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Nadia Kahf Becomes First NJ’s Judge to Wear Hijab on Bench


Nadia Kahf, a family law attorney from Wayne, has been elected as the first Muslim woman to serve as a state Superior Court judge while wearing hijab in New Jersey.

One year after Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Kahf, the New Jersey Senate voted to appoint her and a dozen other people as judges on Monday, North Jersey reported. 

Though Kahf isn’t the first Muslim woman to serve as a judge in Passaic County, she is the first to wear a hijab on the bench.

Two decades ago, Kahf set on the board of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She now serves as chairwoman.

She is also the legal adviser to Wafa House, a nonprofit domestic violence and social services agency based in Clifton, and chairwoman of the Islamic Center of Passaic County.

Successful Women

Two other Muslim women, Sharifa Salaam and Kalimah Ahmad, serve as Superior Court judges in Essex and Hudson counties, respectively.

With this feat, Kahf follows in the footsteps of other Muslim women who have achieved success in the legal field.

In June 2022, Laila Ikram made history by taking the bench as the first Muslim judge in Arizona.

Also in this year, US President Joe Biden picked eight judicial nominees, including Nusrat Choudhury who would be the first Muslim woman to serve as a federal judge.

Michigan’s solicitor general Fadwa Hammoud also made history in October 2021 by becoming the first Arab American Muslim woman to argue before the US Supreme Court.