Category Archives: General

The dos and don’ts of defending Muslim women

Came across this really interesting piece by Fatemeh Fakhraie, July 7, 2009, on Welcome our reader’s comments!

While the defense of the rights of Muslim women from all faiths and from all corners of the globe is laudable, it’s important to call non-Muslims out on their privileges and prejudices about Muslim women’s lives and manifestations of faith, and the arrogance in how they speak about and interact with Muslim women.

I recently wrote a piece for Double X in which I highlighted the fact that many non-Muslim feminists do not understand Muslim women or Muslim feminists accurately. Last year, I wrote “An Open Letter to White, Non-Muslim Feminists” for Muslimnista, which was a more acerbic version of the Double X piece:

“I notice a lot of condescension and arrogance when you talk to us or about us. Let me be clear: you do not know more about us than we know about ourselves, our religion, our cultures, our families, or the forces that shape our lives. You do not know what’s best for us more than we do.”

The letter was an unburdening. Yes, I wrote it while angry, after hearing yet another non-Muslim person believe that they held the key to female Muslim liberation because of the summer they spent in Dubai or the Muslim friend they had in college. But while my anger may have exposed readers to a rawer expression of my beliefs, I still stand by what I wrote, I still feel my anger is and was valid, and I still feel that it’s important to call non-Muslims out on their privileges and prejudices about Muslim women’s lives and manifestations of faith, and the arrogance in how they speak about and interact with Muslim women.

The recent statements on Aasiya Hassan’s murder from NOW director Marcia Pappas highlight what I’m talking about. Despite the fact that Aasiya’s murder was a cut-and-dried crime of domestic-violence, Pappas insisted on racializing it and “Islamocizing” it by calling it a “terroristic version of an honor killing”. Her continued support for her statements, in the face of disagreement and point-by-point dismantling of her views by Muslims, Muslim and non-Muslim domestic violence workers, and other feminists, personifies the arrogance and prejudice my letter aimed to call out. Pappas, through her statements and actions, sends the message, “This is what I think of Aasiya. This is what I think of Muslims and Muslim women, no matter how many people prove me wrong.”

When I published my Double X piece, which was admittedly more measured, it received a fairly receptive response. Though I know change is more often generational than radical, I believe more people are willing to listen to strategies for change in the dialogue between non-Muslim and Muslim women.

So I think it’s time to revisit the underlying arguments my letter implied but didn’t flesh out.

My difficulty with Pappas and those like her (whatever gender, color, or creed) is made up of several complex issues:

1. Arrogance and ethnocentrism

The arrogant-but-sometimes-well-meaning “I know what’s best for you” attitude that flies in the face of respect for others’ lifestyles, worldviews, histories, and differences, and ignores or disrespects Muslim women’s personal agency. This is a major barrier and has been dubbed neo-colonialism for a good reason. Decades ago (even centuries), when the British colonized India, Egypt, Algeria, and other regions, the “I know what’s best for you” attitude was what enabled them to oppress men and women (Muslim and others) in these regions.

The idea that another person outside a Muslim woman’s communities and situations knows better about the issues she faces as a Muslim woman or as a woman of a certain ethnicity is impossible. While someone from outside my communities can offer an outsider’s perspective, s/he cannot understand my issues authoritatively enough to know them better than I. And, in constructing strategies for change, assuming someone else’s way (“Western” or secular or “progressive”) is better often ignores the fact that the secular way may not fit into a Muslim woman’s life, or a certain Western feminist model may not offer a Muslim woman constructive way to demand for the changing of laws that hurt her and her family. Refusing to believe that working within an Islamic or cultural framework can help me achieve the liberation I’m looking for isn’t fair to me—this isn’t cultural relativism, this is taking into account different forces that shape and have shaped a Muslim woman’s circumstances, and the different issues that she faces.

Furthermore, speaking for me when I did not ask you to actually takes my voice away. It is oppression just the same when a feminists does it as when, for example, a man speaks for a woman without her consent.

2. Prejudice

Often in the form of racialized Islamophobia and sexism. The refusal to listen to me or believe me when I tell you that Islam has given me wonderful things. Painting a Muslim woman’s issues as religious when they may really involve class, or patriarchal manifestations in her culture, or race. Demonizing my religion or culture in order to paint me as a victim that must be released from both of these things, no matter how much I love them or how they have positively shaped me.

