It has come to my attention that most of our customers usually are hijabis. And, recently I got to hear that this lady felt she did not deserve to wear the Abaya as she does not wear the hijab permanently.
Masha Allah. I would like to take this chance to blog about it and share my thoughts on this.
While the Abaya is a modest clothing, more commonly worn by Muslim women to cover their aurah, it is also a cultural dressing in the Middle East. Akin to our Traditional Malay Baju Kurung - we also wear it long sleeved, its length to the knees and with a skirt.
For non-Malays, this is what a traditional baju kurung looks like.
I would definitely also classify our Traditional Baju Kurung as modest. Just as how Abayas are. In the past, Hijab wasn't quite a common thing in the Kampungs either. But they still don the Baju Kurung.
Why? Because it is a cultural thing, an identity for the Malays.
The Baju Kurung is still worn by the Malay community in Singapore for Eid, for Weddings. In Malaysia, it is still worn as a daily outfit to work. Sometimes you don't see the person wearing hijab with the Baju Kurung - even though Baju Kurungs are what you call modest clothings.
So personally, I feel that dressing modestly and wearing the hijab is NOT mutually exclusive. It does not mean that while you do not wear the Hijab, that you can't dress modestly. Neither does wearing the Hijab mean that you are 100% dressing modestly. Right?
I just love the cartoon below. I hope you can understand the last paragraph I shared better.
Ok, back to Abayas. The same as is with the Abaya. In the Middle East, the Abaya is also part of their culture. Believe it or not, the Abaya is worn when they are in the country (Middle East).
When they are out of the country, the Abaya is removed and they wear normal everyday clothes, no hijabs. -Of course this does not apply to everyone, there are still those who wear hijabs 100% in and out of the country.
Even a family friend, born and brought up in the Middle East - he was shocked when I wore my Hijab to London. And he asked me if I was wearing the hijab because I wanted to get married early. Lol!
So, to all those who think that the Abaya is a clothing meant for only Hijabis, Please remove the thought and misconception. I believe that hijabis or not, we all can dress modestly.
Wear an Abaya out like a cardigan, wear it over your camisole and jeans, wear it with or without the Hijab. There are many ways you can style your Abaya.
Think of them as a Maxi Cardigan if you feel more comfortable with that. Because the people who think or say that Person 'A' shouldn't wear the Abaya because she's not wearing the Hijab, is saying that you shouldn't also wear the Baju Kurung.