It can be difficult for a young hijabi to find an idol that looks like her to aspire to. And when I say “look like her” I mean the idol herself is a hijabi. In this current day and age, where people all over the world are fighting to be more represented in the media we still don’t see enough hijabis showcased on the media broadly as we do with blonde blue-eyed women.
So what about women like us? Who are Muslim and cover their aurat? Who dress modestly yet are out there changing the world and making a name for themselves and Islam? Well, let us now look at the top 10 women who are hijabis that all little Muslim girls need to know.
The first on our list is none other than Malala Yousafzai. Malala’s story is no stranger for most of us adults who consume the news and keep ourselves updated with what is happening in the world but to children or teens who aren’t so keen on the news, this is one young lady that people need to be aware of.
Malala is truly inspirational as she risked her life to fight for freedom and the right to an education for girls and women. She was shot in the head for her beliefs and this just shows that her faith in women deserving education is unshakable. This is the kind of person young girls should look up to and draw inspiration from not some kpop star with pouty lips and bug-eyed makeup. Earning a Nobel Prize at just 17 years old, Malala is truly someone that Muslims everywhere need to know.
Another inspirational woman all young Muslimah need to look up to is Ibtihaj Muhammad.
This lady is truly awe inspiring as she happens to be a Muslim American who is known for her fencing skills. Yep, you read that right! Fencing! Ibtihaj is not only renowned for wearing a hijab and being Muslim but her fencing skills has made her an Olympian.
She is one of the few who are known as the best women fencers in the world! Her achievements truly prove that hijabis too can excel at sports and wearing a hijab shouldn’t prevent you from being athletic and chasing after your dreams of becoming an Olympian and competing in the Olympics.
The next one on our list is Salma binti Hizab al-Oteibi. She is a woman whose story will serve to be the beacon of light that most Muslimah will turn to when they find themselves struggling to achieve success.
In what was considered to be the first gender-equal elections in Saudi Arabia, Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi, became the first woman ever to be elected and won a seat in the council of Madrakah. This is an incredible achievement as Saudi Arabia is not known for women’s rights. In their country, women aren’t allowed to drive still, they aren’t allowed to leave the house alone without a muhrim male chaperone and these are just the tip of the ice berg.
Tawakkul Karman is the next woman we have on our list and this is another Nobel Peace Prize winner. Imagine that, TWO Muslim women Nobel Peace Prize winners! MashaAllah! Tawakkul Karman is not only a Mulslimah, she is also a journalist, politician and human rights activist who co-founded “Muslim Journalists Without Chains”.
Her hard work and diligence in fight for human rights has made her a face associated with freedom and righteousness.
The first time I laid eyes on Noor Tagouri, an anchor on US Commercial Television, it was on tumblr. While scrolling through my tumblr feed of gifsets of silly fat cats and pretty flowers, I stumbled upon a post that featured a picture of Noor Tagouri, with the caption of somewhere along the lines of ‘The first hijabi news anchor…’.
The post had hundreds of thousands of notes which reflects the number of likes and reblogs with many people stating their own words such as “You go girl!” or “Yassss! Slay!!!”. To put it simply, it was immensely satisfying and strangely touching to know that many westerners and basically people all over the world truly celebrating the diversity that Noor Tagouri brought when she became an anchor on US Commercial Television.
Noor herself has stated that wearing the hijab truly makes her happy and it isn’t just some gimmick to get more views. “It empowers me,” Noor states, “It helps me do what I do”. Well, ladies, why don’t we all find what it is that truly stoke our passion and don’t let hijab stand in our way. Instead, let it empower us as it has Noor.
Melanie Elturk is one hijabi that is bound to stick to any young Muslimah’s mind, particularly those who are into all things fashion and trendy.
Melanie is actually the CEO of Haute Hijab and her passion is the hijab itself. With a deep love for the head scarf that has become a symbol of one’s religion, Melanie even wrote a thesis on the hijab! Just goes to show how deep her love flows for the garment.
This woman began wearing the hijab at 13 years old and she truly loves what the hijab can do to a Muslim woman. “It wasn't until college that I truly understood the beauty of hijab, how it protected me and raised me in status,” she states, “How it instantly bonded me to other Muslims, how it deterred others from disrespect and how anytime a person looked at my hijab, they were reminded of God.” Check out her Instagram @hautehijab for inspiration when it comes to looking chic and cool yet still covering the aurat.
Aseel Shaheen is also a hijabi worth mentioning in this article. She is basically the first Arab woman to officiate in Wimbledon.
This just proves that Muslim women truly are a force to be reckoned with whether it’s on the runway or on the tennis court. Nowadays, people have grown to accept and fully embrace Aseel Shaheen’s presence on the court and it is this kind of diversity and understanding is what is truly needed in the world right now. Isn’t it just so lovely to see a successful hijabi clad woman in the sporting world?
Who here hasn’t heard of hijabi style icon, Hana Tajima? Well, if you haven’t then this is the time to sit back, relax and educate yourself. Hana Tajima is a British-Japanese Muslimah who is well known for her stylish clothes and graceful beauty. Her recent achievement includes collaborating with top names like Yuna and partnering up with Uniqlo to come up with a line of clothes that are modest and aurat-covering. “I think especially at a time when Muslim women are the focus of sort of more negative press, it’s important to have something that tells you about another side [of being a Muslim woman],” Tajima stated via phone in another interview.
Her words truly show that she is someone who truly believes in the Muslim faith. The clothes she has designed along with Uniqlo are indeed very appealing and attractive and they are also comfortable for daily wear.
Number nine on our list is Nadiya Hussain who is a renowned for being on the British show “The Great British Bake Off”.
She is known for her creative and colourful baking creations as well as her cheerful and upbeat personality. Combining both her intriguing personality and baking prowess, Nadiya managed to win the hearts of millions of viewers putting her at the top 10 of the competition. Some of her future plans and achievements include the hope of starting a cooking show with Bake Off Finalist Tamil Ray as well as signing a publishing deal with Michael Joseph. Who says baking is just a hobby a housewife does in her spare time and not a multimillion dollar business?
Last but definitely not least, I give you, the stylish and ever so classy designer of beautiful hijabi styled fashion Imaan Aldebe. Aldebe is truly exceptional because her fashion creations managed to spread out even to the Western countries like UK and France. The fact that her turban hijabs have spread across these continents is truly admirable and her success should be applauded.