Noor-Ul-Hudah Khan, Lawyer
In the 1990s more and more Muslim families migrated from the East to the West. This included my own family. Having being born in the UK, I’d like to share my experience from a Muslim child to a Muslim woman. Belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, it was a great privilege for my family and I to enjoy the freedom of being able to practice our religion freely and most importantly for the women in our family to be able to go to the mosque. Growing up with the freedom to go to the mosque on a regular basis is something you can never take for granted, especially when you look at the restrictions placed upon our fellow Muslims in the East.
I was 14 when I decided to wear the Hijab of my own free will.
I had many insecurities which made me question my decision to wear the Hijab. Questions surrounded my mind and I thought: Will people look at me differently? Will the Hijab obstruct opportunities for me? Will I be able to get a job? Will people throw abuse at me in the streets?
But then I reflected upon the reason why I was considering wearing the Hijab – it was to please God; to obey God’s command.
I will not sugar coat the truth, in the first few days of wearing the Hijab, people I knew did look at me differently. A few racial slurs were thrown at me, but the pleasure of knowing that I was obeying Allah’s command was so strong that such minute things failed to bother me. I also knew that if I sincerely worked hard then the Hijab will not obstruct opportunities for me.
It is by the Grace of God that I was brought up in such an environment where the attainment of education was of paramount consideration. I was never once restricted from completing my secondary education and nor did I ever face any obstacle in completing my higher education. It is a misconception of the non-Muslims living in the East and West that wearing the Hijab will make it difficult to achieve basic rights of education and employment. But that was never an issue for me.
I have come to the realisation that practicing your faith in the West may come with its difficulties, especially as a Muslim and with the influence of the media, but it has never been impossible or disheartening. Being connected to your faith brings a drive within you in which you persevere to move forward and advance in both religious and societal matters. Read this article in MALTESE – http://ahmadiyya.mt/iddawl_dir/Id-Dawl_Numru_039.pdf