Salam alaykum dearest,
Three weekends ago, as a representative of the Proud Muslimah Magazine,
I was opportuned to attend the maiden Edition of the prestigious and ground-breaking Miss Mulikat Muslimah Queen contest in Lagos, Nigeria – a beauty pageant for Muslimahs to showcase their knowledge of Islam, and their confidence and charisma as a 21st century Muslimah.
The Miss Muslimah Malikat Queen contest is an Islamic event for young muslimahs in Nigeria to encourage Islamic knowledge, modesty and Islamic etiquettes. Miss Malikat Muslimah is a program curated by Aminat Eniafe Selooto, a graduate of University of Lagos Department of Actuarial Science.
The program took place at Abdulrahman Folawiyo Mosque Surulere, Lagos. In attendance were honoured guest such as the Amirah of FOMWAN Lagos State (Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria) Dr (Mrs) Halimah Egberongbe and other dignitaries, several young and older Muslimahs and many male well-wishers and supporters also attended in their multitude.
Everyone was dressed in such beautiful attires that one was awed by the fashion sense of most of the attendees. From the start, the program promised to be a very interesting one. Masha Allah, it did not disappoint to live up to its expectations:
The program kicked off in an inspiring way, in particular with a reading from the Holy Quran of Suratul Nur verse 31, from a young preteen Muslimah. It was really encouraging to see her read and translate the verses she read about the obligations of a Muslimah to her Lord and herself. Such mastery of the Quran from such a young lady was very overwhelming.
“Tell the believing women to cast their views and guide their private parts and not show off their adornment except that which is apparent…”
Moving on the first speaker, Mrs Badmus, a top official at the Ministry of Education, talked on the Topic “Aligning Hijab with Our Attitude”. Hijab and attitude is always a topic I really sit down to hear and listen to because you learn interpersonal relationship with the people around you both Muslims and Non-Muslims. In her speech she made mention of Quran 24 vs 31 on Hijab as the Surah which promulgated the use of Hijab. She made mention of a Hadith of the Prophet which says:
“Promise me two things and Allah promises you Al jannah: Guide your tongue and protect your private part”
“May Allah help us in protecting these two, Ameen.” She went further to comment on our attitude as Muslimahs; she encouraged Muslimahs to embrace their “hijab as the world best fashion” and take it as an obligation. She encouraged Muslimahs who put on hijab to not only do so alone without praying, without reading the Quran. “Let’s not be on social media while we are off the Quran and voluntary fasting.”
She encouraged Muslimahs to embrace attitude of mind, soul and body. “Feed your mind with the right thing and your body with the right food and do not be wasteful.”
The Competition kicked off with the beautiful participants coming upstage in their respective casual outfits and introduced themselves to the audience. After introduction each participant was asked questions on Hadiths by the judges.
After this round, the second speaker came up and discussed on the need for Muslimahs to upgrade themselves and be seen but to also take caution while doing so.
She made mention of the recent struggles young Muslimahs are facing as regards the issue of hijab in Secondary Schools and the likes. She encouraged Muslimahs to be brave and speak out where their rights are being encroached on and do so with wisdom and with the right backings.
With the end of the second speaker’s session, contestants of the Muslimah pageantry walked out in corporate attires and were asked questions on Quran Fiqh each. Question-and-answer segment kicked off with the audience on varying topics on Islam, the Quran and Sunnah. This session was really in-depth and educative, I personally learnt a lot from it. Everyone who got the answer correctly was awarded gifts! This ensured that the audience was thoroughly engaged, had fun and were encouraged to know more about Islam.
Contestants once again stepped out in another outfit- the traditional outfit- and each contestants answered basic questions on Fiqh. For the last session of the competition contestants, appeared in dinner attires while the judges asked them questions relating to Islam in general. With the end of the questioning round, the contestants retired backstage while the judges collated their results.
At the end of the result collations, the judges gave out their observations and advice to the participants about beauty pageants and expectations from them as a contestant. Afterwards the judges read out the criteria for which each contestant was judged on which are;
Poise and Confidence
The judges reminded the audience and contestants that the competition was not based on just beauty and glam but more especially on the more important type of beauty- knowledge and attitude as Muslimahs. This meant that all of their decisions in judging the contestants were based on these and nothing more.
Now we came to the crux of the event, who will be crowned winner of the maiden edition of the prestigious Miss Malikat Muslimah Queen? First came the names of the first-runner and second-runner ups, Lateefah Badmus and Zainab Rahmon, then came the big one. “The winner of the Miss Malikat Muslimah Queen 2018 is… Sofiyyah Sulaiman!” The first Muslimah Queen in Lagos! Too much pomp and joy, all contestants including the winner and runner ups were presented gifts by the judges and the convener of the event.
Before the close of the event we had an interesting interview session with the wonderful Convener of the Program to catch her glimpse on how and why she chose to do the contest.
In her interview, she mentioned that the programme is established as a result of the need to promote modesty and also encourage Islamic knowledge like Quranic reading, hadiths and Islamic etiquettes among Nigerian female Muslims.
“Miss Malikat Muslimah is established in part to celebrate the beauty and elegance of Islam among Muslimahs”. She says.For the video of this interview click here
On their social media handles on Instagram, we also engaged two of the judges on what they feel about the event and a word of advice/observation. Here is an excerpt of their comments.
@Angel Zee, “Miss Muslimah Malikat queen is a good initiative I believe should be supported and encouraged. It’s a program to encourage a Muslimah and her belief in modesty. This is a program that should continue and also be improved on in the needed areas.”
@Pritty Zaynab, “The convener of Miss Muslimah Malikat Queen 2018 really did well by putting together such a productive program. I believe most of the contestants were not ready or didn’t have a good grasp of how the competition would be. There’s however room for improvements on both the part of the conveners and the contestants. This is a program that should definitely continue.”
We also had an interview with the Queen @isophiej
“I am Sofiyyah Sulaiman, I am so happy to be the queen, to talk about modesty. Modesty is a very good thing in Islam and being a Muslimah does not exempt you from dressing good. Most people see modesty as punishment for Muslimahs but it’s not. It protects us and beautifies us the more. Our modesty is not a barrier for us to reach and achieve our dreams. A wonderful thank you to Miss Muslimah Malikat convener for such a pageantry that allows Muslimahs showcase ourselves as we are meant to be: modest, confidence and intelligent.”
The event ended on a wonderful note. We give thanks to Allah subuhanawatalah for the gift of life, for the gift of beauty, and more importantly, for the gift of Islam that he has given us.
We hereby enjoin more Muslims, especially Muslimahs, to come support the next edition of the Miss malikat Muslimah Queen contest next year insha Allah. Let all of us come together to help make the Muslimah proud of who she is!