JOURDAN DUNCAN — Staff Writer
Day 4 of my Muslim Journey
Feb. 9, 2012
I woke up today and continued my daily prayers that I have been doing for four days now and it felt amazing. I have been committed to several clubs, committees, sports and activities in my life, but I have never really known what it felt like to have that kind of connection to a religion. At first it seemed like just a routine that I needed to adjust myself to, but I don’t view it as a “to do or not do list” and more so as a way of living. Religion is about your beliefs and values, and as much as I can be passionate about music or writing, I can feel the same way about God too. It’s everyone’s decision of how they choose to praise him and what they have instilled in themselves to prolong those practices and beliefs.
After my early morning prayers were done, my Muslim friend Duaah stopped by to help me and share some of her own insight on the religion. She brought over a bunch of beautiful hijabs to try on and showed me different styles of how I could wear it. In addition, she brought over the Arab alphabet and numbers to review with me in case I was interested. She also brought me a copy of the Quran to read in my spare time and to become more familiar with some of its passages and the religion as a whole. I am very appreciative to have such a good friend that took the time to share a few pieces of her daily life with me, and I think it helped me to grow more on my journey.
Later in the day I had to go to a committee meeting for a specific event that I am helping to put together on campus. This was the first time the other girls in my group would be seeing me with the hijab on and I wondered if they would say anything about it. Before I knew it, they started questioning why I was wearing it, and after I explained they seemed fascinated by my choice to do so. We continued to talk about the many issues Muslim women and young girls face while wearing it. “It’s good that you are doing this because I know many young Muslim girls who are embarrassed to wear the hijab so they stop wearing it or they get bullied for it. It’s nice to bring awareness to that,” a girl said. I was immediately intrigued by the responses and reactions they had given me regarding the importance of the religion and wearing the head scarf. I have come across many individuals, especially students, that seem very ignorant or misinformed about the religion and have a lack of knowledge on the subject. Even so, these young women surprised me with the diversity in their comments and perspectives. I didn’t even think about the social issue aspect of wearing the hijab until it was brought to my attention today. It is remarkable to think about how much I have learned from everyone surrounding me through this journey. Whether it is negative or positive—it is essential.
Tomorrow is my last day as a “Muslim in training” and I feel sad, but happy at the same time. I really miss my hair, but I will miss matching my hijabs with my outfits and wearing them proudly as something new and fresh. It is always thrilling to see yourself in a whole new light, and for me the hijab has been like a new hair cut. Less is more sometimes, and it defined a whole new type of beautiful for me.