Al Hijaab Interview

•August 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to interview the Al Hijaab team to find out more about their collection and position in the Islamic Fashion Industry. Here’s what they had to say:

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself?

We are a family-run business – my mother, father, brother and sister are all involved with Al-Hijaab. Our aim has been to provide Islamic clothing for fashion conscious Muslims in Britain, giving them a wide variety of designs and motifs. We have been established since Ramadan 2003, opening our first store in Bradford that year. Our website went live soon after, which has been a huge success, Alhamdulillah.

The next step for us is a first of its kind Islamic clothing superstore. We’re actually in the throws of planning the creation of a showroom and retail outlet in Bradford. To give you an idea, we are going to build the store from scratch – digging up soil, laying foundations to displaying stock on the mannequins. It’s a huge project, but it’s also a great challenge for the Al-Hijaab company. My family and I have never been shy of hard graft.

Our aim has always been to provide quality chic Islamic clothing for the wider community. We found a niche in the market and we aimed to fill it with an extensive array of products from places like Dubai, India, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Our stock is diverse, elegant, stylish and affordable.

What is your target market and what do you specialize in?

Our target market is people wanting elegant, yet affordable Islamic clothing. Our customers come from all walks of life – students, professionals, bridal parties, elders and new converts to Islam. We have people traveling from as far north as Scotland and as south as London.There’s not a day that goes by, when we don’t have the privilege of meeting someone new, Alhamdulillah – it’s great!

Our specialty lies in offering Islamic clothing for all occasions from Eid celebrations and weddings to office meetings, public events and everyday wear. We sell jilbabs, abayas, hijabs, men’s robes, hats, shawls, accessories, including brooches.We are happy to pair people with the ideal garment for any event. More importantly we provide as much variety in menswear as we do in ladies-wear.

We have a broad variety of both jilbabs and abayas; suitable for formal wear and everyday wear. Our styles are sophisticated, smart, tasteful and chic and can be worn to work or to a special occasion.

Do you see your jilbabs/abayas as being formal wear or everyday wear?

What sets you apart from other online Islamic stores?

I believe our conviction to provide not only affordable clothing but clothing that reflects the times and is for the fashion-conscious sets us apart from our competitors. If you look at our 2008 collection, we have it all, from plain simple jilbabs to premier designer wear. It is stylish, yet tasteful, giving the customer a classy option. We also believe in enhancing the customers shopping experience, doing everything in our power to make sure they’re satisfied with our service. Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to us.

What should we expect from your new collection?

The theme running through our 2009 collection is primarily sophistication and panache. We are working with embroidery, stone work, pleats, evening dress colors… (Please check the new collection on Al Hijaab’s website)

What are your hopes for Al Hijaab in the future?

Apart from building our exclusive Islamic superstore and showroom, we would like to organize and take part in fashion shows focused on Islamic clothing worldwide. As a company we also want to branch out into supplying Islamic dress for large events like wedding parties.Ultimately, we want to be able to create a brand for ourselves, so when people think about Islamic clothing, the first name on their lips is Al-Hijaab.

Any last words for our readers?

We love what we do and we want to be able to share that experience with our customers. Fundamentally we are here to help them. We want to provide the ultimate shopping experience, matching people up with the best garment, accessory and answering all their queries. The customer is our reason for being here and we will always be loyal to him/her.

You can check Al Hijaab’s
to see the rest of their new collection. You can also follow them on their Facebook page. Thank you!

By A Hijabee in DC

Is Al-Hijaab Expensive?

•November 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Occasionally, we receive emails from visitors to the Al-Hijaab website informing us that they feel that Al-Hijaab prices are too high. We are sympathetic to this point of view. However, Al-Hijaab is an ethical producer of high quality, contemporary Islamic clothing; this naturally comes with a price. We have produced this short explanation in order to clarify what goes into producing high quality Islamic clothing.

