Music, Pop Culture

A Muslim woman raps about hijab and the internet loses it

We've been SO ready for this.

Mona Haydar released her music video for her rap song “Hijabi” and it was EXACTLY what we were waiting for. Surrounded by Muslim women of differing minorities, -some Hijabis some turbanistas- in this 3 minute video, Mona raps to an addictive beat; the instrumental bringing those Eastern flavors, her lyrics spittin’ truth.

Amidst the haraam police backlash, why has it taken this long for a Muslim woman to rap about hijab? Men e.g. Deen Squad have taken hold of the trend, however, it hasn’t come near to all the issues Mona addressed.

With racism within Muslim communities, particularly anti-black sentiments, there’s the urgency to have Black Muslim voices and faces in public spheres as they ARE a part of the Muslim community. An issue reflected time and again through cyber space has been the lack of diversity. Specifically, the two black women that upheld the standards. This is not as a means of tokenism, but making space for contribution from Black Muslims in their area of expertise, and having conversations about the racism which exists, despite some people’s reluctance to admit it.

If anything, there could’ve been more dancers of different backgrounds, but I think given that it’s a controversial topic, how many Muslim female dancers are there, really?

I, for one, greatly appreciated that the women in the video were from minority groups and different shades. Not all Muslim women are light skinned, and when communities all around the world glorify light skinned women, it was bold to not feature all fair women. Apart from that, the video featured plus size women, because Muslim women are women too, and aren’t all one (small) size.

Mona, looking like Queen Bey with her pregnant belly, was fantastic, starting off with the all too common question a hijabi has been asked at least once of “are you hot in that?” Backed up by women of different ethnic groups who lip synced alongside her as she spoke to haters, she gave a shoutout to Muslims all over the world, and best of all advocating for feminism. If haters disagreed with her rappin, they’d definitely disagree with this. I imagine they’d talk about being corrupted by the West.

For far too long we’ve been inundated with what hijab means from a male point of view, particularly through song and media. Muslim women in hijab have been called queens, compared to angels because of what they wear. Mona turns this around, bringing Muslim women’s issues to the forefront, and that includes hijabi issues. For instance being called “exotic” because you’re not white is something brown and black women can relate to, that’s not something hijabis alone have been asked.

There’s even a little hijabi dance, just in time for wedding season, so learn that. Hijabis: get in formation! This is so much better than talking about hijab in reference to men, which she didn’t even do once throughout the entire song. I mean, who knew you could mention a woman’s hijab and NOT include Muslim men anywhere in that? What’s a woman without mention of a man? Oh, that’s right, a Muslim woman. FINALLY.

“Hijabi” is one of those things you didn’t even know you needed, and once it dropped, it was a “where have you been ALL MY LIFE?”

Love it or like it, you’re gonna want to keep “Hijabi” on repeat.

Here’s the video in all its glory: