Unlike other beauty contest where the contestants wear bikinis, Muslimah world is a beauty pageant designed to instill pride of young Muslim women. The contest aims to recognize the beauty and potential of young women who wear hijabs and offer something positive in compliance with its culture as well.

For becoming a finalist, the requirements are very different. The pageant judges contestants on how well they recited Koranic verses, their religious abilities - including memorization of the Koran, their knowledge and views on Islam and the modern world, and a short essay on individual's hijab experience. Aspiring finalists are selected based on three "S" criteria: "Smart, Soleha (pious), and Stylish."

Once they were selected as finalists, they underwent quarantined sessions and performing religious & social activities for several days. Performing morning prayers and Tahjud (Moslem night prayers), learning public speaking, fashion modeling, attending classes in Islamic finance, parenting and the Koran, are part of the activities during the quarantine sessions.

Muslimah World was first held in 2011 in Indonesia, where the country is known as the largest Muslim majority country in the world. Now in its 4th year, the contest open to young Muslim women from throughout the world and not just Indonesia.

*) This story has been made possible through the generous permission of World Muslimah Foundation.

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