1) Al-Hijaab is an ethical Islamic clothing company keeping all aspects of a workers needs and requirements in mind, guaranteeing worker rights regarding working hours, overtime, holidays etc. Workers continuously work on the work load they receive from us as well as work on Express Service orders hence the overtime they put into meeting the customers needs. The Express Service is when the customer wants a tailor made jilbab urgently (paying an extra sum – which goes to paying the overtime) their order is produced. Al-Hijaab tries to keep a religious work environment – not only do the staff pray regularly but visitors to our factory and offices are often surprised at the pleasant environment they find.

2) Al-Hijaab produces original, innovative designs specifically made with the Western Muslim in mind. Designing and creating original patterns is not an easy or cheap process by any means. It requires a talented team of designers and pattern cutters. The time and effort involved in producing any individual piece is longer than the average jilbab time, this is mainly because each garment is cut and sewn by hand, in addition to this the embroidery and stonework that goes into producing the design is done by hand. Which by now you could understand it does not merely take one hour but rather 3+ hours.

3) Al-Hijaab uses high quality materials, sourced from the top producers. Many of the garments are made with two layers, one for the lining underneath and the above out layer – many of our customers ask if the jilbab has two layers for the reason that it is not transparent in accordance to the rulings of Islam. In addition, Al-Hijaab makes great efforts to produce its garments according to the highest standards of sewing and general production quality and is always looking to improve its merchandise.

Al-Hijaab’s Islamic designs require a great deal of fabric in their construction. Fabric is the major factor in the cost of a garment. There are two main reasons why Islamic clothing utilizes up to double the amount of material compared with some of the alternative mainstream designs on the market:

a. Islamic clothing is full sleeved (especially for women) and, in the cases of jilbabs, full length, unlike mainstream designs which are often short-sleeved or sleeveless, or which show the legs. Our men’s and women’s tops are also much longer than typical mainstream designs.

b. Islamic clothing is cut much wider than normal designs to allow a modest fit which does not show the shape of the body.

Finally, customers point out the delivery charge as being too high. All out goods are shipped using Royal Mail – we could have opted for the cheapest possible service they offer but this did not cover any damage or loss while in transit, this in effect would have disappointed the customer. Although we did not choose the most expensive service out there, we went for the ceapest but the most reliable meaning that if your delivery was lost we could claim the loss for you and it would have a guaranteed delivery date. The cheapest delivery would take 5 working days within the UK never mind international delivery, but with the first class service we offer most of the time customers receive the delivery the very next day.

The Niqab, Fact V Fiction

•October 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The following is a guest article found on the internet by sister Fatima Barkatulla: London-based blogger, and regular columnist for SISTERS magazine.

niqab in mosque

How much do you really know about the niqab? An insider guide to common misconceptions.

1. The niqab is a symbol of female subjugation.

None of the niqab-wearing women who I know, wear it because they have been forced to. They see it as an act of devotion to their Creator: the culmination of a spiritual journey. In fact most of them are women who were born and brought up in the UK; many are White or Afro-Caribbean Muslim converts to Islam who have chosen to observe it. The hijab, niqab and abaya are outer garments and are worn only when outdoors or in the presence of men who are not close relatives and so, contrary to popular belief, underneath their robes, in family and female-only settings Muslim women are often very fashion conscious and outgoing. They dress in everyday clothing; they get their hair done, go on holiday and even buy lingerie!

2. Women who wear the niqab cannot possibly contribute to society

People are surprised to hear that niqab-wearers come from varied vocational backgrounds. They include doctors, teachers, dentists, authors, social workers, university graduates, lecturers and more. They usually prefer to work in a female environment and so would not wear the face-veil all the time. Other women say that wearing the niqab actually makes them feel more comfortable when they are working with men. It is ironic that the very women who are the subject of debate are far from being a burden on society: they don’t get drunk and disorderly, don’t smoke and are likely to be very good citizens. Many of them are full-time mothers who take pride in raising well-educated children who will be an asset to British society.

