Women in Black.

>> Thursday, March 10, 2011

Asalamu'alykum warahmatulahi wabarakatu, may peace and blessings be upon all of you
I'm really confused at the moment, recently i have become more dedicated to my religion Alhamduhilla and this website has keept me steadfast in my deen and made my imaan stronger!!!. I have one question, i really want to wear the abaya however i'm one of them people who get influnced by people A LOT and i'm scared about how people will look at me when i wear the abaya. i really don't know what to do. can you give me some advice please.

jazak'Allah khair ukthie

Dear Worried Ukhtee,

Wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo!

First of all, let me begin by apologizing to you (and the other sisters who sent in questions) for taking so long to reply to you!! Things have been a bit hectic here lately- I'm so sOooOoo sorry about that! And Jazakillah for your kind words about this blog.

As for growing more dedicated to religion, ma'sahAllah!! and wanting to wear abayah, Ma'shaAllah, that is soOo wonderful.

You know, I think a lot of girls are in the same boat as you, wondering whether to take that step or not, so it's great that you sent this question in.

Let me tell you what I think about the abaya (especially since another girl sent in this q) first and then we'll discuss 'fears', okay?

I think that with the age of skinny jeans and short shirts, it can be a real challenge and hassle to find a real hijabi-friendly outfit. By hijabi-friendly, I don't only mean that the proper parts are covered, but that they are covered well. See, as the daee' Moustafa Hosny explained on his show, 'white doctor gloves' may cover the hands, but you can still very clearly manage to see everything.

 So a real-hijabi friendly outfit is not limited to covering only but rather encompasses other conditions (that the clothing is not tight, revealing, a decoration in itself, etc.)

These conditions are very much found in most abayas. And that's the appeal of the abaya for me. Rather than you standing in front of the mirror, unsure if the shirt is a bit tight, or too short, rather than you having to go through internal dialogs or debates about whether or not your outfit really is pleasing to Allah, rather than justifying three quarter sleeves, etc, the abaya draws the line for you. It helps keep you in check.

Trust me. I've been on the other side. I have tried not wearing abaya and I have seen just how much more difficult it is to resist wearing certain body outlining things. Hey, we're ladies and we all want to look good, right. That's why a good abaya is 'safer' to me. Not to mention more convenient, modest, and comfy. [I should be getting paid for this kinda advertisement, LOLOL.]

But I'm thinking you already know/ or partially agree with me on all this. Right? You're just a little scared....

Well, here's the thing, my darling sis. I recently attended Friday prayer in Madinah. There was a lesson and it was about fear. The a'alim (scholar) explained something that was completely eye opening to me. He said that Islamically fear is considered as a type of worship. And like all worship in Islam, it must only be 'for Allah'.

...so fear them not but fear Me. (2: 150)

Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward. (67: 12)

Don't worry, though. You're not committing shirk when you're scared of something (well, as long as you're not going to fortune teller kinda people, that kinda thing), but it just means your faith isn't as strong as it should be. When our fear of people's judgments, comments, looks, etc. overcomes our fear of Allah and prevents us from doing something we should do for His sake (disclaimer: at this point, I'm talking about *fear in general* and not abayas), then we have a small problem in our faith.

It means we haven't given Allah His rightful due. We've put His servants above Him :(

It also means we haven't learned to take Allah as our wali or protective friend.

You see, the Qur'an actually says:

Your friend is only Allah, His messenger, and those who believe: those who perform prayer, give alms, and bow [in prayer]. (Surat al-Ma’ida : 55)
As for those who make Allah their friend, and His messenger, and those who believe: It is the party of Allah who are victorious! (Surat al-Ma’ida : 56)
And those who strive in us - we will certainly guide them to our paths (Surat al ankabut : 69)

Yes, you may find some people looking at you weirdly. You may find people treating you a bit different.

 You've got to ask yourself, though- who are you doing this for? Will He let you down? No, never!

I mean, if you are worried about how the people on the street will 'think of you'/ their looks, think about the fact that these people are only going to see you once, anyways. It's not like they are really going to remember you after a few days of time. Why let 'strangers' dictate your relationship with Allah? What are they really going to DO for you?

