Beautiful Inside and Out.

>> Sunday, January 15, 2012

Before I start, can I just say that I absolutely love your blog! I only discovered it relatively recently and I am so glad I did, I check it every day. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and advice...may Allah bless you

Anyways, on to my problem. So you can understand it I have to explain a bit about myself. You see I haven't been the best Muslim, I am ashamed to say, I did so many bad things..but alhamdulillah, God took mercy on me and brought me to the realisation that I have to change. And I have been trying but it is quite hard...(by the way, your article on forgiveness really actually moved me to tears..thank you so much)

So, you won't be surprised to hear I am not a hijabi. And I am really trying to become one. Now you're probably thinking 'Not another question on hijab! We've already answered so many!' And I have read them all, and they are wonderful answers, but they don't address my specific issue. You see, some days I feel so clear and certain that I want to wear hijab, but then the next day I just don't want to think about it and I can't convince myself that I really want to wear it. Now, you can never hide the truth from yourself for too long and I know why I can't commit to hijab...

I am ashamed to say, I have too much vanity and pride in my appearance. It is hard to admit that...but I know that the reason I dislike the thought of hijab is I like having my hair down and wearing makeup and looking 'pretty'. Now I know you can still look pretty with hijab- mash'Allah I see so many pretty girls in hijab and they all look more beautiful because they look modest and pure. And sometimes, I dislike having my hair down and not wearing hijab, it feels 'flashy' and immodest. And sometimes I feel sad that people don't recognise me as a Muslim...

But, I don't know, I can't make that feeling last! Please help me to stop being vain and shallow, please tell me how to stop caring about how I look and to stop trying to look 'pretty' and 'attractive. Please tell me a way to stop caring too much for dunya not akhira. I really want to change, I keep getting scared I will be too late...

Thank you

Assalamu Alaykum sis,

First off I want to sincerely apologise greatly for my bad manners - I'm really sorry this reply is so late and I have no excuse. I ask you to forgive me.
Secondly, I want to tell you that I have a lot of respect for you. You are so concerned about your deen and it is a lesson to us all, myself firstly.

As for your question, I am sure that many of the sisters on this site can relate to it. And us 'aunties' sure as heck would never think "Oh, no, not another hijab question!" Instead, I can understand how you feel like you're on a roller coaster with your decision to wear hijab and it's probably really frustrating. Some days you're all for it and other days the opposite. You say this is because you like to look 'pretty' with your hair down etc and I understand this. As girls, who doesn't want to put on some mascara and get the straighteners out. And I'm not saying you shouldn't... Muslimahs aren't restricted in looking pretty, as you well know.

But the thing is, darling, did you ever think about the fact that you are much more than your body? That you have a beautiful soul? And that by covering your outer beauty, your inner beauty sparkles and shines through? (I don't mean that this should be drawing attention to yourself extensively with non-mahrams, though.)

But, think about it. How much do you really value the real YOU? The person behind the hair, skin, figure, etc.?

The truth is that once you cover and understand that the things on the outside should be covered, you will value yourself as a human being and as Allah's chosen vicegerent (khalifa!) on this earth.

And you will come to appreciate these blessings and hopefully succeed in the trials that Allah has given you. Your beautiful hair and gorgeous figure, ma'shaAllah ta'baraka Allah—you didn't actually create them, yourself, did you?

Allah subhanoo wa' Tala did. He gave it to you perhaps as a blessing and perhaps as a trial…Would you obey Him in these blessings?

Sister, when you walk out on the street and you see yourself as beautiful, ask yourself the important questions:

"How does Allah see me, now?" "Am I beautiful in His eyes? What does Allah think?"

You see, Allah doesn't look as your form. He already created it (beautifully and perfectly)…Instead, He looks to the inside.

On the authority of Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Anhu) with some addition (and it is this):
"Verily Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces but He looks to your hearts (deeds),"
And he pointed towards the heart with his fingers.

Just imagine if Allah found your heart to be beautiful. Imagine if Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem found that you had worked in purifying your heart for Him!

You know how amazing you feel when you get that compliment from the 'coolest girl' on your stylish haircut/ cute outfit….Imagine how amazing it would feel to know that Allah is calling out your name to the angels to love you because you had obeyed Him and put Him above your desires:

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said, "When Allah loves a slave, calls out Jibril and says: `I love so-and-so; so love him'. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him".

Forget about impressing people by your 'looks'. If you've got Allah on your side, if you work to reach Allah's love, you will find people really loving you (not all ' "Wow, you look great, *scratch/ claws come out when you turn your back).

I know what you're thinking.That's easy to say but maybe hard to do.

You've already shown at the end of your question that you know what your problem is (and I applaud you for this): 'caring too much for dunya not akhira'.

Honey, this is something many people struggle with because of the flash ''opportunity'' dunya offers us.

