Last year, we were excited to introduce the Pocket Sejadah(prayer mat) created by Meryem Chin and her husband Mustafa Ursavas. Portable and lightweight, it was designed with the needs of today's Muslims in mind, so that you have a comfortable and convenient prayer space no matter where you are in the world!
Since then Meryem and Mustafa have continued working on new products for the modern Muslim, and have finally returned with the amazing Prayer Parka! It’s a lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and stylish all-in-one garment that serves as a telekung (prayer garment), raincoat, and outerwear ? And it's available for pre-order at special discounted prices - keep reading to find out more!
Meryem’s initial inspiration for the Prayer Parka came from a place of frustration. The telekung, while an essential part of prayer for Muslim women, always seemed too heavy or bulky for her everyday bag. Lighter options weren’t any good either - they looked wrinkly and unpresentable, and even tore as the fabric was too flimsy! ? The telekung became a source of distraction to her, rather than an everyday garment she could rely on for ease of mind during prayers.
One night during Ramadan, she was at the mosque for Qiyam-ul-Layl prayers when she realized she had only brought along a raincoat, which she used as her telekung. When it began to rain after the prayers, the raincoat served not just as a makeshift telekung but a replacement for an umbrella as well!
"So after this event, I realised that prayer dresses or telekungs, are actually white elephants in your bag or hidden in the cupboard until prayer time, and I thought of making it more versatile, more presentable, so that just like the one in my story, I could bring it out with me and it could become more than just a prayer dress a parka (hence its name), or an abaya cardigan!"
This experience finally gave her the push to start designing the Prayer Parka, so that Muslim women everywhere could have a portable and convenient option on hand that wasn’t just a telekung, but an everyday accessory to be proud of ?
Designing the Parka wasn’t easy - finding a material that was thin, opaque, light-weight, wrinkle-proof and high-quality was challenging. Any lightweight options also had to be breathable enough to cope with Southeast Asian climates. To resolve this, Meryem teamed up with Turkish designer Asli to come up with two different styles to fit a range of lifestyles and needs!
The LITE version is water-repellent and suitable for outdoor travel. Coming in two colours - Navy and Khaki - it makes prayers a breeze even if you get caught in the rain. We can only imagine how much more convenient this makes prayers if you’re on the go (particularly in places that don’t have easily accessible prayer facilities)!
The LUXE version is made of a silk-like material that is light yet luxurious and breathable. More suited for indoor wear, it is an elegant option that is still lightweight and convenient to carry around. The breathable fabric is definitely a plus point, especially in Southeast Asia where the weather is so humid and hot!
One unique feature of the Prayer Parka is the double hood, consisting of an in-built inner cap and adjustable outer hood grips - with it, you won’t have to worry about the Parka slipping off, and you’ll still be able to adjust it to your own comfort level. The wrists are also designed with a stretchy material to make taking wudhu easy and even come with thumb hooks so the sleeves won’t slip down during prayer. Hijabi or non-hijabi, the Parka truly gives you a level of comfort and freedom like never before! ?
There’s no restriction on how you want to use either of the versions and what we especially love is how it reinvents a design as classic as the telekung into something suitable for a modern lifestyle! Meryem says it best herself:
"Doing what we're commanded to do deserves the very best ;)"
The Prayer Parka is now available for pre-order on Launchgood at special discounted prices and with free shipping, so make sure to support their campaign to make the Parka a reality! Do note that shipping will only begin in June once the campaign is fulfilled.
Bonus: For a chance to win a Prayer Parka for yourself, remember to LIKE both the HHWT Facebook page and TAKVA Facebook page, and leave a comment on this post letting us know which Prayer Parka you want to win! The contest giveaway ends 17 Feb Sunday 23:59 (Singapore time, GMT+8).