One of the best things about Ramadan is the sense of unity you feel amongst your community. Iftar, a meal to break the fast, is served by several mosques and open to the public. Many families also host their own iftar gatherings. My community, in particular, takes great honor in being able to provide iftar for others, and therefore I almost always have a gathering to attend.
For those of you who may not know, part of fasting is maintaining cleanliness and bathing — not only so we are prepared for our prayers, but also as a general state of health for our bodies and minds. Therefore, we are encouraged to wear new and clean clothing to these gatherings, and throughout Ramadan in general.
I am of Pakistani background, so I wear traditional clothing such as shalwar kameez. The clothing is comprised of a tunic-based top and loose-fitting, wide-legged pants. Lately, Pakistani fashion entails combining shorter tunic tops with cigarette pants. While the trend is gorgeous and the clothes are fun to wear, these outfits are not necessarily appropriate to wear to the mosque after iftar for taraweeh prayers.
Taraweeh prayers are sacred to Ramadan and one of the biggest spiritual cleansing experiences for a Muslim. Taraweeh prayers are recitation of the Qur’an, the holy book for Muslims, at the mosque, conducted by an Imam or Hafiz of the Qur’an. There are many women who are coming to the mosque straight from classes, work, or other activities, and may not have enough time to change out of their clothing into proper attire to attend taraweeh prayer.
To maintain modesty and proper attire, below are a few tips and versatile pieces to keep in your closet to make the transition between iftar to taraweeh prayers much easier for you this year!
Amina works as a freelance writer and has been published in many outlets like Huffington Post, Vice, and Teen Vogue. She currently rents an office in Manhattan where she can collaborate with other writers and provide a concise space to network. I asked her what she typically wears on a day to work and how/if that alters during Ramadan.
“I typically wear something black, even in the summer. I find it easier to look professional in black compared to other colors. At work, I’ll wear a black blouse or light sweater because the air conditioning always makes the office cold. I’ll pair it with beige trousers. During Ramadan, I try to wear longer blouses and pants so I can easily attend the Islamic Center at NYU afterwards for iftar and taraweeh. That doesn’t always work in my favor since I have to commute to work and the sweltering heat of New York City subways is intolerable.”
I then asked Amina how she could potentially wear something that would transition into a taraweeh-appropiate piece, regardless of the weather.
“Layering,” she exclaimed.
“Last summer, I noticed a young woman who would pull out a long, almost transparent cardigan. It could pass as a bathing suit cover-up because of the nature of its light material. But when she put it on, it was more than enough to cover everything she needed and the design on the cardigan was still cute. Since it was so light, it did not make her feel warmer in the summer air, nor was it difficult to carry.”
The cardigans she’s referring to are sometimes called “dusters” and are a fabulous addition to your outfit to transition from the office to taraweeh.
The cardigans are available online at many affordable, popular stores such as Forever 21, Target, and H&M. If you prefer to have one that looks more professional so you can wear it the entire day, you can also check stores like J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Express. Look below for examples from some of these sites.
The colors and patterns range in variety; there’s truly something you can mix and match with any outfit!
Make sure to tag @MuslimGirl on IG if you post a pic wearing this trend. We’d love to see how you rock it!