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Tuesday

Questions or Resources for: Self Esteem and Beauty in Islam

Whatever you'd like to share to help me prepare for this lecture, I'd appreciate it.

To get your mind working, here are some things I look for to add to my speeches...


1. about 5 verses related to the topic, and their Tafseer
2. A fable/folktale, if possible, that relates to the topic
3. Arabic and takhreej of 5 hadith related to the topic
4. Heartwarming quotes or stories or verses/hadith that discuss the topic
5. Heartwarming quotes or stories or verses/hadith that equal:
importance of quran reading
6. Relevant Fiqh issues related to the topic that EVERYONE wants to
know about, very popular fiqh issues related to topic.
7. 10 tips list of something related to the topic (ex: 10 tips to
manage sadness). It can be less then 10 tips. And you are welcome to
include multiple lists.
8. Why is this topic important? A list of three reasons with proof.
9. What exactly is the problem in this topic? what questions need to
be answered?
10. Good or bad, what mainstream (non-Muslim) advice is given on this topic?
11. Do you have any real life heart warming (or chilling) stories of
people who succeeded (or failed) at this topic?
12. What is the opposite opinion of the approach we are taking, and
what are their arguments? (ex: if we say you should be patient, others
say it is good to vent out loud because then it gets out of your
system. What's the response to the response?)
13. What action items should someone take regarding this topic?
14. Interesting Statistics related to the topic (ex: percentage of
women who suffer miscarriages)
15. Questions that might be on the minds of people regarding this topic.

174 comments:

Ifrah, Ottawa said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyI77Yh1Gg

This might be helpful.

Anonymous said...

assalamulikum warahmatullah,

I so glad to hear you are doing this...I've worked with young girls and I have noticed girls who feel secure in their relationships with their fathers seem to have better self-esteem

I would suggest a discussion of the dua we say when looking at the mirror and explain to them that Allah has already prefected them in their looks

muslimahjourney said...

I like this site by Muslimahs'

http://www.muslimahsource.org

Search under personal development and under Wllness and Health.

Muhammad Alshareef said...

Feel free to extract the best of those sources that you quote, and put them up here in point form.

SABIHA RAHMAN said...

Sabiha , Ottawa
Alhamdullilah, u r doing a great job and I will try to find something.
I heard of a hadith which says that a person's character is more impt.than looks as with age our looks will fade but character is what that remains."seerath aur soorath(urdu)
I am not sure of the exact words though.

Saad Bin Muslim said...

Beauty as a trust from Allah? The example of Yusuf a.s.? The du'a we read when we look at ourselves in the mirror? the prophet used to check himself in a mirror before going out. Aisha r.a asked him if he looked at himself out of vanity? he said that he wanted to be presentable when going out to his people.

Dealing with being good-looking and arrogance. Humble good-looking people are rare to be found.

People who think they aren't good-looking enough: Was that the major concern of young muslims during the time of the prophet s.a.w? or is it that the culture being propagated on corporate media has created this obsession some people have with their body and they are never satisfied?

what matters most? physical beauty or beauty of the character?

Elma said...

Elma, USA

This topic is greatly important. There is not enough of Muslim support for self-esteem, and the messages regarding self-esteem, beauty, self-love (very controversial because some will interpret as shirk I think). I'm really really really angry at all Muslims leaders who have not addressed this topic AT ALL, or when they have, they failed at it. It was totally not present in my life, and then we wonder why Muslims aren't close to their faith. For us living in a non-Muslim country, we will go to non-Islamic sources for self-esteem, identity and interpersonal development concerns because thats whats there for us. Where are all the Islamic sources??? How do we know that building self-esteem is supported in Islam? The truth is blurry, and the messages mixed. And then we turn away and live unsure about ourselves, and what we find right/wrong or good/bad. Why isn't there much discussion on this topic anyway? I don't think leaders are trained or knowledgeable enough. I need proof of the importance and validation of self-esteem from Islamic history, the Quran, hadiths and anything related to it. Its important for people to trust leaders that they can turn to. Yes we're responsible for ourselves and learning about our faith, but we need honest, sincere, REAL, PRACTICAL guidance.

HAmza said...

Assalaam oe alaykoem

Take a look at the talk of Yassir Fazaga;

http://www.youtube.com/watch#playnext=1&playnext_from=TL&videos=jPJF1vTufC8&v=bJFmCG_-_34

May Allah bless you and your family

Anonymous said...

Asalaamualaikum,

Perhaps you could also address topics such as depression and/or self harm, as these also relate to self esteem, and are common yet unspoken issues. Just a suggestion. salaam.

Anonymous said...

Jazaka Allah Khair Ammo,
Nice topic, but i dont really get it? Self-Esteen in Islam? Beauty is obvious, but self esteem? How can a person lack self-esteem if they are muslims? Lack in what? Lack in image, looks, prestige, or appearances? Since when did a muslim even have this issues to begin with!? Islam is an idealogy of certainty and conviction. When someone is well convinced of an idea, it becomes a part of their personality and way of functioning.. what does it have to do with self-esteem, what are we 50/50 ? We are 100% and certain in our decisions of being a muslim. When you say "Ashadu an La illaha illa Allah", you have SUBMITTED your entire self,meaning, ur thinking, ur feelings, ur eyes, ears, tongue, "looks" etc. to allah. So lack in what? If anything ammo, maybe you mean, lack in Iman...? I DONT GET IT!

Anonymous said...

From what I see with my girls in our Youth Group is their constant struggle with being American (i.e. part of the American culture, having school friends, etc.) and being Muslims. If you can address this, it would be great.

Anonymous said...

Beauty is a heart issue, not an outward appearance issue; when a person is happy they are beautiful. With all this focus on girls' physical beauty we are just adding to the problem. For good self-esteem we need to feel worthwhile, important individually for just being ourselves; for what we are, not just for what we can do. God created us. That is why we are beautiful and why we are worthwhile.

Amira
Canada

Anonymous said...

If a muslims had Iman and disattachment from this world, WHY WOULD HE/SHE CARE ABOUT THEIR LOOKS!! WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH OUR STANDARD?

maanubilli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum wr wb!

I think you should talk about how "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" so there is no such thing as someone who is ugly. Also, how there are different aspects of beauty (ie: inner beauty and outer beauty).

servant of Allah said...

There's a dua in Hisnul Hasin about when you look in the mirror:
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ حَسَّنْتَ خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي
"O Allah, just as You have made my external features beautiful, make my character beautiful as well".

And subhanAllah, this touches on both the self esteem issue (character) and the beauty issue.

I'll be back with hadiths inshaAllah.

Halle Barry said...

MY LIPS are too big, my eyes are too Small!, My hairs not long enough, shes PRETTIER THAN ME!! I saw those BOOTS FIRST! This is NOT A MUSLIM CHARACTER,...SO OBVIOUSLY THE ROOT OF THIS ISSUE IS IN THE LACK OF IMAN!

Anonymous said...

Salamu 'Alaikum brother, which ever way you produce the lecture it'll be the best masha'Allah.
Your talks are amazing && the best thing I'd advise you to do is recite more of the Qur'an seen as you can recite very well which will affect the audience && provide stories from the Seerah insha'Allah. That'll prove highly benefifical.
All the best. Btw, will this lecture be available online to watch?
Salamu 'Alaikum.