3. Pity and victim construction

Specifically, the constant victim narrative that Muslim women are forced into. Assuming I am brainwashed because I identify as a Muslim, assuming every woman who wears a headscarf didn’t choose to.

Looking at a woman who involuntarily underwent female genital cutting as a victim does not empower that woman; it is often demeaning because it assumes that she can never be more than what happened to her. Pitying her because of what happened to her doesn’t empower her, either.

Looking at a woman who escaped an abusive marriage as a victim of her religion does not empower that woman. Not only does it mischaracterize the situation (it was her husband who abused her, not Islam), but also it doesn’t get her on the road to rebuilding her life.

Looking at an Iraqi woman as a victim ignores the agency she may exercise; constructing her only as a victim of war erases all her individual personality traits, her memories, and her humanity, leaving her to be nothing but part of a wretched aftermath. No human should be a wretched aftermath.

Pity doesn’t help anyone. And pitying me is just another type of oppression—just another way to construct yourself as better than I.

4. Using the wrong tools to measure liberation

Liberation is not a cookie-cutter deal. It looks different to every single woman in the world, and Muslim women are no different. There are Muslim women for whom liberation looks like a miniskirt, or a headscarf, or a university degree, or a well-paying job, or a husband, or a house, or debt wiped clean, or a divorce, or a reliable source of clean water, or opportunities for her children, or different combinations of these, etc. Forcing one model of liberation on anyone isn’t liberating; it’s just as oppressive as other paternalist or patriarchal forces in a Muslim woman’s life.

The best example of this is clothing, and the symbolizing of clothing as liberation, oftentimes equating choice of clothing with liberation. While I personally believe that women should be able to wear what they themselves want and face no cultural, religious, or other repercussions for it, assuming that changing clothing brings liberation is misguided. Clothing is a symbol of repression for a reason: it is not the cloth itself that oppresses, but the complex legal, social, and economic issues that enforce the cloth. Campaigning for Afghan women to have the right to remove their burqas will not change the issues that stand in their way and enforce a dress code.

Now a framework of “Don’ts” has been established, let’s move on to the “Dos”. Strategies for change:

1. Changing arrogance and co-option of voice

If I ask you to speak for me because I am unable to speak for myself, make sure you’re doing it right: keep my concerns in mind, keep my circumstances in mind, and reflect that. Don’t reflect what you think is best for me.

If a Muslim woman doesn’t ask you to be her voice or speak for her, don’t. If you wish to help a Muslim woman you feel is voiceless, help her get a voice. Never assume you have the right to speak on someone else’s behalf.

2. Changing prejudice

Recognize that I might not view Islam or my culture the same way as you do. Don’t accept information about Islam from unqualified sources, especially those who don’t have my best interests in mind. Realize that my Islam will be different from others’. Don’t demonize my faith or my culture or the men in my life, no matter what I say about them, no matter how bad my experiences have been or how I complain: they are my experiences to sort out, and no one else’s. Keep in mind that patriarchy is a worldwide phenomenon, and it will manifest itself differently for me than it will for others. I may experience very patriarchal forms of Islam, while my sister may not.

3. Do not pity me or construct me as a victim

Recognize that no matter what has happened to me, good or bad, I am a person who is more than my labels or experiences.

4. Let Muslim women define liberation for themselves

Help only if I ask for it. By help, I do not mean co-opting my liberation and planning it out for me; I mean helping me get where I want to go, wherever that is. If a Muslim woman wants to leave an abusive relationship, don’t tell her that marriage in Islam is (insert your opinion here), help her find a divorce lawyer and safe shelter.

Being an ally is the same as being a true friend: respecting my wishes, even if you may want something different for me; helping me when I need it, without thinking me helpless; and viewing me as an entire person.

(Photo: Friends for Peace)

Fatemeh Fakhraie is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah


Artizara launches its newest modest clothing venture “Fashion Undercover” at the APPNA convention July 1-5 in San Francisco!

Fashion Undercover is an Artizara brand that will market East meets West, world-style inspired modest fashion to women of all backgrounds. In the spirit that the world is shrinking and borders are becoming blurred, Fashion Undercover will bring to the market unique, fair trade women’s apparel and jewelry, that celebrates the individual artisan and the diversity that our world offers.

The online launch of is scheduled for August 1, 2009.

