The Law School hijab heroine, Firdaus Amasa has declared that her mother’s struggle for the use of the hijab among Muslim female students while in the School of Nursing inspired her decision to insist on wearing the Hijab when she was to be called to the Nigerian Bar.
Barrister Amasa was last year barred from the Call to Bar ceremony due to her insistence on wearing the Hijab, but was later called to bar with her Hijab seven months after, due to national and global outrage as well as interventions from both Muslims and non-Muslims on the need for Nigeria Law School to abide the global best practice and obey the lady’s fundamental human right.
In an exclusive interview with Muslim News, Barr Amasa revealed that her Islamic foundation – especially from home – had a great influence on her from the beginning of the Law School Hijab saga till the end.
In her words; “My foundation and upbringing was a motivating factor and it really shaped me.
“At home, my parents don’t take issues pertaining to Islam lightly. I have learned to use the Hijab in the presence of non-Mahram long before I became an adolescent. I know it is something very fundamental and I cannot do without it”.
Amasa added that her mother’s struggle to establish the use of the Hijab at the Kwara State College of Nursing, Ilorin had a positive effect on her handling of the Law School Hijab crisis.
“My mum is a nurse. She also faced the same challenge of removing her Hijab during her school days at the School of Nursing, Ilorin. She was one of the students who championed the cause, and eventually it was approved.
“On the Call to Bar day, fortunately or unfortunately, my parents weren’t able to make it. My mum tried to come but wasn’t able to make it. And of course, it is the joy of every parent to witness his or her daughter being called to bar.
“Prior to the ceremony, I didn’t discuss my plan with anybody, not even my parents. It wasn’t pre-planned. I didn’t notify anybody. Hence, I wasn’t expecting support from anybody. I just wanted to do what I believe is right and ideal in accordance with the dictates of my religion.
“So, I decided not to remove my Hijab and the authorities didn’t allow me to enter the venue. My uncle that attended immediately called my dad and explained the situation to him. The next thing my dad did was to tell my uncle to give the phone to me.
“The only question he asked me was: Am I sure I am convinced about my decision? And my answer was in the affirmative. He immediately endorsed my decision and gave me the go-ahead. He encouraged me and asked me not to cry, so far I am convinced. He said I should not worry, that Allah is with me.
“That alone gave me the hope and courage to move on. If the man that gave birth to me and sent me to school could give me the go-ahead, nothing else could discourage me, because I know my parents will never discourage me.
“If I had failed, nobody would have even dared to wear the hijab in Law School again. They would not want to be another scapegoat. And it would have had a bad effect, but AlhamduliLlah, it ended in praises. Glory be to Allah.
“At the morning session, I was the last on the list to be called to bar and nobody tried to wear it because everybody was still afraid. Even people who wore something on their heads didn’t wear more than a cap.
“But I heard that in the evening session, a lot of people wore it. I was told about 8 people, although I don’t know them. They used their Hijabs and there was no report that they were harassed for doing so.
“The Hijab has come to stay, and I am grateful to Allah for using me to achieve this struggle.
“O Allah, do not call me to account for what they say and forgive me for what they have no knowledge of and make me better than they imagine,” she submitted.
Barr Firdaus was born in Ile-Alowo, Adabata, Ilorin, Kwara State on March 4, 1994 (22nd of Ramadan, 1414AH) to the family of Mr Abdus-Salaam Amasa Al-Jannah.
She attended Al-Irshad Nursery and Primary School between 1997 and 2004, and proceeded to Islamic College, Ilorin for her secondary education, where she graduated in 2010.
She enrolled in a Tahfiz school thereafter to memorize the Noble Qur’an, though she is yet to become a Hafizah.
Firdaus also attended the School of Computer Technology, Ilorin between 2010 and 2011, where she bagged a Diploma in Computer Science.
She gained admission to study Common and Shariah Law at the University of Ilorin in 2011 and graduated in 2016.
Shortly after graduation, she proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, where she finished in 2017.
Miss Amasa is currently a corps member serving in Osun State under the National Youth Service Scheme, and she is expected to conclude her service in October 2018.
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