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Beauty Is As Modesty Does Nation Of Islam Fashion Designers Featured At iHeart Halal Convention

By Abisayo Muhammad | Last updated: May 16, 2019 - 11:00:17 AM

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CHICAGO—Cameras flashed, jaws dropped and modesty was taken to a whole new level as Muslim fashions from Al-Nisa Designs and Adilah M ripped the runway along with other modest designs during the 2nd Annual iHeart Halal convention held at Navy Pier recently.

(l) Carmen Muhammad Al-Nisa Designs (r) Adilah Muhammad Adilah M

The “heart” of the convention is centered around food, fun and family but designers Adilah Muhammad and Carmen Muhammad were among other stylists creating the hub of the entertainment with an unfamiliar and innovative take on halal fashion. Saffiyah Muhammad of ASMnineteen also participated as the designer and stylist of each model’s head coverings respectively. All three designers are members of the Nation of Islam.

Adilah Muhammad, creator of Adilah M, who attended the conference last year shared her experience of the event. “I’m a huge fan of iHeart Halal and what it represents,” she said. “It’s a great way to introduce something new to our Muslim and interfaith communities as well as build new friendships. Through fashion, I am able to build awareness through modest fashion as well as create connections with people through clothing. It is a festival that I will always have near and dear to my heart and continue to support many years to come,” she said.

(left and center) Adilah M , (right) Al-Nisa Designs

(l) Safiyyah Muhammad assists model with head covering. (r) Al-Nisa Designs

Promoted as a lifestyle event, the Halal conference, focuses on food, entertainment and education approved by Islamic law. The term halal has advanced from solely food to becoming an approved lifestyle term.Though the purpose of the iHeart Halal Conference is to enjoy three days of food demonstrations, vending, a play area for children; the fashion runway became a highlight of the weekend conference held April 12-14.

“Modest fashion has sparked real dialogue and is giving rise to up and coming designers. Modest fashion has gone from aversion to asset,” said Carmen Muhammad of Al-Nisa Designs. “My desire is to create fashion that empowers women and girls to feel beautiful and confident uncovering themselves.”

She referenced Chapter 7 verse 26 of the Holy Qur’an, the book of scripture of Muslims, to send a message reminding believing women seeking modesty in dress. “If the clothing of righteousness is best, I as a designer have to be a part of a community of women designers to help establish the framework that is embodied in our designs that reflects ethics, morality and righteousness,” said Carmen Muhammad.