Shaykh Samir An-Nass said the best way to deal with these sorts of desires is to ''train'' yourself. Stick a note 'DEEN NOT DUNYA' somewhere in your room like your mirror or near your bed. Keep reminding yourself of the truest of true beauty you harbour. And that's your Deen. That is the single most beautiful thing about a Muslim. And it can be seen through the choices you make in your appearance. Every time you pray salah, ask Allah the Most Merciful, the Turner of Hearts to turn your Heart to Him and to His obedience more and more and more, inshaAllah.

You need to know that change is a funny thing...and there's a moment just before the change happens. This moment is like someone or something grabbing you by the arm and pulling you back. Back to the past. Your mind knows that you should go forward but you're being pulled back, back to the old mindset. Back to the memory of feeling good. It's vital that in this moment you pull out the strength which you do have in you. The strength you do have because it's the strength of your deen. Say to yourself 'DEEN. NOT DUNYA' Because if I give you one piece of advice, it's to never go backwards once you decide to change for the sake of Allah. Never.

The road may begin to be bumpy but the rewards and ultimately, happiness, you receive after is beautiful. It's different to the happiness before and that's why you don't feel like you want it.

Starting Hijab may feel daunting; what will people say, what will they think, school, work, family, friends, strangers. And it's a lot easier said than done to simply shrug them off. When I started hijab, a few people did stare. Many asked questions. Many were shocked (lol). But I took every day as it came. As an amazing friend told me: ''It's all about baby steps''. You have to walk before you run, right. (:

I do hope you decide to wear Hijab soon. You could organise a gathering with a bunch of friends and dress-up etc. (Strictly girls only of course ;) ) And talk to them about your decision. Remember covering isn't making your ugly. It doesn't rid you of physical beauty, merely covers it. Because it's valuable; as are you <3.

I've never seen you, sister. And I may never in this life. But I know you are beautiful;

So smile <3 (:!

And please see this video. It might help :)

Remember: Deen Not Dunya.

P.S. Once again, I'm sorry this is over a month late. :(

9 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Little Auntie January 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM  

Dearest Sis!
Ma'shaAlah ta'baraka Allah on wanting to BE better. I thought I would share this hadith that I heard a speaker say and that inspired me (and I found it in Arabic but in only one English site). I hope inshaAllah it is authentic, but for the sake of being honest and true with you, I can't find any information on it.

But it is said the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:

"No day passes in which the sea does not complain to its Lord, saying, "O my Lord! Allow me to drown the children of Adam since they eat what you provide them and worship other than You.” Likewise, the mountains say, "O our Lord! Allow us to collapse over the children of Adam since they eat what you provide them and worship other than You. The earth also says, "O my Lord! Allow me to swallow the children of Adam since they eat what you provide them and worship other than You.” Yet, Allah replies, "Be patient with them. If you had created them, you would have had mercy over them."

Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala is so Merciful and patient with us......Don't you want to thank Him for being so Merciful to us?

If you want to speak of beauty, then He is Al Jameel....and HE alone has the right to "Pride". He is your Creator and the One who sustains you day in and day out...
Do you ever think to yourself that you want to see His beautiful face?
And that....more importantly than being beautiful on this earth, is being beautiful on the Day of Judgment (those who are beautiful and whose faces will be shining will be those who are going to eternal bliss).

It's not every day that you will want to wear hijab...But when you FEEL that moment, that you want to wear it, don't wait for that moment to come tomorrow. Shaytaan will try to make that feeling go away. Instead, seize that ONE moment and take that leap :)

Mynamemeansvictorious January 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM  

I felt very emotional reading your post because I felt like it is something that I could have written a few months ago.
I just want to say that is possible. Just keep asking Allah (SWT) for help and Insha Allah you will get the courage to become a hijabi.
It is still a struggle for me some days but it gets easier. :)

Irendi January 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM  

~crawls from under the rock she hides beneath~ Hi. I want to thank this sister for asking one of the questions that many of us (read: Me) struggle with. Alas, it's been forever later, and I still don't cover. It's still something I want to do, but haven't. Part of me not doing so is rooted right here in this sister's question. I've been reading a few blog posts lately that I feel are pointed directly at me. This is one of them.

Q.S.I January 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM  

Assalamu Alaikum Little Aunty and Beutiful Inside Out,

Mash'Allah this blog is amazing. I wish I found it two years back when I was struggling with my decisions to wear the Hijab. I didn't really get any support from anybody, didn't have the courage to go speak to anyone about it. Because none of my family members or friends wore it, or even prayed salah. Although I'm from a Muslim family and a country of 90 % Muslims you won't imagine how hard it is here to face people when you start practicing Islam. But one night I decided that I'll wear it from the next morning no matter what happens. And alhamdulillah, with Allah's help I did. My mom called me mad, and with the passage of time my friends were not my friends anymore. I faced humiliation for months and months. But I felt good thinking about the rewards I'll get from Allah inshÁllah. Now I wear the abaya and the niqab as well alhamdulillah. I'm struggling still. But I'm ready to struggle till I die inshÁllah. Because, prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

“Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Sahih Muslim]

You have to accept the hardship beautiful sister. After all we all Muslims are strangers. You see I don't have the same people around me anymore and I believe they weren't for me anyways. Later I met beautiful sisters in Islam on the internet. I attended Islamic courses, classes and my well wishers multiplied. I'm not alone anymore, Allah is with me, my sisters are with me.Once you take the big step with courage, Allah will help you take the other steps with ease inshÁllah. May Allah make you able to. Ameen.