For a sneak preview check out our booths #210/212, open to the public at the APPNA convention:

Marriott, Downtown San Francisco
Booths 210/212
55 Fourth Street
San Francisco, California 94103 USA
Phone: 1-415-896-1600


Don’t miss the Artizara booths at the upcoming ISNA convention in Washington DC! Get a head start on your Ramadan shopping and Eid Gifts with a fabulous new collection of Islamic jewelry and apparel. Mention coupon code ISNABLOG2009 to receive 10% off your purchase!

46th Annual ISNA Convention
July 3 – 6, 2009
Washington DC Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001

Bazaar Booths 724 & 823 (open to the public)

For more details visit

Islam’s Soft Revolution

Interesting article that appeared in Time magazine 3/19/09. Would love to hear your comments!

A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World

By Robin Wright Thursday, Mar. 19, 2009

Three decades after Iran’s upheaval established Islamic clerical rule for the first time in 14 centuries, a quieter and more profound revolution is transforming the Muslim world. Dalia Ziada is a part of it.

When Ziada was 8, her mother told her to don a white party dress for a surprise celebration. It turned out to be a painful circumcision. But Ziada decided to fight back. The young Egyptian spent years arguing with her father and uncles against the genital mutilation of her sister and cousins, a campaign she eventually developed into a wider movement. She now champions everything from freedom of speech to women’s rights and political prisoners. To promote civil disobedience, Ziada last year translated into Arabic a comic-book history about Martin Luther King Jr. and distributed 2,000 copies from Morocco to Yemen. (See pictures of Islam’s revolution.)

Now 26, Ziada organized Cairo’s first human-rights film festival in November. The censorship board did not approve the films, so Ziada doorstopped its chairman at the elevator and rode up with him to plead her case. When the theater was suspiciously closed at the last minute, she rented a tourist boat on the Nile for opening night–waiting until it was offshore and beyond the arm of the law to start the movie.

Ziada shies away from little, including the grisly intimate details of her life. But she also wears a veil, a sign that her religious faith remains undimmed. “My ultimate interest,” she wrote in her first blog entry, “is to please Allah with all I am doing in my own life.”

That sentiment is echoed around the Muslim world. In many of the scores of countries that are predominantly Muslim, the latest generation of activists is redefining society in novel ways. This new soft revolution is distinct from three earlier waves of change–the Islamic revival of the 1970s, the rise of extremism in the 1980s and the growth of Muslim political parties in the 1990s.

Today’s revolution is more vibrantly Islamic than ever. Yet it is also decidedly antijihadist and ambivalent about Islamist political parties. Culturally, it is deeply conservative, but its goal is to adapt to the 21st century. Politically, it rejects secularism and Westernization but craves changes compatible with modern global trends. The soft revolution is more about groping for identity and direction than expressing piety. The new revolutionaries are synthesizing Koranic values with the ways of life spawned by the Internet, satellite television and Facebook. For them, Islam, you might say, is the path to change rather than the goal itself. “It’s a nonviolent revolution trying to mix modernity and religion,” Ziada says, honking as she makes her way through Cairo’s horrendous traffic for a meeting of one of the rights groups she works with.

The new Muslim activists, who take on diverse causes from one country to another, have emerged in reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks and all that has happened since. Navtej Dhillon, director of the Brookings Institution’s Middle East Youth Initiative, says, “There’s a generation between the ages of 15 and 35 driving this soft revolution–like the baby boomers in the U.S.–who are defined by a common experience. It should have been a generation outward looking in a positive way, with more education, access to technology and aspirations for economic mobility.” Instead, he says, “it’s become hostage to post-9/11 politics.” Disillusioned with extremists who can destroy but who fail to construct alternatives that improve daily life, members of the post-9/11 generation are increasingly relying on Islamic values rather than on a religion-based ideology to advance their aims. And importantly, the soft revolution has generated a new self-confidence among Muslims and a sense that the answers to their problems lie within their own faith and community rather than in the outside world. The revolution is about reform in a conservative package.

See photos from this article

MCC FTS Spring Fashion Show and Bazaar, April 4, 2009

Artizara was privileged to be invited once again to the phenomenal Spring Women’s Islamic Fashion Show and Bazaar, organized to benefit the Muslim Community Center Full Time School, in Morton Grove, Illinois on April 4, 2009.

The warmth and energy of the local Muslim community was palpable at this sold out event, with over 400 women in attendance, and coverage by the fashion blog of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Crescent. The show featured latest spring and summer fashion lines for the Muslim woman from favorite e-retailers and preferred local vendors, presented with panache, on the runway.

