THE HARAAM POLICE: Those who throw stones from glass houses


Why do you even bother wearing the hijab? …they said.  
I bet they didn’t dress like that when you were at Hajj ...she sent.
AWRA is such a ridiculous name, me & my friends couldn’t stop laughing …she typed.
Is that even hijab? …they say. 



For those of you that know from our previous blogs posts, my name is Nurjan and I’m the founder and director here at AWRA. I wanted to write this blog post personally due to recent messages sent to us on social media regarding our hijab styling.

Now, I’m a grown 31 year-old woman so I can honestly say maturity has reared its wonderful head and I am rarely bothered by negative messages sent to us by negative people. Most of the time, I’m too tired to give it any brain space. My brain is already like a disco-tech of thoughts, jam packed with my daily life and things I want to do but the reality is… they exist.

Rude? Absolutely. Unnecessary? Yes. Hurtful? They give it their best shot.


I’m open to receiving feedback and constructive criticism, of course, what sort of brand/business would we be if I encouraged my team to cut off all interaction or customer service. When you run a business, you learn to take the good with the bad, the ups and the downs.

However, what personally saddens me is the lack of basic manners amongst Muslim sisters towards other Muslim sisters, in this case, regarding the hijab.


Yes, there is correct hijab and incorrect hijab – please kindly send forward a sister who doesn’t know the difference and I’ll eat my own hijab. There is no debate here.

There’s perfection and to balance this, there is imperfection – we’re somewhere in between, constantly battling our Nafs like the warriors we are, trying to reach our god given framework of perfection.

Due to our imperfect nature, this is somewhat impossible but our reward lies within our struggle and our efforts. There’s a beauty in this.


It’s personal for each one of us. Our paths are different and that is OK. Don’t ever let anyone shame you in this world.


They have no place and no right to. They are creation just like you and me. We must never shame one another, it’s just wrong on so many levels.

Allah has given each one of us our own personalities, skill sets and understanding of the world around us and as a result, we are all different. How miserable and boring would it be if we were all the same?

My point being, due to our differences, our individual struggles and tests will differ from the next person, as they are specially catered to our individual differences. So if Allah has given a person the ability of ease in wearing hijab, then we must recognise this as a gift and reach out to those that find it difficult in humility, understanding that our strengths and capabilities are gifts from above.

Sometimes, there are Muslims who gain knowledge, and this is without a doubt a wonderful blessed thing. A gift from Allah SWT. And sometimes, the gifts Allah gives his slaves can be abused and misused, resulting in self-righteousness and arrogance – all part of the test. How do we use the gifts and blessings Allah has given us? Just a thought.

We all have fluttering thoughts of judgment from time to time, it’s human nature and it’s all part of the human experience, but it’s what is done with those thoughts that matter. Calling people out on matters of deen that you may find easy, is simply unkind and unpleasant to say the least, unless done with sincere concern and manners.


I launched AWRA in 2012 as a small business to fund my Art career, I had no idea I would be where I am today with the company Alhamdulilah. I just knew I wanted to do things properly.


Since 2012, the team has received many emails from customers and revert sisters who have started to wear the hijab permanently because they came across our styling and our range of hijabs. They were grateful for the inspiration we provided, as they felt they could still fit in amongst western society, whilst still being true to our Islamic dress code as Muslim women. They no longer felt out of place and finally found a comfort and confidence in wearing our designs.

The thing is, we are bombarded with images of air brushed women, skinny women, perfect women, sculpted women, where the majority of these women have had plastic surgery but we are still sold a fake image of beauty. For some sisters, it becomes overwhelming and it affects them, making the hijab a real struggle for them on a daily basis. It’s a reality.


My vision with AWRA, is to include all sisters.

Sisters who wear hijab with ease.

Sisters who struggle.

Sisters who are in two minds about removing the hijab.

Sisters who want to wear the hijab.

Sisters who have removed their hijab.

Sisters who don’t wear hijab but dress modestly.


What if we just styled the hijab just one way, would we have inspired others who have reached out to us, explaining how they have decided to wear the hijab permanently?

Revert sisters who reach out to us with joy, explaining how our brand has made their transition to Islam easier for them, as they were struggling with the hijab and how to wear it.

