In November 2019, Hilal Ibrahim garnered national attention when she designed a line of hospital-grade hijabs for healthcare workers. Many healthcare workers struggled to keep their hijabs clean, with some even throwing theirs out after every shift. In response, Ibrahim created a line of hospital-grade hijabs made from a lightweight and breathable jersey fabric. She has donated over 700 hijabs to doctors and nurses throughout the state of Minnesota.
In addition to her philanthropic pursuits, Ibrahim is the founder and owner of Henna & Hijabs, an online boutique selling high-quality, organic products. Her boutique seeks to fill a void in the fashion and beauty industries by providing ethically made and organic hijabs and henna. Recently, the boutique made national headlines when Ibrahim launched a limited edition, luxury hijab-line for Black History Month and World Hijab Day. Throughout her work, Ibrahim is committed to normalizing Muslim women’s lived experiences and to breaking down barriers in the fashion and beauty industries. Hilal states that it’s not just about providing high-quality hijabs, “[i]t’s also showcasing that the Muslim woman is just like you and me. […] And so for us, it’s an inner-weaved piece of being authentic to who we are and also creating a high-quality piece and providing that to our customers.”
These are just some of the many reasons that Hilal Ibrahim made our 2021 Muslim Women to Watch list. Read below to learn more about this amazing Muslim woman.
Muslim Girl: What is your biggest inspiration behind the work that you do?
Hilal Ibrahim: One of my greatest sources of inspiration stems from my passion to create a space for young Muslim girls and women to thrive. My hope is to continue this work by creating mentorship opportunities and establishing an H&H business empowerment initiative to support young women in these areas.
MG: How important is ethical beauty within the modest fashion industry?
HI: These very values closely align with H&H’s best business practices: Sustainability. Environmental Awareness. Fair-trade. Honest business dealings and of course a good, quality product.
H&H’s foundation is rooted in ethical beauty. When the vision for H&H first came to life, I wanted to create something that was not only good for the Muslim woman but also safe for the environment too. We founded H&H on these ethical beauty standards.
MG: With France seeking to ban girls under age 18 from wearing hijab, #HandsOffMyHijab was seen trending all over social media. What message do you have for Muslim women choosing to wear hijab in such hostile political climates?
The message I have for Muslim women around the world is to keep being proud. Never stop being unapologetic for who you are, and know that you represent the epitome of what it truly means to be free. I am always in awe of the resilience of Muslim women, and it is times like this that make me proud to be a Muslim woman.
MG: What does hijab mean to you?
HI: My hijab has inspired me to make a positive shift in fashion. I believe that you don’t need to change who you are to fit in. As a Black Muslim-American, my hijab has given me the strength to become who I am today. To me it symbolizes elegance and power.
MG: What are some of your future goals and upcoming projects?
HI: I am excited and encouraged by the growing number of partnerships H&H has cultivated in the healthcare and retail space — helping us connect to Muslim women where they are at as leaders, consumers, and patients. We have a very big, busy year ahead of us and we encourage everyone to connect with us and follow our progress on Instagram at @hennaandhijabs.
Meet more of our 2021 Muslim Women to Watch here.