Abaya is a loosely fitted long flowing robe that is worn over everyday clothes. It has long sleeves and covers the feet and the entire body. Usually, they are in black however over time you can also witness the different shades of it.
You can witness women and foreigners wearing the Abaya in the Middle East. However, it has become common in every Muslim country which is the best way to cover their bodies.
The explanation behind the abaya
Following verses from the Holy Quran explain the rationale for wearing the abaya in Islam.
Verse 1: “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters, and the believing women, to cover themselves with a loose garment. They will, thus, be recognized and no harm will come to them.” (33:59)
Verse 2: “And say to the believing women to lower their gaze and to guard their private parts and not to show their beauty spots except that of it which is normally shown and to draw their veils over their chests. They shall not show their beauty spots except in the presence of their husbands, their fathers, the fathers of their husbands, their sons, the sons of their husbands, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, other women, their slaves, the male attendants who have no carnal desire and the children who are yet to attain awareness of women’s bodies. They shall not strike their feet to reveal details of their hidden beauty spots. You shall repent to God all you believers so that you may succeed.” (24:31)
In nutshell, the abaya is in the favor of women to cover their bodies and keep them hidden from men who are not related to them. Abaya will protect them from the contaminated thoughts of men.
History of the Abaya
We are not sure about the history of the abaya as it is still vague, but it is believed that the robe-like garment has lived for more than 4,000 years. The historical evidence from Mesopotamia confirms the use of long and loose as the abaya of today. However, they weren’t known by the name Abaya.
The concept of women covering their bodies became more prominent and significant in the 7th century when the Quran was revealed.
The Present Abaya
Mostly, the abaya is in black but you can also witness some color variations of black. At present, you can also witness the stylish black abaya available in the market. However, the purpose of the Abaya remains the same- to cover the body!
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