As we enter the month of March, we open our arms to Women’s History Month and Muslim Women’s Day. We take this month to celebrate all the women that have broken barriers and welcomed a new squad of women who are following in the same footsteps, or paving their own unique paths.
In this listicle, we celebrate the cutting-edge artists, writers, and revolutionary pioneers who are breaking barriers and redefining what it means to be a Muslim woman.
Let’s take a look at these women, who inspire and uplift in their own unique way:
1. Sabina Hannan
This Bangladeshi-English blogger worked at a nursery before rapidly growing her following on various social media, most notably her YouTube channel. Sabina Hannan covers makeup and fashion on her channel, all the while proudly wearing her hijab. Her Bengali heritage features front-and-center on her Instagram page, encouraging those who may struggle with their authentic selves to bravely own their truths!
2. Habiba da Silva
I consider Habiba one the OG Hijabi Influencers/YouTubers. She is still going strong in the game, even coming out with her own eponymous line of hijabs. This half Brazilian, half Lebanese beauty make it clear that she has no intention of forgetting her unique cultural upbringing, and constantly touches upon controversial topics that affect the daily realities of Muslim girls and women through her #habibaspeaks series on her YouTube channel. Her channel also covers modest hijab brands, makeup tutorials, and reviews, proving that there’s nothing this fiercely creative businesswoman can’t do!
3. Mona Haydar
Syrian-born rapper and activist, Mona Haydar, first gained a following through a single act of community that went viral. Mona Haydar, along with her husband began a campaign, “Ask a Muslim,” to humanize Muslims and tackle people’s preconceived notions of Muslims and Islam. A lover of poetry from a young age, Haydar turned her spoken words into singles such as “Wrap My Hijab”, and “Dog,” catchy and unapologetic anthems that have made their mark on Billboard charts. Currently, she has an EP album called “Barbarian”, where she touches upon topics such as suicide, being American, and Islamophobia.
4. Nayyirah Waheed
Her poetry is celebrated universally—although she does not show her face on social media, her poetry is her existence. Nayyirah represents a new kind of poet—one who breaks the rules of traditional poetry, punctuation, and publishing companies. She harnessed the power of social media to introduce the type of writing she thought was needed. As the author of two published poetry books, her work is enjoyed and taught around the world, giving a new voice to human experiences. Nayyirah’s poetry is truly an example of refusing to oblige by the norms, and still turning out successful.
5. Yasmine Salem Hamdan
This boss lady is a lawyer with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs. Muslim entrepreneurship is on the rise, and someone in our community is doing the necessary nitty-gritty work to facilitate success; and she happens to be a woman. Yasmine Salem Hamdan operates her own firm, along with giving speeches and seminars encouraging other entrepreneurs to dream big. Here is a Muslim woman who may have taken a traditional career path as outlined by our traditional communities, but gave it her own boss-like twist.
6. Alia Sharrief
This Oakland native is following in the footprints of Black Muslim rappers such as Busta Rhymes, Mos Def, and Rakim, whilst putting her own twist to her words. Sharrief is influenced by her grandmother, a former member of the Black Panther party, and left Alia with these wise words:
“You gotta pencil whip em.”
This was all the encouragement young Alia needed to put her emotions down on paper, and she is doing just that. Alia has become a regular name in Hip Hop circles, as well as social justice events.