What’s harder than carrying the burden of a religion you don’t believe in?

Hello. I need to pour my heart out. It’s 5 in the morning, and I can’t sleep because of thinking. This is the second letter I’m writing here.

Like most of you, I’m in the hijab because of family pressure. I can’t convince my family otherwise. Every time I try, I’m treated like an infidel. You can’t force good, but they are trying to do that. Their attitude towards me put me off of both religion and faith. They are estranging me from religion when they try to get me closer, but they don’t realize this. What’s harder than carrying the burden of a religion you don’t believe in? People who see my hijab from outside approach me with prejudice: “Your hair is showing, what kind of a veiled person are you?” “You made veiling a fashion!” and so on. They don’t know the meaning of family pressure.

Every talk with my family ends with a quarrel. We argued multiple times just because of the pajamas I wore in the house. My mother is a so-called Muslim, but she doesn’t know her salat. My father goes to the mosque to perform salat from Friday to Friday. But if you ask them, they are very religious; that’s why they have the right to meddle with my hijab. I spoke to them many times, my counselor teacher too. They knowingly ignored how bad I am. They don’t realize how bad this hijab makes me. They say I’ll go to hell if I don’t wear it. I don’t think Allah will send me to hell just because my hair is showing. I don’t mind sending pictures of myself with no hijab on to my close male friends. Because they know my situation, all my close friends do, everybody does.

I still can’t find a way to escape this burden. The last time I went to the grocery store with my mother, I didn’t wear a hijab; I hid my hair with a hood. She didn’t say anything when we were outside, but she got mad when we came home. Look, they will get used to it. They will accept us the way we are. My only hope was university, but I don’t want to limit my hopes. I will take my hijab off as soon as I can. I love the way my hair dances with the wind when I go out on the balcony. I will run with the wind with my hair open, and those days will come. Hijab is not my destiny; it’s none of ours. We create our destiny. The more we stand up for ourselves, the more they will see how determined we are. Maybe we haven’t succeeded now, but we will succeed eventually.

  1.  Salah or salat is the second of the five pillars in the Islamic faith as daily obligatory standardized prayers. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship that is observed five times every day at prescribed times.

Translator: Leto

(Image: Igor Moritz)

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