Professional tennis player Sania Mirza was just named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People by TIME Magazine. As the No. 1 seeded player in the women’s doubles rankings, she just made history for Muslim women everywhere, both on and off the court.
Here’s an excerpt from TIME, written by Indian cricket player, Sachin Tendulkar:
The Mirzas probably knew what the future held for their daughter. Her name, Sania, means brilliant…Sania’s confidence, strength and resilience reach beyond tennis. She has inspired a generation of Indians to pursue their dreams—and to realize that they can also be the best.
Off of the court, Mirza is the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia–the first South Asian woman to be named a Goodwill Ambassador–and advocates for women’s rights and gender equality through her prominence in the sports world.
And despite the haters from our own community criticizing her dress code, she has continued to put her Islamic faith on the front line. Her very existence as such a powerful force in tennis makes her one of the most prominent Muslim faces today.
Having two inspirational Muslim women (we can’t forget about the amazing Ibtihaj Muhammad,) represented on a platform that is so widely viewed by people everywhere is a huge milestone for Muslim women, and we couldn’t be prouder.
Written by Safaa Khan