The largest survey of Muslim women in the UK

| 26/07/2008 | Reply

A poll of 1,000 British Muslim women finds they are both religiously observant and keen shoppers at Primark

A unique and groundbreaking “1000 Sisters’ voices” survey carried out by Ummah
Foods, a “new generation” British Muslim food company, and by SISTERS,
the inspirational new magazine for Muslim women, has found that, while an
overwhelming majority view Islam as their guide to life, read the Qur’an and
observe hijab, they also shop at high street stores, go out to eat and
travel regularly. The picture that emerges is one of a population balancing
the demands of their faith with the opportunities afforded by life in the

Khalid Sharif, founder of Ummah Foods, and Na’ima B. Robert, editor of SISTERS
Magazine, began asking some interesting questions about the lives of Muslim
women in the UK so they could improve their products for them. The result
has been a groundbreaking look at the thoughts, opinions and ideas of Muslim
women in the UK. The survey, which is the largest ever, gathered respondents
from all walks of life, from around the UK, all eager to give their views on
issues as diverse as their relationship with Islam, their opinions of hijab,
halal shopping, Internet use, entrepreneurship and of course Muslim men and

One of the most surprising findings was that British Muslim women, married and
unmarried, are still romantics at heart.

Finding a soul mate and settling down in a happy family environment were top
of the women’s list with 96 per cent of women saying that this is what
marriage meant to them. But they were also keen to find ways of successfully
combining work with family life.

As in all communities everywhere, the respondents believed that “good men are
hard to find”. Education, personality and a high affinity with the
principles of Islam were top of most lists.

Also of interest to Muslim men is the fact that, while character and Islamic
knowledge come top of the Muslim woman’s wish list, racial background is
ranked as one of the least important aspects.

Outside of family life, finding ways of helping to resolve the challenges
facing the British Muslim Community far outweighed thoughts or concerns
about global issues with 70 per cent opting for issues in the UK with the
remaining looking to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

One of the more interesting aspects of the survey was that Muslim women seem
to have turned their backs on the major supermarket chains when it comes to
halal food shopping with only 10 per cent choosing the supermarkets.

Khalid Sharif, Managing Director of Ummah Foods commented: “The major food
retailers have not yet grasped how to attract Muslim shoppers. One of our
key objectives at Ummah is to help the Supermarkets develop and offer
products that meet the ethical codes that most Muslims want to abide by. We
are trying hard to encourage the major chains to think more creatively about
how best to tap into this important market and to encourage more Muslim
women into their stores.”

He added “We asked Muslim women in the UK what they would like us to do next,
and the unanimous call was for premium chocolates. We listened carefully to
their suggestions, and are now very pleased to announce the launch of five
new products in the Ummah Foods Premium Halal Chocolate range”

Na’ima B. Robert, editor of SISTERS magazine, said, “As the UK’s first
magazine for Muslim women, we respond to how Muslim women in the UK today
define themselves. In this survey, we wanted to hear their thoughts, ideas
and concerns – so that we may better address these in our magazine.”

She added “SISTERS aims to satisfy the Muslim woman’s varied needs –
spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and practically, in a beautiful,
glossy package. It’s our very own ‘halal Glamour’!”

“All of us at SISTERS and at Ummah Foods are delighted with the responses we
have received so far. We have managed to get so much interesting information
and the whole process has been a real eye-opener for us, as businesses and
as part of the British Muslim community. We are definitely looking forward
to doing another one next year!”

Category: Europe

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