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We Are All On a Journey, Just Like Halima
Community
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Nov 27, 2020
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3 MIN READ
Haute Hijab Staff
staff writer
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Halima Aden and her family on Eid last. Image source: @halima
Haute Hijab Staff
staff writer
As we all started logging in Tuesday morning, one message posted by Noor (our Marketing Manager) caught our eyes: “Ya’ll should watch Halima Aden’s IG stories!”
If you are attune to anything related to Muslims, Muslim women and/or fashion, by now you’ve heard about model Halima’s soul-searching “story time” on Instagram (which has now been saved as a highlight on her page, so do go check it out if you haven’t already). Halima, who first broke into the modeling industry at the tender age of 19 (after being the first hijab-wearing woman to compete for Miss Minnesota in 2016 and then signed on by IMG Modeling), bared her soul about how she felt her faith had been compromised and that she had gone astray in the past four years of modeling.
“As I’ve said before, being a minority inside a minority inside a minority is never easy. Being a ‘Hijabi’ is truly a journey with lots of highs and lows,” writes Halima in one of her IG highlight cards. She goes on to share pictures of herself from various stages in life – pre-modeling and during modeling – and how the different styles of hijabs and dress were an uncomfortable exercise in her compromising and acquiescing to what the mainstream fashion industry wanted of her.
She went on to praise her mother over and over (as well her Somali-American Muslim community in Minnesota) for advising her to place deen (faith) over dunya (the world) and always being the voice of caution in her head. “My Hijab was on point when I was surrounded by my [sisters in Islam, family and] Somali culture,” she writes.
Halima’s confessional IG story time struck a chord with people all over the world for several reasons, including the juxtaposition of a woman realizing how important her faith and culture is to her and how she felt she had made mistakes in justifying representation in the mainstream fashion world against the ongoing trend of numerous influencers and Muslim women taking their hijab off as part of their own personal journeys.
We're not here to judge. But we do think about this a lot at Haute Hijab, as we strive to be a model and support for Muslim women everywhere, especially those who wear hijab. Finding that balance as a fashion company who recognizes and celebrates a woman wanting to feel comfortable, elegant and beautiful in her modesty while also placing our deen and Islam at the center of what we do is not an easy thing. It’s always been an evolution of thought, practice, self-reflection and growth. Everyone is on a journey, as are we.
It is with this spirit that we are in awe of Halima’s journey and her choice to share it with us all. We know these are complicated things with layers upon layers built into it. In listening to conversations being facilitated by Black Muslim women, there are also frustrations being aired about how Halima’s reflections on some of the clothing and hijab styles she wore in some of her modeling experiences that she felt were not true to her sense of modesty – how these very hijab and clothing styles are, in fact, considered to be modest by other Black Muslim women.
Truly these are conversations being unpacked privately and publicly everywhere and should be. We must be able to discuss these things openly, honestly and with respect to what each other’s journeys are. Halima has always been a changemaker in our eyes, and she will, Insha’Allah, continue to be so in whatever she does in the future. (Looks like her next goal is to represent Somalia at the Miss Universe competition!)
Alhamdullilah for growth, and may Allah (S) forgive us for our stumbles and guide us to make the best decisions in life. Ameen!
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