Anonymous said...

Here are a few links...
http://azizaizmargari.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/diseases-of-the-heart-low-self-esteem-and-insecurities/

http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158321479794&pagename=Zone-English-Youth%2FYTELayout

http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=LxnJW112MsnfMdBTLqPQvSrQGvJc5FRZnyJYFw8C9vp6xLTvMhRJ!-86355638!323863511?docId=99230348

http://us2.fmanager.net/api_v1/productDetail.php?dev-t=EDCRFV&objectId=4340

Shahla Khan Salter said...

Allah swt has created much in our world that we have to be thankful for and much that soothes our senses, whether it is the beauty of the open sky, the vast the ocean, the light of the harvest moon, the small hands and feet of a newborn baby or the reflection of love or friendship in the eyes of another human being. All this and more are not created by us but by Allah swt and they are evidence that He is there and is Magnificent. The beauty that Allah swt created is humbling and empowering for us at the same time. It is empowering because it is a reminder to us of his Greatness, as he is our Protector and humbling because it also reminds us of our duty that we must do our best as caliphs on earth to protect his Creation and respect and to help one another. Shahla, Canada

sadhu asocial brother said...

Its not appropriate to say, "ooh look, what a good-looking brother/sister." Why? Because it then means that then someone can be "bad-looking." But is that true? There are two aspects:

1- If someone is dressed in shabby and dirty clothes, can we still say, he/she is ugly-looking?
2- if someone is "ugly" relative to the standards of beauty of the society in which he/she lives, can we really think, as MUSLIMS, that he/she is really ugly??

I have seen many brothers' talk about "good looking sisters" and then "aunt-like sisters." In the same way, sisters talk like that. But is that Islamic? If this is permissible, then this is sexual selection taking place, something that fits in with Darwin's theory of natural selection. Are we really animals that the laws of nature, as explained by evolution, apply to us? What role Islam has in breaking this animalistic laws of nature?

Assiya said...

Assalam Alaikum
I am Assiya from Mozambique

Beauty is amanat. Or rather, our bodies are entrusted to us from Allah. We should take care of them along the guidelines that would please HIM and not man. For example: be healthy, be modest, apreciate through out the different phases of it, be humble and gratefull for it. Adorn it to please him in the right measure.

Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

A lot of Muslim girls "feel" inferior physically when compared to non Muslim women. We aren't supposed to shape our eyebrows, wear makeup out, and we cover our bodies by wearing simple and loose clothing, we cover our hair, which can be a big thing for some girls. Martin Luther (the priest) did say "The hair is the richest ornament of women."

maha said...

- You think yourself a small being while in you is folded the greatest universe...

و تزعم أنك جرم صغير و فيك إنطوى العالم الأكبر
- If I remember correctly, wasn't the "Wizard of Oz" about people who had things but didn't "know" they had them; like courage, brain, and a heart?

Umm Hamza said...

One tip to boost self esteem: look down. Society wants you to crave more, to look at people who have more of the dunya than you and to chase their life. Instead, we should look at those who have less of the dunya, those who don't have the blessings and abilities that we have. Be grateful for what Allah has given you and use it in His way. -USA

Anonymous said...

hadeeth:
ALLAH does not look at your appearances and your wealth, HE looks at your heart and your deeds..

Anonymous said...

As salamu alaykum all,
Well, regarding “Beauty in Islam “ topic you could use the hadith that says (Arabic): "en aqramakum 'enda Allah ATQAAQOOm "
ان اكرمكم عند الله اتقاكم"
which means: The best among you are the most pious"
So if Allah (AWJ) judges us NOT upon our looks or beauty. Why do we have to really bother that much!
I mean yeah we should always look presentable because what we are and how we look represents who we are (as Muslims)?! Looks are important for presenting to the world how beautiful our religion is…
Not only that, but it’s also the most convenient and practical way to communicate to the whole world; you will never sell your product if it doesn’t look nice. It is the same with Islam, but on a higher level of course. Looking good in a modest way is highly recommended especially those days to light the whole world with Islam. Yet, a book can never be judged by its cover. Therefore, this should always be accompanied by good intentions and deeds so that Allah (AWJ) accepts Inshaa’Allah.
and Allah alone knows best!
Salam,
Sara and Rawan =)
Egypt.

Anonymous said...

I know this story our former imam, Sheikh Karim Abuzaid, said:
That one of his relatives/friends wanted to get married, so he entrusted his dad back in Egypt to pick a wife for him. When he went down to see her, he was disapointed that she was not beautiful. However, after the wedding party, the two went to sleep, but the man was awoken in the middle of the night by a sprinkling of water in his face. When he came to, he realized it was his wife, waking him up for the night prayer. She said, "I've always wanted to get married to get the chance to do that." From that point on, the man had said, he felt that he had the most fortunate marriage ever.

So the point of the story is that the husband came to realize that religion and character are more important in a person than how they look. The Prophet SAW even said that Allah SWT doesn't give importance to how we look and how rich we are, but He cares for our hearts and our deeds.

Anonymous said...

Umm Ahmad, Saudi
Fikh issues:
1. Is getting braces for my teeth altering Allah's creation?
2. My husband wants me to look beautiful for him, so can I pluck and dye my eyebrows?
3. Is it ok to wear long top and pants like the girls at my school?
4. shyness is half of eman. How do I come to terms with being shy and being assertive?

Your beautiful, yes YOU said...

I love the fact that you are taking time to discuss this issue...because this topic is rarely discussed by the Muslim scholars, but always discussed from other sources (e.g. in school/uni/non-muslim organisation etc...

I agree with the comments above. Especially the comments that state that this is an issue of low Eaman. As a sister, I've gone through the same thing (and still going through it)...I have my ups and downs, I do have low confidence, VERY low self-esteem...but it is all down to your Eaman. When you're close with Allah (subhana wa Ta'Alah) and your Eaman is high, you do feel happier and beautiful!! You become more grateful to what Allah has given you, and it raises your self esteem.

You're around these mega beautiful people...you tend to forget Allah has created each one of us unique (well I do)...we all have our qualities, but do we show that we're grateful to Allah for what we have been granted? With me, I need reminders because im always affected with low self-esteem...

Please let us know if this will be an online lecture (cos I live in London).
JazakAllah khair,

Sis Su'aad =D
(smile it'l make u feel better!lol)

Anonymous said...

Allah SWT is not going to judge us for our appearances but rather for our actions/deeds. This is something I tell young girls around me who have low self esteem thanks for the current media/magazine airbrush techniques.

Adam Sigat said...

Asalam aleikum,

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and Peace and Blessings be upon Muhammad, His Apostle, the constant bearer of good tidings and the constant warner to the whole of mankind.

“Whoever knows one’s self, knows one’s God”
حديث: من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه، قال أبو المظفر ابن السمعاني في الكلام على التحسين والتقبيح العقلي من القواطع أنه لا يعرف مرفوعاً، وإنما يحكي عن يحيى بن معاذ الرازي يعني من قوله، وكذا قال النووي: إنه ليس بثابت، وقيل في تأويله من عرف نفسه بالحدوث عرف ربه بالقدم ومن عرف نفسه بالفناء عرف ربه بالبقاء.
Abu al-Mudhaffar ibn al-Sam`ani said...., he who recognize/knows themselves, recognize their lord (SWT)

we can learn from this that Women are encouraged to have a sense of self-esteem by respecting themselves and appreciating all the bounties Allah has bestowed on themselves.

in another Hadith : Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) as saying: “Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.”The pious woman is the most beautiful in front of Allah and loved by Him.

