Abaya challenges and hilarious side-effects
It is beautiful to see Muslimahs in South Africa and beyond express their femininity and unique style in a manner within the boundaries of Shariah. While there are many items of clothing available that fit the criteria of Hijab, my favourite is the Abaya. The black Abaya is like a blank canvas, a background to express any unique style. A bohemian scarf, a diamond necklace or even funky trainers are all means of adding your stamp to that blank canvas. For those sisters who are fans of this amazing item of clothing, you will be able to relate to the fact that wearing the Abaya comes with some strange challenges and often hilarious side effects.
1. THE BISHT ABAYA
You know those Bisht abayas, very fashionable, comfortable and modest? They are styled after the Arab males cloaks of old (the ones that the Sheikhs in Cape Town wear ) Well try standing up from the floor in them. Firstly, the abayas soOoO huge, your foot gets stuck in the fold, and you find yourself tripping, trying in vain not to fall on your face while looking like a moth frantically flapping its wings. My solution- gather the fold of your abaya in your fist, then stand up. By the way, this happens to me all the time.
2. WIDE SLEEVES & THE GEAR SHIFT
This is dangerous. If you drive a manual car, you’ll know what I mean. I find that as I’m changing gears the gearshift gets stuck in my sleeve. Keep a safety pin in your bag to pin those wide sleeves. Be safe ladies.
3. THE SLIPPERY SLIDE
Satiny Abayas made an appearance in South Africa a couple of years ago, and ever since they can be found all over, in the most beautiful of styles. Try this at home- wear a satiny Abaya, sit on the edge of your bed and see what happens. It is most likely that you’ll find yourself unintentionally sliding slowly to the floor. Funny, I know. Another incident is when my friend takes a sharp turn and I’m in the back seat, one minute I’m comfortably behind the driver and the next I’ve slid to the opposite side. Solution- I don’t know! Unless you willing to give up those pretty Abaya’s, this is just a minor side effect.
4 :WHUDU CHALLENGE
You’re walking in the mall, elegant in your latest Abaya, the one with diamante/crystals on its narrow sleeves and it’s the time of Thuhr(zohr). You rush towards the Salaah room, go to the Whudu Khana and realize-
“Oh shoot! I can’t roll my sleeves all the way up to my elbows!”
Don’t worry, you not the only sister who’s experienced this. Make whudu at home or in the event that the weird male cashier touched your hand while giving your change ,hopefully you have appropriate enough clothing beneath for you to remove your Abaya. Best to prepare for this possibility BEFORE leaving your home.
5. ONE WORD- EMBARRASSING!
The length and width of your Abaya can cause some embarrassing moments if you’re not careful. Sisters, if you’ are using public restrooms, please check that your Abaya hasn’t got stuck in your pants/skirt. Seriously, it’s a hilarious sight. Don’t embarrass yourself! If you do make the mistake, well you just have to grin and bear it. Perhaps it would break the ice and make people realize that you’re human.
6. STRANGULATION BY ABAYA
You’re in Sujood (prostrating position) , coming up to the standing position of Salaah, the edge of your Abaya gets trapped beneath your heels, pulling your cloak backward, your collar practically strangles you in the process and you trip back, momentarily unable to breathe. Yes, strangulation by Abaya. Use your hands to push your Abaya behind your knees as you come up, your cloak will lift and you will avoid getting hurt.
7. WEARING A BALLOON
Ever been standing in your latest Bisht cloak, looking glamorous and mysterious to the females around you, then deciding to sit down on the floor? The air gets trapped beneath your very wide cloak, it billows out, giving the effect of wearing a balloon. Not very flattering. Hold the folds of your cloak together and sit down slowly. Voila! Elegance!