Chador for prayers (and around the house)

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This post will be an offshoot of my much earlier post about the Chador in Iran. The chador continues to be misunderstood by many people outside of Iran. Even some Iranian-Americans imagine the chador to be a new post-revolutionary fad. I wanted to concentrate on the types of chadors worn for prayer (salaat/namaaz) and around the house. As previously mentioned many women, particularly traditional and/or religious Iranian women group up wearing a chador, either around the house when na-mahram guests are over or wrapped around them whilst they snooze or for their prayers, and of course, outside over a manteau, pants and scarf.

(little girl playing in her chador)

(little girl playing in her chador)

House chador: Around the house the chador comes in handy in a number of ways when guests are over, particularly male guests that are considered na-mahram. They are handy to throw over you’re clothing if guests-even women guests pop by and you’re not dressed for the occasion. They are also useful to hide clothing that is wet or dirty from cooking/washing/cleaning and ofcourse some women just *prefer* to have their house chador perpetually wrapped around themselves. regardless of whether there are no na-mahram around, they just feel more comfortable with it up over their shoulders and knotted at the waist. The fabrics used for house chadors tends to be very thin and a bit shorter than the ones used for prayer or outside. The fabric usually has some sort of a print and is a very airy thin cotton blend or poyester, Some women make them from chiffon to wear over a party dress at a wedding. They obviously are made from cheaper fabrics because they wear out quickly from habitual use and most women have several that they keep around the house. They tend to be a little bit shorter than other kinds because there is less of a risk of tripping or them being bothersome when cleaning.

(Me in a house chador)

(Me in a house chador)

2345942 Prayer Chador: The other kind of chador other then the kind for outside and the kind for around the house is the kind used for prayer. Now, it’s perfectly acceptable to pray in your house chador or even in your outside chador and many women do it, but I believe that most women have another special chador set aside strictly for prayer. First because are no worries about whether the chador is clean enough for prayer and second, it always feel so nice slipping into a clean, fresh prayer garment. Many women who wear this kind of a chador for prayer will making a matching maghneh (Iranian style slip-over scarf) to go with it so there is no fiddling around with finding a scarf for the morning prayer.

(traditional prayer chador with matching maghneh scarf)

(traditional prayer chador with matching maghneh scarf)

It is also more than possible to wear the traditional style of chador for salaat without having something long sleeved on or without a headcarf. There are ways to wrap the chador under the wearers arm or to have it draped over onself fully and then wrapping it  so it encasses the wearer completely. You can also  do the wrap and tuck style like what is done with traditional Gulf shershafs (sheets used for prayer).

(slip-over prayer chador; Egyptian style)

(slip-over prayer chador; Egyptian style)

There are also other types of prayer “chadors” worn for prayer. There are the 1 piece slip-over kind that are similar to the “thobe” style from the Gulf and the Egyptian style prayer outfit. These kind of prayer garments are still not as popular as the traditional chador is but they are coming along, I am sure that within a few years they will be much more commonly used for salaat because there is less fabric and less fuss. Although they are much less elegant and feminine.

**Update, I’m actually preparing for a job interview and plan to expand upon this post in a few days. But in the meantime I got a comment from a sister who owns a chador and wants to wear it for prayer but doesnt know how.

Okay, I will take some pictures and post them, in the meantime I found these pictures of women at Tehran Universities large central masjid praying. Usually one just drapes the chador over oneself and then can tuck when needed for certain movement, although there are other methods as well.

They really aren’t difficult to wear, just cumbersome if your not used to it and you have to remember most chador wearing women had one as a child to play around with so they really grow up “in” the chador and dont just throw it on as an adult.

(typical way of wearing chador for salaat, the girl in the center has a 1 piece style prayer garment on)

(typical way of wearing chador for salaat, the girl in the center has a 1 piece style prayer garment on)

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(women praying in her black outside chador during Moharram)

(women praying in her black outside chador during Moharram)

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15 thoughts on “Chador for prayers (and around the house)

  1. Asalaamu alaikum,
    So, how do you keep it on while praying? My neighbor brought me one and I love it even though I haven’t quite figured out how pray with out it flying open, so I use a a pin. Is there a trick to holding it when you raise your hands in prayer?

