I said I wouldn’t do it.
I said it made me feel uneasy, naked.
Two weeks ago, I began suffering from a searing headache exasperated further by working long hours at computer screens and fewer hours of sleep each night (must be delayed jet-lag?). It lasted a week.
Combing, washing, drying, and fixing up my hair became excruciating, and I simply could not focus on anything else but the pain. I became moody, snappy, and angry. Light bothered me, noise bothered me, my scalp felt as though it was on fire, and it hadn’t even developed into a fully fledged migraine (yet).
Ever since I started teaching, this has become the story of my life. Like all hijab-wearers, I’d tie my hair and hijab securely to ensure it lasted a day of work. Then, probably unlike other hijab-wearers I’d return home and happily look like a churayl for the rest of the day…
And actually, I was coping just fine. Then I got married and that put an end to it: no more open hair and definitely no more no-hijab. Forget nazar, I’m 100% sure nothing quite creates hair loss like keeping it tied up for all hours of the day because 90% of your in-laws are male!
But now my prayers have been answered! I work in an all-girls school and when I say all girls I MEAN all girls – no men are allowed. We enter and leave the school in full abaya and shayla, but within the school we can wear whatever we want so long as it is modest and covers the body.
For the first month, I was preoccupied with settling in and getting my head around school routines, memorising the school map and all that jazz – I didn’t want to remove my hijab. It was like a comfort blanket.
Then I decided enough was enough, the pain wasn’t worth it and when it’s permitted in Islam to remove hijab among women there’s no reason not to.
That was two weeks ago and now? Well, let’s just say I won’t be going back to the UK anytime soon. My head has never felt so good. My HAIR has never felt nor looked so healthy.
Now I can be a churayl at home and at work.
Seriously, I feel so lucky to have the best of both worlds. In today’s world, so many Muslim women are either forced to remove their hijabs or forced to wear it for the sake of honour. I know that I have it easy (alhamdullilah) and all jokes aside, I am so, so, so thankful. Qatar, I LOVE YOU!