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Health & Hijabs

'Empowering Muslim Females with the teachings of Islam along with easy-to-follow nutrition and workout plans, to take control of their health, not only to enjoy the benefits in this world but to have a beautiful Akhirah too’.

Welcome to Health & Hijabs where we’re as passionate about getting you healthy and fit it  as we are about honouring your deen. 

In noticing the barriers faced by Muslim women when it comes to the world of fitness, New Beginnings wanted to help provide a suitable place to set and crush your goals like the fierce Muslim woman you are.

We believe in demanding a better future for Muslim women in fitness and creating environments where all women can thrive because whilst we may not act or look the same, we all share the same drive for great health.

Our Story

Last year at New Beginnings alongside ‘Your Wellbeing’ we set up women-only fitness sessions to provide a safe space for Muslim women to get fit comfortably where they can remove their hijabs to work out and be in a female only environment.


The more I am learning about the importance of Health in Islam, the more it makes me wonder why Muslims, particularly Muslim Females, are not as fit and healthy as they are supposed to be. Therefore, our mission is ‘to empower Muslim Females with the teachings of Islam along with easy-to-follow nutrition and workout plans, to take control of their health, not only to enjoy the benefits in this world but to have a beautiful Akhirah too’.


With the help of Outwood Academy Foxhills and The St Lawrences Academy  we have decided to run an after-school programme called “Health & Hijabs”, to not only provide a whole range of female-only fitness sessions to connect young women throughout the schools and the mosques but so that they can also form their own support networks to encourage each other on their fitness journeys.


For teenagers during puberty, there is a sharp decrease in the number of girls participating in sport, as they feel uncomfortable in their bodies, but these kinds of insecurities can occur at any age and I believe that having a safe, positive environment to work out in, where women can encourage one another, is the most effective way to motivate yourself to exercise.


Additionally, the importance of having safe spaces for women where they can go to exercise without feeling uncomfortable is reinforced by the #MeToo movement, which has finally forced us to confront the ugly truth about the everyday harassment women endure. Women have long been hyper-vigilant about unwanted male attention at the gym and for a female myself who has been sexually assaulted in a gym I am committed to developing strong female leaders and safer communities.


Minorities, like Muslim females, are often overlooked, but having things like female-only fitness sessions serves as an acknowledgment of their struggle (however small or large it may be to the individual).

Studies have shown that very few Muslim women participate in fitness and sports compared to the other faith groups. According to Sports England’s participation figures, less than one in five Muslim females exercise at least once a week – lower than any other faith group. 

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Healthy Lifestyle For Muslim Females

No doubt, in Islam male and female have got equal rights, and it has been proven by the Sunnah of our Prophet (saw) that participation in sports for women is not against the spirit of Islam. However, there are more restrictions for female with reference to her participation in sports as compared to a male. 


According to Sharia – the Islamic code of life, the following principles must be paid attention to by women while engaging in sports:

Dress Code : Modesty plays an important role in Islam so maintaining Hijab during sports is vital. This demands Muslim women to be properly covered while participating in any kind of sport. Covering of the hair and all the other obligatory body parts is a must. Wearing hijab for sports has been a discouraging factor for many Muslim women to be active participants in sports. Somehow it makes them conscious about how they look and feeling uncomfortable while training. 

However, there has been marked improvements in the number of Muslim females participating in sports because of the introduction of Sports Hijabs specially designed for different sports. No doubt sports Hijab have made a positive impact on Muslim females. We also have many examples of female sport personalities supporting and promoting such products making them role models for other Muslim women to take up sports without any hesitation.


According to this principle, mixing of male and female during any sport is prohibited primarily to avoid ‘skin to skin’ contact between the two. It is understood that females are not allowed to participate with males in any type of sport. This principle however is still questioned whether it prohibits women from performing in the presence of male spectators or other male participants.


At present, we see Muslim women participating in various sport events including Athletics, Cricket, Basket Ball, Badminton, Boxing, Fencing, Foot Ball, Karate, Mountaineering, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volley Ball, Weight-Lifting and so on. They have been able to surpass numerous constraints and obstacles and have won Gold Medals for their countries in different international sports events such as the Olympic Games, World championship, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games etc.


Let’s look at some of the Muslim Women in International Sports who have fought their way up by overcoming political, social, religious, ethical and sporting obstacles to fulfil their dreams. At every step towards their success they are continuing to inspire other Muslim women in sports.


Kulsoom Abdullah, 39, a Pakistani-American who has been weightlifting at both national and international level since 2010.

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad will become the first American to compete in the Olympics while wearing a Hijab. The 30-yr-old is also the first Muslim woman to join the US Olympic fencing team. 

Sarah Attar, competed in the 800-meter heat in London, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd and making headlines around the world.  She was the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics.

Zahra Lari, 17-year-old not only became the first figure skater from the Gulf to compete in an international competition but the first to do so wearing the hijab, an Islamic headscarf. 

Maryam Tousi is an Iranian Sprinter. She won a Gold Medal in 2012 Asian Indoor Games.


The Iran Women’s National Football Team was banned by FIFA from an Olympic qualifier in 2011 for wearing Hijabs. It they did not want to play without their specially-designed head and neck-covering scarves. The team put up a protest against this ban and demanded every opportunity to show their genius in full Muslim dress. FIFA ultimately had to lift the ban and at the same time confirmed that Hijabs can be worn for sports and is Safe.

