Our Picks for World Hijab Day -Top 6 Role Models

This is for women who اhave made great efforts in breaking stereotypes and the glass ceiling against all odds.

Who are your hijab-wearing role models?

We put this question to our readers for the occasion of the World Hijab Day, and below are their choices – Successful 6 women topping their list of favorite role models

1 – Yasmin Mogahed

With degrees in psychology and journalism, Mogahed is well-skilled at delving into the deep issues afflicting individuals in our communities. She is also an instructor and youth worker.

Mogahed’s books and speaking engagements are greatly enjoyed by American Muslims and those across the globe. Here is Mogahed sharing her hijab story:

2 – Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir

Perhaps she is best known for being denied her hijab, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is an award-winning basketball player who played for University of Indiana. However, she was denied playing professionally in Europe due to the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) ban of headscarf.

Currently, she is a Graduate Assistant with Indiana State’s Women’s Basketball team. She is also completing her master’s degree in coaching.

Abdul-Qaadir is the founder of “Muslim Girls Hoop Too,” bringing attention to the issues Muslim women face in the sports world. ‘Life Without Basketball’ is a documentary about Abdul-Qaadir’s experience.

Before I left off to college, one piece of advice my big sister gave me was, “Whatever you do, don’t stop praying”. The…

Posted by Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir on Sunday, 5 January 2020

3 – Dr. Ingrid Mattson 

Best known as the first woman to serve as vice-president, then as president of the Islamic Society of North America (USA), Dr. Ingrid Mattson is another prolific woman and role model.

While being a Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary, Mattson created and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America. She has also written a best-selling book, The Story of the Qur’an. 

On January 22, 2013, the Tessellate Institute co-hosted a lecture by Dr. Ingrid Mattson on 'Rooting a Canadian Muslim…

Posted by Dr. Ingrid Mattson on Saturday, 26 January 2013

4 – Raghad Altikriti

Raghad Altikriti is the newly elected president of the Muslim Association of Britain, which is another first for women! Previously, she served as Vice President and Head of Media, having worked with the association since its creation in 1997. 

5 – Ilhan Omar

Omar may be the hijab-wearing role model we get to see the most. As  U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, championing for the rights of American citizens, Omar is regularly featured in the news. She strongly advocates improving international relations and policies that affect people around the world.

She has advocated for a living wage, affordable housing, universal healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

6 – Nazma Khan

Many readers noted that one woman has been at the forefront of pushing for the recognition of hijab as a common sight, not an anomaly or token. Founder of World Hijab Day, Nazma Khan is instrumental in bringing an understanding of the desire and right to wear hijab millions of Muslim woman have to non-Muslims. 190 countries now participate in World Hijab Day, encouraging women to not just tolerate, but to truly support each other.  

View this post on Instagram

Nazma Khan—the brainchild of World Hijab Day (WHD)—initiated this global movement with the intent of bringing awareness on a subject that’s very dear to her and millions of Muslim women across the globe. While growing up in NYC, she was harassed both physically and emotionally on numerous occasions. The presence of such discrimination heightened around 9/11 because of her human right to wear the hijab. Her purpose was to introduce her pain to others in hopes that no one will ever have to go through the emotional trauma simply because of the love they have for their faith. Consequently, on February 1st, 2013, she asked her fellow sisters of all faiths across the globe to don the hijab for one day.  Within eight days, she got responses from women residing in 67 different countries that represented a conglomerate of religious backgrounds, to include Christians, Jewish, Pagans, Wiccans, Rastafarians, Buddhists, Atheists etc. WHD gave an opportunity to citizens worldwide who were not familiar with the Islamic faith to open up dialogues with their Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and friends.  Additionally, WHD presented an opportunity for teachers to understand why their Muslim students wear the hijab. It also provided non-Muslim mothers a chance to better understand their daughter’s faith and the decision to wear hijab. The negative perception on hijab allowed people to act upon their fears and hurt innocent women without a real and existing threat.  WHD simply presented an opportunity for everyone to learn about hijab and its importance in the Islamic faith without perpetuating the negative generalizations in today’s society. .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #WorldHijabDay #EmpoweredinHijab #Fashion #hijab #hijabersindonesia #hijabtutorial #hijabers #hijabi #hijaber #hijabindo #hijabfashion #hijabdaily #food #hijabbandung #hijabista #hijaberscommunity #hijabinspiration #hijablife #hijablove #islam #muslim #muslimahfashion #muslimah #muslimahwear #muslims #muslimwomen #Myhijabstory #allah #quran

A post shared by World Hijab Day Organization (@worldhijabday) on

Growing up in the Bronx, in NYC, I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab, ‘she reflects. ‘In middle school, I was ‘Batman’ or ‘ninja’. When I entered University after 9/11, I was called Osama bin laden or terrorist. It was awful. I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves.” – Nazma Khan