The Gifted American Olympian Who Never Tires of Promoting Her Faith
The United States of America has a lot of challenges and one of the greatest of these is race issues. To be a black in America, woman or Muslim comes with a lot of obstacles on its own but when you are all three, then you need to have a character made of steel to thrive and succeed. But that is exactly what our sister in the faith, Ibtihaj Muhammad has done.
Born on the 4th of December, 1985 in Maplewood, New Jersey, Ibtihaj Muhammad is a record holder and one of the best sabre fencers of this generation. A gallant member of the United States fencing team, she is known all over the world for being the first Muslim woman from America to wear the hijab during a competition in the Olympics. She achieved this feat in 2016 during the Summer Olympics (also known as Rio 2016 or Games of the XXXI Olympiad).
At the event, she did not just promote Islam and her position as a model of Muslim virtue, she also excelled greatly in the games. She got a bronze medal in the sabre event. This earned her another record as she became the very first Muslim American athlete to get a medal at the Olympics, masha Allah.
The story of Ibtihaj Muhammad is not complete without mentioning her parents. They were the ones that showed her the path of Al-Islam even as a child. They also searched for a sporting activity that she could take part in without needing to remove her hijab. At a time and a country when there is a lot of Islamophobia and discrimination against blacks and Muslims, that was a very commendable move.
Ibtihaj got used to the hijab right from her childhood and she grew up to love it. She specifically stated that as she was growing up and working her way up the professional world of fencing, she remained loyal to using her hijab. She said one of the reasons she did this was to serve as an inspiration to young girls and women all over the globe so they can break records and follow their ambitions and careers even with their hijabs. Alhamdulilah, this is what she has been able to achieve as Allah (SWT) has made a worldwide symbol of a Muslim woman succeeding against all odds.
Apart from being a pioneering Muslim woman in sport, Ibtihaj Muhammad is seriously devoted to several activities aimed at the promotion of Islam and women. She is also known as a powerful voice that advocates for tolerance, diversity, and inclusivity. In all these things, she thanks Allah (SWT) for all the success she has garnered so far. If there is anything that the story of Ibtihaj Muhammad has taught all of us, it is that we can achieve anything we want as Muslims while also holding on to our faith and hope in Allah (SWT). After all, Allah (SWT) told us in the Holy Quran, Surah al Ahzab, verse 3:
And put your trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs.
May Allah (SWT) grant Ibtihaj Muhammad the best of this world and the Hereafter, aameen.