Friday, July 07, 2006

What's the plural of "jilbab?" Jilabab? Jalabeeb?

I've wondered... if the Qur'an says to wear beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer...

why are jilbabs so ugly?

I mean come on, they are.

I read on a site tonight (it was terrible so I'm not linking it) that basically said women should wear really ugly garb if they absolutely must go out, and only then will it qualify as a jilbab (being too big and too ugly to really wear in the first place.) Apparently, wearing a jilbab is supposed to make you look old, ugly, and make people feel sorry for you.

I recently got a bag full of them from Amatullah. Shoulder pads are gone. They went out years ago! I remember when they went out! But most of these still had shoulder pads. Some even had the big stiff ones... you know, so you kind of look like a linebacker when you put on the jilbab, now. These were hand-me-down jilbabs, and really I am grateful. Most of them did actually fit (I'm not especially tall, but these were all too short. By fit, I mean they didn't hug me too tight anywhere) well enough, despite the fact that most were dirty (spots here and there) and have at least a button or two missing. Several are pinned together in places with safety pins. They are frighteningly dark colors, this blackish blue, or real black, navy, dark green... and one was a tan shade. Several had poofy sleeves--in addition to the shoulder pads. Many had hideous decorations in the front chest area... good thing we wear scarves to cover up that nonsense!! But some had huge and gaudy buttons up the front and on the sleeves (oh yeah, *all* the sleeves were too short) and a few were pleated in the back! I thought designers had figured out that doing that does in fact make your butt look bigger.

But anyway... these are not supposed to attract attention? Heh, ok sure. Now I wear them anyway... especially going to the masjid. I wouldn't wear them anywhere else though. It's almost like a joke, though. I can't really match anything up to these dark jilbabs (as far as scarves) and have to wear pants under them anyway (all too short) so I'm sure that I am wearing the ugliest attire each and every time I go. Really, there isn't anything pleasant about it. The other day I wore an olive-green scarf with an emerald-green jilbab. Once I noticed it, I was mortified. And that was to fajr so I had to walk in the men's door. I must look like some old old woman who doesn't care if her clothes match... but 22 or 52 it's none of their business how old I am.

Just the styles of the jilbabs are so...... well, I don't think my grandmothers would be caught dead in them, they're so awful. Mind you, they aren't awful because they are plain. They are awful because they have been tailored up with poofs, pleats, useless belts, random hangy things with shinies on them, really gaudy buttons to look... agh!

And still I wear them. You wouldn't think it, but I really am grateful. I wouldn't wear these to work, but I do feel more comfortable wearing them to the masjid, than just jeans or what have you.

And I did buy a jilbab in Hartford at the bazar... and it is not ugly. At least, not in the sense those are. Lamentably, it still has shoulder pads but they are the thin ones you barely notice. And instead of being button up... well, it doesn't have buttons up the front which is nice. And it's long enough (I don't have to tailor it at all, it's just the right length) and the sleeves are long enough (do I have extra long arms or something?) and it's loose without having fabric bunched up between my shoulder blades or other random places. I may even wear it tomorrow, inshaAllah.


Guide to Prayer Salat said...

I agree and this is what I have written to a fashion store selling jilbabs:


Do all women's jilbabs and abayas have to be that dreary, depressing and black? I have read, Alhamdulillah, all the ahadiths books and never seen anywhere that all women's clothes have to be black. When I see the pictures of what, supposedly-fashion-conscious firms offer, i believe the muslimahs might as well take a potato sack, dye it black and stick it over their heads.

When Allah SWT asked women to cover themselvesand wear modest clothes, I have never seen the adjective, black, dreary, depressing, oppressive used. Subahanallah, it is some muslimahs who are oppressing other muslimahs and nobody else.

When Allah SWT has given us ilm, directly or indirectly, it must be absorbed and used. Allah SWT has given colours in nature and the beautiful flowers are amazing. How many black flowers do you know, and how many flowers are the same shapes?

Surely you can do better than that and give our muslimah girls and women decent clothes that would make the disbelievers jealous.

Jazakallah Khairan



Anonymous said...

I don't want to seem racist, but Jilbabs in general are extremely ugly to most men. It's incredibly stupid to have to "cover yourself up" and I think that this world needs to re-vamp itself...Why can't we dress normally, in comfortable, appropriately revealing clothes?



Anonymous said...

I mean...covering your whole body..LOL - that was made up sometime I guess. And if you believe in it, then why not cover you eyes? You are breaking the rules for your own pleasure.

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