"Do You Shower in That?" and Other Questions About the Hijab Answered This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 25, 2010
I do not shower in my hijab, nor do I sleep with it. I do not have a bomb under my headscarf either; the slight bulge is my hair wrapped in a bun. Hair loss is not the reason I cover. Trust me, I have hair. Sometimes, you just have to believe in things you cannot see. I cover because I believe in modesty and it is not just my hair; the rest of my body, with the exception of my hands and face, is included. Yes, I am a Muslim (good observation). My hijab is not an on and off kind of relationship; it is a commitment. While I wear the hijab full-time now, I have not worn this headscarf my entire life. This is only my second year covering my hair and I am 16 years old.
Yes, I do speak, write, and read English fluently. I understand all those bloated, big words you say and the insults you mutter in vague whispers under your breath that you assume I cannot understand or hear. My hijab may cover my hair, but it does not cover my brain or clog my ears. So feel free to use your hoity-toity, highfalutin talk with me (in fact, I know a few big words myself). You might be afraid of me, but what scares me is the ignorance some people have. On airplanes, people sitting in the seats around me look absolutely terrified out of their wits, as if they would rather jump out of the plane now than endure a flight with me in the same aircraft across the ocean. In elevators, they sneak little looks as they take notice my scarf and hope nothing explodes between the first and second floor. If you are going to stare, at least try not to get caught.
I am a normal 16 year old girl that enjoys a hilarious joke, lime sherbet, hanging out with friends, and a good debate about Twilight. I write and read for fun, and tackle the daily struggles of a high-school student. I play tennis, watch movies and go shopping. Even though I cover my hair, I enjoy trying new products and new styles on it. Swimming is no biggie. I just use a swim cap. I want to go to college, which I am already planning for. My mother went to college, too. In fact, college is where my dad and my mom met.
My father does not wear a turban, nor does he have a beard. No, he did not beat me or force me to wear the hijab. I am not oppressed and for the record, I am allowed out of the house. I do not have any brothers. We are a family of four women and our father loves us just the same and does not feel disappointed at all that he has no sons. My father is not a tyrannical radical and he respects my mother. He consults her opinion before he does a lot of things, such as which tie she thinks looks better on him or which watch he should buy. They cook food together, cheer while watching soccer games on TV and they like to watch comedy movies.
A common introduction Americans have with my religion is through bold, capital letters that stir panic about terrorists and conspiracies. If a picture can speak a thousand words, then the images of men in turbans with guns and wailing women in black only yell out loud at the reader. Captions with words like Islamic radical, terrorists, Jihad, and Muslim extremist further inform the reader about who is the bad guy. The article finishes off with disturbing details about who bombed whom. I will tell you who was bombed: Islam was bombed by Muslim terrorists.
I am not a terrorist, nor do I agree with what the terrorists are doing. If the terrorists claim they are Muslims, they are not because Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. Innocent people should not die. Do not be afraid of me; fear the people who want to kill others. I do not hate America; I love America. I was born in America, but I also enjoy my Egyptian and Turkish heritage. I cheer for both the Egyptian and American Olympic teams. I love both pizza and rice stuffed grape leaves. Truly, it is the best of both worlds. The same goes for my hijab.
My hijab does not put me behind in anything or bother me and keep me from wearing what I want. It gives me a way to be creative and further express myself. From sparkles and embellished paisley designs, to dots and flowers, I have scarves in every color and design imaginable. I can wrap three scarves together to create a unique look and there are many different ways to wrap the hijab. As well as receiving compliments from random strangers about my headwear, I have also received disdainful stares and not so pleasant gestures. Still, I continue to wear it with pride every day. For me, it is a fashion statement that my religion gave to me.
Some people may ask if I miss feeling beautiful and if I am sad because I am not allowed to have a boyfriend. What? Whoever said I miss feeling beautiful? I feel beautiful right now! When people talk to me while I wear the hijab, it is because they take me seriously and respect my opinion. It is not attraction when a man is interested in a woman because of her body. That is his satisfaction. Wearing the hijab has not subtracted from my beauty, but actually protected it. Finally, I refuse to be an exhausted and used teenage girl who is dumped and recycled numerous times before she finds a real man that will actually respect her, a man that will love and admire the inside just as much as the outside. I am not the least bit disappointed that I will never be like that.
I realize you have questions and I do have the answers. I know that the media makes you confused and I would not blame you either. With the images you see on TV, it seems contradictory that my religion is all about peace. If there is still any confusion, just ask because I want to clear up any misunderstandings you might have. I enjoyed answering your questions. However, no, you cannot have a peek at my hair, so stop asking.

