The idea for ASIYA began in the Brian Coyle Community Center gym, in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, where founder Fatimah Hussein has been helping young Muslim girls gain access to sports and physical activity for the past decade. She founded a non-profit program — G.I.R.L.S. (Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports) — to create girls-only gym time several nights a week.
As the girls gained self-confidence and a love of sports, they wanted athletic uniforms and apparel that let them compete in public while upholding their religious and cultural beliefs.
In a collaboration with the Cedar-Riverside community and the University of Minnesota, prototype basketball uniforms were developed in 2015. The uniforms gave Muslim girls freedom of movement to play. Fatimah soon realized that a versatile line of sports hijabs — something that wasn’t readily available in the U.S. or anywhere — would create many more opportunities for girls to participate and grow through team play.
That realization inspired several generations of prototypes that were tested by the girls to optimize for fit, fabric, and performance. Jamie Glover, a marketing professional who credits sports for helping to shape who she is today, joined Fatimah to build a brand to meet this need beyond Minneapolis.
Our brand name ASIYA (AH-see-ah) was selected because it’s the name of a highly revered woman from Islamic history, Asiya bint Muzahim. She is known for being courageous and standing up against injustice. We thought she was the ideal role model and champion for our mission.
The young girls you see in our photographs have been an integral part of the product design process -- they helped come up with the idea, design, fit and tested our various product iterations to help us create the best hijab for use during sport and physical activity!