Abaya Dress

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Abaya Dress

The traditional  Abaya Dress  is a plain black robe worn by Muslim women to cover their regular clothing, It could be described as a long-sleeve robe-like dress and it is the traditional form of dress for many countries of the Arabian peninsula including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The Abaya Collection can be worn with the niqab, a face veil covering all but the eyes.The origins of the abaya are vague. Some think that it existed as long as 4 000 years ago in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and when Islam arose in the seventh century C.E., the religion absorbed local veiling practices into its culture, probably due to the dressing traditions of the women of Arab Jahiliya.

In those days women wore dresses that revealed their necks, chests, even breasts as well as other parts of their bodies. They also drew their veils backwards while leaving the front parts wide open (understandable in the crushing desert heat). Consequently, when Islam arrived, they were ordered to draw their veils forward to cover their chest and to protect women from acts of disrespect.

The  Abaya Collection veil was seen as a sign of privilege and a luxury afforded to women who didn’t have to work. They were distinguished from slave girls and prostitutes, who were not allowed to veil or cover, and nomadic and rural women too busy working to be bothered with something so impractical as a face veil and extra layer of clothing.

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Posted on November 13, 2011, in Islamic Clothing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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