Join the Discussion

This article has 147 comments. Post your own now!

irishlass317 said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm
I say more power to you for wearing it!! This is a beautifully written article. You are such a great role model for girls, whether they are Muslim or not!! :)
Darkknightrises said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 2:20 am
Wow! This was just amazing. I love the most about this article, is that she stuck up for herself and what she believed in. :) This is really good! Good luck on writing:)
Hijabi4Life said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 1:12 am
Salaams. This is a wonderful article and I feel the exact same way. People often ask me so many questions about hijabs, some which are quite rediculous. I think this was a great way to publicly (sort of) display the answers and give dawah to all those who read this.
Cameandgonesmarty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 12:20 am

I really enjoyed reading this. I'm persian myself, and a bahai, so no i am not muslim, but i respect all religions and love learning about them. I hate stereotypes that people assume, whether it be gender specific, cultural, or religious, and it was touching that you wrote something so beautiful. I admire people like you who believe in their religion. I admire that you truly believe in your religion and hijab even at this age and you have made a commitment; i think that is great! the world ne... (more »)

Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 11:46 am
Thanks for reading and commenting, Cameandgonesmarty! You are right: to each his own. It also bothers me when I see other women being forced to wear the hijab (or do any other thing for that matter) because it can be hard to love something if you were forced to wear/do it, rather than out of your own acceptance.
beachychick said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm
This is awesome!! I went to a mosque a few months ago and- even though I consider myself a non judgemental person- I was shocked at how normal it was. There were no terrorists, no one hated us..l in fact, the people we met there were some of the nicest I have ever met.m(:
Mike6546 replied...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm
I had  similar experience when my muslim friends let me pray with them.  I didn't know what to expect but it was all pretty normal.  They just read a story and prayed; nothing extreme or foreign at all.  Just because somebody has a different religion doesn't mean that they're not a normal person.
NitashaS said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm
Wow MashaAllah that was very well written! Mind if I advertise this a bit? :) Keep on writting! :D
Kitty10 said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm
I liked this article and hats off to ur courage and desires!
PurpleTornado said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

This is so like me! I started hijab just before I was 15 and it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. Although I'm not American neither do I face half the problems you have to face because of Hijab, I completely felt like these were my exact opinions.

Personally, this is one awesome piece everyone with weird views about Islam should read. Good job!

Ninasplaylist said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 6:02 am
This article was amazing! I look forward to reding more!
Jessica G. said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm
Love the article! Nothing exactly new to me as I have many Muslim friends, so I knew these things, but very witty and fun to read.
I do have a question, though. You say like a good Twilight debate: exactly what side do you stand on with that? Hmm....(:
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 11:50 am
Haha, Jessica...I stand on the side that says Twilight, despite its high success, isn't really a book of great literary merit or anything. Bella, although being highly glamorized and such, actually came across as a weak female. In other words, pathetic :)
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 11:52 am
But of course, everyone has their own Twilight philosophy/opinion and they are all valuable to know, lol. :D
AriShine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm
This is really great. I detest stereotypes of any kind, and I am ashamed that there are people out there with prejudices such as this. It is heartwarming to read the supportive comments. Wonderfully said!
sophieluvv said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm
This is not only really good but really smart and well written. I have often seen people staring at girls who wear hijabs and whispering about them and I think it's so ignorant. Good for you for putting your culture in perspective and for having pride in your religion.
thatgirl27 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 10:45 am
I really just wanted to tell you that you're extremely brave. You have provided relief for people who have experienced the same things. You did so with wit, charm, and grace in the writing. This is fantastic. Thank you for writing this.
Kanupriya said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 6:38 am
hey i guess i read ur piece a bit late but BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.....and lt me tell you....girl u r awesome...i mean when i see my own family being prejudiced with muslims and then ur article, i feel like-hey grown ups grow up! :).......perfect perfect perfect.....and u r right about that 'used teenager thing'...i too wrote an article about teen love...do check it out! keep going! :) :)
mandapanda96 said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 2:06 am
As in, *respect* for you :) Atta girl!
mandapanda96 said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 2:05 am

One word.


~manda :)

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