It’s been two weeks since school has started for my eldest son, Humza. The routine is set and I have a better grasp on our schedule. However I feel bad about one thing in particular and that is the lack of effort that I put in getting dressed nicely in the mornings. My son goes to an Islamic school and so its very convenient for me to just throw on an abaya, drape over a head scarf and drop him off. I’ve never been the one to be very conscious of what I wear on a daily basis, but as my schedule gets busier and busier its just getting really bad I’m almost scared that someone is taking secret footage and soon I’ll find myself on some reality show!
The problem is not the abaya itself but in my case it is the laziness and halp hazard attitude that is creeping up in the way I dress on a daily basis. In conversation with friends and other moms I have heard that they too use the abaya as an excuse to be in pajamas while dropping off their kids and doing other errands. The abaya is loose, modest and covers the extra weight you may have gained. But I think that I and many other girls are doing a disservice to themselves by using the abaya as an excuse to be lazy and not take care of ourselves.
I have seen women who wear the abayas as part of their everyday wear who wear it elegantly and with beautiful headscarves and look very put together. I on the other hand wear the abaya like a sweatshirt which is easy, convenient and requires virtually no effort. The problem with this is that it becomes a cop out for me to not dress up nicely even when i’m at home with my family. I have two young kids and sometimes I wonder if it is even worth dressing up nicely because they will stain my shirt in five seconds anyways.
So why should I care about what’s under my abaya and also care about how I look. If im wearing an abaya with pj’s then it looks sloppy and a hijab thrown over my head tucked under my chin also looks incredibly messy. As Muslims we should take care of our bodies, be clean and look put together. Whether we wear an abaya or not we should look our best and utilize the clothes that Allah has blessed us with. It doesn’t have to be the most trendiest outfit (then again why not?) but we should take pride in the way we look and carry ourselves. Also as Muslim women who dress modestly we have an added responsibility whether we’re aware of it or not. People see us and form an image. If they see a Muslim women wearing an beautifully ironed abaya and a neatly wrapped hijab they will see a confident beautiful Muslim Women which is going againt the image portrayed by the media. As Muslim women we are easily recognized and become ambassadors of our faith therefore it is essential to take pride in how we dress.
Anther thing that I am guilty of is that the abaya gives me enough room so that I don’t necessarily feel bad about the flabby arms or the expanding wasit line. If that weight gain is not really obvious to me than that makes me feel more content and doesn’t give me a reason to excersice and control my diet or improve my lifestyle. In other words the abaya has become an excuse for some women like myself to let ourselves go and not focus on our apperance and without realizing it were using religious modesty as the excuse.
I think as women we all want to look our best and be attractive but we let those things take a backseat when we have kids and other responsibilites. We should remember that dressing up for our spouses is a form of Ibadah and is a very important part of our marriage. For the outside world we dress modestly but at home our husbands see a different side of us. Most of our husbands are working in various corporate offices in which they interact with women who are dressed and made up from head to toe. Therefore as their wife we should be dressed nice and greet our husbands with a warm smile.
As Muslim women we understand that our beauty is for our family to see, but that being said we are also required to have a pleasant and neat apperance for when we are in public. So whether your an casual abaya wearer like me or a daily abaya wearer, lets take those extra minutes tommorow morning to see what are you wearing under your abaya?