The models swayed to the beat of contemporary music from the Islamic world, with the Arizara line perfectly in sync to one of our favorite tracks, “Aicha”, by Outlandish. The ten outfit lineup from our new Spring 09 collection included bohemian peasant tops, designer denim, raw silk jackets and gorgeous formal dresses and caftans, unlike anything you would find either in Islamic or mainstream stores. The spring line got great reviews, with many pre-orders for styles from the new collection.

The show stole the audience’s hearts with a super sweet segment featuring hip, modest fashions for little girls ages 3-12. With kids’ clothes bought from local department stores, the organizers put together the cutest little modest ensembles for little girls, complete with hats, jewelry and bolero jackets. They sure convinced us that little Muslimahs need not aspire to be Hannah Montana clones, to feel cool!

The show wowed us with the grand finale that showcased bridal fashions from the Islamic world, demonstrating to the rapt audience how to synthesize modesty with glam, for a woman’s big day.

A big Thank You to MCCFTS for making us a part of this great event, for a wonderful cause!

Artizara Spring Summer 2009 Photoshoot

We just got done with our Spring/Summer 2009 photo shoot and had the opportunity to work with a really creative photographer and tremendously talented models. Everyone gave the shoot 200% and we shot over 70 outfits, finishing AHEAD of schedule!

And aren’t we excited about the new collection, lot’s of beautiful new things, that we cant wait to share with you!

But best of all, here is an email we received from one of our models after the shoot, which reminds us why Artizara is in business, and makes what we do worthwhile! We welcome your comments…

Hi, again, Sarah!

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed working with you today. Your clothes are beautiful!

I also wanted to say that I browsed through your website and read many of your blogs. Thank you so much for posting them- I truly learned so much this evening! Your blogs are so useful for those who don’t really have a firm understanding of the Islamic religion and culture, how it has become integrated into western society, as well as what issues remain among Muslim women living in the United States (and everywhere) today! I loved the blog you have posted, “Love and Leaving the Head Scarf,” especially. I think it is very important for people to know and fully understand these issues, and what you are doing with your company is amazing and very productive in mending these matters of contention! I think that women from any faith can love and appreciate your garments- they are modest, beautiful and elegant! I can’t wait to purchase one of your tops from your website! Thank you, again! :)


Only 78% of young Muslims reported having smiled or laughed the day before…

Interesting article from the Los Angeles Times. Would love to hear your thoughts on whether/how clothing and appearance can help Muslim women be more integrated in their Western communities. Do you have any personal anecdotes? Share them with us!

The Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2009

By Sarah Gantz

Reporting from Washington

Muslim American prosperity is tinged with alienation, survey finds

They have a higher employment rate than the national norm but carry a sense of cultural alienation, a yearlong Gallup Poll reports. The young say they are particularly dissatisfied.

A study of Muslim Americans released Monday presents a portrait of an often-misunderstood community — one that is integrated socio-economically but culturally alienated; that succeeds in the workforce but struggles to find contentment.

The numbers suggest economic and career success among Muslim Americans — they have a higher employment rate than the national average and are among the nation’s most educated religious groups. Yet only 41% described themselves as “thriving.”

And though the report by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies states that Muslim Americans are more likely than the general public to hold a professional job, they expressed less satisfaction with their standard of living and community.

The disparity is a sign of the alienation some Muslim Americans may feel, experts say. Ahmed Younis, a senior analyst for the center, said some Muslim Americans feel a sense of “otherness” created by outside perceptions of their religion and a lack of involvement in their larger community.

Three-quarters of Muslim Americans polled said they were satisfied with their community, as opposed to nearly 90% among respondents from other religions. They also were less optimistic about the future of their communities. Muslim Americans ranked highest among American religious groups who believed their communities were getting worse.

The data reflect the responses of 941 Americans who identified themselves as Muslim in a survey of more than 300,000 Americans over the course of 2008. The nonpartisan research center is affiliated with the Gallup polling organization.

“There’s no doubt that there is a certain sense of isolation and alienation — there’s no doubt,” said U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress.

One reason for this may be because Muslim communities revolve around the mosque, Ellison said in an interview after the report’s release. The key to a better-integrated Muslim American community, he said, is to make the mosque more welcoming for non-Muslims.

Muslim Americans ages 18 to 29 in particular reported discontent with their jobs and communities.

On average, those youths were unhappier, angrier, and less optimistic than their peers in other religions, according to the report.

