Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hijab and Little Girls

This is my friend's daughter. Isn't she adorable, Masha Allah?

My friend is a new Muslim. She said the Shahadah a month or so ago, Alhamdulillah. While my friend is adjusting to life as a Muslimah, her children are also adjusting to having a Muslim mother. What an adventure it must be for a child to all of a sudden be exposed to a whole new way of life compared to what they are used to living!

They all visited me about a week ago. We decided to walk around the way for ice cream. When my friend and I got ready to go, putting on our hijabs, her daughter asked me if I had one for her, too. So I let her wear one of my short amira-type hijabs.

Little Muslim girls are not required to wear hijab. But any little girl wants to copy what mommy and mommy's female friends do.

I think that it's never too early to let a little girl get used to wearing a hijab. We should never force them, but we should encourage them as they show interest.

If we don't do this, how can we expect them to be receptive to hijab once they reach puberty? How can we expect them to love hijab as grown women if they don't love it as children?

I know Muslim sisters who tear their hair out behind their teenage children. "Amir won't pray." "Ahmad doesn't want to go to Sunday school at the masjid." "Fatima wants to wear sleeveless shirts." and on and on.

Do we expect our children to all of a sudden become pious Muslims if we don't encourage it when they are young? The job of raising a Muslim child to be a righteous believer starts early.

Encourage your children early to love and please Allah (swt).


Mumina said...

Yes yes YES, wonderful post Safiyyah! My daughters all wear hijab and are very conscious of covering their arms and legs, right down to the 4 year olds, maashaAllah. And the cool part is that we haven't told them they have to, but they have picked it up I guess from seeing me and other muslim women. I hear them checking each others clothing sometimes making sure they are covered, and they know why they cover. I'll hear them say things like "you can't take your hijab off in front of boys" and I see them take care to put on pants underneath their skirts that are not ankle-length. The oldest is 7. I hope Allah keeps them this way as they grow into young ladies, inshaAllah.

Stacy K. said...

I used to love visting my Somali friends in the high rise on Saturdays and seeing all the little girls in their hijabs coming home from Quran school. I agree that you need to teach standards to your kids from a young age, while still allowing them to be kids. Teaching girls to cover for learning Quran and the masjid is a good step.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Many Muslim women get disgrunted when they see a little girl in hijab, but most should realize that if a child shows interest in it and WANTS to wear it, by no means should we steer them away. That is part of their Islamic training. Even my little girl who is ONE YEARS OLD wants to get up under my one-piece prayer dress and delights herself in getting out my hijabs from a floor bin and wearing them around the house, or blankets, LOL.