 Muslimah = A female Muslim.
Subhan'Allah = Glory be to God.

1. What does the hijab mean to you? 
Hijab is my identity. It represents who I am and what I believe in. It also shapes my personality into the positive Muslimah that I am, alhamduillah. Basically, hijab is my life and I couldn’t have imagined my life without it. 

2. How do you feel when you wear the hijab? 
I feel very modest and free (yes free and not the opposite like some people might think). I feel extremely safe and protected from the bad things that might get in my way in this world. I feel very confident and pretty. I feel like I’ve gained more respect from people, especially guys whom I encounter(ed) in school, university, and work because they know that my hijab means I’m conservative and they never cross(ed) the line with me. I feel like people concentrate more on my intellectuality and mind when I speak, instead of how I look and how my body is. I feel like a queen because hijab is my crown. 

3. When did you start wearing the hijab and what lead you to making that decision? 
I wore hijab when I was 10 years old and that decision came out of my full will, with no impact from anyone whatsoever. When we were little, my dad would always tell us stories from Islam, especially the great women of Islam and how they are very precious and protected. I would eagerly listen and imagine the scenes of each story. I became very fascinated by hijab because of the feeling of importance and confidence I had when listening to my Dad’s stories. I was told that hijab was the crown of a Muslimah. It was to show how pretty and modest we are. All of that caused me to make that decision, alhamdulillah. 

4. Were your family and friends supportive? What did they say? 
My mom first said “Aren’t still young for that? Why don’t you wait a little?” I said “No, no! I want to wear hijab before we go to Lebanon!” (We were living in Canada back then and we were planning on moving to Lebanon). Despite the fact that my mom thought I was still little for hijab back then, she was very supportive. My dad was very supportive as well. He gave me a lot of advice and made sure that I wasn’t going to put it on for a short period of time and then take it off when I see girls my age not wearing it, because hijab is a commitment to Allah (swt) and I shouldn’t be hesitant about wearing it or why I wear it. My relatives were very happy to see me wearing hijab although they too thought I was little because no one wore hijab in my family at that age! 

5. What reactions did you get when first starting to wear the hijab? 
Mainly, some people would look at me and say “Awww you’re so little! Why don’t you take your hijab off for a couple of years?!” and some children at my school would give me weird looks because they didn’t know why I wore it. But most people would be very happy to see a child my age wearing it and some would even encourage me and tell their own daughters to see me as a good example. 

6. Have you ever had any negative attention while wearing the hijab?
I haven’t had any negative attention while wearing Hijab, alhamdulillah. Maybe because I live in an Arab country and it’s normal for a Muslimah to wear hijab. But I also didn’t have any bad experience wearing hijab when I visited Canada and the United States, alhamdulillah. 

7. Have you have any positive attention while wearing the hijab
I’ve had plenty of positive attention while wearing hijab, alhamdulillah! A lot of ladies, whether they were my friends, teachers, acquaintances, or even random strangers, would come up to me and admire my modest clothing, the way I wear my hijab, and how fashionable and good looking I am, alhamdulillah. I’ve known a couple of sisters who told me that they were inspired by me and decided to make changes to their lives as well. I can only say alhamdulillah and every Muslimah should always try to be an inspiration to those surrounding her. You never know who’s watching you and who’s being affected by yours actions. 

8. Do you feel like the events in the media have given you more attention?
I’m sure hijabi’s have gained a lot of attention in some places more than others because of the media. Unfortunately, most of this attention is negative I can say. But where I live now, I don’t think I’ve gained more attention because it’s very normal for a Muslimah to wear hijab. I feel for sisters who go through negative situations where they’re judged by their hijab. It really isn’t fair for them, Subhan’Allah. 

9. If you could say what you wanted to non-Muslims regarding the hijab what would you say? 
I would say that we are all normal human beings, we all have dreams, and we all have feelings. Hijab is no barrier and it’s only a way of saying “I’m free to cover my beauty for the right person to see”. We should all respect and accept each other for the essence we are. Each one of us makes his/her own decisions in life, and this shouldn’t prevent us from being friendly and interacting with each other to make this world a better place In shaa Allah. 

10. Lastly, how do you feel about the hijab being recognised as ‘oppressive’? 
Hijab is the absolute contrary to that! We wear hijab because it’s our devotion and commitment to Allah (swt). Hijab isn’t a barrier between us and whatever we wish to accomplish. It never prevents any Muslimah from reaching success in life. Wearing hijab doesn’t at all mean that we, as Muslimah’s, won’t be able to work, learn, achieve, or follow our dreams. Not at all. How can people consider hijab to be oppressive? If it were, you wouldn’t have heard of all the Muslimah’s who are very successful in their special fields here and there. 

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A MASSIVE thanks to Fatima for joining in on this amazing project. I really enjoyed reading Fatima's answers, did you? If you did then make sure you go and show your love & support to Fatima. Fatima's blog is truly inspiring so make sure you check it out! Also don't forget to read 'Fatima's Hijab Story'.

Fatima's blog     

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