3. The niqab isn’t in the Qur’an

The Qur’anic worldview presents a complete system of living, which permeates the daily lives of observant Muslims. This includes everything from rituals of personal hygiene, advice on neighbourly behaviour and animal rights to regulations for dress. Some women see the niqab as a religious obligation, others, as an act of worship following in the footsteps of notable Muslim women of the past. Numerous verses in the Qur’an contain directives for Muslim women’s dress, amongst them:

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the Believers to draw their outer garments all over their bodies. That will be better, so that they may be known and so as not to be annoyed, and God is Ever-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (33:59)

The Qur’an was interpreted by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his disciples and their teachings form the basis of Islamic law. There are two orthodox schools of thought with regards to the interpretation of this verse. One orthodox interpretation is that it means covering the whole body including the face. The other school of thought is that, though not obligatory, covering the face is a virtue.

4. Wearing the niqab implies that all men are predatory

Just as locking our doors at night doesn’t imply that all members of society are burglars, wearing the niqab doesn’t imply that all men are predatory.

The Islamic worldview recognises that attraction between men and women exists and, if left unharnessed, has the potential to break down the moral fabric of society. It also acknowledges the physiological and physical differences between men and women and therefore Islamic legislation for dress and behaviour reflect these differences and aid adherents to avoid situations that could lead to extra-marital sexual relations. Hence both men and women have been commanded to lower their gazes and given directives on dress.

5. The niqab poses a security risk at banks and airports

By simply going to the side and showing their faces and ID to female members of staff, Muslim women who wear the niqab, have been, for decades, passing through airport security in major airports all over the world without cause for security concern. The same sort of arrangement can be made for any situation where ID needs to be checked.

6.Niqab wearers can’t possibly be teachers.

There are many highly qualified and experienced Muslim teachers. A Muslim teacher, who wears the niqab, would not need to do so if men were not present, therefore many female Muslim teachers choose to teach women or children and uncover their faces whilst teaching.

7. Banning the niqab will free those Muslim women who are coerced into wearing it.

Banning the face-veil would be totally counter-productive: it would cause many Muslim women to feel targeted and persecuted and is likely to cause many talented women to withdraw from society. The majority of niqab-wearing women in Europe, wear it out of personal choice, so if, for the sake of a suspected minority, the niqab was to be banned, this would be clear discrimination against the majority. If we want to empower women from any community who are oppressed or abused, effective public services where such abuse can be reported need to be made more available and accessible to the women involved.

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•September 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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The Dawn of the Islamic Fashion

•August 11, 2009 • 1 Comment
Classy But Simple

Classy But Simple

When there is fashion, there is no compromise. Islamic fashion is called the jilbab. A jilbab comes in various styles, colours and designs which when combined form a unique fashion. A jilbab does not have to be a piece of cloth that is stitched for you to wear but it can look good too. We can make our own fashion with the jilbab. There are now new designs that a jilbab comes in and that is fashion for muslim women. We get hijabs to match it and that completes our fashion as a modern muslim woman. We can now get a designer jilbab, sporty jilbab, casual jilbab, a jilbab for wedding and also a fashion jilbab. There are different colours in which a jilbab comes in and some are good for summer while other for winter. For example, black and grey in a jilbab are good colours for winter while peach and sky blue are good for summer.

Fashion is a term that usually applies to a person that is often wearing the clothes that are of the fashion or style of the time. We make our own fashion whether it is for a jilbab or a hijab or both. A jilbab that covers you fully, is comfortable and has a style to it is the perfect one in fashion. A jilbab that caters for different body shapes and fashion preferences is the beat one. An individuals taste matters too. One might prefer the sporty jilbab and say that, that is fashion for them while the other person could say that the casual jilbab is fashion for them. In fact they are all in fashion but it depends on the occasion you are wearing them for. Every jilbab and fashion has a time and place. In conclusion a jilbab with style is the jilbab in fashion.

Assalamu Alaikum

•June 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to Al-Hijaabs‘ Blog. Inshallah we will be continually updateing this site to keep you updated on all of our progress and plans for the future.

The Al-Hijaab Team
(Specialist in Islamic Clothing)


Al-Hijaab Head Office
86 Lumb Lane
West Yorkshire