Islamic clothing for the Mordern Muslim Woman
Background Information on Islamic clothing for woman such as Abaya, Jilbab, Hijab, Caftan, and Niqab.
Abaya and Jilbab
An Abaya or Jilbab is an essential part of what is called Islamic women clothing . It is a loose outer garment like a cloak or coat. It is a modest dress that covers the whole body of a woman from the top to bottom. The terms Abaya and Jilbab are now commonly used interchangably although in stricter terms, the Abaya is worn over normal clothing while the Jilbab is a dress by itself. Abayas usually come in black color while Jilbabs can have other colors such as brown, blue and earth colors. This type of distinctive clothing is worn by Muslim women for they are commanded to dress in modest clothing, without attracting attention to oneself.
Muslims believe that God has full Wisdom and knows what is best for us, so they strive to follow His guidance in every aspect of our lives. And some of the obvious advantages to dressing modestly, include: being known for who you really are; not being judged by your beauty or lack thereof and being able to conduct business in an atmosphere of respect.
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Hijab / Scarf
The word Hijab comes from the Arabic word "hajaba" meaning to hide from view or conceal. Although in the present time, the context of hijab is the modest covering of a Muslim woman. Also called Islamic veil, hijabs are used to cover the head of Muslim women in compliance to the modesty standard set by the Quran. Hijabs come many different colors and styles. Some are made of pure cotton while some are made of polyester, georgette and even velvet fabrics. While the most common hijabs come in single color, printed hijabs with various designs are also available. Some are triangular in shape, while rectangular or square hijabs are not uncommon. These differently shaped shawls differ in the way they are worn. Some are folded and wrapped around the head while others are fastened with special clips. Preformed hijabs are sewn so women can put it on their head right away without folding or without use of any fasteners.
Burqa / Niqab
The Niqab is the piece of cloth that is worn to cover the face of a Muslim lady. Sometimes called Burqa / Burka, Niqabs usually come in black and is usually made of cotton or crepe. Niqabs also come in various styles and length. Some cover the entire face while others leave the eyes uncovered.
Here are Qur'ans Basic Guidelines on Clothing:
- Clothing for both women and men should be modest.
- Clothing should not attract attention or used to brag or show off their wealth or social status.
- Clothing must cover the entire body; only the hands and face may remain visible.
- Clothing must hang loose so that the shape of the body is not revealed.
- The material must thick enough so that no one can see through it.
- The woman's clothing must not resemble the man's clothing, nor should the man's clothing resemble the woman's.
- While praying in a mosque, clothing should be plain and not be distracting.
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