Reflections on World Hijab Day 2024

Reflections on World Hijab Day 2024

On February 1st, the Al-Tawheed Islamic Center was alive with excitement and curiosity for World Hijab Day, a heartwarming event hosted for the second year by the committed team at Treetops Collective. Located in Kentwood, Michigan, the Al-Tawheed Islamic Center is more than just a masjid, it's a vibrant community hub where people gather for worship, socializing, and learning for Muslims. 

Thanks to the commitment of both the Treetops team and the Al-Tawheed Islamic Center, the atmosphere of the event was transformed into a safer haven of inclusive cultural values and radical welcome. Treetops staff took on the role of welcoming greeters, embracing each guest with open arms and radiant smiles, setting the stage for a memorable evening.

Guests of 100 adults from all backgrounds came together to experience the hijab firsthand, stepping into the prayer room after removing their shoes. Led by the Imam of the masjid, we shared a peaceful Maghrib prayer as the sun dipped down— The Maghrib prayer is the fourth of the five daily prayers performed by Muslims. It is offered just after sunset, marking the transition from day to night. A moment for reflection, gratitude, and seeking blessings.

As I opened the event with a warm and cheerful welcome, I had a bit of a hiccup—I completely forgot the name of the founder of World Hijab Day (Namaz Khan) and neglected to introduce myself. What a facilitator, right? Blame it on my scatterbrain! Anyway, let me introduce myself on this blog. My name is Amina Mukhtar, and I have the pleasure of serving as the manager of the women's concentric program here at Treetops. I proudly identify as a Muslimah, someone who humbly submits to her creator, and as a Hijabi, embracing the practice of wearing the hijab.

Despite my forgetfulness, the event was filled with a sense of community and light-heartedness that captured my heart. Sadia's (Hijabi Swahili Collective Care Specialist) touching mother-daughter duo left a lasting impression on all of us as they presented together. Najma (Sadia’s daughter) recited the Quran in Arabic. Below is the translation of the Ayah, she read- In the Quran (24:31) Allah says, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and not to reveal their adornments except what normally appears. Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their ˹hidden˺ adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, their fellow women, those ˹bond women˺ in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness. Let them not stomp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful.”

Sadia's presentation explored the deeper meanings of hijab, particularly Her words reminded us that hijab is not just about covering one's head; it's a symbol of modesty, dignity, and obedience to Allah's teachings. As a Treetops community, we embrace diversity and cherish the opportunity to learn from one another.

Following Sadia's presentation, we enjoyed a delightful Hijab fashion show led by Rahma Mudnur (Hijabi Alumni Concentric Leader), showcasing the beauty of hijab across the younger generation from ages 4 to 20 years old. Then, as one big family, we gathered to share a delicious meal prepared with love by Marla Hoekwater (Office Assistant), Salma Hassani (Hijabi Dari Concentric Leader), Munira Mohamed (Hijabi Concentric Coach), Kala Pokhrel (Nepali Concentric Leader) and others from the Treetops team. The flavors of the Treetops Collective filled the air, while children laughed and played in the nearby kids' room and ate together.

As the evening  prayer drew to a close, at Isha prayer (5th and last prayer of the day), the Imam (prayer leader) reminded us of the significance of hijab as a symbol of Muslim women's faith. Together with Tarah Carnahan (Executive Director of Treetops) and Sadia, we concluded with a peaceful supplication session, fostering unity and reflection.

To close off the night, we presented awards to our dedicated staff and Hijabi sisters with beautiful flowers to guests—a reminder to embrace our individual uniqueness and to flourish as we are. Together, as a team, we are making a positive impact by spreading awareness and extending radical welcome to all.