Even sisters who are contemplating wearing the hijab just because they want to look like our models?

Is this all not one step closer to where we need to be?

Do negative people only see one version of what and who is considered to be a Muslim woman? Is this fair or realistic?

People who comment negatively don’t see all of this, all of the positive that has come from our brand, because this all happens behind the scenes with AWRA.


"Islam isn’t for the most pious only and the day I think like that is the day I close the doors on AWRA."


Islam is for everyone. I work hard to include all sisters, at every stage of imaan, who am I to judge? I have my own flaws I’m focused on improving. I don’t see the negative, I see the positive. What are we doing to help one another? A sister might not have her hijab properly but is she trying? Are we stopping to see her efforts? Why do we judge so quickly? Why are we shaming her instead of helping her? Where’s the compassion and love for one another gone? These are serious questions I often ask myself.

As for the styling, I decided to leave the hijab loose on the model, as we are an online store only. I want customers to shop with ease, and to me, leaving the hijab loose would show exactly how large it was, how the fabric fell and how transparent the fabric was. That’s why the models neck is showing. How the customer chooses to wear the hijab, is completely up to them. Our job is to show you how versatile our products can be, appealing to all sisters, not just one group. We have customers from all walks of life, all different careers and from different ends of the world. The aim is to not misguide but to demonstrate the nature of the hijabs we sell and their fabric qualities.


“Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.”


Our Social media will continue to be a safe place for our customers and followers to interact and reach out to us. I want to build a community for AWRA, it’s not just a website, or a social media page and it’s not just about building a brand that takes money. It’s so much more than that for me. I’m passionate about my vision for AWRA and I work day and night to ensure I give it my best shot at making it a reality for you all. I will fight for what I believe in.

If you struggle with hijab and you want to reach out to us, don’t be afraid, we are here for you. We’re sisters, not just a business. We’re in this journey back to Allah together.


I think there’s a real wisdom in everything that happens to us in life, there’s a lesson that needs to be learnt in order for you to move on to the next faze in your life, or the next test rather. It’s a tough journey to Jannah, no one ever said it was going to be easy. When you look back on your life so far, do you see how Allah’s plan was perfect for you the whole time? The stress, anxiety and sleepless nights we went through due to our limited knowledge but trust him. Allah is your guide.

Embrace the journey, always reflect, learn the lesson, grow from it and most importantly… keep going.


Lots of love,

Your sister Nurjan X




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  • @Sister S Jazakallah Khairun sister for joining in on the discussion! It’s always interesting to read and learn from one another. I do agree with some points you made however, there are other points I simply and kindly, do not agree with, due to my experience of running a hijab company and having first hand experience with sisters that struggle.

    I honestly don’t think this is solely a western issue of dress or influence, muslims around the world dress in all different ways, covered and uncovered. Although these beauty standards do exist and do create a pressure on sisters (without a doubt) it wouldn’t be fair or realistic for me to compare everything to solely western beauty standards – there are Muslim countries that to me, have completely surpassed the West! There’s good and bad influence in all parts of the world and even some muslim countries even popular with plastic surgeries – it’s a huge issue but another topic completely on how beauty norms are defined.
    I do agree with you that is all starts from within, absolutely. My only point was that, for some, it takes time and it’s part of their journey. We all arrive at different places at different times because we are just that, all different. We learn differently.
    It would be wonderful to portray everything you have stated but like everything, it realistically costs money and companies have budgets and deadlines. I do as much as I can with what I have. If customers request more fully covered styles, I will happily deliver this. I do agree, there is only so much companies can do.
    If after all the efforts and hard work people want to pass judgement, there’s not much I can do unfortunately. I know my intention and at the end of the day, that’s my driving force. Everyone is quite rightly, entitled to their opinions and I’m always happy to engage.

    Muslim women are often held to the Arabian culture of dress and I’m not sure why, as we are from all different parts of the world. As one travels around the world, Muslim women dress differently, cultures shape the community – all modest. As long as a sister is covered and dressed modestly according to Islamic guidelines, there shouldn’t be an issue. How will we come to know one another if one culture is forced on every other part of the world? This unnecessary pressure I feel needs to stop amongst sisters, making Islam hard upon others is not a way forward and it doesn’t translate healthy or safe dialogue for those struggling.

