The World’s First Muslimah Run will take place on the 9th February, 2014(Sunday) at Marina Barrage, Singapore. The 5km run will be participated by more than 600 muslimah, InsyaAllah.
We were privileged to speak to the lady behind the inaugural run, Capt. (Ret) Muzdalifah Anuar. She was busy getting POPWOW Team booth ready for the Race Pack Collection at Singapore Expo Hall 6B, but gracefully kind to share with us about the World’s First Muslimah Run that she planned for since 2012.
Capt is the founder and coach at Women of Wellness, also known as POPWOW. At POPWOW, Capt coaches other sisters the importance of fitness in Islam. Capt. started POPWOW in early 2013, after serving the military as an army officer for 13 years. A mother of three, her decision to start of POPWOW came about not long after she started wearing hijab.
In Singapore, where 15% of the population is muslim, hijab is not allowed in uniform-based profession like the army and nurse. The debate and petition about hijab at public-sector, uniform-based profession has been discussed a lot since November 2013. Whether or not hijab is problematic for some jobs, as for uniform based profession like nurse and army, in other countries like Malaysia, hijab has proven not to cause problem at work. There are many efforts to educate others about diversity and the beauty of the hijab, including the World Hijab Day. In Singapore, the World Hijab Day turned out to be controversial when the local ambassador and supporters receive resistance from the government and threats.
Like many other muslim women who chose to wear hijab for the love of Allah, it was an easy decision for Capt to choose between hijab and career. With her vast knowledge in fitness and wellness from her military days, helping other women to be FIT was the choice she made. To her, success is not just this life but also our after life. FITdunya & FITakhira… as how she says it.
Let’s understand more about the run as shared with us.
What motivated Capt to organise the first Muslimah run?
Capt runs full and half marathon. Prior to this, there were not many muslimah running marathons in her country. She wanted to have more muslimah friends to run with her. So, through running, she wanted to promote fitness in Islam to the other sisters and have more friends to run with.
When did the idea come about?
The idea about having the first muslimah run came about late 2012. Since then, she started talking to religious, governmental and political parties to get support and endorsement. After much discussion and plans, none falls through. So, in early December 2013 after initial supporters backed out, Capt was determined to organise the run on her own, as scheduled – 9 Feb 2014.
Who is the organiser for the event?
Capt was able to get support from other private entities that have common goals for muslim women – Fitness in Islam. The parties are Grundy and Yameen. Together, within two months, they organise and promote the run through various channels, that includes awareness at the madrasah, online channels and many other events. To Capt, her family and friends have played a pivotal role supporting her in making the run happen.
Who are the sponsors for WOWRUN?
Alhamdullillah, the run gets good support from private sectors.
Ummah is the Official Sports apparel retailer for the run, sponsoring the prizes for top 3 winners for all categories. Apart from that, Nashata is humbled to be the partial t-shirt sponsor for the run.
The biggest sponsor for the run is Aquila-style. It is a digital media on muslim fashion and pop culture.
How many people is Capt. targeting for the run?
Capt’s initial target was 800, but reduced to 500 when she had to organise the run on her own. Alhamdulillah, the tickets were sold out very fast within a month and captured 600 registration, beyond her target.
What is Capt’s aspiration for WOWRUN?
She wants to make WOWRUN an annual event in Singapore. She is also looking at running the same in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2014. Apart from that, she wants to make more avenues for muslim women to hold fitness activities together. She plans to do monthly clinic. Currently, she runs pilate and swimming coaching sessions at POPWOW.
What is next for POPWOW?
Capt plans to open up a Muslimah gymnasium in Singapore soon. InsyaAllah, with her strong will and determination, it will come through. Don’t you think? With the other muslimah run in other countries and muslimah gym planned out – Capt would surely have her hands FULL this year!