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Birmingham’s First Ever Monthly Muslim Market: Highlights

The free event celebrating Muslim businesses run by stay at home mums kicked off this month

“The event brought 40 to 50 businesses from across Britain. These were all Muslim businesses but the monthly market is open to the public – whoever wants to attend. The products you find on social media are accessible at the market at great prices,” a spokesman said.

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The organizers announced that it would be a regular free event taking place on the last Saturday of every month in Birmingham.

The event founder, Yasmin Choudhury said: “I can’t believe how many people turned up – the registration area wasn’t big enough for everyone! We had between 350- 400 people. I was expecting around 300. I’m pleased that a lot of people found it really well organized with businesses categorized by area – for example, clothes and food.”

The businesses which participated this weekend included ‘The Love Skin Company’ selling beauty products, fashion business ‘Modesty’ by Faizah, confectionery specialist Tray Bakes by Fahmy ‘Mamas Touch’ which sells personalized baby pillows, cool mugs from ‘Hubb Education’.

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New for Muslim Mums

According to the entrepreneur Choudhury, each of the businesses paid around £45 for a stall – with the henna stalls paying a little less.

The organizer, who has previously launched an online matchmaking service, is a mother of a four-month-old boy and two-year-old daughter.

Choudhury said: “This isn’t a new concept – there are farmers’ markets, street food markets but there was nothing tailored to the Muslim market – nothing that is done on an ongoing basis.”

The Muslim mother further explained that “there are pop up business events but no one has taken the risk to do this monthly and I could see the massive potential.”

Talking about the community of her event, she said: “There are lots of young Muslim entrepreneurs out there and more men starting businesses but I’d say more than half are stay-at-home mums. I want to work from home and have a balance. Most mums are the same.”

Birmingham, Muslim Stronghold

In the 2011 UK Census, 21.8% of the Birmingham population was Muslim. This is significantly higher than the average for England. The first mosque in Birmingham was the conversion of a terraced house in Balsall Heath.

However, later a grand project was undertaken by Muslims with the development of the Birmingham Central Mosque in Highgate, which was conceived in the 1960s and then opened in 1975 to great acclaim as the largest mosque in Western Europe and has since cemented its role as one of UK’s largest and most prominent Islamic centers.

There are currently just over 200 mosques in the city, including purpose-built places of worship, converted warehouses, Churches and cinemas as well as former homes, schools, and centers. The city also has a Shariah Council run by the Birmingham Mosque Trust.

Birmingham is also home to numerous Islamic schools and has many Muslim bookstores and libraries, including the exhibition centers of the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), one of the UK’s longest-running Islamic da’wah organizations.