People often have misconceptions about muslims and why some girls wear hijab while others do not. As a muslim I can simply say that hijab is not just a cloth around our head. It is about our chastity.
I started wearing hijab when I was 12 years old but I did not know why I was wearing it. Initially I only wore hijab in school but as years went on I started wearing it everywhere i went; shopping, family friends gathering, outing with friends. I felt like over time the hijab became part of me. I felt naked without it whenever I went outside where there were non-mehrams (non-mehram is someone whom I am not related to such as in-laws, strangers, cousins.) I still did not understand why I was wearing it though. During college I saw some girls wearing hijab but behaving in a way that I did not expect muslim girls to behave. I thought maybe hijab is a way of showing that I am a muslim and I should behave in a specific way. Obviously when I saw someone dressing religiously, I expected them to behave in religious way too but when I did not see that in some girls, I knew wearing Hijab meant something. That made more sense to me. I started behaving like a muslim and practising islam more. That does not mean I did not sin, we as humans sin all the time. Muslims are no exceptional. But wearing a hijab made me behave in a specific way and introduced different way of living. Just to confirm, I was not forced it was my inner self telling me to improve myself and grow to be a better person. So what do I mean by different way of living?
During college, I hanged around with a lot of boys and got close to them physically but not in sexual way. I did have a barrier but there were something I thought it was fine. Most of you would not agree with me or think there is no big deal in this but I am sharing my opinion as a muslim girl. I felt like it was wrong to hang around with them. I felt the intimacy. But when I went to university, I became more aware and physically distanced myself. I did communicate but only to professional level even if they were my friends. When I wore hijab and behaved modestly I felt like there was a barrier with non- mehrams. Usually when a muslim who does not wear hijab come in contact with interviewer for example, they would extend their hand for a handshake but with hijabis they do not. They will wait for the hijabis out of respect. Thats what I like. The barrier.
Am I obliged to wear hijab as a muslim? No. When I started wearing hijab, I did not even know why I am wearing it. My parents just supported me with whatever I decided to do. Usually people ask non-hijabis if you are a muslim then why are you not wearing hijab or when are you going to start wearing it. It is our choice as a muslim to wear it or not. You do not become sinners or bad muslim if you do not wear it but wearing a hijab most likely will protect you from taking wrong decisions in your life. Only if you understand the reasons behind the hijab. There are still people who wear hijab but do not dress or behave modestly.
Why did I mention chastity? Us adults know how we can get turned on, seeing someones amazing smile or eyes can make us drool. We watch films, we see an intimate scene and we get turned on. Our male friend looks good looking and we just stare at them. These are just some examples. But these things makes us want to do all those romantic things that could lead to self satisfaction or doing it with a partner. For us muslims sex before marriage or self satisfaction is a sin. To avoid all that, Hijab works as a reminder that I am a muslim and I should be behaving in a specific way. There are many Christians, hindus etc that are also saving their virginity. They might have different way to protect their chastity but for us it is hijab. In my Opinion.