Jazakum'Allah Chairan,
Salaam.

Adam Sigat,
Brandon, Manitoba.

Anonymous said...

Can you please elaborate a little (I think this comes in Fiqh) on how MUCH are women (and men too nowadays :S) allowed to make changes to their faces... in order to become more beautiful, "groomed"... etc?

There is a clear Hadith on tweezing eyebrows (but people have interpreted that too in many different ways).
Why I want an elaboration on this topic, is that nowadays the trend is SO in-built and SO ingrained to change the creation in order to make it "better" that it's hard to even pass off as a decent human being if one doesn't indulge in any salon sprees (beauty parlours here in pakistan :D)..

So please do highlight this point.

Pakistan

Fatima said...

I agree with the comments above about emphasizing beauty of character. I think an important aspect of that is beautiful MANNERS, which Muslims sometimes tend to lack knowledge or practice of. Rasulallah (s) had the most beautiful of akhlaq and we should emulate that.

Something that I've always had a bit of confusion about is reconciling modesty with self-esteem - how do you keep a humble attitude, yet still be assertive and confident when you need to be? For example, we should always be pushing ourselves to the forefront in doing good deeds - if we are too modest we'll get left behind and left out of the ajr.

Just some thoughts. May Allah bless you for your efforts, ameen.

Fatima, Canada

Anonymous said...

Very good topics ya Sheikh. I know my family members will benefit from it.

What can I add to the great comments above? At the end of the day, I would say, those who get the most respect and love, are those who respect themselves and who love others. Being a good Muslim will lead to being happy, having high self esteem, feeling worthy, feeling beautiful. I think the root of it is just to put your Islam first before anything, and put Allah's opinion before anyone else's. For example, how Allah (SWT) says He does not look at our appearance but our heart. And how Allah (SWT) says the best amongst is the one with the most Taqwa.

Good sources to use for self esteem are Don't Be Sad by sheikh Aid al Qarni and also a bit of Enjoy Your Life by Sheikh Muhammad al-Arifi.

Looking forward to the talk, please make it a webinar so we can all attend!

JazaakAllah khair

Ma'Salaama

Sister Anisa
US

Anonymous said...

Juwairia from canada
In regards to question 13, what action should be taken.

You should honestly tell the muslimah the definition of modestly and beauty, esp, what they wear, its awful the things i see hijabis getting away with. I think you should emphasize what is permissible, and please encourage the ones who are practising it, because its really hard. I feel so cut alot of the time, and hear the same excuses.

most of all, i feel ugly, (when i go out, at home is a different story) and its tough being a young lady, every single person seems to wearing makeup, have their brows done, designer fashion..etc etc..thats not Islam

even we need boosters once in a while

Anonymous said...

Muadh Bin Anas [رضی اللہ عنہ] reported: “The Messenger of Allah [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] said, “Whoever gives up wearing elegant and expensive garments out of humbleness, when he can do so, Allah will call him on the Day of Resurrection and before all the creations, He will give him the choice to wear whichever garment of ‘imaan‘ he would like to wear.”"
[Al-Tirmidhi]

Remember your origins:

“Was he not a Nutfah (mixed male and female discharge of semen) poured forth? Then he became a clot; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned (him) in due proportion.” [Al-Qiyamah: 37-38]

Narrated Abu Dharr [رضی اللہ عنہ]: The Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] said, “Do not disdain any good deed, even your meeting with your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face.” [Muslim]

Narrated Harithah bin Wahb [رضی اللہ عنہ]: I heard Allah’s Messenger [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] saying, “Shall I not inform you about those who are entitled to Paradise? It is every person who is modest and humble (before Allah), a person who is accounted weak and is looked down upon, but if he swears (hoping for Allah’s Bounty), Allah will certainly give him what he desires. Now shall I not inform you about the inmates of Hell? It is every violent, impertinent and proud man.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah says: “Whosoever desires honor, power and glory then to Allah belong all honor, power and glory [and one can get honor, power and glory only by worshipping Allah (Alone)].” [Faatir - 35:10]

http://muslimmatters.org/2009/02/26/hues-of-arrogance-part-2/

Gail said...

Assalaamu Alaikum.

I absolutely LOVE this topic. I have been working with youth and women for years and constantly trying to figure new ways to reach them or offer support and resources for many different issues.

I have a website that is geared towards muslim teens and women. The teen section may have some information that you may be able to use. Some of the articles I have written myself. You may view them at:

http://www.mysisterskeeper.com/myskteens.html

I am also a Muslim Girl Scout Leader for girls from 2nd-12th grade. Once a year(and sometimes during or after meetings), I have "Girl Talk" with the older ones. I let them ask questions and try to help them maneuver through the Muslim/American issue or whatever issue they have questions about. I can't wait to see what you put together. Please feel free to contact me through my website if you have any questions for me.

Gail(Tahira)
USA

Safia said...

AsSalamu Alaykum Shaikh,

Some questions I suggest for this topic:

1.How does a Muslimah come to develop her self-esteem by wearing Hijab (i.e. does it get easier with age, and does self-esteem related to beauty only come when a person has developed a sense of self-concept)?
2.What are social factors through which hijab becomes an instrument to decrease self-esteem (i.e. image of beauty portrayed in media, exc.)
3. Besides hijab (which is the most obvious hinderance to self-esteem), what are other circumstances that decrease self-esteem in a Muslimahs life (example: how Muslim parents talk to their kids at an early age vs. how non-Muslims do so).
4. What are remedies that will boost self-esteem, related to hijab (i.e. parents frequently telling Muslimahs that their beautiful).

**I'm a psychology major in college and I would recommend for you to look at some psychology literature written on self-esteem (it has plenty of ways to boost the self-esteem of girls).

Safia.
Seattle, USA

Mohamed said...

God doesn't look to our faces or our bodies but looks at our hearts!

God said "O people, we've created you all male and female and have made you nations and tribes to recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most pious of you. God is all-knowing and all-aware"

+ even for humans and how we look at each other, beauty is a matter of perception...and I personally believe that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." This is because one sees the reflection of what's iside him. So, if you see something beautiful as a human being (God said, "We created the human in the best shape") then you've to recognize the glory and miracles of the creation and be able to see the beauty within. Though, we are not perfect so sometimes we might not be able to do so...and that's still fine if people always try to look at those who are less fortunate and thank God for what they have.
Nobody has everything...and there is always someone better than you and someone worse in every aspect. So, when you feel down look at those who are less fortunate and be grateful. And when you feel proud look at those who are more blessed and restore your modesty.

Anonymous said...

Every girl has some sort of hang up about the way she looks- I think that is natural, especially living in a society where how you look almost defines who you are.(really sad!)

But if we look at it Islamically, Would you prefer to look nice and attractive and sometimes display that attractiveness to the opposite sex, in which the price to pay is;Naar- and you're not going to be looking so pretty then. Or if you are "average" looking, and focus on what is important and attaining the Pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and be utterly gorgeous in Paradise!!

