Thursday, August 19, 2010

To Wear…or Not to Wear?…That is the Question.

The following is an article from my dear friend Elif Kavakci.  I thought this was a great article to share during the blessed month of Ramadan.  You can check out more of Elif’s articles on her blog:
click to see:Hijabitopia

I wanted to share with you a few thoughts...  First of all, we formed this blog so that it could provide a support system and a fun environment for hijabis and those who choose to dress modestly. 

Over the years, through my writing, I have been able to reach millions of readers.  Before I started writing for HijabiTopia, I was a fashion writer for ZAMAN - the Turkish daily news, and then transfered over to, where now I have a weekly column.

Also being an Islamic Fashion designer, I've had many ladies contact me about changing the way they dress, and leading a more Islamic life style.

Writing has allowed me to get to know so many new faces, and beautiful ladies, some who wear hijab, some who are in search of how to wear hijab, and others who know exactly what to do but can't take the first steps.

It has been fun to share experiences and support each other through spiritual changes in our lives.
I will now share with you some of my thoughts on hijab. For those of you who may not personally know me, I am not an extremist Muslim, and could never be one. I like to follow the sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him) about having balance in my religion. So therefore when I tell you my thoughts on this topic, I don't want you to think that I am some fundamentalist. I'm just sharing my thoughts on the way I feel.
I feel very passionate about hijab.  Alot of Muslims will state that it is an option to wear hijab. I am not one of those Muslims. I believe it is Fard (obligatory), because it is clearly written in the Qur'an that believing women must dress Islamically.

When people say it is a choice, it makes my blood boil. There is no question! To wear or not to wear hijab is not an option. If you love Allah and want to please him, you wear it. If you don't wear it, that is a decision you make as a Muslim, not a choice.

Now having said that, you are probably thinking "she hates all non hijabis, she sounds so extreme". Absolutelly not. I have many friends, those who wear hijab and those who don't.  Those who are Muslim, and those who are not.  I love them all equally. Whether they wear hijab or not does not affect my friendship with them.  But my closest friends are always the ones whose lifestyles, goals, and dreams are closer to mine.  I am encircled by those friends.

I'm not going to tell you that wearing hijab is easy! Untill it becomes a complete part of you, it's difficult to carry. Yes, we get hot! Yes, it gets itchy. Yes we would love to just tie our hair in a pony tail, throw on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops and walk out the door. But do we, NO! And why don't we? To please Allah!
This Ramadan, I would like for you to think about that. If you haven't started wearing hijab, just imagine yourself in hijab. Imagine how happy it would make you feel to submit to an obligatory rule from the Qur'an.
Ramadan uplifts our spirits. It's the same kind of feeling when you wear hijab, except it's on a daily basis. Imagine what you would feel like in the beauty of hijab. When you close your eyes, try to get beyond your image, and how other people might react to it,  try to think of Allah, and try to think of all of us who are right there with you. Just like when you fast. You do the act  yourself, but millions of Muslims are doing it as well.
I could go on and on about this topic. We will have many discussions, and I would love to hear your comments, and your stories, whether you wear hijab or not. We love to have you as readers. Anybody and everybody is welcome.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia


  1. Great article Elif. I also want to suggest to our sisters the importance of following the hijab with it's outline. To wear loose fitting, non transparent clothes. The hijab is not the piece of cloth covering your hair...

  2. I do put hijab, and in the beginning the hardest part was being comfortable seeing myself in it. I felt uneasy and akward and came accross that way to others. Once it became a part of my identity and i was supported and comfortable others became very friendly and at ease;especially non-muslim. I have found beauty and fashion with hijab as well as self-respect, an anti-wrinkle guard LOL, as well as upholding an Islamic practice and obeying Allah. I am happy with my decision and am still a fashionista and clothes horse.

  3. I totally agree with you on the fact that wearing a hijab is not a choice. I have noticed in many occasions where ladies would find themselves explaining the reason why they have not started wearing a hijab and majority of the answer is 'I'm not ready, one day I hope to wear it'.. Honestly, that answer just saddens me and I find myself lost for words because it is amazing how one can be certain that they will be around tomorrow.. I guess what I am trying to say is that, time waits for no one.. Life is too short. If you want to do something good don't wait too long to do it because no one knows what the future holds..

    I am saying all this through experience.. It took me sometime to decide to wear a hijab. I kept telling myself and everyone that I'm not ready. Til this day I can't figure out what I meant when I said that I wasn't ready.. Ready for what? Not ready to do what pleases Allah? I was blessed when one day this lady had come up to me while I was working as a hostess at a hotel and she asked me why I am not wearing a hijab and I just said 'i want to but I'm not ready'.. It took
    for her to ask me one question to wake me up 'how do you know you will still be around tomorrow?' .. Alhamdullilah, I have been wearing it ever since. I find that wearing a hijab has helped me lead a more Islamic lifestyle..

