Raffia Arshad Became the First Judge to Wear the Hijab in the United Kingdom

World Ahmed Adebayo 19-Jun-2020
Raffia Arshad speaking at BYU's Law and the Family Lecture Series ( Wikimedia Commons/ Raffia Arshad )

Right from the time of our Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Muslims have had to face tremendous obstacles and tribulations. Even in this century, that has not stopped but those who have their faith in Almighty Allah (SWT) will always triumph. This is the inspirational story of how one brave Muslimah changed the face of the judiciary in one of the most powerful nations in the world.

In May 2020, an amazing piece of news went across the United Kingdom when a 40-year-old Muslim woman grabbed the headlines. Raffia Arshad had just become the very first deputy district judge in the United Kingdom to wear a hijab.  Once again, a high-achieving Muslim woman was setting the records.

Recently, she got her letter of appointment as a judge for the Midlands circuit and she is also a member of the St Mary’s Chambers in Nottingham. It was a development that gave joy to millions of Muslims all over the globe. Even at the peak of her achievements, she did not fail to promote Islam and reinforce her faith in Almighty Allah (SWT). In her own words, the judge from Burton-upon-Trent said:

I do not just see it as a personal achievement; it is bigger than that….led the way for Muslim women to succeed in the law. I almost feel a little bit detached from it being me. It has become more about making sure I am inspiring others, no matter what background they are from. It has taken a while to get here but I am so pleased. It is not just a personal achievement. It is a huge achievement for anyone from a diverse background.

Apart from being the first judge in the UK to wear a hijab, Arshad was already setting records way back in time. For example, she was the first person in all of her family to attend a university. A devoted Muslim mother of three and wife, Judge Arshad took the time to give special thanks to her husband for giving her all the support that she needed while pursuing her career. Islam enjoins us to appreciate our spouses.

Another exciting aspect of Judge Arshad is that her achievement is not just about the hijab, it is a lot more than that. She is using her law practice to promote Islam and serve as another way to worship Allah (SWT). This explains why she is an expert in Islamic family law and this she has been doing for almost 20 years.

What a story like the one of Judge Raffia Arshad tells us is that as Muslims, we are going to face a lot of trials and tribulations on this planet. However, as long as we remain steadfast on the path of Islam, then Allah (SWT) is always going to give us victory. May Allah (SWT) ease all our affairs in this world and the Hereafter, aameen.

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