I remember sometimes in 2008 when I was writing the 3rd of our 4 major exams in med school. During the viva voce, I met a three-man panel of examiners; one of them was an external examiner. The external examiner was the first to ask me a question.
“Why are you covering your hair?”
In my mind, I was like: “Egbàmi! After memorizing the whole of Chizoba (the author of a popular Paediatrics handout) throughout the night, is this the question you’re going to ask me?”
I stared at him with mixed feelings of anger and happiness. Happiness because it is generally believed that, if they ask you irrelevant questions during viva, it either means that you have passed until proven otherwise, or you have failed beyond reconsideration. I was sure that the former would be the case. So, I took my time and schooled them on why I wear the hijab…
The two internal examiners couldn’t hide how impressed they were but the stranger was still looking for something to overpower me with. He asked, “women who cover up their bodies from head to toe, what medical problems do you think their children can suffer from?”.
I knew exactly what he wanted to hear but I diverted his attention.
I said, “well, maybe those babies who are carried under the hijab could develop heat rashes, but after a while they would get used to the temperature due to the hypothalamic resetting… “.
My time was up, but the Prof. didn’t want to accept defeat. So he went on: “those children, don’t you think they can develop vitamin D deficiency due to poor exposure to sunlight?”. I said, “it’s a possibility sir, but they can get enough vitamin D from dietary sources such as egg yolk, fatty fish and diary products”. One of the other two lecturers signalled that I needed to leave, but he asked me one academic question which I answered correctly…
Moral of this gist is that so many people who see us in hijab automatically believe that we don’t know what we’re doing. Sisters who belong to that category need to do us a favour and learn more about the deen. Faith without knowledge is nothing. If there’s any religion that operates in sync with the natural laws of science and the principles of medicine, that religion would be Islaam!
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Quran chapter 5 verse 3)