JNN 22 Sept 2013 Lagos : Nigerian Muslim community has been buzzing with excitement after a young student was named Muslimah Miss World 2013, a global beauty pageant designed for Muslim women as a counterweight to the criticized though popular Miss World beauty pageant.
“We congratulate Sister [Obabiyi] Aishah Ajibola of the University of Lagos for emerging the winner of the world Muslimah contest,” Prof Ishaq Lakin Akintola, who teaches Islamic studies at the Lagos State University, told onIslam.net.
“We align with the contest in view of the fact that the criteria were not indecent exposure and provocative postures. The contestants were tested in the areas of recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, Islamic historiography, Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic current affairs.
In a contest held in Jakarta last Wednesday, 21-year-old Aishah emerged winner of the Muslimah World 2013.
Miss Aishah, a student at the prestigious University of Lagos, beat 19 other challengers from across the world to emerge Muslimah Queen 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia, at a competition that tested not just the Islamic appearance of the ladies but their understanding of the Qur’an and issues facing the Muslim world.
Aishah won $2,200 (N356, 000), hajj journey to Makkah and a visit to India.
Prof Akintola, who hosts an influential Islamic television program and gives comparative lecture about Islam and Christianity across Nigeria and beyond, added that Muslimah World competition offered a relief from the “immorality” of the Miss World contest.
“We equally congratulate the organizers of the contest as they used the global event to create great awareness for the rest of the world to show that Muslims have their own values and norms concerning beauty and intelligence,” the scholar said.
The scholar, who also heads the vocal non-profit organization, Muslim Right Concern (MURIC), added that the Jakarta event is a peaceful and commendable way of expressing Muslims’ outrage at the Miss World beauty pageant which he insists violates the chastity of women.
The feat has excited many Nigerian Muslims, especially young ladies who described the competition as charting a different course away from the well-known Miss World beauty pageant which is criticized across the Muslim world.
“Seeing a woman in such beautiful hijab and Islamic dress being honoured before the world is a pride for me as a Muslim woman,” Fatimah Adesokan, a 20-year-old lady nursing student, said.
Adesokan stressed that reports about Aishah’s victory excited her and confirmed her belief that hijab is a pride of the Muslim woman.
“I don’t see anything bad in it. It is a welcome development, more so that the contestants are not exposing their bodies or doing anything that is haram,” she said.
“This is a contest that tests their intellect and knowledge of Islam. Is there anything bad in our women exhibiting the beauty of hijab? I view it as a way of promoting Hijab which is our pride.”
Ruqayyah Bamigbade, 25, journalist, said she was glad Aishah has brought honor and not disgrace to the country, especially the Muslims.
“We have had instances of Muslims being accused of wanting to bomb innocent people. we have seen fellow citizens being nabbed for drug trafficking,” Bamigbade said.
“Here is a young woman who has placed the Nigerian Muslim woman on the global map of not exhibiting her nakedness but of expressing a dress sense in the Islamic way and of giving lie to the tale about Muslim women being second fiddle and who are not educated. Aishah’s intellect contradicts all that.”