By: Alexandra yun
Women are making up the future. But we’re focusing on the Muslim women who are letting their voices be heard and setting a new precedent for the next generations to follow, grow and expand. It’s all about breaking the boundaries and these five women are doing just that. Some may be more well known, but we wanted to highlight women who were making the difference.
Let’s walk through some of the trailblazing Muslimahs making up our world today.
1. Asma Elbadawi
Asma Elbadawi was born in Sudan but raised in the United Kingdom. Growing up, her love for basketball grew, but she faced many hardships and setbacks; one of them being her wearing a headscarf. She fought much criticism about wearing it on the court, but she was able to focus on her goal of getting the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) rule overturned. She continues to fight the battles on and off the court with the use of poetry and spoken words as seen on her Youtube channel here.
2. Zehra Abukar
Zehra Abukar was crowned the winner of the Miss Muslimahs USA pageant in 2020. Representing the state of Maine, she was born in Turkey but moved to the states in 2014. Entering into the competition wasn’t something she ever expected herself to do, but through winning, she has found a way to use her voice to empower and uplift other Muslim women out there.
3. Amani Al Khatahtbeh
Continuing with winners from the Miss Muslimahs USA pageant, we would be remiss to not talk about the woman who started it all: Amani Al Khatahtbeh. She started the beauty pageant as a way to celebrate Muslim women and have them feel beautiful without feeling the need to sacrifice their morals and religion. The standard beauty competition in America usually has a bikini round, which is something some Muslim women would not be comfortable with as it contradicts their beliefs. Not only was this a chance to celebrate these beautiful Muslim women, but also to show off their achievements and accomplishments around the globe. For more information, you can check out their website here
4. Halima Aden
If there’s one name that often pops up when thinking of Muslim women in the fashion world, it would definitely be Halima Aden. She’s the first Muslimah to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a hijab, something that most would not have predicted. after being at what most would consider the height of their career, she made the shocking announcement in 2020 that she would be walking away from the runway as it was interfering with her faith.
Note* We, Striving for Modesty, recently wrote a feature about the struggles and compromises many Muslim women face while being in the world of fashion, check it out here!
5. Raffia Arshad
Steering away from the modeling world, we’re jumping into the world of justice as we round out our list. Raffia Arshad was the first UK judge to be appointed to the position while wearing a headscarf. . Arshad made it very clear after she was sworn in that she will make sure “the sound of diversity is heard loud and clear”. Having her up on the bench can show other Muslim women that they too can do it and reach their goals.
Whether it’s on the basketball court, on the stage, on a runway, or in a court of law, these Muslim women are breaking barriers and giving other young girls and women inspiration.