We always get asked the question regarding the name Siraj for our brand/business. First, let us start off by explaining what we always wanted our brand/business to represent. We have worked in executive-level positions managing some of the largest retailers in the United States. Despite earning a respectable position & salary, we were not content with our careers. Whether it was dealing with the unscrupulous business practices of the corporate world or managing products that would be deemed unlawful in Islam, we found ourselves in a difficult predicament. We wanted to make a living in the business world supporting ourselves and our families, but at the same time, we wanted to do this in a way that was congruent with Islamic business practices. Not only that, but we wanted to set another goal of representing Islamic business practices by having honest pricing, appropriate store atmosphere, trustworthy product, ethical advertising, protecting the environment, respecting our employees, giving back to the community, etc. These all seem like basics that should exist in every business environment, but with our combined 35+ years of experience, we've seen these terms utilized more as a marketing tool to establish a false image than they are as business practices.
So, that brings us back to the name. A beautiful name of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that may be slightly less common among Muslims today is the name Siraj. Allah (Subhana Wa Taala), in the Holy Qur’an, uses the word ‘Siraj’ referring to him as an illuminating light. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is a guiding light for humanity from the darkness of disbelief, tribal wars, and wantonness, to the belief in Allah, and preserving the sanctity of human life and morality. We chose the name Siraj because we want our brand/business to be an illuminating light to the business world. we believe that if you truly invest in doing things the right way (i.e., Islamic Business Practices) you can be successful in the business world.
Some naysayers would express, either with their comments or by their facial expressions, that it simply would not work; delineating a myriad of reasons. To this, I remind ourselves of the well-known story of the Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be Upon Him) and Nimrod. We remember hearing the story when we were younger in which Nimrod lit a great fire and had Prophet Ibrahim (Peace Be upon Him) thrown into it. While a crow was carrying brushwood to throw into the fire, an ant was carrying some water. When the crow saw that the ant was carrying water, he asked the ant mockingly: “What are you going to do with that water?” When the ant said, “I’m carrying water to put out the fire into which they will throw Ibrahim,” the crow laughed and said: “The water you carry cannot possibly put out that huge fire.” The ant said, “That’s all right; it might not be sufficient, but I will have at least demonstrated my allegiance.
I hope you enjoy your shopping experience and we look forward to working and supporting members of our Ummah in order to see them thrive and seek the pleasure of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Taala). Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns and we look forward to sharing more blogs with you in the future, inshallah.
Sara & Cemil Tutkun, Founders
Siraj Islamic Lifestyle Store