The hijab can easily be seen as the most misunderstood and noticeable emblem of a Muslim woman. On February 1, Florida A&M University’s chapter of the Muslim Student Association invited their peers on campus to take a walk in their shoes for a day by sharing hijabs with anybody that was open to experience it in solidarity with Muslim Women on World Hijab Day.
The traditional covering of the hair and neck that is worn by Muslim women is a mean.
of showing modesty and devotion to Allah. Although it is very popular and highly encouraged to be worn as a woman, it is not mandatory.
“I’ve always been Muslim, and the more I learned about it, the more I grew closer to wanting to wear the hijab,” said graduating senior business administration student Ferha Brhan.
“People were telling me they wanted to wear it and asked if it was offensive. . .when I found out [World Hijab Day] was a holiday, I thought ‘Why not bring it here on FAMU’s campus?’” continued Brhan.
From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on FAMU’s Set, the women of the Muslim Student Association welcomed people to wear the Islamic headscarf in celebration of World Hijab Day. Throughout the day, non-Muslim women walked the college campus with their headscarf on, experiencing a small aspect of what Muslim women have to face on a day-to-day basis.
At the end of the holiday, students who participated in wearing the hijab met up with MSA in the Rattler's Den to retrieve the scarves and discuss their days.
It is essential to maintain the type of character that comes with wearing the hijab, and many of the women felt compelled to live up to that particular standard throughout the day.
“I’m a very care-free person and I’ve been learning to be more reserved. Wearing the hijab really made me practice, because I didn’t want to be cursing and acting crazy with my friends,” said biology pre-medicine graduating senior, Amani Jones.
“I was very cautious, which I appreciate because It made me frame myself to a leveled area. It was just a very good experience, working on myself as a person and becoming a more reserved care-free person rather than an always outgoing care-free person,” Jones continued.
Almost all of the women got double takes throughout their day, but for Biology Pre-Dentistry student Amberly Williams, who is used to getting various looks throughout her day as Miss FAMU, these kind of glares were in a totally different light.
“It just made me want to be more giving and put a smile on somebody else’s face. It was literally the covering that did that. I do nice things all the time, but everyone was looking at us so I wanted to give them something good to look at,” said Williams.
It is common for people to react and make judgments by simply not knowing. Students who participated in wearing the hijab walked away with greater insight on the culture of the Islamic religion. The Muslim Student Association will continue to educate and awaken people throughout the rest of their “Islamic Awareness Week.”
“The biggest thing for us to draw from this, is realizing that everyone is experiencing different things and everyone has a story. Everyone you’ve come in contact with has just went through something, you have no idea. We are all human, and we all have a voice. You can learn and you can ask questions. I just think it is a beautiful thing,” said biochemical engineering sophomore, Fure’ Muhammed.