Posted on March 27 2018
Happy Muslim Women's Day
Why do we need Muslim Women's Day when we already celebrate International Women's Day? In a time where Islamophobia is widespread, the stories of Muslim women are often overlooked and diminished to their dress codes. Even though they are always being misunderstood, they have remained strong, fierce, resilient, and defiant in the midst of gender inequality and religious misconceptions. Therefore, it's time to reconstruct a brand new precedent for Muslim women's representations in the mass media. With that being said, Reina Valentina presents to you some of the most powerful Muslim women throughout the history to celebrate their strength and leadership.
Being the least mentioned in the narrations of Islamic history, Sawda bin Za'ma was one of the first who testified to the faith in Allah (SWT) and the messenger (PBUH). She welcomed and accepted Islam in a time when doing so could very likely result in death in the hands of the Quaraysh. Other than that, Sawda sacrificed her own personal time with the Prophet (SAW) to Aisha, showing her selflessness and generosity to the Islam community. Known as the Mother of the Faithful, Sawda shows women of today should always help each other instead of competing against one another.
Often recognized as Prophet (SAW)'s second favorite wife after Khadija, A'ishah bint Abu Bakr's legacy stretches far beyond that. She contributed more than 2,000 hadiths to mankind, which are used to solve, answer, and address questions that may arise in the modern society, being one of the most extraoridinary figures in Islamic history. Aisha united Muslims, brought them closer to the practices and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). She is also known as the Mother of the Believers.
Renowned as the first Muslim female ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, Razia Sultan ruled Delhi from 1236 to 1240. After taking the throne, she decided to give up her traditional Muslim attire, and opting for a gender-neutral attire. Razia also insisted to be called "Sultan" instead of "Sultana" which meant the wife or mistress of a Sultan. Razia Sultan knew who she was, as she herself was second to none.
Queen Rania of Jordan
In addition to being a wife and a mother, Queen Rania aims to improve the lives of Jordanians by being at the forefront of human rights issues, particularly education. Her efforts to simultaneously challenge stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, and promote greater understanding and acceptance between people of all faiths and cultures, have won her global recognition.
I am an Arab through and through," she insists. "But I am also one who speaks the international language."by Queen Rania
Over the years, Sarsour has become a leading advocate for Muslim and women’s issues. Now national co-chair of the Women’s March and executive director of MPower Change, Sarsour has been at the forefront of major local and national social-justice campaigns over the past two decades. In 2011, she was honored by then-president Obama as a “Champion of Change," and known as one of “the suffragists of our time."
Stop telling me to go back to my country. I'm from Brooklyn."by Linda Sarsour
Being an African-American Muslim activist, Imani is here to shatter the stereotypical representations of Muslim women. She also founded Equality for HER, which serves as a nonprofit educational platform for both Muslim women and nonbinary people. Even though having once arrested at a Black Lives Matter protest, it didn't stop her from standing up for all the queer Muslim women.
In 2015, I converted to Islam and quickly learned about the discrimination Muslims have been facing first hand. As I began to wear hijab, my visibility as a Muslim women seemed to invite harassment," Blair said, "A lot of people assume that I'm homophobic, or that queer muslims could not and did not exist. I do exist."by Blair Imani
Just recently, she became the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected to a state legislature, with a victory in Minnesta. Born in Somalia and having spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya at the age of 8, Omar is also a Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowers East African women to take civic leadership roles in their community.
This really was a victory for that 8-year-old in that refugee camp. This was a victory for the young woman being forced into child marriage. This was a victory for every person that's been told they have limits on their dreams."by Ilhan Omar
Other than being an Olympian, she is also the first American athlete to compete at the Games wearing a hijab. She then became the first female Muslim-American athlete to win an Olympic medal when she took home the bronze in the team Sabre event at the Summer Games in Rio. Muhammad is an American fencer who broke Muslim stereotypes, and now she wants the Olympic gold.
A lot of people don’t believe that Muslim women have voices or that we participate in sport. And it’s not just to challenge misconceptions outside the Muslim community but within the Muslim community," Ibtihaj maintains, "I want to break cultural norms.”by Ibtihaj Muhammad
Because Muslim women talk back. And on Muslim Women's Day, the world will be listening.