    Also, the house chador you described worn as—tucked back over their shoulders and knotted at the waist. Can you find any pictures of this.

    I love the chador, it is sooo beautiful. The only problem is I am not used to holding and fixing any hijabs/chadors/duppattas…. Usually I just wear a boring tringle scarf pinned once under the chin. The chador is a lovely version of the khimar, or vise versa. It also looks more….like what the original musimahs must have worn, in my mind.

    Shukran for all these lovely articles,
    Aischa

    • well, there are certain methods, you can of course pin at the chin but most women don’t do that, you can either just drape it full over yourself and then pray with it flowing around you or ruck it up under 1 arm or under both arms, there are many diff ways.
      I was going to put up more info and pictures and if you want I can take pictures of myself using one for salaat so you see. They are difficult to wear if your not used to them and you really have to wear one a lot to get accustomed to them. The silky crepe outdoor chadors are a whole ‘nother ball of wax as they r very slippery unlike the house and prayer chadors with use fabrics that arent as silky.

      Check back soon in a few days when I can complete the post. Right now i’m preparing for a job interview!

  2. Jazah allah khair!
    Mine is not outdoor : (
    It’s a lovely white purple flowered one. I am not used to wearing floral😉
    But I still love it because you feel so ?nestled? or snug? in it. Can’t describe the cozy feeling of praying in a chador. Any advice is welcome.

  3. As salaam alaikum,
    Sister,I love the slip-over prayer Chador Egyptian style (throbe like) that the girl had on.Also,the slip-over prayer Chador that the one sister had on in the middle of the picture. Where and how can I get one.Or see more pictures of the throbe like style Chador.

  4. As salaam alaikum,
    I wrote recently,but haven’t gotten a respond.
    I would like to know where I can get a 1 peice slip over Chador.I like the way they look…

    • wa salaam, well sister unfortunately I’m very busy finishing up my masters degree and getting ready to move to KSA, en’shallah so I am not always able to respond right away.
      But, about the pull-over chador for namaaz…I dont know, I havent ever seen them inrl being sold in stores, Most of the women I know wh have them just make them, themselves.

      Mia’s Desert Boutique store (online) based in Kuwait has a similar prayer garment but she calls it a long prayer thobe with sleeves, it has a chin cover and tie backs.

      If your adventurous try to make one… sorry I’m not more help w/ this.

  5. As salaam alaikum,
    I pray you success on your masters and moving…Insha-Allah the sisters who make their Chador maybe they could e-mail me on how they did the Chador the one the girl has on….Who made the one in the picture?
    Didn’t mean to sound like I was rushing.

    • I’m sorry I cant help u with this at all. None of the women whom I know who make them are in the US and none of them have internet access. The picture came from a random Iranian website while I was doing a Farsi search.

      Sorry.

  6. As salaam alaikum,

    Thank you for trying…I’ll figure it out,or make something close to it.

    Fatimah

  7. As salaamu alaikum

    I just took my shahada 5 days ago. I been studying about Islam for 3 years before I had converted. And I’m still learning. I catch on real easy. So if there’s anymore I need to know I would just ask my sistahs and brothas.

    Wa alaikum salaam

  8. I love love love these and would like to have one. Are they for sale somewhere, or can someone describe how to make them? I thought maybe some sheets could be used.

    • No sorry, you just have to have a template to make one off of or know someone who can make you one. Idid email u though and the picture pretty much shows how they r constructed.

  9. As salaam alaikum Sisters,
    Alhamdullalah to sister Kyleemah Sowell,if you live in the USA,InshaAllah I would love to send you a gift.If you can send me an e-mail.May Allah continue to bless you and us all…
    Oh Sister,did you get that job?

  10. again, thank u…very good pictures…and useful informations…i was going to write about all stuff of hijab from around the world…in indonesia we wear simple one for prayer, just put the ready-one, usually white one…:)

  11. as salamu 3alayki!
    ma shaa ALLAH they look soo secure the way they have them on…it almost looks like its been sewed that way…arrgh im gonna need a vid demonstration..espeaciall for the one that where the older woman is in the pic and its like tied around her chest and the rest of it goes on her head like a sari chaor does(the part of sari thats supposed to be on the head)

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