    May Allah make it easy upon both women and men to uphold a modest dress code. Ameen.
    Thank you for reaching out.

    Nurjan X

    Nurjan on
  • I totally appreciate the struggle sisters go through. I appreciate that certain modest trends may help women transition better. Wearing the hijab is an act of worship, and Allah SWT rewards those who try and struggle.

    Hijab in the west can be challenging as we’re dressing outside the herd. Especially the younger generations, against the tide of what we’re bombarded with to appear pretty, trendy, current, relevant, beautiful. We’re exposed to beauty visuals more than ever.

    I think packaging the various “imperfect” versions doesn’t solve the heart of the problem, but re-enforces the struggle, I personally believe that it makes it worse. It conforms to western beauty standards of women revealing their zinna, their beauty. I think when we’re encouraging sisters to reveal their awra. When we have visuals of womens awra in the public to see, we have some accountability for it too. When companies talk about the diversity of hijab, but don’t portray the niqab, the makeup free, age diversity and size diversity. I feel like we’re picking and choosing here. Using beautification in the hijab context might be counter-intuitive. We’re portraying western modesty vs Islamic modesty. Defining our hijab as the outward vs the inward.

    A hijab company can only do so much. It’s great that this discourse is taking place, and has allowed many to transition with more ease. I trust your intentions are sincere. There’s barakah in good intentions – many have reached out with positivity alhamdulillah.

    My views could be totally wrong. I’m happy to be challenged. From my perspective, there’s a role for Muslims to support the spirituality of Muslims. Talking in a supportive manner of our struggles is wonderful. We must also engage with one another (with love) to find what’s correct, which isn’t always what’s comfortable or easy.

    Apologies if I’ve offended anyone.

    May Allah SWT guide us all on that straight path, let our hijabs (inward and outward), our intentions for hijab etc be a means of attaining closeness to him and the ultimate success.



    Sister S on
  • @Salma, thank you for your words of encouragement and for sharing your story with us.
    You’re SO strong and SO brave allahumma barek. May Allah SWT make everything that comes your way easy upon you, ameen, never feel alone.
    You say my words are inspiring but you have inspired me more. I’m so sorry to hear of your negative experiences, but I know from your words that you’re far stronger than anything those sisters uttered in ignorance. It’s upsetting. Allah knows exactly how you are feeling, how much you yearn to earn his pleasure through your dress but he wishes on you also no hardship, that’s the beauty of our Rabb. You’re doing your best and that’s what counts most, and you’re doing amazing masha’Allah. Fibromyalgia is tough, my auntie suffers from this condition too and I admire you greatly. Huge hug for you. Nurjan X

    Nurjan on
  • Very inspiring words. I have worn the hijab since I was 3 years old. I have always admired those that I see wearing it and from an early aged tried to understand what it represented, I thought it was the most beautiful thing. I asked my mother to buy me and have never taken it off since. I use to be so in love with it that I went to bed wearing it even in older age. I wore the abaya also and even tried the niqab but it was getting too much attention so stopped it. Fast forward years later I have several health issues which started when I was 15 and I am a person with determination (it sounds better than disabled). One of the main issue is Fibromyalgia. I walk with walking stick but even short walks cause me a lot of problems and so go everywhere by taxi. I must wear appropriate clothes as I struggle with mobility, sometimes I lose feeling in legs and fall. Trousers are more practical (I still wear some dresses but not usually long ones anymore, once in a blue moon I try at home as I don’t move around much or at least to sleep just to bring me some joy. I am married to a lovely Pakistani Man and the shalwar kameez are comfortable at home but outside with UK weather forever changing I don’t usually where them. I was sitting down a few weeks ago at my Surgery and two hijabi ladies who do not know me were whispering about me, my hearing is strong so I heard every word. They said she may as well just take the hijab off wearing above the knee dress with jeans, she has forsaken Allah and that is why she is suffering like this pointing at my walking stick, they had not seen me walk and went on their way, maybe they may have taken back their words. It really upset me but I hold no grudge and I wish them well. Whatever you do, know that you cannot please everyone, it is part of life and it should not put you down or discourage you to do something that you believe in.

    Salma on

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