Saturday, November 12, 2005

Hijab in the Workplace

When I embraced Islam in April of 2002, I was still working away in the litigation department of a busy downtown Washington, D.C. lawfirm just four blocks from the White House.

During the first year-and-a-half that I worked with the firm I was just your regular American female dressing casual/professional for the office, always wearing my hair nicely styled, meticulously applied makeup, and sporting nails that were freshly manicured every other week in correlation with my pay dates. *lol* (Toes included!)

So imagine being the proverbial “fly on the wall” the day I first walked into the offices where I was working wearing jelbab and hijab!

It was the most incredible experience!!!
On the morning that I made the decision to wear my hijab to work a sign that I was doing the right thing came as I approached the mammoth glass doors to the main lobby of the office building.

As I reached to pull open one of the doors, the door opposite to me on the left began to push open simultaneously, and while everything that happened in those few moments passed so quickly that I did not even get a good glimpse of the person who spoke to me, barely even having a chance to respond because I was so stunned, what I heard clear as day were the words, “Assalamu Alaikum!”

Subhan’Allah! That was the last thing I had expected to hear!

But, Al-hamdulillah, words and images that will remain forever embedded in my memory as I walked across the lobby, entered the mirrored elevator, pressed the “6” button for my floor, and gazed at my reflection on the elevator wall.

My cheeks were flushed and my heart was racing as I contemplated what would happen once the doors opened and I stepped out…but having heard those words, I felt more like Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala was with me more than ever…and I was confident that I had made the right choice.

Thank goodness I chose my first day as one of the days in the middle of my boss’s vacation because for the next two days I couldn’t get one bit of work done for answering questions! Al-hamdulillah!

I never felt such wonderful support for a decision in my entire life! I was astounded! The reaction of my colleagues spoke volumes for the “diversity” policy that the firm is so well known for! Al-hamdulillah!

Insha’Allah sisters young and old, new and re-newed (*smile*) you will wear your hijab with confidence, too!

Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz
Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.



  1. Forina says:

    Salam sister, subhanALLAH your article really made me smile mashALLAH very happy 4 you!..i am 17 and i too observe jilbab and hijab, and am working part time in London’s west end in a fashion store..but i only wish i had the support you recieved..but it is a test from Allah (swt) so i have to be patient. Jazzakillah Khair for enlightening me with your story, may Allah continue blessing and guiding you inshALLAH. Asalaamu Alaikum wa rahma-tullah. : )

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