-- A sister from Bangladesh.

Black Abaya Girl January 15, 2012 at 7:37 PM  

Salam dear sis,
The Sisterwhosmiles pointed out the bottom line for every decision: is your heart in the dunya or in the akhira? Remember: Allah Himself is VEILED from us in this dunya. He is only going to unveil Himself in front of His lovers in Heaven. So when you cover yourself, you are following a Divine Principle: unveil yourself for the sake of love! Let's not even consider the guys here, let's look at the girls: when you cover, only those girls see you without the cover who are with you in a "non-mahram"-free environment. Only the girls who make a place for this principle of covering in their hearts, see the covered girl without her cover.

You have to remember,

You are not a body. You are a soul. You have a body. (C.S. Lewis)

We find it difficult to loosen the binds between our heart and this world and tie them to the hereafter because we have this basic perception that I=my body. We think that this face, this hair, these hands, are our identity. They are not. You=your soul. Your soul is so beautiful that it can't be seen in this dunya, just like Allah Himself does not appear in a physical form to be seen by humans in this dunya. Because Allah and the human souls He Created just do not translate into any physical view-able form in this world. They are beyond this world. Soul is veiled by the body in this world, because it has a direct connection with the Unseen. Only when death will remove the physical cover of your body from your soul, will your soul shine to be seen by all. We want our real beauty to be seen by all, right? It's a basic human desire. Well, real beauty is the beauty of the soul that you will wear in the afterlife when all of Creation appears in front of Allah. What would you like to wear on judgement day? You decide that now. The humbler your appearance and manner now, the nobler you appear on that day. And what can be more humbling than suppressing the desire to appear pretty "just like all the other girls" for the sake of the High Power?

I like how Shaykh Kamaluddin puts it,
"Your heart is the hardware for the akhira. If you try to run the software of the dunya on it, it won't work."

Black Abaya Girl January 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM  

Let me tell you, when you cover, you feel great sometimes, and you feel rotten sometimes. It's not a one-way ticket to peace on earth. But that's the point. You do it not because it feels good right NOW, but because you will feel INFINITELY good because of it, after your death, FOREVER. You still gotta work on your heart even after you cover. Because when you cover, Shaytan and your nafs attack you head-on. They don't want you to establish this basic daily testimony from a Muslimah to her Lord. Because they know that just with a piece of cloth and a good intention, you're going to earn riches. And these two entities always fight your efforts to do something truly worthwhile. If something is truly worthwhile, you'll know, because you're going to ride an emotional rollercoaster once you start doing it.

Anyway, thing is, covering is a regular habit that starts, continues and ends in the mind, so you need to have regular positive food for your mind to resist all the negative attacks from Shaytan, jinn, people and your own nafs. This mental/emotional food can be blogs, books, Islamic talks, motivational quotes, Twitter, whatever, but you NEED to feed your mind positive things or it will drive you crazy.

Some places to find good mental food:



TWITTER ACCOUNTS:!/StunningHijab!/LadyTsam_r2i!/IslamicThinking

I don't mean to overwhelm you with all these links. I don't recommend you to check all of them out all at once. What I mean is, whenever you use the Internet, open up one of these things and read something. Most of us have a daily/weekly Internet using habit and if we put at least one good source of Islamic motivation in our websurfing habits, it helps.

love and dua
Black Abaya Girl

Q.S.I January 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM  

P.S : Salam to the sister who smiles and all the little aunties :)

Apple Blossoms January 16, 2012 at 8:50 PM  

One more thing! This is something I've noticed quite often. When someone dresses a certain way only for the sake of Allah, there's this glow, this noor, about them. And subhanAllah, even if you can't see their face, their beauty and persona can't be compared with anyone else's. It leaves you speechless...truly.

Anonymous,  January 26, 2012 at 2:55 AM  

Dear Sister Who Smiles

Thank you so so much for replying, please don't apologise for it being 'late' I am so grateful you even took the time to give me your advice. Also to all the sisters who commented. I feel a lot more inspired, I keep reminding myself of the advice and insh'Allah I will become a hijabi really soon, I will keep praying. Thank you so much, and one last thing, thank you for not being judgemental, it meant a lot to me.... <3

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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