Benefits of Sports for a Muslimah on an individual level

Physical activities and sports make a profound and positive impact on individuals.

Healthy Body stays in good shape

Women are the integral part of any family. Every woman plays a very important role in raising a family, fulfilling every duty of the household, working round the clock. Taking care of their body, eating healthy, getting proper rest and engaging in sports and exercise becomes crucial for her.

Heart diseases, hypertension, depression, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity are most common in women. A healthy lifestyle not only lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes etc it also reduces anxiety, depression, helps control weight and handle stress. It also helps you sleep better and look and feel better.

There comes a phase in every women’s life when they are most likely to gain weight – Motherhood. If they are used to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it would become easier for them to control their weight at any point of their life specially after child birth when it is most needed. A healthy body not only makes you will feel and look good but you will also be fulfilling the Sunnah of remaining in shape and stay attractive and beautiful for your spouses.

Not to forget being a part of regular physical activity can save thousands in healthcare costs too.


Being Healthy Builds Self Confidence

A healthy person is confident and can only inspire other people to stay healthy. A good health brings in not only the physical benefits but also the emotional benefits with it. Think of how many young boys and girls are becoming victims of bullying in schools and other places because of being over-weight. Obese kids are more vulnerable to bullies and are teased mercilessly. This takes an emotional toll on these kids and in many cases they dread going to school where bullying is most common. They lose their friends and self-esteem and are left depressed and yes suicidal too. It’s a heart breaking sight for parents.

Parents of young girls are worried about their daughters not getting marriage proposals because of their weight which adds to the depression for these young girls.

Healthy Body Provides Self-Protection

Muslim women and girls in Hijab are visible Muslims, more than Most Muslim men. Being healthy plays a very important role here where Anti Muslim attacks on Muslim women are on the rise. Muslim women must be able to protect themselves from any such attacks whatsoever because help in most of these cases don’t reach on time. Being healthy helps one tackle such types of risks on the streets or other public places.

Being Healthy helps you become Positive Role Models for your kids

Who can be better role models for their children than their mothers. Our children are the future of this Ummah and we can help them become a part of a healthy nation by following a healthy lifestyle ourselves. We don’t want our kids to grow up seeing us getting fat day by day and being submerged in pain due to all kinds of ailments associated with weight gain. That would not be a very pleasant experience as a child.

As parents we must participate in sports activities with our children. Apart from enjoying health benefits, this will also give us the opportunity to share quality time with them.  We must engage in sports such as swimming, tennis, hiking, walks and runs together. This common hobby not only keeps them away from wasting time watching tv or using internet or playing video games but it also strengths the bond between a child and parent.

We can be the reason to introduce our kids to a healthy environment right from a very young age showing them the right way to live and enjoying life. There can be no bigger delight for parents to be the reason for their child’s happiness.

Health Improves Ibaadah

Not to forget being healthy improves our Ibadah, our worship and brings us closer to Allah (swt). A healthy lifestyle helps us enjoy this world and prepares a beautiful Aakhirah for us, which is our final destination. Who would not want to have this permanent happiness.

Benefits of sports for a Muslimah on an international level

Fulfil one’s Athletic Dream

Each one of us has a drive towards the talent gifted by Allah and this must be encouraged in the most acceptable way. Being good in different types of sports is just among the other talents Allah has blessed us with. This talent, like any other must be developed, specially when it comes with positive changes in our society.

Hijab becomes an Inspiration

Being able to fulfil one’s athletic dream while wearing a Hijab will only go a long way to encourage others to wear Hijab knowing that Hijab can be worn in sports as well. This will inspire Muslim women to believe in their athletic dreams.

Promotes Religious Tolerance

When Muslim women become professional athletes, this not only validates the power of Hijab, it also promotes religious tolerance and ends discrimination against Muslim women. It protects the basic right of a Muslim woman to wear a Hijab as her religious garment. It breaks social barriers and provides equal rights for Muslim women to represent their country and compete in international sports events. Hijab removes the misconception of it being a barrier for women to choose Sports as their profession.

Muslim Women in sports become Role Models for the entire society

Hijab is a way of life and should not be allowed to become a reason to stop anyone from going out and living their dream or become what they want to become. Muslim women in sports become role models for others to stay strong, healthier and happier. They become role models for other Muslim women within and beyond the sports industry to prove their abilities. To be accepted in international sports one needs to be mentally and physically strong, courageous, consistent and committed to the core. Sports is a symbol of power and strength. Muslim women in Hijab have fought their way up to the level of international sports and are continuing to prove themselves there, thus making Hijab the symbol of Power and Strength. They have replaced the ‘Unsafe for Sports’ label given to Hijab by the eminent Sports associations to as ‘Safe for Sports’. If Muslim women can prove themselves in this field, they can do it anywhere. This paves the way for Muslim women in Hijab to be accepted in other professions too. 


Encouraging sports for Muslim women at an individual level as well as at an international level is like encouraging the present and the future Ummah to lead a life full of health and prosperity. It sends out the positive message about the religion and brings forward a very important element of Islam – Staying healthy. This will go a long way to building a healthier lifestyle for individuals and a Healthier Islamic Society.


In Shaa Allah.


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