86 Hijabs

In preparation for Ramadan, I have been doing some internal and external cleansing. Increased in ibaadat (acts of worship), increased exercise, cleaning around the house, had some dental work done that I had been putting off, and decided to clean out my closet and dresser drawers.

I have never been able to find a good way to store my hijab collection and each time I try to organize them, they invariably end up strewn here and there in a big piles. Since, I only regularly wear about 10 hijabs maximum, I decided to get rid of or donate the ones I don’t wear.

I used to laugh when Suhaib Webb would mention the stereotypical “40 Jilbab” sister. That was until today when for the first time I counted my hijab/khimaar collection. Even though I don’t have 40 jilbabs I’m shocked that I have 86 hijabs. I took the hijab survey over at Firaushah.com and I said I owned about 20-30 hijabs. I underestimated by more than 50. I have 86 different hijabs of varying colors, styles, and fabrics.

Each hijab tells a story. Looking at them is like looking at a journal of the 4 years since my conversion to Islam. 86 hijab in 4 years and change isn’t so bad, I keep telling myself. That’s about 21 a year or about 1 every two weeks or so. I didn’t buy all of them, some were gifts, or giveaways when sisters moved away.

Some of them I have never worn and others I hesitate to get rid of because of the memories associated with them:

  • The one I bought online before I converted, to kinda test-drive hijab.
  • The medium blue one of the softest fabric given to me by a sister I met online shortly after I converted. I have never found a hijab I like more than this one or softer than it.
  • The patterned blue and gray one that has a hole in it from when some woman attacked me from behind and pulled the hijab so hard it tore.
  • The white shayla that I used to wear all the time especially when trying to catch the Ride-On bus or metro.
  • The black velvety one that an nice elderly Iraqi woman gave me, soon after she met me and before I amassed my collection.
  • The one I was wearing walking home in a hard pouring rain when I got sick.
  • The one I was wearing when I tried some warm green yogurt thing at a masjid potluck that made me sick for days.
  • The set I got on my first trip back to New York after I converted at the local masjid.
  • The one my mother gave me out of the blue after she finally accepted my conversion.
  • The one my mother’s friend gave her to give to me after she was finally able to say: My daughter is a Muslim.

I’m going through all 86 hijab and my jilbab so that in sha Allah when Ramadan begins, I won’t have such a huge pile to go through and maybe now I will be able to find the hijab I am looking for in less time, and maybe just maybe I will be able to devise a method of organization that will last more than 5 minutes.

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Author: Ify Okoye

Muslim woman, RN, & rebel with a cause.

18 thoughts on “86 Hijabs”

  1. Oh, I’ve organized my hijab drawer so many times. I’ve put away the ones I never wore and decided that I was gonna give them away. I’m done.. Excess is not good! lol.. but I admit I have a lot of hijabs mashAllah.

  2. 86 hijabs! Mashallah that is quite a collection, and I enjoyed the history behind each hijab. I think I had probably the same number at one time 🙂

    Also cleaned out and gave away many. And now I have a few of my favorites that I wear on a regular basis.

    Inshallah you will have a blessed Ramadan this month 🙂

  3. ME IVE GOT 10 BLACK HIJAAB COS BLACK MATCHES EVERY COLOUR
    PROBABLY GET MORE AS I GROW UP
    INSHALLAH
    B UT 84 MASHALLAH UVE CERTAINLY TAKEN WEARING HIJAAB SERIOUSLY
    LOL

  4. peace,

    Wow. Now I’m inspired to count my hijab.

    But you’re lucky; I have yet to hear either of my parents mention muslim and my name in a sentence with anything but dismay.

    Eid Mubarak.

    peace
    TwennyTwo

  5. Asalamu alaykum,

    May Allah protect you and make it easy for you and open the hearts of your family to Islam.

    I know it took a long time and a lot of dua and a lot of patience to get to that point where my mother could actually accept that my Islam wasn’t a phase and hijab was now a part of my life and for her to be able to admit that publicly.

    Wa salaam.

  6. omg. i can never sort mine out. i used to wear the square type always pinned under my chin. i decided it made me look fat on the face so i started tying it back. that looked a bit demented but then i got smaller square scarves and they looked downright funky. so funky that no one ever said i was muslim. they just thought i was very fashionable. i decided that needed to change. so when i went to singapore on a buisness trip last year i bought my first rectangle scarf. after a while i gave away my sizeable collection of square ones big and small coz obviously now that i had discovered the rectangle magic, i’d never ever need the square ones again.

    a week ago, after consultation with a friend on wearing the square scarves, i stumbled upon a funkier and prettier way of wearing them after which i went looking for my square ones only to discover, i’d given them ALL AWAY! *sigh*

    i can completely relate to this post + the organisation method.

    on another note, Never Ever try anything warm, green or yogurt.

