Allah has given Muslim women specific instruction to dress modestly and to preserve their chastity.
The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” Al Qur’an, 33:59.
Moving to the US six months ago, many Afghan refugees are finding it hard to get modest clothes in line with the teachings of their faith.
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Towards this end, a Muslim nonprofit organization, the Triangle Association of Muslim American Mothers (TAMAM), is spearheading a clothing drive to provide long sleeve or loose clothes for the Afghan women.
“Their needs aren’t really being met,” Asma Khan, the president of TAMAM, told Spectrum News.
“Maybe they’re not really understood very well. And this is our community, so these are the types of clothes we wear. A lot of us come from those types of communities, so we can understand what exactly they’re looking for and provide it for them.”
Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim herself, understands Muslim women’s need to be modest.
“They’re leaving behind everything they know,” Khan said.
“Maybe clothing is something that they can take it slow, and at least start with clothing they’re familiar with and in their comfort zone to a certain degree, so they can slowly make the transition. The transition is so abrupt, so different than what they’re used to.”
Khan’s organization has helped to resettle refugees from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bangladesh.
“I think as Muslims we’re always called to do community service and help those who need help,” she said.
“And anyone who comes to a foreign country, especially in the circumstances that they came in, could use a lift, you know, could use a leg up.
“Everyone feels a sense of sisterhood, brotherhood, feeling neighborly and that we’re one community and that we should help each other out.”
With the refugees’ arrival, several Muslim groups have been leading effort to help refugees in their new homes.
In September 2021, the people of Indiana donated hundreds of prayer rugs, clothing donations and personal hygiene products to Afghan refugees, believing that prayer is a connection to god everyone need in the time of difficulty.