Only 78% of young Muslims reported having smiled or laughed the day before, while nearly 90% of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews of the same age said they had.

A great deal of the emotional turbulence among young Muslims is due to the stereotypes and suspicion of Islam since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, experts say.

“I can only imagine a 10- or 12-year-old getting the type of questions I get” about Islam, said Suhail Khan, a board member of the American Conservative Union and former public outreach aide in George W. Bush’s administration. “I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, and it wasn’t an issue. It just wasn’t.”

Khan described Muslim Americans’ integration into American society as a long, slow process tainted with discrimination and stereotypes, but one that other minorities have overcome.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we will not only see an end to the discrimination and the fear-mongering,” Khan said, “we’ll soon look back and wonder why some of this even went this far.”

The entire report is available at

Artizara Interviewed by WeLoveHijab

Artizara was recently interviewed by Jokima Bey, chief editor of a fun and interactive site about all things Hijabi; Hijab Style Files, Hijab Do’s and Don’ts, Hijab Tying Tricks, Hijab Designers…

Here is our conversation:

1) Do you design the clothes for Artizara or purchase them elsewhere?

The vast majority of Artizara fashions(over 95%) are designed and created exclusively by Artizara.

2) What is the biggest influence for choosing the clothes that you sell or create?

Inspiration can come from just about anywhere, nature, people-watching, lifestyles…

Islamic art and heritage is a big influence, interpreted in a fresh contemporary way. We also keep an eye on mainstream fashion trends in terms of color, cut, texture and form, but add certain touches to the garment that truly make it unique and special.

Wearability and practicality is a big consideration. Every piece we design should be something we ourselves would buy, our friends and family will buy, and would recommend to others. We design each piece with the goal that it should never hang in your closet; you should get lots and lots of wear out of it, dress it up or down, wear it for work and play, at home or at a night on the town.

3) Where did the name Artizara come from?

The Artizara name was a brainstorm by the co-founders of the business, friends and neighbors Sarah Ansari and Asra Razzaque.

4) How would you describe the Artizara Woman (your customers)?

The Artizara woman is enlightened, socially conscious, active in her community, and interested in the world. She understands that the world is a very small place and that we are all alike in many more ways than we are different. The Artizara woman enjoys world style and dresses modestly since she is a believer that a woman’s worth lies in her intellect, not in the shape of her body.

Above all, the Artizara woman understands that women form half the intellectual capital of humanity, and that they have a very important role to play in the progress of society; whether their sphere of influence is the home, their place of education, their work, or the broader community.

5) What is your dream for the Artizara brand? Where would you like to see the company go in the future?

We have big dreams for our little company! In a very broad sense, We would like the Artizara brand to represent in its products, all that is beautiful in our rich and ancient Islamic heritage.

6) What can we expect from Artizara this Spring/Summer?

This season’s collection is all about soft fabrics, relaxed and easy silhouettes that let the body breathe and move, yet look smart and dressed up.

Practicality was a big design influence this season, as was a mindset that in these tough economic times, every Artizara piece you buy, should earn its keep!

We have added functional, concealed pockets to many of our tops as we realize that life’s busy and sometimes its just no fun to fish about in your purse for those wayward keys or that cell phone!

Clever details like detachable sleeves, give the customer different options to wear the same top, adding value to your purchase.

Coordinated scarves have been designed with every piece, and we’ve put together many ensembles, for those of you who’d rather not spend time putting together that “put together” look!

7) How do most of your customers find out about you?

We have a dedicated customer base, as well as new customers who find us every day, online, or through referrals from friends and family.

8) Why do they love shopping with you?

Rather than we saying anything, we will let our customers do the talking! Here is a list of customer comments, reproduced directly from their communications/emails:

Dear all, I already received clothes and I’m so thankful for the good quality and the rapid service. jazakom allah khair. Regards


I am really impressed with the quality of the products and the customer service from this website. Unfortunately they did not have my size, so I had to ask for a refund for the wonderful jacket that I ordered (the quality and appearance is very good, and totally as shown in the picture, not deceiving marketing photos). The Artizara staff is really nice and professional, quick and accurate response to my questions, and acting with integrity and ethics. They are the true example of real Muslim, MashaAllah, and after speaking on the phone with them, it makes you wish to be a better person, to be more forgiving, soft-spoken and respectful to others, as they are! Although I am not a muslim (yet), I am in the process of learning about Islam and I read your blogs regularly. I am grateful for being exposed to very good and inspiring examples of Muslim brothers and sisters, and the Artizara staff is among these great examples. Thank you for such a great experience, I am pleased to know about you and do business with you! May Allah give you his best care and mercy! Subhan Allah!


