What if a beauty pageant focused more on a candidate's spirituality and moral obligation to society rather than external characteristics?
The World Muslimah Foundation set out to establish just that in 2011 with it's first Miss Muslimah competition held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Media outlets have referred to the endeavor as "Islam's answer to Miss World" since it requires contestants to be viewed as a good role model.
The first two years of the World Muslimah pageant were exclusive to Indonesian residents but has since opened up it's doors internationally and accepted applicants from all over the globe. Last year the crowned winner was a Nigerian native, Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola, who was awarded a cash prize and paid trips to Mecca and India.
In order to be considered for entry into the pageant one must be in line with the following criteria:
- Committed to hijab or veil as their daily attire
- Have Al Qur’an reading proficiency
- Have achievements in academics, sport, art or culture
- Be at least between the ages of 18 and 27 by 1 December 2014
World Muslimah is sponsored by the World Muslimah Foundation (from Wikipedia):
The World Muslimah Foundation (WMF) is a Muslim women’s organization found in 2011, that aims to enhance understanding of Islam and promote essential skills. WMF aims to reduce poverty, focusing primarily on the core issues of education and women's empowerment. It provides training and entrepreneurship programs, and operates charity programs for Muslim women who live in remote areas, orphanage houses, disasters land field and conflict victims. The programs are aimed particularly at Muslim women with insufficient access to education, Muslim women who play a significant role as a mother, Muslim women with demonstrable talent but low opportunity, abandoned Muslim women and refugee Muslim women.
In cooperation with Global Islamic Philanthropy, an association of Muslim based foundations in Indonesia, WM Foundation distributes donations to humanitarian crisis zones such as Rohingya, Palestine, Syria and Somalia
Applications are still open until August 25th, for any young Muslim woman who would like to be considered for the World Muslimah Award 2014.
Full registration details can be found at the website: http://www.worldmuslimah.org/award2014/