    I pray for all dear sisters to be able to see the true beauty of a hijab.. Ameen.

    To hijabtopia.. Thanks so much for sharing...

  4. Struggling within I wrote this to a very attractive young lady who works at a local coffe shop; however this could have been written to nearly any young american girl.

    Today I saw you behind the counter at the coffee shop. I noticed how beautiful you were, and for a moment I forgot my principles.

    In this note I want to share something with you very personal, and something I hope will change the way you think.

    Tired from a long day of work I ordered a Grande mocha. You responded with the total and I handed you my money. I watched as you entered the total into the register, you glanced at your register’s screen and began to count the change.

    Although this transaction was no different from any other, what happened next left an impression upon my mind that began a struggle within my heart.

    As you counted back the change my eyes were drawn from your face to your hand. Looking down I noticed, perhaps subconsciously, your t-shirt; it wasn’t the color of your shirt that caught my attention, nor the green apron tight against your chest. What I noticed was the neck-line of your shirt; it was revealing, suggestive.

    After handing me the change you reached for a coffee cup sleeve, leaned over the counter top and wrote my order upon the sleeve. I stared away, occupying myself with the Starbucks logo displayed on the monitor next to me. I turned my eyes back toward you as you finished writing on the sleeve, and as you arose from the counter top the low cut neck-line of your shirt gave everything away, leaving nothing to my imagination. You looked at me and gave a smile.

    For a moment I almost forgot my principles, my sense of propriety. For a moment my mind was tempted to entertain the image that this low cut shirt had stamped within my mind. I began to wonder if you were aware; had you allowed this to happen intentionally? Why did you choose to lean over the counter this way? Couldn’t you have chosen another place to write upon? I hadn’t made any advances toward you, no gazing looks no flirtatious chit-chat.

    After making yourself busy with the espresso machine you mixed my coffee and asked “would you like whip cream?” I responded with a concise “no thank you”, and took my coffee.

    Resting my coffee in the cup-holder of my truck the image that you left in my memory created a struggle within my heart. I couldn’t allow myself to entertain the thoughts going through my mind.

    I wondered if you knew that I was married?

    I wondered if you knew that for a moment, I almost forgot my moral responsibility toward God?

    I wondered if you knew that Jesus said “He who looks upon a woman to lust commits adultery with her in his heart.”

    I wondered if you knew that low-cut shirt would create a battle between good and bad within the heart of a man.

    I wonder if you know that God sees modesty and virtue as true beauty.

    I wonder how you would feel standing in front of God with that low-cut shirt on.

  5. Thank you ladies for your comments on this important topic. Thank you Jonathan for your input. It's so nice to hear from a man on this topic!

  6. amazing article it is just what i wanted to read because many women consider that the wearing of hijab as u've said is a choise but me i've read it in coran many times and it is shown clearly that it's obligatory and for the many good things that hijab provide me with i tottaly agree for other women who did not acceot the idea of hijab it's just an excuse or did not want to face the truth said in the coran thanks .s.k.

  7. What an inspiring article mashaAllah! And I feel for your boiling blood whenever you hear 'hijab is a choice!' because that's what I feel too. Sadly many a-times some hijabis often second that hijab is a choice statement, especially when they're in a situation where they're surrounded with non-hijabis who are close to them and they either simply are intimidated or don't have the guts to speak out the truth. And it's clear they support that sad statement because they don't want to disappoint and hurt the other girls' feeling -true story btw.

  8. Masha'allah a very nice article Wallah i'v loved it .... you've said what i always thought of fight for, That Hijab is an obligatory, its not a matter of choice ...Im from Saudi. and few females started to give excuses about this topic and its killing me . Especially that we come form a place that don't make problems with you just because your wearing Hjab ...on the other hand we see how many women in different countries are being rejected and treated with injustice just because they have took a stand and wants to wear it ...
    Women have to understand that by wearing Hjab we obey our Creator, Thats it ..... some times i don't think that they fully understand that fact Or the Devil is playing us .....

    Thank you for taking the time to write this amazing article ....

  9. Salem Alikom
    Mach Allah Alik ,lets me present my self my name is Mouloud SAIB am from Algeria 33 years olsd , today i see u repotage in Canal Algerien TV , i was very glad to see u as muslum and u was very nice with Hedjab , when i see this repotage i was search u web site i read all your articles in your blog and i partge in my Facebook ... i want to know beeter about how u beleve inGod Allah bcz i have firend want to be muslim ... if possible u can contact me at my E-mail:

  10. Aslamoalaikum. It was a great article, Nicole. The problem is that the word "choice" is used so liberally by Muslims today. Whenever they come across something that makes them hesitate, they say "it's our choice". If it's in the Quran, then no, it's not a choice.


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