More than 50 American Muslim girls decided to don hijab in a special ceremony held Sunday at Orland Park mosque in Chicago, Illinois.
A photo from the ceremony was shared by Sheikh Kifah Mustapha ElMera’bi, imam and director of the Prayer Center of Orland Park, on his Facebook page.
“The girls of Orland Park mosque are celebrating donning hijab, not as a piece of cloth, but as obedience to Allah, love for Islam, and pride for being Muslim,” Sheikh Mustapha wrote in a post in Arabic.
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Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not just a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
Though many people in the west regard hijab as a suppression of Muslim women, the decision to don hijab is usually met with celebrations from girl’s and their families.
Earlier this week, New Zealand Muslim superstar Sonny Bill Williams shared his joy with fans for his wife’s decision to wear hijab.
There aren’t precise numbers of how many Muslims live in Illinois.
A recent report titled “Illinois Muslims: Needs, Assets, and Opportunities,” estimates that there are more than 350,000 Illinois residents who self-identify as Muslim — roughly 3% of the state’s population.
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The report also says Muslims are the youngest and most diverse faith community in the state, consisting of members of various races, ethnicities and nationalities.