I remember during the Tarawih prayers last year, all I worried about when going to the mosque was how I was dressed: did my veil cover everything, was my abaya see-through, was I wearing nail polish? All these ridiculous little things actually managed to distract me from prayer on many nights, as I worried about what the women surrounding me were thinking and whether they were judging me.
One night, the friend I usually went with was told by another woman that she should not wear nail polish during prayer. My friend (rightly) flipped out and began ranting about how it was no one’s business except hers. The whole incident was infuriating, yet it’s something that happens to a lot of women who go to the mosque.
At the same time, it seems men can wear and do whatever they want while praying. There were men in front of us who literally flashed their behinds every time they kneeled down. Skinny jeans are definitely not prayer-friendly. Yet no one said anything. I’m sure if a woman’s BEHIND was showing, there would be some kind of apocalyptic revolution.
This article reminded me of this issue, and I found it really interesting.
Something is very wrong when women are scolded for nail polish and stray strands of hair that peek out from beneath their hijabs, yet men escape rebuke despite such outrageous nonsense. Have we forgotten that Islam’s emphasis on modesty applies just as much to men as it does to women?
When we see people come to the mosque with thobes and other traditional, loose-fitting robes of various lengths over their work outfits, we like to think we’re stylish, progressive, and well-integrated with our khakis and tucked in dress shirts, but the fact is, traditional garments, such as thobes, are worn in the Muslim world precisely because they do such an excellent job of guarding one’s modesty, no matter whether you are standing, sitting, bending or prostrating.