Aquila Style Magazine on April 26, 2013, published an interesting article about Muslim women in Sport: the influences of culture versus religion. This topic has been brought up many discussions and debates around the world amongst the Muslims themself, particularly in Saudi Arabia where female participation in sports has long been a controversial issue. As for me, I've never been bothered about this issue, since I was born and have been grown in a relatively very tolerant country with moderate (typical) Indonesian Muslim, and surrounded by family who love sports, so it never crossed my mind a bit that Islam restricts Muslim women to play sports. I believe Islam encourages sport and other physical activities for all.
The prophet Muhammad is said to have invited his wife Aisha to a foot race.We can play sport whether it's outdoors or indoors, there are men around or not, recorded by TV camera or not, as long as we guard our modesty. Besides, sport (walking, running, cycling, etc.) is a natural part of our life, isn't it? ;)
Fatima Fakier, the lovely lady who wrote that article, contacted me (before the article was published) and asked me to fill out some questions related to this article she was working at, about Muslim women in Sport, particularly in the context related to the Culture versus Religion. I'm so pleased to fill out the questioner, as I thought this would be a good chance to share some of my opinions on this while being hopeful this would add some insights or "enlightments" on this often divisive issue.
You can read the article here. There are a number Muslim women from around the world she interviewed to get further insight into this topic, including me. I played Hockey and Volleyball when I was in college. Now I do some workouts/fitness, jogging, cycling, and sometimes do fun swimming with my kids.
There are also Ruqayya, a young teenager living in America, wears the hijab and plays basketball.
Kulsoom Abdullah, 37, is an American weightlifter well-known for her successful campaign against the hijab ban in her sport.
Stephanie, an American and 21, is into rock climbing. Sarah, 23 and from the UK, enjoys the crazy sport of roller-derby.
And Mumtaz, who is 35 and lives in Botswana who has a slightly different view. While she is active in sport, she takes extra care to do it in an all-ladies group or with her husband.
Thanks to the fast growth of Muslim fashion these days, many designers and also hijab stores have been designed and sold fabulous, look comfortable and practical covered sportsuits, swimsuits, work-out clothes, headwears, and many active wear for Muslim women. Some of online hijab stores that I know selling sport hijabs are:
- Zeena Clothing,
- Queendom Hijabs,
- Modest Sea,
- Bahiya Collections,
- Splash Gear,
However, there will always be a need for improvement, innovation, and invention on these 'sport hijabs' in the future, whether it in design or the fabrics being used (bamboo fiber, anyone??) to make them be more comfort and wearable.
If you know any Islamic or non Islamic store which sell covered sport-clothing, swimsuit, or sport hijab, you can add it to the comment section below. Hope it would help people who are looking for covered sport-clothing easily find what they are looking for.
Few other pictures showing off Muslim women in sport from Sadaf Syed's iCover book:
In other physical activities:
(Photo credit: Aquila Style, iCover)
What do you wear when you do sporting activities and where did you get/buy your outfit from? Share with us :)
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