I want to tell you how thrilled I am with my first experience shopping on your website. I ordered a shirt Tuesday and I’m wearing it today, Friday! I appreciate the prompt email confirming my order and the notification that my order shipped. The shirt is wonderful; I love the style, color and details. You seem to have thought of everything to make this a pleasant and easy transaction. I will definitely shop with you again! Many thanks,


Hello and thank you Yes I corrected my self on the 2nd mail that I meant a hijab not jilbab, thank you very much for the way you handled it,and for the treatment,I am sorry if I was rude and may GOD bless you

A. Roitman, Israel

I would just like to confirm that I have received the refund in full and am grateful for the gesture. May Allah grant Artizara to grow from strength to strength and that the adaab in which they handle their business and customers bring them barakat insha Allah. Wishing all the staff of Artizara a blessed Eid Mubarak. Sister in Islam

Rayghana,South Africa

love your site, outfits and service. thank you!


I just wanted to let you know that I have received my order and really love the shirt and the scarves too :-) Also, the packaging was done very professionally and overall this was a really pleasant shopping experience. The clothes are very nice quality and I’ll be ordering some more and recommending to my friends as well :-) Thank you again

Mirela , CA

Thank you for getting back to me so soon. I found your response very helpful. As I am at work now, I need to go home and measure myself properly. Then I will choose an outfit and ask you for your advice again. Thank you ever so much!

Hanna , U.K.

I got my items and they are AMAZING !!!!! Thank you soooo much.

Kasia, Paris, France

I received the beatuiful dress in the mail a moment ago, and it is exquisite! Thank you so much, I look forward to ordering another dress from Artizara in the next month or two!

Pearl, San Francisco, CA

I am very pleased at the quality of my recent order, the Sarah Gown and Jacket; my wife was especially happy. Also, thank you very much for the expedient delivery and for specifying my delivery instructions to UPS. I look forward to further purchases in the future, insha’Allah.

Zain , Seattle, WA

Shukran, I got the shirt and hijab yesterday, Mashallah they are
wonderful. Can’t wait for the larger sizes!!!!


Thank you for adding my email to their website i didnt even think of that! ive already made a wish list and man am i breaking the bank but its worth it and its all gorgeous .


Thank you for the notification and the gift of $10.00 credit toward my next purchase. Your site has many beautiful items. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to receiving my order.
Cindy, Washington

I absolutely love the “Wildly Popular” Embroidered Tunic, which I am exchanging for a smaller size. I don’t know the name of the person I spoke with on the phone today. The customer service at your company is excellent. I wills send other sisters your way.

Dr. L.H, California

“I just wanted to write and tell you how happy I am with my purchase. I wore the shirt I bought from you to work today and I was complimented by everyone. All the women I work with wanted to know where I bought it. I’m very pleased that you have clothes that are stylish and affordable. Keep up the good work. I look forward to buying more clothing from your company in the future.”

E.S., Oregon

“I received my order today, the Contemporary Silver Allah pendant and the antiqued silver pendant with the three onyx stones. Gorgeous! Really beautiful pieces and I received them so quickly. Your customer service is amazing too. When you were out of stock on the turquoise and onyx pendant, Asra called to let me know and e-mailed me as well. Not many other companies do that!

Thanks very much – I’m sure I’ll be a returning


“Wow! Excellent merchandise! Beautiful, artistic, and very modest! Thank you!”


“Dear Artizara Team,

I am just writing this to to say thank you very much for my shipment that I received a few days ago. Everything was really beautiful. The pink tunic was really beautiful and also the Afghan embroidered bookmarks were really gorgeous. My family absolutely loved them as they were presents for them. Also thank you the free bookmark and sending the missing scarf. That was very kind. Also I would just like to say thank you to Sarah for all your help and hope I didn’t bug you too much with all my emails :-). Anyway it’s really nice doing business with you. Insha’allah in the future I hope to do more.

Insh’allah may Allah help and bless you for all your efforts.”

Bestest Regards,

“Jazak Allah khayr. Although the dress did not work, your service was great. Thank you so much, may Allah bless you and your business. Fi Amani Allah.”


“I received my order yesterday! Order ID #210 I really love the fleece shirt. It’s beautiful and fits perfectly!”

