|A Good Intention
Let's admit it, most of us like to look good. And in fact there's nothing wrong with that. A man once spoke to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) regarding his concerns that his preference for nice clothes and sandals might be arrogant. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told the man, "Allah is beautiful and loves beauty in His servants." (Muslim)
There are many routine acts we do everyday that can, with the right intention, be made into acts of worship. For example, when we go to sleep for a good eight hours, we intend to give our body its right to rest and to strengthen it for worship. With these intentions, this time is not passed in vain. Similarly, if we buy clothing to give our body its right to warmth and protection and to fulfill the obligation of covering our awra (nakedness), this becomes an act pleasing to Allah.
Then, we can improve on this by intending many additional things: to look beautiful for the sake of Allah; to follow the blessed Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) by wearing clothes that it is reported he wore; to please our family and spouses; to show non-Muslims the modesty, dignity and beauty of the Muslim man or woman; and to provide the person we are buying from with their means of livelihood.
Once we receive our new clothing items, we can read the dua' or supplication which is recommended to say upon first wearing a new outfit. Thereafter, for every day in our lives whenever we get dressed in the morning or at other times, we can bring to mind the above-mentioned intentions.
SHUKR’s ultimate aim is to design a line of clothing which is reflective of, and relevant to the needs of a new generation of Western Muslims. We want Muslims to be able to express their Islamic identity while taking into account how they will be received by those around them – colleagues, strangers on the street, people at college, and neighbors. SHUKR's philosophy is one of being proud of our Muslim identity and being recognized as Muslims.
You need to take into consideration where you will be wearing a given garment: work, school, the mosque, home, special occasions, or everyday errand running. What is appropriate for you to wear at different places will depend upon your individual circumstances. Your employer may appreciate you wearing a SHUKR button down top and trousers, but may not look so favorably upon a galabiyya. On the other hand, you might want to reference Islamic cultures and history by wearing a sharp tailored jubba to ‘Eid prayers.
Muslims, especially in today's times, often differentiate themselves from others with their concern for modest clothing. After all, the Lord of all the Worlds has enjoined upon us that we should cover our 'awra (nakedness) with clothing which meets certain criteria, most notably that it be loose and not transparent.
The requirements of modesty apply to men as well as women, and it is sometimes sad to see Muslim men who are apparently unaware of this, such as when they tuck their shirts in to a tight-fitting pair of pants, leaving very little to the imagination. Seeing this phenomenon was the inspiration for our range of long men’s shirts which protect the modesty of the Muslim man by allowing him to leave the shirt untucked without looking sloppy or unfinished.
Almost all of SHUKR's clothing has been designed to fulfill Islamic clothing criteria, and so it can be worn outdoors without any problems. However, sisters in particular need to be aware that the odd SHUKR garment shouldn't be worn outdoors unless covered by a looser over-garment. What is appropriate to be worn outdoors depends not just upon the particular clothing item, but also on factors like the body shape and the way the hijab is worn.
Apart from making sure that our clothes fulfill the requirements of modesty which we abide by, we also need to make sure that the clothes look good on us. This depends on four main factors – the choice of garment, the choice of colour, the choice of size, and the choice of matching items:
- Which garment?
Firstly, we need to choose a style of clothing that suits us. Although most of SHUKR's clothes can be worn by almost anybody, regardless of their ethnic background, body shape, or size, some garments will look better on you than they would on someone else. For example, a man’s top with a low neckline will look better on brothers with broad chests which are not too hairy. From your own personal experience, you should know what type of garments flatter your particular body shape and size.
- Which colour?
Secondly, after choosing a particular style, we need to choose the colour. All of us have our favorite colours and ideas about which colours suit us best. We need to consider our skin tone, hair colour and eye colour. Generally speaking SHUKR's colour choices are based on colours found in nature, although we also have clothing in rich jewel tones.
- Which size?
Sizing is extremely important. We may have chosen a garment which will look great on us, in a colour which really suits us, but then we go and ruin it by choosing a size which is either too large or small for us. SHUKR has prepared sizing charts and measuring guides to help you in this matter. Because Islamic clothing is generally quite loose-fitting, there is quite a bit of room for flexibility. The most important measurements you will normally need to consider are your height as well as the length of the garment. Consulting the size guide and choosing the right size helps prevent the disappointment of receiving your garments only to find that they do not fit.
Having settled issues of modesty and style, there are
other less interesting but nevertheless practical considerations which we might want to take into account:
- Fiber content
What are the garments we are purchasing made of? The fiber composition of each garment is listed under the detailed description of each garment. For some people, the material is not an important consideration whereas for others it is. Refer to our Fabric Guide to understand a little bit about the fibers that your garments are made from.
- Care instructions
Some garments are machine wash, some hand wash and others dry clean only. If you have particular preferences regarding the care of your garments, make sure you choose items that can be cared for in such a manner. For general advice on caring for your clothes, please see our Caring for Your Clothes section.
It goes without saying, but the cost of the garments you are going to buy is obviously one of the most important considerations. We have tried to price our garments so that all people – students as well as professionals - can afford at least something from our line of clothing. To make things easier for you, SHUKR has prepared a table of shipping costs which depend upon your order value, so you can easily calculate the total cost of your order. Please refer to our Shipping chart for more information.
Purchasing over the internet is still a relatively new phenomenon and many of us may not have purchased clothes, or indeed anything, via the internet before. However, the sheer practicality and ease of home shopping is quickly changing this.
Clothes present a slightly more complex scenario than other consumer items. When you buy a new computer part over the internet, you know exactly what you are getting. Clothes, however, are normally touched, examined from different angles, and tried on. SHUKR, like other clothing companies, is aware of this and we have tried to make it as easy as possible for our customers to have as much information as possible about the garments they want to buy.
We have taken very clear photos and shown them in a large format on the screen so that the details and 'feel' of the garments can be grasped. If there are any noteworthy elements of the garments, like embroidery, we have provided an alternative close-up of these details in an accompanying photo. We have also provided very detailed descriptions of all our garments, pointing out features like pockets, buttons, slits, cuffs etc. We also have sizing guides so that you can measure yourself at home and find your SHUKR size. Finally, we have a simple, no-questions asked returns policy. We recognize that, despite all our efforts to inform you about our garments and to make sure that they fit you, you may not be 100% satisfied with your clothes when you receive them and try them on. No problems. Simply return them to us so that we receive them within 20 days of the order date, and we will give you a full refund.