I think this helps when you're feeling a bit low, to put things into perspective.

I have 3 younger sisters, and I can see (now that I'm a bit older) how everything affects us growing up. For girls at school, there is always competition to look nice, and the "popular" girls are always the "attractive" girls, and then you go into your local shop and see magazines and see women and young girls with impossible amazing skin, features and figures- Not knowing that Nobody looks that good in real life!

I hope it is not too improper to post this link. It shows how a normal looking woman is turned into a very attractive one-and that image is placed on a billboard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp7IP1XB9WY

May Allah azza wa jal reward you for this, It is definately one of those topics that hits home for a lot of muslim girls growing up in the West. May Allah azza wa jal bless you and your family. Wassalaamalaykum

Mariam
UK

Anonymous said...

Assalamo alykum warahmatullahi wabarkatuh.

I have a question regarding the subject that maybe you could incorporate into your lecture. I'm in 2nd year at university and sometimes I lose my confidence around exam time as to whether I can do good and ever achieve my goals. So my question is, who can we turn to for adivce regarding self esteem and goals in difficult times? I'm not sure if school counsellors or advisors are the best option.

Suha, Guinea. said...

salaams and Allah bless you and all the commentators above. Indeed all those who are very close to Allah and are more practicing than others on their deen find it easier to quote the Quran and hadeeths and even wonder why talk of the topic. But there are muslims who are still trying to practise Islam in countries and societies that are not geared for it, and the cultures and upbringing they have, make it difficult to deal with it and have a huge impact on the them. It will be a great lecture inshaalh, I hope its free. Salaams.

Anonymous said...

Sheikh Yasser Fazaqa on self image psychology. Very interesting and educative! http://www.halaltube.com/yassir-fazaga-self-image-psychology

Salma, Denmark

Anonymous said...

salam,I understand all about selfsteem having a link with your emman.Sisters can easily say what really matters is your heart and not your outer appearences. unfortunately when it comes to getting married Muslim brothers want a wife like hollywood movie star. Even if you ask a guy what he wants in a life partner a typical answer would be a beautyful wife and charecter is of second in importance. some brothers even go to night clubs to find a wife so they can marry them and make them a better Muslim later as if guidence is in their hands.

If our Muslims brothers are behaving in such a way who is to blame for sisters not having high selfstem. I have seen many sisters who have good deen but started loosing selfsteem after being rejected by brothers for marriage coz what really matters to them is beauty. Yea sisters might say inner beauty is everything but go and speak to brothers.

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaykum,
The analogy of organic food? Subhanallah an organic apple for eg. may not look as large or shiny as the apple which has been sprayed and pesticides have been used and its growth has been tried to be altered by mankind, but it is more wholesome and better for you and delicious! The emaan of a believer should be free of the same 'pesticides' which corrupt and poison it in ways it may not be seen but it will surely be felt in your life.
Ozlem, Australia

Anonymous said...

Assalam Alaikum

I have worked with teenage muslimahs around the world for the past 10 years. I was a teenager myself when I started to teach young girls, so I was well aware of what issues specially related to body images and self esteem. We have power point presentations in which we discuss how perfectly Allah(swt) has made us, quoting ayahs and ahadith. We then talk about w few stages of our existence; mind, body and soul. Often (esp in teen years) we begin focusing on the body too much-what should we eat, what should we wear, how much should we rest/exercise, how should we look our best. And in time, we forget the soul and often the mind too. Allah has given us the Quran as food for our mind, body and soul.
I don’t agree with the fact that the level of iman is the ONLY thing that affects our self esteem. We are living ina world which has multi-million dollar industries which only focus on the body. Where ever we turn we are bombarded with the “ideal” of what a woman (and now even what a man) should look like. These images are everywhere, on the TV, internet, newspapers, billboards and ofcourse worst of all in magazines. Its wishful thinking to assume that as a muslim we don’t need to pay attention to these issus and equipt our selves and our children with tools on how to deal with body image issues. As a woman my self, I have to go through my presentations again and again to remind my self that what we see on billboards or any where else is NOT a real person. I have so many slides on which the “before and after” pictures of make-up and airbrushing show how different the real person really is.

A major reason why I feel that these issues need to be dealt with quickly is that now men have started expecting their wives to look smoking hot all the time.they want their wives to be just like what they see on TV, magazines etc. Allah has told us that Shaitaan wants to attack the institution of marriage, and he is doing a wonderful job. When men see these unreal images, they get frustrated and never realize what they are seeing is fake.

I'm glad that you guys are striving so hard to help other muslims and I pray that Allah accepts all your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum,
I have a question. Is beauty really even important in Islam? Because I read this random hadeeth in Riyadh As-Saliheen that the Prophet (SAW) advised a man to marry someone he liked to look at, or thought was pretty or somehting like that. That really makes a muslimah feel bad because then what if she is a good person on the inside but is not that beautiful?

Anonymous said...

As Salamualykum

Self harm the solution to this problem is to read the quran with tafseer in a language you understand and i speak from experience here.

as a teenager i had a lot of anger, and that turned in to a lot of saddness/ hate, ended up with feelings of suicide.

i wasn't lacking in self confidance or self esteem, having read so many fantasy books and si fi, i was filled with ideas of courage and standing up for whats right and doing the right thing etc i was confidant etc but i was away from islam.

All around me i found ppls ideas of friendship was to just use you.

as a non practising muslim i felt a lot of pain and confusion.

I had an awakening i guess
i came to a point where i had to ask myself some serious questions;
my family was not very practising, but neither were they totally off track.

so i asked is there a God?

when i came to the conclusion yes there is (alhumdullilah, Guidance is from Allaah swt)

next question was;
which is the true religion?
According to my mother islam, but then other mothers were telling their children hiduism/ chritianity/ evolution etc etc Alhumdulillah. Allaah swt is Most Merciful.

So i came to the realisation Islam.

So why was i selfharming if it was not a problem with how i looked?

i was self harming becuase i had a big confusion and pain inside and i couldn't make it go away. hurting myself made the pain physical and so easier to deal with. for a while the pain would go away but then it would come back.
i had this internal pain becuase i was not practising my deen.

a friend advised i should go see a counsellor, alhumdullilah i never did go even though i made the appointment. ( a non muslim counsellor might have messed my head up even more!)

alhumdullilah by that time i had started learning about islam and trying to practise it and i found that pain leaving me.

Since that time i have never felt as bad as i had then, every time i forget to read tafseer and quran i start to get those feelings or other feelings of saddness/ panicking etc but i find that instead of talking to someone or telling anyone i read quran/ make dua and alhumdullilah.

the cure IS in the Quran, if only we would turn to Allaah swt.

i feel like at times i am being dragged back to the quran being pulled back to it.

like sometimes i am lazy, but alhumdullilah Allaah swt is Most merciful, and i wish i was more grateful.

Alhumdullilah.

READ the quran and tafseer and make loads of DUA.

i feel like every time things start to get bad i need to add somthing or remind myself to do somthing i was doing that i had forgotton to do, like making dua/ daily adhkar/ nafel etc

wa salamualykum hope this helps someone

snaa said...

S.S UK

The Quran/Hadith about Allah looking at that which is in our hearts..

