Written: Abdulhakeem Adeoye and Sodiq Oyeleke
Over six thousand female Muslims and non-Muslims took to the streets of Lagos on the 1st of February to commemorate the World Hijab tagged with the theme "Covered by Choice” which was celebrated all over the world.
The rally was held to propagate the use of hijab in Public Schools in Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
The Female President of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria Lagos State Area Unit, Hajia Hafsat Badru explained that the day is set aside to explain the essence of hijab and to foster unity among Muslims and non-Muslim women.
“Today has come into being in recognition of Muslim women who have chosen to wear the hijab, to live a life of modesty. This day is to foster religious tolerance and understanding” She said.
Hajia Badru added that “the event hopes to neutralize some of the controversies surrounding the use of hijab by the Muslim women.”
Amirah, Al-Mu'munaat Organization, Hajia Aisha Ilyas, called on the federal government and Governor Babatunde Fashola to expedite actions in putting end to "victimisation and daily harassment of female Muslims in hijab.
She said, "The harassments at the places of data capturing and biometrics, such as at commercial banks for bank verification number, drivers licence at Federal Road Safety Commission, international passport and Nigeria Immigration Authority and passport for the National Identity card at the NIMC have become a daily affair for Muslim women. We want a stop to all these."
Also speaking, the Amira, Federation of Muslim Women of Nigeria (FOWAN), Alhaja Fatimah Osho begged Governor Fashola to allow the use of hijab by Muslim pupils in secondary schools in the state.
"We mothers are on our kneels. Allow hijab for our children. It's an injunction from Allah our creator. The battle we are facing insha Allah we are going to win.
"To you all our children, when you are allowed to use hijab don't use it to abuse Islam. Use it to propagate Islam," she added.
Speaking with our reporter at the event, Muslims and non-Muslims expressed their views on hijab.
Mr. Darlington, a Christian in his own opinion about hijab said “It an approved dressing for Muslim women. It’s a sign of dignity and to large extent purity.”
Mrs. Mujidat Abdul-Alim Olagunju, a journalist reiterated the significance of Hijab. She said covering one’s head does stop a Muslim woman from meeting up with her professional task.
She further said “Today is for people to know that Islam is not associated with terrorism or anything negative. It is our natural way of life and an induction from almighty Allah.”
Also, Ajibola Adebayo who witnessed the Hijab walk expressed that “When I see a woman in Hijab, She can be more or less attractive than a woman without but as an accessory, I do think it’s pretty nice for women”.
It might interest you to know that the world hijab day is celebrated in over 100 countries of the world.