Muslim prom provides secluded, fun environment

photo+by+Manal+Salim+

photo by Manal Salim

Manal Salim

photo by Manal Salim
Photo by Manal Salim

Two weeks after the glitz and glamour of the RBHS prom, and long after the prom pressure and preparation in finding the impeccable gown or getting asked in a picture-perfect way has all died down, the madness is to start all over again. But this time the excitement is to take place  without all the burden on prom attendees.

Rather than attending the typical prom, RBHS and HHS Muslim girls organized a “Muslim prom,” or alternative prom, last Sunday for Muslim girls and their friends. This way, the girls are able to enjoy all the partying, excitement, and dressing up, but in a religiously acceptable manner, said senior Duha Shebib, one of the organizers of Muslim prom.
“We organized Muslim prom as a way for us to feel comfortable in a secluded environment where we can truly enjoy the full prom experience, while keeping our faith in mind,” Shebib said. “Muslim prom is a place for Muslim girls not attending prom to do our hair and wear fancy dresses and dance, which is something we would not be able to do if we went to real prom.”
However, Shebib and the other senior girls organizing Muslim prom are not the first to do so. Shebib explains how the event has been prepared year after year due to the popularity of the idea, which she believes is due to the enjoyable experience that is provided without all of the excess pressure many girls face with traditional prom.
“It’s appealing because there is no pressure attached to getting a date, or not getting a date. You don’t have that pressure at Muslim prom because it is exclusive only to girls,” Shebib said. “Muslim prom doesn’t have all the formalities of prom, but it is purely based on having fun, dancing and just having a good time with our friends from school.”
These friends that will be in attendance is not exclusive to senior girls, since sophomores like Saja Necibi will also be at Muslim prom. Necibi explains how she is looking forward to the event since she wears a hijab, and if she were to go to prom her senior year, she wouldn’t have the opportunity to dress up like she will for Muslim prom.
However, getting dressed up is not the only aspect attendees like Necibi are looking forward too, as Necibi explains how the event will allow her to catch up with friends she hasn’t had the opportunity to interact with, since school has taken up the majority of her time.
“I’m attending Muslim prom because it’s a great way to end the school year with my Muslim friends. We can hang out and have a blast in an appropriate setting where we can all be comfortable and relaxed,” Necibi said. “[Muslim prom] brings the Muslim girls together, since some of us go to Hickman while others go to Rock Bridge. And even then, I still don’t get to see my friends that go to Rock Bridge, so it’s the perfect opportunity for all of us to be together.”
Despite the fact that Muslim prom is presenting an alternative to actual prom, sophomore Humera Lodhi believes that missing the “real thing” isn’t a problem at all for her, or many others she has talked to. In agreement with Lodhi’s beliefs, according to www.lifeway.com, 25 percent of the teen population doesn’t see what the ‘big deal’ is with prom, and choose to attend an alternative prom instead.
“It’s really not a big deal to me if I miss prom. Senior year, and high school, is made up of just more than one event, and missing that one event isn’t going to ruin my senior year. Plus, I know a lot of other people, a lot of non-Muslims who don’t attend prom, and they don’t feel as if they are missing out on anything,” Lodhi said. “It seems to add a lot of unnecessary stress and worries for a lot of girls. They keep worrying about if they were going to be asked to prom, or how embarrassing it would have to be to go without a date, or how to get a date, but I won’t have to worry about that with Muslim prom.”
And the anxiety relief, along with complementing religion,  is one of the most popular aspects of Muslim prom, according to Shebib, as she has witnessed first-hand the stress of prom in preparing for the event for her Floral and Plant Design class last year.
“I had a teacher who told me prom is just like a practice wedding, so I really don’t think I’ll be missing out. I remember last year helping with making corsages and listening to the time and effort it took just to find a dress  and a date, and all that wore me out,” Shebib said. “I think I’ll leave that stuff for my actual wedding day.”
Although Muslim prom is a secluded girls-only event, Lodhi believes a separate event can and should be held for Muslim boys and their friends looking to celebrate graduation in a religiously appropriate manner, but perhaps a different theme than the Muslim prom the girls typically organize.
“I think if  the boys want to, they should definitely have a prom,” Lodhi said. “But I do know that the senior Muslim boys went and watched Iron Man 3 the night of prom this year, so maybe that’s their Muslim prom.”
Regardless of the theme or take on Muslim prom, the key point of the event is to present a religiously acceptable prom, where the attendees can have a good time, without the pressure or feeling that they are missing out on anything, according to Necibi.
“I really don’t think we are missing out anything at all,” Necibi said. “Prom seems mostly about having tons of fun and being happy alongside your closest friends, and Muslim prom most definitely offers all that.”
By Manal Salim