Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What is the difference between jalabiyia and abaya?

I don't know about you, but I love jalabiyias. Mainly because they are often modest enough to wear for salat and safe to wear in the house if a non-maharam MIGHT pop into the room before I can move out (happens sometimes in family houses in the Gulf with brother-in-laws).But Jalabiyias are not abayaat/jilbab as some bloggers mislabel them. Why, even if they are cut the same one might wonder as I once did? Cuz my husband won't let me go out in my fancy Saudi and Omani visiting jalabiyias or my party Morrocan caftans even the ones that are not see-through) but he IS okay with me wearing simply cotton embroidered jalabiyias from KSA and Egypt and Morrocan dishdashes of a modest deign and fabric. Why??? I used to wonder.Well, Jalabiyias are made to be beautiful with rich designs (a simply cotton jalabiyia I'd still wear out of the house if as an overgarment) (and I know some abayaat are too) but Islamically we are not to wear anything publically (this means with the exception of in front of family and close friends who we know their regard to us already and we hope to be safe from their envy) that others might not easily be able to afford so that we are not marking our social status out in regards to wealth. Alot of jalabiyia are pricey (some range from $100-$10, ooo) so in my humble opinion, I never wear a jalabiyia out of the home that cost more that $100 because anything else is unreasonable to assume that everyone in my city can afford the same. Sure, we can wear whatever we want if we still pay zakat, but we are NOT to make ourselves look like we are divided into different ranks financially. This is makruh in Islam.
The only exception to this I can see is an occasion wear EVERYONE is going to be dressed to the same level of expense, which is usually weddings or galas (where non-muslim co-workers might be in ballgowns). Still have to be sensible in regards to zeenah if non-maharam men are present of course.
But I still love them in regards to being with my Muslim family members and my sisters in Islam who I know well enough to know that they only wish me well for whatever I can afford (and what I can give them after I've worn it a few times lol---if only there were more sisters my size so i could trade more easily---Sarah is the only one!!!!! now that Megan is hopefully settled somewhere nice and warm!!!). I love the one below for wearing with my girls, the middle ones for special occasions, the top one for a wedding, and the second one from the top I might wear out.


Sarah Plain And Short said...

salam aleikom,i like the way you explained it. its confusing for me when looking online and the store will call it a jalabiya and not an abaya although it's pretty plain looking. but then again now we say 'hijab' and not 'khimaar'.

Banana Anne said...

I'm really glad you brought this up. A lot of the abayas I seen being sold seem awfully fancy; in the spirit of humility and Muslim brother-and-sisterhood, I think it's better to wear clothes with simpler designs/fabrics. Then again, the clothes I like are REALLY plain, like Quaker-from-the-1800s plain, so I might not be the best person to take fashion advice from. :)

Aïsha said...

These jalabyas are party jalabyas... The women from Maghreb wear very simple jalabya for the day. A jalabya can be plain black like an abaya. So it's a jilbab also.

Pixie said...

Aisha: LOL, yeah I know. But some girls wear the party ones out.

Anonymous said...

yeah Im a fan of the simplier, everyday jalabeeyahs myself. Carrefour has some beautiful, everyday "house" jalabeeyas which I think would be perfect for a womans get-together. The fabric is good quality (for the price) and the emboroidery is lovely yet minimal. There are also really gaudy house dresses that are nice to washing dishes in. LOL

note, today at the mall I found this 1 jalabeeyah shop that had really really nice Turkish style, button down denim jalabeeyahs (more like jilbabs in my book) with very very simple embroidery down the front. The jilbab came with matching pants. An outfit like that would be equally tasteful with a colorful shaylah and low heels.

The alyashmak ones are gorg but seriously over the top (most of them) and really how often are you going to wear such a fancy jaleebyah anyway?