The dua we say when looking in the mirror.

The story of Julaibib.

Concentrating so much on the outer self and forgetting the inner self-which ultimately leads to peace and contentment.

Anonymous said...

Young people often feel that they are not beautiful in so many ways. We need to understand to look beautiful it does not always mean to look like everyone around us. Everyone in this world is different and they all have personalities which make them who they are. To have all the beautiful qualities is these five simple rules:

1. To believe in Allah
2. To pray
3. To respect every individuals
4. To look after loved ones
5. To look after yourself

lets look at point 5 "To look after yourself". This point is really important as this point is what makes an individual look good. To present yourself every day by wearing clean clothes is a point. Another one is to smell good and the last one is to brush your hair if your a boy or girl and to make sure you cut your hair if your a boy.

Well, now i think i have gone through the important points i want everyone to understand that they are beautiful and remember these words below.

“If you are destined for good fortune you will be blessed; if afflictions have been ordained, no matter where you hide they will seek you out. Submit therefore before the will of Allah; be grateful in well-being and endure adversity with fortitude, that His light may radiate within your being.”

Fatima, London

Anonymous said...

Assalaamualaikum...
This is a very warmly welcomed topic of discussion... I am in agreement with the vast majority of the topics discussed... I think, due to the image-obsessed world that we are now increaingly becoming a part of, it is near impossible to not be affected by 'image issues'

Especially in this day & age in the west, where the issue of marriage becomes far more difficult due to the lack of proximity we as a society have to our Deen... In my opinion, the current state of our minds & psyche fall to the lack of religious knowledge the vast majority of us posess on our beautiful religion (& that includes myself on this one!!) By this i simply mean, that if society was to protect the female image in the way that the Shar'iah expects, then the beauty of women would not be exploited in the way that it is... & in turn, men would not be falsely blinded by 'unreal' images of women, which in turn cause problems when it comes to 'choosing partners'... Those women who commit themselves to hijab etc, often get 'left on the shelf' causing increased disillusionment amongst those who choose to practice their religion: such women feeling that because they do not 'display' their beauty, they are not considered beautiful...
I think there is a vicious cycle of actions that are ongoing... The media continues to exploit male & female beauty-->men & women have an unrealistic view of what an ideal parner/beauty is--->lowered self esteem of those who feel they dont 'fit the bill' & so on & so forth!!

As a girl, i find myself being in constant battle with my hijab, especially when u are amongst many girls who choose not wear hijabs.. U feel less beautiful, even though, we know that the religion emphasises the beauty of the hijab.. Emphasis on the reward of having Sabr & understnding the extent of reward that potentially awaits us in our Akhirah is always a good driving force...

I also would like to add... 'Knowledge is power'... The mor Ilm we gain, the more we strengthen our understanding of Allah's Majesty & so strength we gain in our personality & our demeanour... In short, Seek Allah & Allah will Protect you from the harm of Shaytaan & the evil within ourselves...

Wasalaamualaikum

Asma said...

Assalam-u-alikum WW shaykh!

I am soooo glad ur doing this lecture. JazakAllah khair. There have been many times where i feel that my self-esteem is low, especially because my culture involves women to stay glit and glamour. of course this is not just the culture in my country but rather a spread experience all over the world. Especially when us women are down in our Eman it becomes an unbearable issue of esteem, that makes us question us covering ourselves (may Allah protect us all from the whispers of shaytan AMEEN).
I found this video on youtube and its so beautiful in expressing what us muslim women are really about. it always brings my esteem up and makes me realize how lucky i am to be a muslim women with the guidance of Allah in my heart. InshAllah you will like it as well and i hope it helps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFdOLcoYAmM

Also, this second one that is a good reminder of shaytan's whispering, to lower our self-esteem so we question the gift of hijab that Allah has bestowed upon us women.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbz81Wtz7SA&feature=PlayList&p=3489EB7488B19CC0&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=24

JazakAllah khair again!

Anonymous said...

As salamualaykum,

Annie The Mouse in the UAE.
Now with my children i try not to:

-Make any type of comment about looks, ie not colour nor body shape/ size
-others have made these comments so i discussed with them how Allaah swt made Adam as from clay he took from the world,
-How Allaah swt created all of us and He choose what is best for each of us
-so we should not say things about ppl
-we should not backbite or make ppl feel bad
-I mention how the Prophet sws told us to bath and be clean
-How we should wear nice clean clothes esp fridays and take care of our hair and perfume etc
-my children are mostly unschooled so we don't have peer pressure problems with wanting this trainer or that shirt etc
- as muslims we shouldn't have an inferiority complex but i do see it in ppl around me
-saying thankyou is islamic but praising ppl too much actually destroys them and there is a hadith about that, sorry but i dont know the exact qutote. i often find Americans tend to over do it with the praise? why?
I would take the info that agrees with things in islam and leave the rest of the things these ppl say.
http://www.naturalchild.org/robin_grille/rewards_praise.html
self esteem
http://www.naturalchild.org/naomi_aldort/tame.html

http://www.naturalchild.org/naomi_aldort/manners.html
http://www.naturalchild.org/robin_grille/good_children.html

Anonymous said...

As Salamualykum

We have removed the TV from the house.
so we controll what we watch and what our children watch.

LOWER YOUR GAZE
did we all forget that one?

I wear hijab and so the children noticed that some ppl do and some dont and asked why?
i explained that i am trying to obey Allaah swt
my children would then point out that theres a lady who is not wearing hijab, she must be bad or somthing, though i had never said that to them.
i then explained some women are not muslim
i then explained some muslims also dont wear hijab
i then explained lets make dua for them, maybe they will start to love Allaah swt more and so wear hijab too as then they will want to please Him swt.
i have seen sisters who looked more beautiful with their hijabs on then off! so for all you sisters making comments about feeling like your hijab is lowering your self esteem i dont understand that.
we have these same porblems in muslim countires too.
women and men dressed badly are everywhere. so we should remember to LOWER our gaze.
so then i hear the children say oh look someone dressed badly, i explaid how we do not point the evil and bad things out to everyone and how we should lower our gaze.
we also do not have any magazines or papers in the house. sotimes we get the newspaper. then i will censore it.
if the children see somthing inappropirate or i see something i will try to remember to lower my gaze.
dont point it out, dont keep it in the house and dont stare at it in the street.
if something comes up we will discuss it.
it is a learning opp.

Anonymous said...

AssalamAlaikum Wr Wb Br.Muhammad,
The topic that u've choosed is a great requirement for all the brain dumpers and even in the present times with growing fitnah.I feel that low self esteem comes from the hardness of heart,when a person is in gaflah,whereby he's overpowered by shaitaan who always wants us to be unthankful for all the blessings.Coz if a person understands the purpose of his/her life and sheilds oneself with Quran and Sunnah ,inshaAllah there'll be no place for such issues of negativity.
The solution to every problem is seeking knowledge.May Allah help us to stay illuminated in the light of Knowledge,Aameen.

Slave of God said...

Maryam, USA:
JAK. discus wieght and how when you have confidence, you have everything. my friend took off her hijab (freshman, highschool) becuz she wanted to be pretty and islam doesnt allow that.

hasna said...

As salaam ualaikum

I just finished watching a mainstream programme on this issue, Alhamdulillah!!