  7. Asalamu alaykum,

    I did the warm green yogurt thing at a masjid potluck for the first time and have regretted it ever since. I was sick for days. 99% of my tribe is lactose intolerant although I can generally handle milk (I prefer soy) but I am still wary of those green dish things mostly from the subcontinent.

  8. HI all, I know that this may be coming out of left field for a topic from last year, but insha allah this will be helpful to some sisters. I am a muslimah who decided to start wearing hijab this ramadan (2007), which happens to begin on my birthday, mashallah.

    I have been visiting a lot of sites looking for guidance and advice, and I came upon this entry about organization. I thought that there must be a way to organize the scarves (I only have about 10-15 given as gifts upon my reversion and I still can’t keep them nice! I found this device for hanging them online (never used this site, but the concept here is genius:

    http://www.starscarves.com/sh5001.html

    If someone has tried this, I’d like to hear about it…I will check back to this listing to see.

    Wish me luck, everyone!

  9. awesome post, I love how you mentioned how every hijab has a story; Whenever something happened to me I always remembered what hijab I was wearing 🙂

  10. As Salaalu Alaikum;

    I have mine on one of those over-the-door thingees meant for men’s ties. It works pretty well and keeps them from getting wrinkled. I’ve gone from the square folded into a triangle, to the long rectangle, to the 2-piece amirah and then back to the square again cause the amirahs I’ve found around here are either too short, weird colors or TOO expensive. But now I want to wear the long amirah’s, like the ones you can get in Egypt. I am SO TIRED OF PINS!! Plus, I like the coverage and ease of wear that amirahs give. It’s hard to get that same Egyptian fabric here, probably the closest is peach-skin.

    I can relate to the whole Mom-and-hijab issue. My mom thought Islam was a phase for me, too, and was always asking me why I had to cover up so much. When she finally accepted that this was the real-deal for me, she sat down with her little 70-year-old hands and sewed me 2 beautiful hijabs, one for summer and one that’s more shawl-like for winter. By HAND, not on a machine! Love that woman!

  11. As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi Jessica!

    You go girl, for wearing your hijab! May Allah reward you! I’ve seen those scarf hangers and they seem pretty handy., although I don’t own one. Since you say you’re new at wearing the hijab, check out this site;

    http://www.thehijabshop.com/

    It’s a British site for buying hijabs, and they’ve got beautiful hijabs and wonderful examples of how to tie them for different looks. You’ll find some cool stuff here. May Allah grant you the “taufique”, which means “success” – there’s no such thing as luck, cause everything’s by the qadar of Allah! 🙂

  12. salam alaikum.

    I myself started wearing the hijab in the second week of ramadan 2007.

    And i have devised a brilliant (if i may say so myself) way of storing my hijabs.
    I use plastic coat hangers

    i fold the square hijab in half and drape it around the coat hanger (like i would on my shoulders for example).

    For the shayla type (or oblong) you just drape it on the coat hanger without folding.

    then with a straight pin, i pin the two side of the hijab together (up near wear the fabric meats around the ‘neck’ of the coat hanger)

    they don’t crease and they are all ready for me to put on in the mornings.

    try it for yourself!

    (just clear some space in your in your wardrobe or where you normally hang your clothes)

    salam alaikum

  13. As Salaamu Alaikum;

    OK. I’ve committed. I have decided to wear only the 2-piece long amirahs. I hate the hassle of pinning so much! I am a wash-andwear-and out-the-door kinda gal. So, no more square khimars, no more pashminas (although I do love their softness, they do not get along with pins and I can’t keep ’em tucked in without a pin or two). So now that I have a whole bunch of square hijabs to donate I no longer need my over-the-door scarf hanger. With the amirahs I just slip it over the hanger and the hook of the hanger sticks out of the opening of the amirah, then I just fold the little underscarf and tuck into in my drawer. Amirahs are neatly lined up on the closet rod just like good little mujahidiyyat with their shoulders all aligned and at attention. And not a pin hole in sight. (*sigh*…I love order.)

  14. Before I surf away to the closet organization site someone mentioned, I just had to say, Muslim Apple that the stories about the scarves brought tears to my eyes. You have talent as a writer. I’ll bookmark you and come back to see your whole site.

    For now though, I’ve got business clothes on one closet wall, workout and casual clothes on another, long skirts, manteus and coats on the third, and mashallah only seventeen scarves on the bed. They always do end up in a pile, OR draped over what they match, and the delcate ones get snagged on rough wood closet bars.

    I can’t wait to see what the ingenious organizer is.

    Peace be iwth you,

    Auntie

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