Three pairs of socks, two pairs of pants. Easy. The real dilemma are the scarves and tops.
Here, my existential crisis and questioning of beliefs begin (or at least it did whilst I was packing). What do I want to look like when I travel? Do I want to plan my outfits to look cute/pretty? Do I want to stick to my usual outfits? Why aren’t all my clothes are prayer-friendly? Prayer friendly clothes are supposed to be full sleeves, no sheer clothes and are long enough to cover everything except your face, hands and depending on your personal beliefs, feet.
I interrogate myself in these moments. Firstly, who am I wearing nice clothes for? To please people or to please God? And secondly why can’t all my clothes be prayer friendly without requiring another cardigan, under sleeves or extra garments in general? I have to pack scarves on top of that too.
Mostly I am furious that I have to bring more clothes. If i were a guy, I would have not needed to bring so many clothes.
These are struggles I still have to come to terms with as a Muslim woman wearing a scarf. I remind myself that I chose to put this scarf on. And because I chose this, I have to be okay with the other things that come along with it. I still whine and whinge especially in 80 degree summers but above all, I still want to stay true to my faith.
When I find my faith wavering, I remember these verses “By the morning brightness and by the night when it grows still, your Lord has not forsaken you[Prophet], nor does He hate you, and the future will be better for you than the past; your Lord is sure to give you [so much] that you will be well pleased.” (Quran 93:1-6).
And it brings me comfort.