In our society being pretty is shallowly associated with physical appearance instead of inner-self. Everyone has their own definition of what beauty is. Hana Alkahlout says “a beautiful person is someone with a personality that is beautiful, not simply an outward appearance of beauty.”
As a Muslim women Hana wears Hijab. Many associate Hijab with the religion of Islam, but do not understand the important values and customs behind it. “Hijab is a symbol of Islam, a beacon and responsibility that requires not just an outward veil, but a humbling and modest persona.”
The word Hijab is derived from the Arabic word “hajaba” which means to hide from view or to conceal. With physical characteristics, such as hair and clothing, not on display, Hijab eliminates the chance of people judging based on looks. “Hijab is a means of protection. Hijab is a means for others to see you for who you are rather than what you look like.” The outside of someone is not as important as the intellect and personality on the inside.
Most are uninformed on the topic, and as a result people who wear Hijabs face discrimination in our society. Hana attributes this to ignorance. “…people that do not understand the Hijab, tend to believe what society and media portray Hijab and Islam to be. Post-9/11 that image is of oppression and terrorism, which is quiet opposite of what Hijab and Islam is all about.”
For Hana she believes it is her obligation. “I wear Hijab because I believe it is my obligation as a Muslim female. “As one who wears Hijab, I am immediately recognized as being a Muslim, and the responsibility of properly representing Islam is always on my conscious, especially in a country where I may be the only Muslim some people encounter.”
In Islam the Quran and Hadith place heavy emphasis on good character. Although external beauty is not revealed to our subjective society, the inner beauty remains.