SHUKR clothing isn’t just for mosque visits or feel-Islamic social gatherings like a Muslim bachelor party, where you get to practice your last night of unlimited gaze-lowering. No, and it’s certainly not just for showing up at your arranged overseas engagement party to silently communicate to your bride-to-be that, while you’re traditional and all, you also have a sense of style. Practice the most macho of activities in SHUKR clothing: working out.
For many exercises, the Zaytuna Cloak is an excellent piece. Normally, I am in-between sizes when it comes to SHUKR galabiyyas; the smalls are a bit short on me while the mediums are rather baggy. The Zaytuna Cloak is particularly loose, so I normally wear a small, though I also own one in medium. The medium gives me such freedom of motion that I have no problem doing free weights and chin-ups in it. And, after a grueling workout, it’s nice to be wearing something that doesn’t feel like it’s attached to your body.
Recently, a group of brothers in Amman went hiking in Dibbeen. I wore the perfect hiking garment: a Zaytuna Cloak – in small to ensure I wouldn’t trip on it. After the less-than-taxing hike through the wildflower-covered hills, we decided to play a game of Capture the Flag. After an initial tie, we played the deciding game. One of the opposing team’s better players was hovering around our side. I wanted to eliminate him, so I bolted towards him and started my fateful chase downfield. What happened after that was somewhat of a blur, but somehow one of the children on the field got right in front of me as I was running. Other than having the wind knocked out of him, the boy was ok. I wasn’t as lucky. Alhamdulillah, I managed to break the fall on my hands and knees, followed by a roll. When I got up, I found my hands were bleeding, and the thin white non-SHUKR trousers I wore under the Zaytuna Cloak were all bloodied and shredded, but the Zaytuna Cloak was in fine shape, other than quite a bit of dust, a minor scratch, and a loose, but still-attached, thread-button. The white cotton slacks are now history, but I still wear the Zaytuna Cloak regularly. Someday, somewhere, a rugby team needs to use a customized Zaytuna Cloak as its uniform.
Back in 2008, I visited my family in Vancouver. While there, I decided I’d get back into running. I know that, with a bit of practice, I can maintain eight-minute miles. So, when visiting my mother, I went to her building’s gym and hopped on the treadmill at the desired rate. It turns out that when you’re in your mid-thirties and haven’t worked out for a few months, you can’t just pick up where you left off. I certainly didn’t make it to my goal that day, nor the day after it. However, by the end of the week, I was doing eight-minute miles easily, alhamdulillah. Of course, the treadmill was just the appetizer. This was followed by a couple rounds of the Grouse Grind, Vancouver’s outdoor staircase. Evidence of my successful climb up Grouse Mountain is below, where I triumphantly stand in true SHUKR fashion, sporting the 100% Cotton Baggy Trousers, sans tête, and complete with ugly shoes.
(Above: 100% Cotton Baggy Trousers)
~ Moustafa, Manager, Retail Division