Muslim Students at the University of Miami (MSUM) held their first “Hijabathon” Wednesday, in the midst of their annual Islam Awareness Week.
Rowanne Ali, vice president of MSUM, described the event as a way for students to experience what it’s like to wear a hijab. The hijab is a head covering worn by some Muslim women as part of religious code. The purpose of the event was to introduce the veil to those who were unfamiliar with it and to answer any questions they may have had about it.
“That way, different people can get exposure to it, ask any questions and walk around with it or take pictures if they want,” Ali said.
Although they did not get the idea from Florida International University’s (FIU) Muslim Student Association, MSUM did receive hijabs from a similar event held at FIU. The hijabs on display varied from square to rectangular and had different designs on them.
As for the styles, Aaisha Sanaullah, another member of MSUM, explained how hijabs vary from country to country. The Turkish prefer square-shaped hijabs, while turban-style is more common in African culture.
“Personally I prefer the rectangular shaped one, they’re easy to wear and go with my style,” Sanaullah said.
Areeba Imam, president of MSUM, said the event would allow students to have a unique experience.
“I think girls who are interested will get a chance to see what it’s like,” Imam said.
On the table, near the plethora of hijabs, stood a condensed version of the scripture that states the religious code: “And say to the believing women … Do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head coverings…”
MSUM member Aya Eltantawy said the core of the religious code’s scripture on hijabs was modesty.
“The holy book states ‘to cover,’ men from the navel down and women in the form of a hijab,” Eltantawy said.
The turnout was better than expected, according to Sanaullah. She was surprised by the amount of men who came to try the hijabs.
“I see the appeal. It felt interesting to see a culture from their perspective,” said Ralph Paz, a freshman studying political science.