The 3 Second Leap: How to Take Off the Hijab in 4 Steps


Step 1

This is the ice breaker. Have a chat with your siblings (if you have any) and complain about the hiijab. Let them know that you don’t like it.  The tone is super important though! You need to sound sad and frustrated…. they’ll sympathize with you that way.

Step 2

Have a chat with your friends: tell them the absolute truth… you are probably going to lose a couple of them, but fuck ’em they weren’t your real friends to begin with. I have had lots of my “friends” ditch me but who cares as long as I get to stand in my own truth right?!

Step 3

PREPARE A RESPONSE. Once you take off the hijab, your extended family are going to keep asking you why you took it off and you can answer them in 2 ways: a) it’s not mandatory or b) I’m not ready. I highly suggest the latter because boy can debating a) go on forever, and when they start analyzing the Arabic in all the verses……

If they keep pestering you about it, try ending the conversation with the good ‘ol: “God Help Me.”

Step 4

Announce to the world that you will be taking off the hijab the night before. YES the night before. Taking off the hijab is like ripping off a band aid, it’s going to hurt for a bit and then everything will settle in. The hardest part about taking off the hijab is the first day. You’re probably going to get a lot of dirty looks from a few of the religious folks in your community and you might be the topic of many kitchen-table talks, but after 2 weeks everybody will have forgotten about you.  It’s sad that it took me well over a YEAR to muster the courage to take off the hijab when the action in of its self took only 3 seconds.

Taking off the hijab oddly enough, is probably going to feel like one of the most selfish decisions you will ever make. You have to be callous about it because you will be hurting so many members of your family. Taking off the hijab is about YOU.  If you want to take it off then you have to ignore the tearful pleas from your parents begging you to not sin; hence, the need for callousness. The night before I took off the hijab, my mother came to my room and sat on my bright orange rocking chair. She then began to cry when she saw my hijab-less back to school outfit spread across my bed. She begged and begged me no to do it. Each tear was like a stab to my heart but I did not budge.  I knew what I wanted and I was going to have it. As callous as it might be, I basically told my mom to get over it; mind you, this woman sacrificed everything for me and this is how removing the hijab can be pretty selfish. But here’s the thing, if you don’t take that 3 second leap, you’ll find yourself wearing the hijab for the rest of your life (or being an ex hijabi in secret which is no way to live).

So I leave you with this one piece of advice: JUST DO IT.  It’s been 2 years now and my family simply chuckle whenever I refuse to wear the hijab. How odd that just the year before, all 11 of my uncles and aunts were pestering me about my decision.  For some of you, this may not be the case. Perhaps your parents will disown you; perhaps you will have to run away. But you have a decision to make. Do you want to live your life in freedom? If so, take that three second leap. The hijab is not just some fabric, it is a statement; because let’s face it, wearing something you do not believe in whenever you are outside is depressing as hell.  I wish you all SAFETY and success in your journey xoxoxoxox

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