Earlier this month, I moved into a new place. Packing up my apartment really led to a walk down memory lane. As I went through my old apartment, I came across my abaya collection. When I stopped practicing Islam back in the fall, I removed them from my closet and placed them all in a box. I had no intentions of wearing them again but I felt some psychological connection to them. I just couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. When I moved, however, I finally got rid of most of them. I kept a few of them for sentimental reasons though: my very first abaya, which I was married in, and the one I wore for Eid-al-Fitr last year. As for my khimars, I still have every single one of them. My friends have often suggested that I sell them, but I have no intention of ever doing so. I don’t want to erase every reminder of my time as a Muslimah, as it was an important time of my life. I also still use my scarves, as I do wrap my head-Erykah Badu-style on occasion.

L00king at my abayas and scarves made me sentimental though. Ramadan is coming up. I remember the sense of anticipation in the weeks leading up to Ramadan. It was my first one and I looked forward to the discipline I’d gain in fasting and the purity of that time. I went to classes to learn more details about the fast. I constantly checked Islamic websites to see exactly when the fast was to begin. I remember the confusion about whether to begin fasting on August 11th,2010  or to follow ISNA’s lead and wait till August 12th, 2010. I started fasting on August 11th, which was also the same day I got married. I still remember the smiling sister who handed me piping hot samosas once we finished the Maghreb prayer in the masjid. Though it was a difficult and long month, I recall feeling so content.

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

3 thoughts on “Sentimental

  1. Awe! Yeah.. still have some abayas, but finally decided to donate them to someone who will choose to wear them. Definitely keeping my pretty scarves! 🙂 Gosh – you made me think, without Ramadan, what traditions/rituals will I pass on to my little ones? Hmmmm….

  2. LOL…yes I literally have a scarve to match EVERY outfit I have! I was one of those ‘matchy-matchy’ hijabis so I have a complete rainbow in my closet. I do feel you on the rituals and traditions aspect. My little one has family that’s Muslim and Christian, and now an Agnostic mother. I don’t want to keep her away from religion altogether, but I don’t want her to be indoctrinated either.

  3. I know exactly what you mean with Ramadan. It’s probably the one thing I will truly miss about Islam. Even though it is a difficult month, you do feel such a sense of accomplishment. There is also a much stronger sense of spirituality during that time, rather than just a purely ritualistic sense about worship. This despite the fact that much of Ramadan is ritual.

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