I think there is always more to it than what we see on the outside.

For example, if kids have low self esteem or think they are not pretty enough, majority of the time its because there is something missing in their lives.

These days parents are too busy to give time to their kids, majority kids are stuck in front of the tv or computer.

If any advice needs to be given then it should be to the parents.

1. They need to support their children more
2. Spend more quality time together
3. Tell them you love them as many times as you can
4. show interest in what they are doing in school etc

Lastly islam NEEDS to play a big role in their lives because it gives you another reason to spend lots of time together - praying, reading Quran, islamic stories, learning hadiths etc

Its worked for me Alhamdulilla!!

I hope your lecture will be successful Inshallah!!

Hasna
Birmingham, UK

Anonymous said...

Asalaama Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah

this may help in regards to non-muslim advice given on the issue , it is a called Mirror, mirror:A summary of research findings on body image Insha'Allah I hope it is of help. I know personally how much the topic of beauty effects me, especially body image and weight issues and am so relieved ALhmadulilah that you took the intiative to talk on it from an Islamic perspective, I personally know dittly squat on what our deen says on the issue, and unfortunetly usually take advice from television shows like dr. Oz, Oprah and tyra banks and articles. I 'll admit that I actually do make dua to Alah to have an amazing body to please my husbnd, because the men of our time our bombarded with images of half naked models and i can't speak on be half of men, but that is what is considered "beautiful" in our day and time and we tend to have a very unrealistic protrayal of beauty ( this is a commercial by dove that protrays this its really good) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U Though i wear hijab and abaya, this is still something that I am highly affected by and i know how superficial it is Ya Rabbi help me and all my felllow sister who face this issue and are effected by it, and I just want to say Jizaka'Allahu Khair for taking the intaitive to speak on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Jzk for addressing such an important topic, its such a major issue and its all very well saying we shouldnt judge people by their outward appearances but people do and its a major issue for the young people in this society where so much is focused on outward appearances and beauty.
One point I found that helps to explain this is that you didnt create your face or your appearances so why worry and stress about something you had no control over in the first place?
wasalaamu alaikum
London, UK

Anonymous said...

Assalumualaikum,

1) My knowledge is rather lacking but perhaps stories from the great women in Islam whom we have a great deal of respect and love for i.e. Fatima r.a and Khadijah r.a. Do we have physical descriptions of them..probably not too much, but you see there lies the lesson, it's our character that people talk of and that stands the test of time. I often wonder, that when one dies and one is longer able to dua for themselves, we rely on our loved ones in the duniya to do dua for us..but in order for that to occur we needed to have touched their hearts so dearly so that they would sincerely do dua for us. Beauty certainly doesnt factor into this, it really is our character that leaves the imprint.

2)Our self worth? Well nothing is worthier than being a muslim..indeed for those who have been born a muslim, we should be grateful that we were directed in the right path.

3)Often low self worth and being conscious of our looks is due to the company we keep, it's very easy to pretend we're not influenced by those around us, but any psychologist would tell you differently and indeed in Islam we are warned about this, if you keep good company and ideally those who practise Islam..you'll be amazed how these issues no longer exist.

4) ALWAYS ALWAYS sit down and take time out to count your blessings, you'll be surprised by how guilty you feel at the end when you realise perhaps the bad acne that you have is nothing compared to having lost a limb..I like to think of the phrase "it could have been YOU"

5) Remove yourself from things that enhance these feelings e.g. magazines, non-muslims who are happy to put their bodies on display. Remember to remind yourselves of WHY Islam teaches us modesty.

Anonymous said...

personal experiences play a great role in how one feels about themselves, at school i was bullied and called goofy because of my front two teeth, this really upset me and affected myself esteem, before this i was not aware of myself being beautiful or not. at the same time i never had a sense of an identity for myself, people picked on me and i did not have the resources or resilience to counter act that, often had many crying to sleep nights, it was not the girls that picked on me it was always the boys...
there is a strong emphasis in society about beauty, about being perfect, perfect teeth, hair, skin, figure, no one wants to know you if you are different right?
being attracted to the opposiate sex has alot to do with being beautiful, if you think you like someone then you may start to think that you are not good enough for them etc...

Anonymous said...

Jazaakumullahu khair brothers and sisters..
May Allah reward you for all your views and ideas..
Brother Muhammad Alshareef, May Allah make you more strong in your conviction towards your beautiful works of life..Ameen :)

yousufsyed said...

Yousuf from Toronto, Canada
Assalamualaikum Sh. Muhammad,
I just wanted to share a verse that I remembered. Allah says, in Surah Teen,
Verily, We created man in the best stature.

Anonymous said...

1-Surround yourself with good sisters not bad company.
2-intentions, why wear hijab? For Allaah swt not for anyone else.
3- yes masha'Allaah there are brothers out there who marry sisters in hijab and no they were not going out with each other before hand.
i know of many marriages that have taken place between ppl trying to practise islam. and those that either ended in divorce or those sisters who never married it was not due to their hijab!
TRUST in Allaah swt he will give you what is best for you.
We all have a list of what we want in a spouse, but Allaah swt knows best
surely we have all met ppl we thought were beautiful only for them to start looking ugly when we got to know what they were like and we have met ppl we thought of as plain or maybe even ugly, only to forget we ever thought that about them when we got to know them and how good a character they are we thought we had never met a more beautiful person.
or maybe you haven't met ppl like that?
why would you be concerned about the opinon of others or complain to ppl? they can do nothing for you. only Allaah swt can do things for you. turn to Him and make your intention for Him and you will find your self esteem issues will vanish.
for all those looking to get married, what kind of spouse do you want?
one who is happy for all the world to look at you?
or one who has a sense of geerah?

Women will not wear hijab in Jannah: Aisha radi Allahu 'anha saw a woman displaying her beauty and said to her:تمتعن به فإنّه لكم في الدنيا و لنا في الآخرة "Enjoy it! For it is for you in this life and for us in the next life!
http://muslimmotherhood.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html

The Greatest Women who ever lived

Anonymous said...

“So what is the main role of a woman in Islam?” He almost certainly thought I’d say, “to procreate” or “to look after her family”. I explained to him that the primary role of a woman in Islam, (which is the primary role of a man too), is to recognise, worship and obey her Creator: Allah, without any partners.
http://muslimmotherhood.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html

Anonymous said...

- Discuss plastic surgery, it has become a trend
1. is it permissible in Islam?
(there are certain illnesses that can alter one's features, is it permitted then? or in extreme mentally depressed women, is it permitted then?)

- Discuss points that can help females develop self-confidence

- Relate stories to the wonderful Women of Islam

Aishah said...

As salaamu alaikum and I hope you make the completed lecture available for us inshaAllah!

You probably already have seen this, but the Dove True Beauty campaign made this commercial, and many girls have watched it, so maybe you can refer to it/maybe it will give you ideas:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
Jazakum Allahu Khairan!

Anonymous said...

Shiraz, Germany

@ 10.
Everlasting= True Beauty
"What makes a person beautiful is their heart. I know it sounds cliché, but it's true. People are born young and they grow old. Physical beauty can only last for so long, but what lives on forever is the heart. It may pass on, but the spirit of the heart lives on forever." Michelle Phan on youtube. Her way of shaping her heart beautiful is to share and teach her skill-based knowledge for free.

