Why Umm Ruqayah Took off Hijab for a Day

Once in a while we get a rare honest glimpse into the life of a Muslim woman. A real unfiltered raw look into the pain and suffering that religious believers go through in order to satisfy god. I’m Abdullah Sameer – your friendly exmuslim.

So Umm Ruqayah, which means “Mother of Ruqayah” made this following post on facebook:

I took my hijab off today.

On my last early morning in Prince Edward Island, I visited a beach that was completely empty. I looked in every direction and there was not a person in sight. 

No people around meant I could take my hijab off. So I did. The Atlantic Ocean breeze blew through my hair. 

I didn’t know I would, but I cried big, hot tears. Because it felt wonderful. I was spending time with the ocean and some birds, none of whom looked at me or cared that I was there. And I wondered, “Is this how it feels to not wear hijab?”

I walked, and walked, with my orange hijab balled up in my fist. I looked into the vast body of water, and at the sky, and at my feet, and everything in between. I thanked God for bringing me here, to a place I have wanted to visit since I was a child.

And then it was time to go. I looked at my hijab and then in the direction of the parking lot. From far away I could see tiny figures and I knew a few people were starting to arrive.

I could’ve walked to my car without my hijab. No one here knows me. I could’ve pretended I was someone else for a moment. I could’ve felt the breeze for a bit longer. 

But I didn’t. I said goodbye to the sticky salt wind, and I put my hijab on. My hijab blew in the wind, but it didn’t feel the same. Then I walked back to my car, re-entering the world as a Muslim woman.

A woman who is looked at, judged, and always held to a higher level of scrutiny. A woman who just wants to live her life, but is seen as a flag bearer for this faith. A woman  who is imperfect, but has to hold up an image of perfection so as to honour others like her. And it’s so, so tiring. No man can understand this heaviness.

But as I walked back, I said to Allah: I do this for You and no one else. And though it’s hard, I will hold onto it. Tightly. Fiercely. With vigour and patience. 

There is no other path I would choose, because He chose this for me. And I love and obey Him. 

In Jannah, I’ll feel this breeze in my hair again. Cool and gentle and kind, carrying a scent that is better than that of a thousand oceans.

I will wait for that day. I think I can be patient for a while longer.

End post

Wow, what a post. What an honest declaration as to the reality of how tough it is to wear hijab.  How much of life a Muslim woman misses when she has to cover head to toe like this.

Hijab isnt empowerment. It’s sacrifice. It’s a burden that Muslim women have to bear until they die.  We often look at it as a cultural type of clothing, but its much worse than that, because its religiously mandated. It’s punishable by god if you dont wear it.  It has strict rules which are often enforced by the community.

I’d like to add this tweet as well by Fatima Said:

This post by UmmRuqaya perfectly captures what a lot of Muslim women that wear hijab feel, so glad someone has articulated this. Wearing the hijab is perhaps the only religious obligation that I can say with certainty I do 100% for Allah. Nothing else comes close. Only women that wear/have worn hijab know the level of sacrifice, patience and battling one’s nafs that it takes to wear it day in and day out. It’s why I get especially frustrated at Muslim men that come for women who are struggling with their hijab, or Islamophobes who accuse us of being forced into wearing it by men. Both groups are so egotistical, so out of touch, and they do so much harm. Alhamdulilah for a merciful Lord that understands. I pray Allah rewards us women that wear hijab for our sacrifices and makes it a means for us to enter Jannah


So Fatima says that wearing hijab is a big sacrifice, requires a lot of patience and battling one’s nafs (meaning ego or desires) to wear it day in and out. She also is annoyed at Muslim women who attack Muslim women for not wearing it, and “islamophobes” who say they are forced to wear it by men.

I would say that many of them are forced to wear it by men, but more importantly, they are spiritually compelled to wear it. They are told that God will be angry at them, that they are sinners, that they are not complete as Muslim women without hijab.  And of course, the irony here, even Fatima admits in the same paragraph that “Muslim men come after women who are strugging with hijab”. So maybe those “islamophobes” were right?

The thing is that both these women are agreeing that hijab is a difficulty.  That wearing it is a sacrifice. And this is why we fight Islam.  Because the ideology takes away from peoples happiness. The religion convinces people to give up parts of their life for no good reason.  For a “jannah” that will never come.

This ideology steals the one and only life that we have from Muslims.  It makes them live in a way that NOBODY would ever live, if it wasnt for this doctrine. Lets continue to fight the good fight, and one day many more hijabis will feel comfortable to take off their hijab and feel the wind in their hair and on their neck. 




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.