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This ‘fitted’ craze

‘Yes, Mummy?’She asked.‘What was our agreement with regards to the use of fitted blouses?’ I asked.‘It’s not possible to adhere to that agreement today Mummy.…

‘Yes, Mummy?’She asked.
‘What was our agreement with regards to the use of fitted blouses?’ I asked.
‘It’s not possible to adhere to that agreement today Mummy. This is an ashoebi, the uniform for all bride’s maids and relatives. We all agreed to sew the same style with the same cloth. I can’t afford to look different with a huge veil on.’ She protested. ‘But that’s the only reason I allowed you to sew the style. I reminded you that in this family our rule is a big veil or an abaya on top of a fitted blouse. The small veils only go with baggy long sleeves. What I can see now is you using a small veil on a tight-fitting blouse and that definitely breaks our rule.‘ I insisted.
‘I have just told you why, Mummy. This is not my personal and private affair. It is a dress-code we agreed to as brides-maids. I can’t deviate from that. I won’t be part of the ashoebi anymore if I did that.’ She appealed in a smile voice.
‘Please Bint allow her to go, it’s like she said, she has no control over this because it isn’t her personal affair.’ Asabe urged.
‘But it goes against our house rules. She knows it very well. This is why when she showed me the style, before she even took it to the tailor’s, I quickly reminded her that we have this agreement. She didn’t argue, which led me to believe that she actually has full control over what she wears today. And since she misled me into thinking she has, this is her punishment. She has to go back to her room and pick a big matching veil to use or forget about going all together.’ I stood my ground.
‘Haba Bint, don’t be too draconian.’  Maryam spoke for the first time. ‘Let her go today then you avoid such a thing in future. Ummi, next time be honest enough to tell your Mum you have no control over the dress-code so that if she disapproves, you can tell your friends that you have rules in this family regarding what you wear so you can’t sew what they wish to see on you.’ She said addressing my daughter.
‘All right Aunty, thank you very much’ Ummi said with obvious relief, rushing out before I could change my mind.
‘The only reason I’m letting her go is because I know that today is the yinin biki, the all-day, ladies-only event at the brides’ parent’s house. Otherwise she has no reason to break our rule just to comply with her friend’s dress-code. But it’s a lesser evil since there won’t be any ogling young men waiting to feast on their over-exposed contours. I just don’t know why these fitted dresses are getting more and more daring. Some of them look as if they will tear the moment a girl takes in a deep breath. But the tailors insist on making them and the young ladies just can’t resist. Imagine a bride telling all her friends to sew and wear the same tight-fitting style as if she has the right to dictate to them. In our days, the only uniform was the cloth-material, but every girl was free to sew her own style.’ I complained.
‘Don’t even bother to compare what’s going on today with what happened in our days.’ Asabe observed sitting up in her chair. ‘The bridal dressing itself is what appalls me whenever I attend weddings these days. Theirs is more than just the fitted body, it is also the exposed cleavage. Though a bride is always expected to look good, she nevertheless is also expected to cover-up modestly. Thus whatever she wore under is expected to be covered by a big beautiful veil, befitting the occasion. Today, the bride’s dressing is the most immodest. If she is not in a wedding gown that exposes the hair and all that should be hidden, then she will be in something traditional which nevertheless exposes the curves and the breast-top. Then she will appear in a dinner party with the husband and his friends and numerous male strangers feeding their eyes on her hidden assets. Sometimes even parents make it to these occasions and that is when I wonder what a mother is doing when her daughter dressed up so immodestly.’ Asabe concluded.
‘When you mentioned a mother’ Maryam said from her seat on my bedside, ‘I remember a wedding I attended in which the bride, a well-endowed young woman with full busts, dressed in one of those fitted, cleavage-baring blouses and was busy posing with her friends for pictures that were being snapped by a male photographer. I asked for her mother and was shown a woman in a flowing hijab who was busy attending to guests. I walked over to her and immediately recognised her as the colleague who invited me to her daughter’s wedding. I didn’t know what to say apart from congratulating her and handing over my gift. As she moved about with her flowing hijab while her daughter was posing almost half naked, I felt wave upon wave of disgust engulfing me. I had to rise up there and then and sneak away from the venue. I just couldn’t understand the point she was trying to make by allowing her daughter to dress like that while she was attired so modestly.’ Maryam declared disgustedly. 
‘If you had mustered the courage to ask her why her daughter was dressed so immodestly, she will probably tell you she tried her best but the young lady wouldn’t listen.’ I said ‘It is certainly one of the ironies of modern parenting that parents are afraid to tell their children to do what is right. Because the truth is, since this young lady is still under her roof, she can force her to wear what is decent until she moves to her own home. While there, it is up to her husband to ensure that she wears what is right or not. But some mother’s condone everything, with the excuse that they don’t want to spoil their daughter’s day. I sincerely pray that we won’t be like them.’ I said.
‘InshaAllah we won’t be, because we all believe that our children are trusts to us from Almighty Allah and that we will have to give an account of how we discharged that trust in the Next World, that is enough to make us more careful.’ Maryam assured.
‘Additionally, when we remember that the Quranic verse that says ‘save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel are mankind and stones…’ is a call to both men and women, we will be more careful about our handling of our daughters’ affairs.’ Asabe added.
‘And more determined to fight this ‘fitted craze’ ravaging our efforts.’ I chipped in, to general laughter from my visiting friends.

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