Saturday, 23 June 2007

Bringing Out the Inner You

It is not always easy to be a good Muslim. It sounds easy in principle – anything you do for the sake of Allah, which is good and pure in intention awards you merits. However, practicing what is preached is not always easy. We live in a world full of temptations that tingle our nafs in many ways more than one, and easily distracts us from the core reason of our existence – to praise and worship Allah.

Yet there are moments in the waking day when we know we are aware our good deeds and try our best to live up to the expectations of our Lord.

Grooming the inner Muslimah is always harder than the outer Muslimah. The Hijab can always easily be worn according to Islamic principles but that inner Muslimah sometimes feels left out of the hip and happening circle where women dress to kill and to please. Taming the inner Muslimah shrew is not always be easy.

Then there are the accompanying issues – while dressing up like a Muslimah may not be a problem, the heart is always vulnerable to evil slurs and innuendoes.

There have been many times where I hear comments of Muslimah X, who wears the Hijab, but has a bad habit of back-biting. Muslimah Y, who always covers, is a serial dater and has quite an obsession with the opposite gender. Muslimah Z, who dresses modestly, committed embezzlement during the closing of her company’s accounts.

These uncharacteristic personas contradict violently with the image of a Muslimah. It is not only a short fall of a Muslimah to act in the manners above but it is detriment to Islam when she dresses the right way but acts the totally opposite.

Keeping Up Appearances

Remember, we become advocates of Islam when we don the Hijab – we are known as the Muslim woman whether a daughter, wife, mother, in-law, colleague, neighbour or student.

When this happens, realize that you are representing Islam on the outside through your Islamic dress and whatever you do from the inside will reflect upon Islam. Though negative behaviour is never related with Islam, the religion walks a fine line between truth and misinterpretation. A little stumble by a Muslim towards un-Islamic behaviour causes the whole religion to be construed. Do not allow your actions lead to Islam taking the defense stand in a court case.

Guard your modesty, says the Qur’an, and it does not only refer to covering your physical beauty –
it also refers to purifying your heart.

Always engage in good deeds as they will actively eradicate bad deeds. The more pro-active we are in representing Islam in its true light, the closer to Allah will be and the brighter will His guidance shine.

Keep good company, as friends or also known as our sahabah play an important role in our lives. True Muslim friends help us maintain our modesty and amplify good Islamic behaviour at all times
and encourage us to become better people.

Learn from the Prophet’s sahabah, his first company of followers. Many of them were women – his wives, relatives, children and other Muslimahs of his time. Read up their histories and learn how they practiced Islam. Inspire yourself to live like them and feel honoured to be part of the ummah.

Never lose faith in Allah – always keep your relationship with him sturdy. Build up on Islamic knowledge and your ibadah (worship). Take time away from the world, be it only an hour a day and ponder upon the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Truly believe that He has chosen you as a follower - because He has - and that is the greatest gift anyone could have.

So the next time you don the Hijab, look into the mirror and ask yourself, really ask your Inner self, what you are going to do today to bring out Islam through to the Outer you.

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