Satisfied Customer,

“Thank you so much for the beautiful gown. I received it a couple of days ago and the small size fits beautifully. I appreciate your quick and painless manner of handling business, and your products are the most beautiful I’ve seen!!! I look forward to purchasing more products from you in the very near future. I will be recommending your web site to all of my Jewish religious friends who like elegant modesty.”


“I love your site and the service, keep up with the good


“I received the Dreams of Shangai shirt and the Handwoven cotton shirt today. I loved them both; thanks for your excellent service! The Dreams of Shanghai shirt is perfect. I love the quality of your shirts and will definitely be ordering more products from you later on.”


“My name is Ayesha and I am a new customer to your online store. I have been having trouble finding the right styles to wear to work and I began looking for stores online. When I came upon your sight I was amazed to see the designs, colors, and beauty in your apparel that I went overboard and ordered more than I needed. I am so excited about my shirts! Your styles are so unique and BEAUTIFUL that I just can’t wait to wear it at work. Jazak-Allah Khair! May Allah (swt) bless you, your business, and your family.”


Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you so much for the absolutely GORGEOUS ‘stay-in-place’ silk scarves,which have just arrived. I am off to hospital in about one hour and know how good I will feel wearing these scarves after the operation, insh’allah.

Best wishes and salaam,

Help us Design the Spring Summer 2009 Collection!

We have been really busy at Artizara!

The Spring Summer 2009 collection is now underway and we would love to hear from you. In these tough economic times, we realize that now more than ever, every garment we produce has to earn its keep. We have searched high and low, and really put our heads together to bring you styles that will do double duty in your wardrobe…that will transition from school to work, from day to evening, season to season.

We would love to know what you you like (and more importantly, don’t like) about Artizara products. Here are the key areas that we could really use your feedback:

Color: Do you like bright colors, pastels or neutrals? Do you change the colors you wear with the seasons? Are there certain colors you wouldn’t be caught dead in :)! Do you think dressing modestly means dressing in neutrals and staying away from color altogether? Do mainstream color trends matter, would you like to see Artizara modest shirts in the season’s hot colors?

Fabric: What are your preferred fabrics? Do you read garment labels to check the fiber content? Do you like natural or man-made fabrics?

Styling: How important is garment length to you? Do you like shirts to go to your knee, mid-thigh, below hip? Side vents or none? Extra long sleeves?

Embellishment: Plain shirts or embellished? Thread or metallics?

Care: I know that ironing tops the list of my least favorite household chores! Cotton shirts are great for comfort but do require the extra maintenance to look good. How important is garment care for you? Do you regularly iron your clothes? Do you shy away from buying garments that are “dry clean only”?

Price: What should you expect to pay for a good quality, modest long shirt? Is it evident to the customer that modest clothing takes more fabric to produce and is therefore more costly?

Bottoms: Are you more of a skirt person or slacks? Do you generally buy your bottoms at mainstream stores? Are there certain kinds of bottoms that are really hard to find?

Scarves: How important is it to coordinate the scarf with the shirt? Is it convenient to have dyed to match scarves or would you rather create your own signature ensemble? Is it easy to find coordinating scarves for your modest clothing outfits?

Evening Wear: Are there certain dresses that we carry that you love…or don’t like at all? Please let us know! Should dresses always be lined? What are your preferred fabrics and embellishments? Do you prefer dresses with a little shape or straight caftans? Are there dresses from a certain part of the world that really catch your fancy and could be “mainstreamed” as an Artizara product?

Shoot us an email at….we are all ears!

Happy New Year

All of us at Artizara wish you a joyous, safe and prosperous 2009!

What a whirlwind 2008 has been…and are we glad it’s behind us :)

What with climate change, geopolitical turmoil, the global financial crisis and the roller coaster economy…it was enough to make anyone’s head spin! As we ended 2008 and began both a Christian and an Islamic New Year, it seemed that change was all around us… and it left us feeling excited, but a little apprehensive too, about what the future has in store for us.

More than anything, the new year is a time to take stock, thank the Almighty for our blessings, pare away the superfluous and identify and focus on what’s REALLY important to us, spiritually, personally and professionally.

We thank you, our customers, for having faith in us, and helping us grow. We need your guidance and your input, every day. Please let us know what you like, and do not like, about Artizara. We are here because of you, and without you, we would cease to be.

We hope that the new year is a year of new hope, new possibilities and new awakenings for us all, Ameen!