17 September 2017
A modern abaya. (note the word modern, as if new ayahs hav been received).
The abaya “cloak” (colloquially and more commonly, Arabic: عباية ʿabāyah , especially in Literary Arabic: عباءة ʿabāʾah ; plural عباياتʿabāyāt , عباءات ʿabāʾāt ), sometimes also called an aba, is a simple, loose over-garment, essentially a robe-like dress, worn by some women (in parts of the Muslim world including in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.?)
Traditional abayat are black and may be either a large square of fabric draped from the shoulders or head or a long caftan. The abayat covers the whole body except the head, feet, and hands. It can be worn with the niqāb, a face veil covering all but the eyes. Some women also wear long black gloves, so their hands are covered as well.
The rationale for the abaya is often attributed to the Quranic quote, “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters, and the believing women, to cover themselves with a loose garment. They will thus be recognised and no harm will come to them” Qur’an 33:59 (Translated by Ahmed Ali) This quote is often given as the argument for wearing the abaya.
Some denominations of Islam consider the entire female body, except for the face and hands, awrah – that which should be concealed in public from males unrelated by blood or marriage.
Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And God is well acquainted with all that they do. And say that the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. ‘And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss.’
— Sura 24 (An Nur), ayat30-31,
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them. That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not harassed. God is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
— Sura 33 (Al-Ahzab), ayah 59, Qur’an
The Qur’an admonishes Muslim women to dress modestly and cover their breasts and genitals but it doesn’t require covering (how shrewdly confusions r created. Above it is clearly stated in Quran chapter Nur ayah # 30-31 stated to all muslimahs ” that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their …..”) the head. The Qur’an explicitly states that “O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women” and as such has separate rules specifically for the wives of the Prophet. Wearing hijab, or al-khimar, is considered by some to be obligatory in Islam, as the quote states “Tell the believing women to put their khimar over their bosoms”, all the major Arab translations and dictionaries agree that “al-khimar” means a veil or scarf that a woman uses to cover her head, and “over their bosoms” implies women should cover their breasts, necks etc. (moreover, prophets wives r mothers of ummah & their daughters muslimahs r expected to follow their mothers footsteps, which were never made haram for the ummah).
A wiki pic from my ancestral home in Comilla:
File:Women Wearing Islamic Clothing Hijab in Comilla, Bangladesh, 24 April 2014.jpg Top right of the collage.
Source: wiki pedia