Black Abaya

28 Jun

Asalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu 🙂

Okay, so my thoughts on this topic are still a little jumbled up in my mind and I’ve tried for weeks to sort them out- but it’s not happening so I’m just going to see what happens with this.  Before I made the decision to wear Hijab, I PROMISED myself that when I finally did it, I would do it PROPERLY.  To me, properly was basically a khimar covering my hair, neck and bosoms and a black abaya to cover myself from the shoulders down.  Simple.

One day I was on Facebook and a sister put up a status about some revert Muslims being fed the idea that the ONLY way they can live TRUE Islam, is if they adopt the Arab (Bedouin) culture as their own.  Some sisters began commenting on the status expressing their annoyance at some Muslims who give them a hard time about the way they choose to guard their modesty.  These sisters didn’t hate the abaya but they just preferred to wear modest clothing that reflected their culture i.e. Maxi dresses, Maxi skirts, Wraps etc.   I started thinking about the time I told my family about my decision to become a full time hijabi.  Some didn’t like the idea of me being in an abaya all the time so suggested other forms of loose fitting clothing but I declined every single option.  For some reason and I can’t exactly pin-point why, but it somehow got embedded into my psyche that the ONLY acceptable way a Muslimah can cover is by wearing a dark coloured abaya.  Any other type of clothing was a no, even if it did the EXACT same job as the average abaya.  So I began asking myself was I subliminally rejecting my own culture and adopting the Arab one by thinking like this?  A few days later I was at the masjid  for Jummah prayer and a sister came up to me and said Salaam then went on to say “You look like an Arab” this is when I really started to FREAK out.  People that know me know how much I’m all about my Blackness and being African so to hear that had me kind of surprised.

A few days later, I went to a halaqah for Ugandans and all the sisters there were able to alter the Ugandan cultural dress in a way that was suitable for a Muslim woman. (Masha’Allah) and even just walking around London now, I see many sisters who are guarding their modesty but not everyone is doing it in the exact same way.  Many sisters take their culture as inspiration and it influences how they choose to dress and I personally don’t feel like there is a right and wrong way to do it as Islam is for EVERYONE.    I spoke to a brother about my thoughts and he told me that “Allah gave you guidelines not fashion advice so as long as you’re fulfilling the guidelines its fine” but then when I spoke to a sister about it, she told me it’s in the Sunnah to wear dark colours and that the abaya wasn’t even the correct attire, I had to actually be wearing a Jilbab.  Others were convinced that many types of Islamic dress actually had nothing to do with  Islam but were actually a form of culture; some of their examples were the Niqab  and Thobe.  Allahu Musta’an.  As you can imagine I was very much CONFUSED which is why I’m going to stress how important it is to seek ILM for yourself sisters, had I done so before I wouldn’t have been confused and would have known what Allah and his Messenger (s.a.w) say about a Muslim woman and how she is supposed to cover but Alhamdulillah.  Looking into it now I can see there is some difference in opinion on different matters regarding the Muslim woman’s dress but at least I’m able to see the wisdom behind the different scholar’s views and therefore gain a better understanding so its really not that complicated to me anymore.

At this moment in time, I’ve made the decision that an abaya is the best way for ME to guard my modesty, if some people think I’ve been brainwashed and I’m trying to be an Arab then that is completely fine but this is what I feel comfortable in.  I really don’t understand why some people feel the need to really push sisters into dressing a certain way though, whether that way is a Jilbab, Niqab, Maxi Dress etc.  Does the way a sister chooses to guard her modesty determine how high or low she is on the piety scale? NO. If what I’m doing does not transgress the limits that have been put up by Allah (s.w.t) what is the issue?  With that being said, some of us sisters need to really make sure we actually are AWARE of these limits that have been put up by Allah.  We need to use our heads to make sure we understand and remember that the Hijab is first and foremost obedience to Allah (s.w.t) and one of its main virtues is that it is a manifestation of Haya (Modesty).  We have to ensure that the way in which we are choosing to guard our modesty does not contradict Haya because at the end of the day the Hijab isn’t a fashion statement.  I’m not saying we can’t look nice but we have to remember Haya and most importantly WHO we are doing it for.

(If you’ve read this and are confused I apologise but I just couldn’t put this down in writing any better lol)

~ Sheila N

Read more about Sheila here 

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10 Responses to “Black Abaya”

  1. iluvmymnms June 28, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    As Salaamu Alaikum feel the same way ukthi!!! I love my overgarment!! N from my understanding of what I read about hijab from the sheks is your hijab 1.must cover entire body 2. Must be thick(not see thru) 3.must not be a source of decoration in itself 4.must be ample & loose 5. Must not be perfumed *7.must not imitate the dress of the kufar or men *8.hijab is a state of mind so for these reason I dont wear clothes outside my home that a non muslim would wear

    • Sheila.N June 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Wa’alaykum Salaam Ukthi. I Know!! I Love My Abaya’s I Don’t See Myself In Anything Else lol. Jazak’Allah For Posting Those Guidelines and For Reading 😉 x

  2. Wendy June 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Masha’Allah sister, very nice! If it is in your heart, know that Allah did put it there and feel comfortable, you are in the right. May Allah reward you for your obiedence and bless you with every good thing, IA. Jazakallah. ❤

    • Sheila.N June 28, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Ameen Ya Ukthi You Too. Jazak’Allah Khair For Reading and Commenting. Alhamdulillah I Don’t Feel Anything But Good When I Wear My Abaya ❤ x

  3. khalidabintjohn June 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Masha’Allah. that tweet the other day was beyond true sis we are ALWAYS on the same page. I feel you on this so much> jazakallahu khayr for posting 🙂

    • Sheila.N June 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

      I Told You Sis. GREAT MINDS I Tell You. GREAT MINDS lol Jazak’Allah Khair For Reading Ukthi 😉 x

  4. Ashraf Nsubuga June 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    masha’Allah. I agree with u & the brother. If u can follow the guidelines set by Allah (swt) then everything else is just your particular preference tbh. Wat others think should not overuse wat the Lord has decreed and wat u r comfortable with

    • Sheila.N June 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      I Agree 😉 Jazak’Allah Khair For Reading and Commenting Ash.

  5. Zahra September 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Jazakhallahu khair ya ukhti. May Allah help us. Im rlly planing on changn my dressn code to hijabi ISA. Is jst dt I dnt hv them now I only hav d one I use 2 pray with. ISA I’m buying them soon. though I’m using Abayas. Need more advice sister Sheila. Jazakallahu khairan.

    • Sheila.N September 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      Jazak’Allah Khair For Reading Ukthi 🙂 and Ameen To Your Dua. May Allah Make It Easy For You and I’ll E-Mail You In A Bit x

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