In fact, just recently I heard this great quote from the SistersFeeSabillah club on Facebook (they were quoting Imam Ghazali):

'All those people that you are concerned about, did they create u? Give you rizq? Heal you? Love you?' No-one loves a person more than Allah loves him. No-one gives you rizq more than Allah gives you. So why do you concern yourself for other creatures, while you are surrounded and covered by the kindness & blessings of Allah? [Dear Beloved son by Imam Ghazali]
Now, what if you're not talking about 'strangers' but your friends...

Well, the reality is that most of us are influenced by our friends. In fact, in a hadith, the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam, clearly stated that this is a reality:

“A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend (khalil), so look whom you befriend.”

You need to ask yourself a major question here- are these friends the kind of people you would want to be friends with on the Day of Judgment?

It is essential to have real good friends who encourage you to be a better Muslimah. Remember, true friends should accept you for who you are not what you wear. If you feel like your friends are trying to talk you out of wearing the abaya, you should just say "Guys, I'm trying to do this for Allah's sake. Please don't talk me out of it. It's really important to me that you support me.." Be honest with them.

And take some real concrete small steps-

1. Broach the topic with your family. If they support you, go abaya shopping with them.
2. Keep your abaya next to the door, so that whenever you think about going out, you see it as an option for you.
3. Wear the abaya to the Friday prayers......If you're really up to it, PLAN to have lunch after the Friday prayer, when you're still wearing it. See how it feels.
4.  Try wearing it when you do something routinish, like going grocery shopping. If you have a friend who wears it, go with her, so you don't feel so alone the first few times.
5. Write down that you want to wear it.

6. Make dua that Allah makes it easier for you!

7. And try reciting this dua in the morning and evening:

Hasbiyallaahu laa 'ilaaha 'illaa Huwa 'alayhi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul-'Arshil-'Adheem .

Allah is sufficient for me . There is none worthy of worship but Him . I have placed my trust in Him, He is Lord of the Majestic Throne . (You should recite it seven times in Arabic .)

In a hadith, the Prophet said: Allah will grant whoever recites this seven times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next, Ibn As-Sunni (no. 71), Abu Dawud 4/321. Both reports are attributed directly to the Prophet j§ (Marfu1). The chain of transmission is sound (Sahih). Ibn As-Sunni.

And remember, you don't necessarily have to switch to wearing the abaya only all at once...Give yourself some time to get used to it. And it doesn't necessarily have to be black...(Just read the conditions above :D)

You can do it. I believe in you.

6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Unknown March 10, 2011 at 4:23 AM  

Amazing reply, lil auntie!

As for the sister who asked the question: You're going to insha'Allah do it for Him and trust me He will make it easier for you to do things once you're in it with all your determination. Have faith in Allah Subhanu Watalla!


Asma Khan March 10, 2011 at 4:52 AM  

AssalmO-Aleikum: An eye opener post... :)
I really enjoy wearing Abaya, it makes us feel not only protected from dirty eyes but also gives satisfaction that we are following an order of Allah Subahanu-wa-Taala... Proud to be Hijabi... :)
Stay Blessed

Anonymous,  March 10, 2011 at 10:34 AM  

"for we fear from our Lord a stern, frownful Day' (10) So Allah will save them from the evil of that Day and has secured for them radiance and joyfulness, (11) and recompense them for their patience with a Garden, and robes of silk. (12) (sura 76)

worried uhkthie,  March 12, 2011 at 9:27 AM  

Asalamu'aalikum sis, i was the one who sent this question. Jazak'Allah khair for the help, this has motivated me SO MUCH and thankyou all the sisters out there for supporting me, i hope this has helped you too insh'Allah :)

Little Auntie,  March 12, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

wa'alykum as salam sis!!I'm so glad it has helped you in some way :) I really sincerely apologize for taking so long to get back to you.

Jazakun Allah sisters :)

worried uhkthie,  March 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM  

don't worry about it sis, you helped me and thats all that matters :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
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