@11.
I knew a young lady who was wearing niqab. Though not all of her German friends knew her face they pretty much liked her. It's like "Care, kindness and compassion wins every time." would completely match to her.
No superficial ugliness/beauty seen!

@ 4.
Further, there's a hadith telling that - in a nutshell- if Allah loves someone everyone in the world will love that person, too.


@ 13.
Self-esteem
Parents are our personal connection to Allah when he brought us into this dunia. Our chain relates to Adam as. and Allah through our parents. Having a good relationship to them is a great source of love and self-esteem. Especially, if those parents see their children as lend gifts and respect them as individual, responsible personalities which are just to be taught good and to be supported but never to be possessed or controlled.

@ 13.
Beauty
The way you look is completely lend.
It is the way you love Allah in all your actions which beautifies you in His sight. So pray passionated, recite passionated, hold the door open for the one behind you with a smile in Allah.

Tahira said...

Tahira, Scotland

I came accross this poem by Audrey Hepburn:

Beauty Tips
“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with knowledge and you will never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed.
Never throw out anybody.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.
One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

to: ASSIYA said...

to: ASSYIA.
I love what you wrote in this blog, my name is Jasmine, id love to meet you, sister to sister inshallah if you see this message, my email: (nobodyelse take it), i trust you guys..is jasi_yield@yahoo.com

Jazaki Allah Alf Khair habibti!

Anonymous said...

Asa,
A common question could be the topic itself: what is the relationship between beauty and self esteem?

Anonymous said...

How to maintain your self-esteem but limit your nafs while being surrounded with wealthy, popular teenagers the same age...

Solider of Allah said...

The Beautiful Islam should be presented to enlighten all of us to purely dress modestly for ALLAH!

Asaalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakarakatuhu,

As i re-read some of the comments or advises given, to me all revolves around other people. If people for once looked at themselves and actually paid attention to what they do for one day, they would have the right comments for this topic or any needed topic.

I believe since this is focusing on young girls i can relate as i am a young girl myself. I tell myself each and everyday, i am dressing modestly for solely the sake of Allah and i only want to be judged for my characters rather than my outer appearance! Well thats not entirely true i also want to be accepted in terms of my appearance i would never want someone thinking or labeling me for the one or two things about my face or body that stand out, i wouldn't want to call it a flaw because Allah created me in the perfect manner, he gave me my five senses which i many times take for granted. I also want my future spouse to notice me in a beautiful way. First impressions do really matter. As i see all these naked women having boyfriends, i sometimes get discouraged. Please help ME and the million youth who are suffering because of acceptance and the scary future that lay before us!

Jazakum'Allahu Khairan for all the comments sisters and brothers made-I cannot wait to HEAR THIS LECTURE!

Jazaka'Allahu Khairan Ya Shaykh!

Farooq said...

Farooq, Hong Kong

Onces a man went to a scholar and said that I said to my wife if you are not beautiful then the moon I will divorse you, then he asked is she divorsed? He (May Allah Mercy upon him) said yes she is divorsed, the man went away sadly. But then Imam Shafi went after him and said I am sure your wife is more beautiful then the moon. The man ashtonishly said How do you know? have you seen my wife? Imam Shafi (May Allah have Mercy on him) said no, no, I can say that your wife is more beautiful then the moon is because Allah says in the Quran surah At-Tin that "We have created man in the best shape". So the scholar said that I have lost today and Shafi has won.
I have just given the points i have in my mind you can InshaAllah put that in the best way.

Anonymous said...

Shiraz, Germany

@ 4./11.

mother: you got big feet
daughter: I got them from Allah


See, her self-esteem is nurtured by an enduring love- Allah. There's nor love more lasting. It would never fail nurturing your self-esteem. So keep detachment from this place of short rest if you don't wanna die with it. Never try to please if it's not for Allah, in Allah.

brotherfaiz said...

Faiz, Malaysia (was in the US before).

Salaam, shaykh. It's been quite a while since we last met :) As for your topic, I remember Imam Suhaib Webb gathers quite a lot of interesting stories on how Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. treats his wife (their characters, personality, physique etc) in his lecture series Mother of the Believers. Also Shaykh Abd Fattah Abu Ghuddah has a great book on Islamic manners. It's amazing to see how the Islamic manners are actually interlinked to how a family preserves the 'readiness' to be beautify oneself eg: the prophet does not come back from journey late at night, knocks on the door first before entering, kisses his wife before going to salah, spread his shawl for Fatimah to sit down, shower with his wives etc. These are all gentlemen characters that boosts up his daughters or wives self esteem to make them feel beautiful. We focus a lot on how we should guard ourselves against non-mahrams but practicing the sunnah of boosting our wives and daughters self esteem is rarely been reminded. That maybe one of the causes which leads to if the women cannot feel that they're self esteems are filled/appreciated inside their homes, they would need other avenues outside to feel their worth.

Hehe, I think I've written too much. If shaykh Muhammad feels we'd like to discuss further you can reach me at brotherfaizatgmaildotcom. I remember the last time we met was u treat us for a buffet dinner after one of the almaghrib classes since we came all the way from Purdue to (was it) Virginia :)

Allahu yubarik feek.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I think that it's important to stress that "beauty" is a very subjective term- it varies from person to person, culture to culture, epoch to epoch. That said, "real" beauty is not physical but inner- it is the perfection of character, soul, etc. A person who is a moral and good human being is truly beautiful.
Now, the problem is that we live in a societ(North American)that is obsessed with materialism. Moreover, the media bombards us daily with "standards"- images that are un-realistic and un-attainable (as they are often computerized) for most people. Unofrtunately, many individuals get caught up in a vicious and unhealthy race for "superficial perfection". This race is solely based on ego and self-glorification. One becomes a victim and a follower of ever-changing styles and trends that mean absolutely nothing at the end of the day. The same energy could have been directed into constructive and beneficial things such as civic engagement, developing a new skill/talent, etc.
Further, the fashion industry is targeting younger and younger audiences what is truly worrisome. We are raising a generation of self-obsessed or self-absorbed and narcisstic people- the "downtown" or "the mall culture".
As Muslims we have to shelter our souls from all this. God has made us a certain way for a reason and it is good in itself. There is no need to "change" things but accept oneself and thus find inner peace..and then invest ourselves in real issues such as social justice and social change.

Asma (US) said...

Allah created us so that we could reflect and adopt his beauty and love. You as a human being are shining with the beauty that Allah gave you whether you believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

Bismillah & As Salaamu Alaikum
USA

Self Esteem is generally self respect. In the short list: to respect ones own opinion, dress,
Deen, property, emotions, choices etc.

While indicating how to achieve such and what
the benefits are, perhaps it would be helpful to point out the actions that cause self esteem to fail. Self esteem can fail if ones value system is not centered solely on an Islamic point of view.

In Deen the focus must be objectively consistent. Many times self esteem falls prey to emotional unintelligence. Intelligence being the ability to learn, understand and reason.
Keeping in mind the essntial tools which are the Sunna, Qur'an, Shariah, Fiqh etc.
So self control enters into self esteem, a discipline elevated by implementation.

