What Ibtihaj Muhammad Has Done For Muslim Women
This morning I woke up and looked through the notes in my phone, and saw her name written down.
Whenever I have a good idea I want to remember, I open up my android phone, scroll to an app called “Google Keep” and write it down.
The problem is most of the time, I tend to write things down without context, thinking I will remember if I see it again.
In this scenario, I simply wrote down the name “Ibtihaj Muhammad” with nothing else…
Well to no surprise, I can’t remember exactly WHY i wrote her name down.
What was I thinking about?
Why did her name stand out?
I took the time to research her once more.
“The first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the US in the Olympics”
Talk about breaking a 4-minute mile.
I’m sure you have all heard this story before..
In 1954, Roger Bannister at age 25 ran a mile in less than 4 minutes.
Before he broke the “4-minute mile”, the accomplishment seemed impossible to all runners.
After he broke the record, it is now held as “the golden standard” for all runners and has been broken countless times.
For one reason, and one reason only…
Roger Bannister proved that it was possible.
He proved that it could be done by doing it himself, and now it’s the golden standard…
This made me think of Ibtihaj Muhammad.
The first female to compete for the US in the Olympics wearing a hijab.
All along, I’m sure Ibtihaj felt like it was HER mission to conquer her dream.
To achieve her goal and push through to the very end, to the point of EXCELLENCE.
But in that process, how many lives has Ibtihaj affected?
How many girls who were insecure about their hijab has she transformed into powerful confident women?
How much belief did she instill in Muslim American women…
That it IS possible.
That you CAN be great.
That islam is not a thing to be hidden in the closet, away from the public so you can be “accepted”.
That you could be Muslim, and be at the TOP of your field with pride…
I think the reason I wrote the name down without writing anything else, is because I didn’t NEED to write anything else.
The name itself represents so much more…
“I know there’s an age-old saying about making a seat at the table – I don’t need a seat, I’m pulling up a chair and I’m telling you I’m going to exist in this space whether you like it or not” – Ibtihaj