- Ronnique Louvier
Hijabs. Its not easy to make a transition to becoming comfortable with wearing it everyday. Im a African American woman who converted to islam nine months ago, and I still dont wear mine as often as I should. As you may know, hair is sacred in Black history. My hair is my crown! It's very different from other races. It isn't an easy maintenance job, it seems to shed fast and hardly even grow. I love when I have my box braids but I also love the curly look. If I apply heat on it too much, then I will no longer have my beautiful coils. Not all brushes are fit to take care of the job, and the same goes for hair products. If I go outside without doing my hair, with my frizzies up, everyone will look at me a certain way. However when the community, who cannot relate to me, does its considered as a “cute messy bun”. It's like as much as I want to be myself, society shoots me down.
My hair is my cultural crown, but my religion teaches me to hide it. The literal translation of “hijab” means “to cover”. It is usually referred to as the physical headscarf, but it is so much more than that. There is a verse in the Quran that mentions a term that stands for the scarf. This verse says: "... And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not to expose their adornment (zinatahuna) except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers (Khumurihina) over their chests (Juyubihina) and not to expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons” Quran 24;31 It is our duty to hide our beauty so we can lessen the chance of men having nasty thoughts of us.
My hijab forces the people I interact with every day to look past my appearance and see who I truly, and unapologetically, am. To everyone else, it is a warning. It shows a woman who knows her worth, value, and is not a toy soo do not even try to play with her. This is a woman you take seriously. It shows how I want to be set apart from everyone else and I want you to know who I am. To me, the hijab means so much. It’s a physical reminder of the way I choose to represent myself, my strength, and most importantly, my way of showing devotion to my religion and God.
Devoting oneself to actually wearing the Hijab when going out is a big task. No matter how beautiful it may be, sometimes I don’t even feel beautiful in it. I feel like my hair is what makes me beautiful. Sometimes I do feel beautiful in it. I feel like it’s all a part of the process of being comfortable at all times in the Islamic scarf.