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She Means Business: Inspiring Stories of Muslim Women-Owned Business

How many of these inspiring Muslim women have you heard of?

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How many of these inspiring Muslim women have you heard of?

Contrary to popular belief, Muslim women have been successful entrepreneurs since ancient times.

In this article, we delve into the remarkable journeys of Muslim women entrepreneurs who have defied the odds, pursued their passions, and created successful businesses. We begin with the awe-inspiring story of Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid, whose exceptional business acumen and determination continue to inspire generations. 

Next, we explore the entrepreneurial venture of Asmaa Hussein, founder of Ruqaya’s Bookshelf, who embarked on a publishing journey to preserve the Muslim identity in literature. We also meet Elena, editor of Muslim Travel Girl, who shares her passion for travel and the importance of bridging cultures through exploration. 

Rehma Hady, owner of Interiors By Rehma & Henna Ink, takes us on a creative journey of transforming spaces and adorning brides with her henna artistry. 

Finally, we discover Elina Dawoodani, the founder of Momfunda, whose expertise in nutrition science and dedication to empowering mothers make her a beacon of knowledge in the field of child nutrition.

Join us as we celebrate the resilience, talent, and success of these inspiring Muslim women entrepreneurs. 

Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid (pbuh)

We can collectively acknowledge that our upbringing has been enriched by the stories of Khadija Bint Khuwaylid (pbuh) and her remarkable business acumen. 

Her ambitious nature within the context of Islam is regarded with unparalleled enthusiasm, unlike any other woman. She serves as a prime example of exceptional character coupled with admirable determination.

Assuming control of her father’s business and nurturing its prosperity was a formidable undertaking, particularly during the time of our Beloved Prophet (pbuh). It was an unprecedented accomplishment, attained with unwavering vigor. It is astonishing to contemplate that she was born in a different era, yet she remains eternally relevant. 

She continues to inspire young girls and women alike, urging them to pursue their dreams. 

Asmaa Hussien, Founder of Ruqaya’s Bookshelf

Ruqayas Bookshelf is the brainchild of Asmaa Hussein, author of ‘A Temporary Gift’. Looking back on her publishing journey she shares, “I founded Ruqaya’s Bookshelf in 2014 and our first titles were published in 2015.

“We started with just three books – A Temporary Gift (for adults) and Bismillah Soup & Yasmine’s Belly Button for kids. I was testing the waters to see how they would do. I didn’t know if I would publish any more titles after these. But I had more ideas for books, and more authors approached me to be published. And so I quietly and slowly expanded over the years, and we now have 35 titles, Alhamdulillah!” 

In her early days at Ruqayas Bookshelf she never imagined herself running a publishing business, but says she was guided towards this path. Ruqayas Bookshelf was started to publish Asmaa’s first book ‘A Temporary Gift’ without being watered down or changed to appeal to a wider audience. 

She explains, “I had interest from other publishers for this book, but they asked me to decentre religion from it, and one asked me to remove any and all political references. This book is my personal journey with grief, and the idea of watering it down did not appeal to me whatsoever. So I took it into my own hands. I soon realized that so much of our “Muslim” content is watered down to appeal to wider audiences. I want to celebrate our stories and our identities without having to pander to a non-Muslim gaze.” 

She advises Muslim women who draw inspiration from her journey and would like to venture out into the world with a brilliant idea should say ‘Bismillah and Do It!’ She further adds, “The world needs your voices and your passion and your ideas. It can be discouraging when you don’t see results, but it’s worth it to keep going consistently and sustainably if you truly believe in what you’re doing.” 

Elena, Editor at Muslim Travel Girl

Elena is an award-winning blogger and editor of the largest Muslim Travel Blog, ‘Muslim Travel Girl’. Besides being a travel expert she is also an author of DIY Umrah Book. Elena comes from a culturally diverse background and reverted to Islam twelve years ago. She started her blog to encourage people to explore. 

She adds, “I firmly believe we can only build bridges of peace and remove misunderstanding when actually we travel to learn about other cultures. It is part of Islam, encouraging us to get to know one another and to see how Allah originated the creation. I strongly encourage Muslims to travel to places they normally won’t, to get out of their comfort zone.” 

Her business journey has not been linear. She explains, “Starting a business is not easy, leaving 9 to 5 stability. You will have to fight with yourself to overcome any of your own fears like imposter syndrome am I good enough, do I know enough? The rewards can be not only financial but also the freedom of your own time, and the opportunity to see your children grow. You might work more but in different ways and feel more productive and satisfied.” 

Rehma Hady, Owner of Interiors By Rehma & Henna Ink

Rehma, based in Columbia, Maryland, is an accomplished business owner, lifestyle and DIY blogger, and henna artist.

With a natural talent for all things artistic, she captivates her Instagram followers by providing detailed step-by-step guides for her home improvement projects and professional endeavors such as the transformation of the local Masjid’s youth center. 

In addition to managing one-on-one consultation calls and fulfilling her mommy duties, Rehma also caters to the henna requirements of soon-to-be brides. 

She made the decision to leave her full-time job in order to embrace a more flexible schedule and devote herself further to her art and design. 

She proudly refers to herself as a DIY junkie, which is well-deserved given her extensive portfolio of diverse projects. Her story encapsulates the essence of a Muslimah, mother, wife, and businesswoman. 

It is certain that each of us can find a part of ourselves within her narrative. This relatability resonates with the crowd and instills hope in women, inspiring them to believe that if Rehma can achieve her dreams, so can we. 

Elina, Founder of Momfunda

Elina Dawoodani, hailing from Mumbai, India, holds a master’s degree in Dietetics, Maternal and Child Nutrition. Presently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Nutrition Science at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. 

Elina has created Momfunda, a website dedicated to educating mothers about child nutrition and diet through comprehensive courses such as “The ABCs of Feeding Right.” Additionally, she is the esteemed author of “Indian Galactagogues,” a highly recommended postpartum book, particularly for lactating mothers. 

Elina firmly believes in merging science with the art of baby rearing. Her blog posts go beyond nutrition and encompass a wide range of topics related to babies, providing a holistic approach supported by scientific research. 

Her paramedical background greatly enhances the effectiveness of the entire child-rearing process. On her website, she shares valuable information about Child Nutrition, Newborn Facts, Upbringing Tips, Baby-wearing, Cloth Diapering, Product reviews of new launches, and much more. 

Elina serves as a perfect example of how a woman can integrate her passion and education to establish a successful career. She beautifully merges her talent and passion, becoming a true inspiration for others.


Sources

Peracha, Sarah, “Khadijah al-Kubra — The First Muslim Woman was actually a Business Woman.”, Medium

I Took My Hijab Off Today, Muslim Mamas Hady, Rehma, “About – The Hady Life, The Hady Life 

Dawoodani, Elina, “About Me – Momfunda,Momfunda

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