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.