Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Love me? Love my hijab.

For the lack of being able to go outside, I decided to sit down and read through the (seemingly) thousands of convert blogs out there. Goodness we blog a lot I guess!! And I found a very funny blog from MyHijab about funny incidents while wearing hijab. So I decided to put down some of my own.

1.) Some of my first days as a Muslim, actually I may not have really even been Muslim at this time (there was a period of four months or so before I actually converted that I attended a lot of Muslim activities and wore hijab to them) but one of my first bad experiences was in downtown Minneapolis. I was walking to an ISNA convention in abaya and hijab and some guys rolled down their windows and yelled something completely intelligible but undoubtably foul at me as they drove by. It didn't bother me in the least, I just felt sorry for them.

2.) I wore abaya and hijab and niqaab into the house when my mom was home. This was for certain before I converted, in fact it was about 3 years before I converted. And she took one look at me and said "Dear God don't ever wear that into the house again!!! Someone might see you and that gang fighting between those sunnite and shees they might shoot up the house!!!!" I must attest that my mother is a million times more educated about Islam and Muslims now (and she now swears that she never said such a thing in her life) but it was incredibly funny.

3.) I wore abaya and hijab to an interview in Phoenix (I admit these were my conservative abaya and khimar days) and the interviewer looked at me and asked, "Now are you going to have to wear that costume?" I should have sued her, but whateva. I wasn't surprised when I didn't get the job.

4.) A little while after I converted I went to a "What is Islam?" workshop during Islamic Awareness Week on the U of Minnesota campus. A Russian guy sat next to me (uncomfortably close) during a slideshow presentation and afterwards asked me if I was a nun. I'm fairly certain he wasn't entirely right in the head, but hey! he was attending a workshop for understanding Islam. Maybe he became a Muslim, Allahu alem.

5.) During my early no-car Phoenix days I was taking the bus home from class and this really nice Navajo guy in a wheelchair (who "walked" me home everynight after the one night I was assaulted) asked if he could draw me because he loved how I looked in hijab. He also asked if he could hug me. I turned both offers down. But I was flattered.

And more recently in this job I work now, I get comments almost every day. All of them except for one have been really nice.

6.) Yesterday a teenage boy who often comes into the clinic, and who is incredibly sweet but mildly mentally disabled, asked me if what I was wearing was a "high-job" (his pronounciation of hijab) and then told me I was wearing a very pretty "high-job" it was very sweet. And it also happened to be right at the same time I was having an in-depth discussion with a convert who had been married to a Saudi- but who does not wear hijab and has very lovely fake nails- and is planning on going back to Saudi next week to be with her 7 children who live there. I also saw again a little girl who is roughly 3 years old and ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTIOUSLY ADORABLE who upon the first sight of me a few weeks ago said "look mommy heejee" and pointed at me and then on the way out waved at me and said "salami". Her mom brought her in again yesterday and when I asked if the little girl had truly been saying "Salaam" to me last time she said yes and then explained that the little girl's father, her ex-husband, is Palestinian. I could have covered the girl's adorable little face with kisses. May Allah grant me a baby girl who is so gorgeous and sweet.

The one time I had a "negative" comment was from a feisty, spirited, and quite spiteful, old asian woman who wheeled herself past the front desk and when I handed her the labels for her visit asked me "why do you wear that?" with a vinegary face and tone of voice. I explained that it was part of my religion and her sweet, downtrodden, husband quickly wheeled her away with an apologetic smile.

Mostly the comments I get range from "what a beautiful color" or "your outfit is gorgeous" or "you are very pretty/you look very nice." Alhamdulillah. I am very lucky, in all honesty, to have the reception that I have from the people I work with and the patients who come to the clinic. I don't know if its a blessing from Allah on me specifically or a blessing from Allah on the area in which I live and work. But it IS a blessing from Allah. A good friend of mine, a 2month old convert, was fired the same day she showed up to work in hijab. SubhanAllah. She lives and works in the same area I do. But it didn't affect her outlook on being Muslim. She is a superstar in my eyes. Mamita sabes que te quiero mucho!!!

Oh! And one more hilarious story. I was working once in United Hospital in downtown St. Paul for a two day temp job assisting on the yearly employee satisfaction survey. The survey itself was offered in a LARGE range of languages which was very necessary, the scope of the different nationalities that work there is astounding. Yay for United! The second day I was there these three very sweet Tibetan ladies walked in with their interpreter to take the survey. They did not speak hardly any English but sure enough they looked right at me, smiled, and said "Assalaamu Alaykum." I was astounded. I asked if they were Muslim to which they looked at their interpreter who laughed and explained, "No they're not, but they work with a lot of the Muslims who work here so they learned how to say hello." How's that for employee diversity?

Allahu Akbar.

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