Posted on Sep 01, 2012
September's Hijabi of the Month is Ola Faraj from Dearborn, Michigan! Would you like to be a HOTM? Is there someone you'd like to nominate? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Ola Faraj. I am a 23 year old Muslim from Dearborn, Michigan. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Wayne State University and I plan on pursuing a law degree in the very near future. In my free time, I maintain a cake business from home called Ola La Cakes. I love wearing hijab and finding stylish and fashionable ways to dress modestly. Putting on the hijab was one of the best decisions I made and I believe it accentuates both the inner and outer beauty of a woman. It's more than just a piece of fabric, it's a lifestyle that molded me into a woman who's respected for what's in her head versus what's on it.
1) When did you start wearing hijab?
I started wearing hijab at the age of 9. My mother was and still is my role model. She allowed me to make that decision on my own and I am so grateful that I wore it when I did. It made me the strong woman I am today, Hamdulilah!
2) If you could tell your 17-year old self anything, what would it be?
I would tell the 17-year old me that there are more fashionable items than t-shirts and jeans. I was the biggest tomboy and I wish I had known how fashionable and stylish I could wear the hijab at that time in my life. I'm sure it would have boosted my self-esteem during high school.
3) What's the best piece of advice anyone's given you?
The best piece of advice given to me would have to be from the best advice giver: my mother. All my life she instilled the importance of respect, especially self respect. Wearing the hijab is a prime instiller of respect by means of modesty and I try my best to incorporate that in my daily life. When you respect yourself for the sake of Allah (S) you have no choice but to respect others.
4) What is one motto or statement that you live by?
One motto I live by comes from the holy Quran as our lives should always revolve around this precious book. "Verily, with hardship there is relief." (Qur'an 94:6). I am a strong believer of the fact that anything worthwhile in this life is worth the struggle and this statement guarantees that indeed there is relief and undoubtedly ease.
5) What piece of advice would you give to girls struggling with hijab?
This past Ramadan, two of my very close friends decided to wear hijab and I was so proud. I am aware of the struggles many girls go through when making this decision in their life but one piece of advice I gave to my friends was that the reward is worth the struggle. Your modesty and respect for yourself and most importantly your Lord, will make it all worthwhile. Many are afraid of how they will maintain a certain look and I am so grateful to be able to show people how fashionable the hijab can be.