Conversation while looking at purple shoes…

This happened just this past friday, I was in the city for the day and after jummah went downtown and into a large department store to kill some time before catching my bus home. I was perusing the shoe section, eyeing their plum flats with funky metallic straps (I was going get but the checkout line was incredible and I did’nt really hwant to stand in line for 20minutes)…anyway, this hejabi walks by me as I am holding up my abaya, slipping on and off shoes, says salaams…walks off..and then a few moments later she comes back, and asks me where im from. After we talked a bit she pointed to the overhead abaya I had on and asked me…“Is that allowed here? I thought it was only allowed in Michigan.” I replied with something a long the lines of “This isnt France. Noone can stop anyone from wearing what they want, you know, like as long as your not walking around nekkid.” She was like…Ohhh and looked kinda relieved. hehehehe. I then said, Ive always usually worn the shoulder abayaat and now Ive started with this and with neither have I had any problems. People really dont care and plus if your doing it for Allah SWT…like really, who cares.
Anyway, she got really happy and said that she was told before coming to the US (she was fairly newly arrived from Iraq) “that we couldnt wear abaya (even the shoulder kind) and I wanted to wear one but was afraid too.”
awesome huh…
Now my question is…who the heck is running arund telling all these women coming here from the Middle East that they cant/shouldnt wear their overgarments? Cuz shes definetly not the first one Ive heard that from!

9 thoughts on “Conversation while looking at purple shoes…

  1. Assalaamu Alaikum,

    OMG I know!! It seems like every muslimah that comes here gets the same lecture about “No abayas! Don’t stand out! Blend in…blah blah blah” Unfortunately, I’ve seen such a “lesson” done in person 😦 and I was very disappointed to witness that.

    I also think it may come from ignorance…frankly a lot of people don’t know that abaya/jilbab/proper hijab are fardh…so they recommend negligence to sisters out of fears of ‘safety’. Lame is all I can say. I’m american, I wear hijab and abaya, and the worst thing I have received (even out in the boonies of Texas) was an “its not Halloween” remark.

    Nice post 🙂

    • wa alaikum as salaam

      yes indeed! I know almost no sisters from overseas that came here and was wearing abaya or jilbab here. Okay, wait I knew 1 sister and she was from Yemen and she wore these very cute colored abayaat and big colored shaylahs. mashallah. Also when I was in Saudi, I remember talking to Saudi women (like we’d be invited to their homes for dinner or lunch) and the women would ask me what I wear in the US and Id point to what I wore in-the abaya and shaylah and be like…the same thing and they would be *shocked* because they thought u couldnt! I said even a lot of American women wear abaya ra’as (overhead) or niqab. Also many of the western clothing shops over there sell “overseas hejabi” fare…its incredibly cute stuff, and some would be decent worn with baggy jeans or a skirt, but a lot of it is worn improperly in an effort to “blend in”. But, ah well..c’est le vie. I loved when I was in Uni and would meet newly arrived sisters and they would be surprised that I was American and dressed as I was. LOL…alhamdullah.

      We just have to educate them more I think. Allahu alim.

  2. salam 🙂
    honestly before reading your blog, I had same assumption and I thought, while traveling abroad ( western countries ) , it is better to not wear chador because it makes too much attention and maybe in some places it is cause of being denied for entering, specialy for a person like me that wear traditional style.I dont know who has told this to us.maybe it is one of so many false assumptions about western countries( specialy United State).however reading your blog changed my view completely.I should thank you.

    • No that is a common false assumption. The USA, Canada and UK are quite “open” and tolerant when it comes to this sort of stuff. Also, Ive come in and out of the USA many, many, many times and entering into the USA Ive never had problems and Ive always usually flown in the shoulder abayaat or a long tunic (manteau) and baggy pants, Ive never had problems and I dont forsee how it could cause problems. Plenty of American women wear niqab, wear abaya, wear overhead garments…they fly, they travel. Infact when we left Iran and Saudi via Bahrain we were given more hassle than we were entering the USA at Dullas, the customs people there were incredibly kind and polite to us.

  3. Salamoualeikoum,
    maybe because some people have wrong ideas about western countries…
    I live in France and you all know about the problem with the niqab here but seriously, a lot of sisters wear shoulders abayas and overheads abayas and there is no problem with that, it’s totally allowed (the only place where it’s not allowed is in public school but it’s allowed in university).

    • ah yes sooo true! jazakhallakhair for your input. Its good to know that atleast overgarments are OK. Its such a shame though the animosity towards niqab that exists in France, may Allah swt guide them!

  4. i live in canada and i had a friend from the gulf who was like she wants to wear abayas and those long coats etc.. but some sisters told her that she shouldnt etc… people will look at her. i told her nonsense wear whatever u like. she wears the long coats as jilbab now very often so alhamdoulilah

  5. Hi,

    I really enjoy reading hijabi fashion blogs (I’m not a Muslim) because the designs are so nice, but I admit while all-black overhead abaya is OK, it makes non-Muslims a bit uneasy to see someone pair that with a long black niqab. I know, I know, it’s an ignorance/intolerance thing, but honestly it does emit this “don’t talk to me, you kafir!” aura and I really wish more people wore colours, even charcoal gray…yes, people can wear what they want but it’s just like if I go to Iran, I wouldn’t dare wear my miniskirt because it would make people uncomfortable (plus I’d be arrested). I wish some people here would notice that while you have every right to wear whatever you want, but know that it does make others uneasy. Hijabs are great and awesome, but burqas and black niqabs I really just can’t find beautiful.

    • Thanks for your input-just to clarify, which if one is a regular reader of my blog would know…I don’t wear niqab, and I do tend to wear colored shaylahs when I wear the overhead, while I do agree that black overheads and black niqabs can be off-putting, some Muslim women want it that way, and so its up to them, but myself personally, I prefer the overhead with some color in the form of scarves or something to kind of add a bit of flavor to the outfit.

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