Some Telekung Facts To Feed Your Mind

Some Telekung Facts To Feed Your Mind

Posted by ZAAHARA .COM on

Well, why do I wear the telekung when I perform my solat? The telekung is a prayer garment that I have been familiar with since as far as I can recall memories clearly (and not so clearly). I vaguely remember when I was about three years old or so and seeing my grandmother performing her prayers in the typical white telekung of those days and age (early 90s) and being aware that you needed to wear this when the adults started to perform the solemn and serious ‘standing-up-and-bending-down’ ritual.

Of course, as you grow up and your mind matures, you understand what the curious solemn ritual was (solat) and what the white garment was called (telekung). And it’s probably because everyone I knew who was a woman had worn the telekung for all my life, you don’t really question it when your parents decide to buy you your very first telekung at about 6 or 7 years of age.

I remember being rather excited, as all little girls are when they first receive this treasured cloth, especially at the prospect that now ‘you were a big girl who can pray’. But why do we wear the telekung? What is the significance of such a garment? And is it truly a must to wear one when you solat?

The answer is yes. Yes, you do need to wear the telekung if you are at home and not wearing clothing that covers your aurat. Contrary to popular Westerner’s belief, we Muslim women do not shower and sleep in our hijab. We are allowed to wear pretty much anything that covers our aurat with the family members who we are forbidden to marry and hair, arms, feet and such are allowed to be bare. Thus, when you need to perform your prayers you would obviously need the very necessary telekung to cover up your hair, arms, and feet. Without such a prayer outfit, one’s solat would not be accepted as the basic requirement is to be fully covered if you are a woman.

Aside from the fact that if you are at home, you will clearly not be in your hijab, it is also important to understand the Muslim culture and fashion here in Malaysia. Here, in our most beloved tropical country, we do not have to abide to the same rules of clothing as the women have to in the Middle East.

Our sisters in the Middle East have no choice but to wear the black abaya, hijab and burqa which covers every inch of their skin except their eyes but we don’t have to. In our country, Muslim women can choose to dress however we want despite what the Quran says. It is completely normal to see Malay Muslim women not bothering with a hijab and wearing tight and or revealing clothes.

It is also not shocking to see how some women choose to wear the hijab but don’t fully abide by the rules of covering the aurat. They are not so particular if their feet are on display or if the sleeves to their blouses are only at a three quarter length. Hence, it makes perfect sense to wear the telekung when one needs to perform their prayers. And this is another interesting fact in Malaysia.

It is a known fact that one may be a Muslim and not abide to the rules of aurat but may still abide by the rules of performing the solat. I suppose this is the definition of a moderate or secular Muslim.

Finally, the reason why we have no choice but to wear the telekung is because of the Islamic school of teaching that Malaysia has subscribed to. We are all under the school of Syafie and within this school, we are told that as women we must cover ourselves from head to toe in lose fitting clothing in order to perform the solat. The Islamic school of Syafie is known to be particularly strict in many of the rules and laws of Islam and when it comes to how we perform the solat it is no exception. Happy performing your solat, sisters! Let us all whip out our lovely telekungs and perform a good solat with the utmost preoccupied state of mind.


Article is written by: 

Nur Jalilah Binti Abdul Aziz, freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include blog writing, academic writing and creative writing.

-Photos are taken from google images

© 2016 Zaahara Ventures Sdn. Bhd.

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