SUGGESTION: Show also what to avoid, so that self esteem can be achieved, InshAllah.

True story re: SELF ESTEEM
In a corporate diversity class I (an african american) sat next to a caucasian lady who worked on my floor. She was quiet, an introvert,
not assertive and had low self esteem.

During the class the two instructors (one white and one black) encouraged dialogue and feedback.
Well the lady who we will refer to as lady "D"
would comment to me quietly and NOT the class.

I realized that she needed motivation as she made some valid statements. I encouraged her to share with the class. Somehow I convinced her either by body language, tone or specifically that her opinion was discussion worthy and she should voice it. She did.

After that class and back at work I got a seeming special smile from lady "D". It seemed like a dark cloud had lifted from her. She behaved like her self esteem received a boost!
Al hamdu lillah Rabbil Alameen!

Anonymous said...

Some things you may want to cover:

Women are shy in nature. A Muslim women is shy, modest, and soft in nature...she is gentle and pure. But in spirit, she is strong and able to tackle anything the world throws at her. She will not budge from her faith, she will not be bend by the advertisements and others around her which tell her what is good for her, what she needs. She knows what she needs, and that is to follow the commandments of Allah SWT.
She is strong enough to not only keep her deen in the face of extreme commercialization of our society which sells outer appearances, she is strong to face prejudices and being labelled different, she is strong to practice her faith in the open, and she is also strong then to bring up her children, with a correct islamic mindset. For the women are Islam's greatest asset! If they are strong, our entire Ummah is strong! If they are correct and steadfast, our entire ummah follows. They are also the bearers of our Ummah.

A good lecture to refer to is imam Said Rageah's lecture. Women: Sources of Success: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnMTf7LZzLc

Anonymous said...

btw...I am a muslim women =)

Anonymous said...

So let's say for example that you're in your student government at your high school and you run a government meeting and no one respects you. They talk over you and they take advantage of you and they don't give you the kind of respect that you deserve being in your position. How can you get them to respect you and actually listen to you? What did the rasool used to do? Also, how can one gain the self confidence to tell so and so- listen to me and be quiet?

Also, I notice this alot. How can a muslimah tell a guy "DONT touch me, it's not allowed?" How can she build up that confidence and what can she say in response to if he asks "why?" Also, if he continues to touch you, what should you say?

Another thing, how do you do all that was said above about touching to a teacher? How do you tell your male teacher- do not touch me? How do you tell them the reasons without sounding akward or stupid? because I feel that a problem is when you know that it's wrong but you don't know how to explain the islamic point of view.
Also, how would you say all of that to someone who's an atheist and doesnt believe in god? (a male)


OH and I have a totally unrelated question- but I'm looking to find an english tafsir of the quran. You know how there are 10 books in a series each one explaining a couple of juzs of the quran but its in arabic? It contains the stories behind the surah and the meaning of words and the bg and the reason why Allah (swt) sent down the ayah. I really want those same exact very very detail specific tafsir books but in english. Do you know where I can get a really good one? preferably from NYC.

JAK for your extremely hard and beautiful work. May Allah (swt) tremendously reward you for your beautiful works <3

Fatima said...

salam alaikum,

after reading through all the comments I realised people have already pasted the ayat and hadeeth that I wanted to paste and added valuable advice on top of that mashaAllah.

There is a lecture I watched by Bilal Assaad called "Islam is my image and Eman is my Beauty" which covers this topic very well mashaAllah.

Also, Yasir Fazaga gave a lecture here in Australia which benefited me mashaAllah and the main message he gave was that "one's self esteem should be determined by his level of closeness to Allah azzawajal rather than by his physical appearance. So that if one has a strong bond with Allah then he should be happy and have a high self esteem whereas if someone is constantly sinning and not obeying Allah then that should be a reason for his low self esteem, NOT how good looking or rich he is".

That's the message I took from it anyway.

Sister Fatima
Australia

Anonymous said...

Also, I wanted to say how does a muslim women be assertive and not underlooked? how can she show the world - yes i am like a man, figuratively, in that yes i speak my opinions and i dont care if you dislike it? like making sure that people remember to hold her accountability. like there are some people where even before they ask for silence, they get it because of the high status and accountability and respect people give them- how do we gain that from people?

JAK

Anonymous said...

Also, I was wondering is it possible that you make your lectures as mp3 audios available for download? if so is there a website that we can download this info from? b/c its unfortunate that i miss your lectures b/c of school and what not :/

Anonymous said...

In July of 2007, Sarwer et. al. published a review article in The American Journal of Psychiatry investigating recent research linking surgical breast enhancement and suicide. The studies revealed that the suicide rate of women who received cosmetic breast implants is approximately twice the expected rate based on estimates of the general population.

Read more at Suite101: Breast Augmentation and Suicide: Plastic Surgery, Breast Implants and Mental Health http://womenshealth.suite101.com/article.cfm/breast_augmentation_and_suicide#ixzz0f5xa6vVm

While media tells us that if we look a certain way, we would be happy, have a great career, husband, life...the relaity is far from it. Satan will keep making you insecure and make you feel like you are not satisfied. Because chasing such worldly things is not what Allah SWT has told us would provide us happiness.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering, what do you do when the Western influences of beauty and power seem to be too overpowering, especially for junior high and high school girl.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

"Images of female bodies are everywhere. Women—and their body parts—sell everything from food to cars....Women’s magazines are full of articles urging that if they can just lose those last twenty pounds, they’ll have it all—the perfect marriage, loving children, great sex, and a rewarding career.

Why are standards of beauty being imposed on women, the majority of whom are naturally larger and more mature than any of the models? The roots, some analysts say, are economic. By presenting an ideal difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and PROFITS."

Its important as a Muslim women to realize that, by wearing proper hijab, we are defying their commercialization of a women's body as a commodity...we are defying them from earning money from us by selling beauty.

This is a good video on hijab: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXEfmOeh_PQ

Anonymous said...

sorry forgot to post link to the last quote:

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm

a scary quote from it:
"the Canadian Women's Health Network warns that weight control measures are now being taken by girls as young as 5 and 6. American statistics are similar......Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that media images of female beauty are unattainable for all but a very small number of women. Researchers generating a computer model of a woman with Barbie-doll proportions, for example, found that her back would be too weak to support the weight of her upper body, and her body would be too narrow to contain more than half a liver and a few centimeters of bowel. A real woman built that way would suffer from chronic diarrhea and eventually die from malnutrition."

compassion85 said...

I think it's an interesting topic for ladies like me. The thing is, not only teens have problems with being beautiful, but older women like me as well have insecurities.

I hope I don't digress but I notice that there's one user who commented on 4 traits of a woman in Islamic marriage, which is good looks.

There's a recent interesting Islamic article which I keep: http://ow.ly/14bKw. Although it's about finding a partner, but I hope it's relevant to read and take note of.

Siti, Brunei

MUAHMMED UMAR MOTHIA said...

ASSALAM U ALAIKUM, Dear Ashareef, Good Idea. But I would like to add here that in ISLAM, SHIRAT (CHARACTER) is better than SURAT (FACE). And ALLAH JALLE SHANAHU is very very close to our HEART and then all other parts of body. so, it is highly necessary to all UMMAT EMUSLIMA (Men & Women) to keep our Heart clean and pure then to give more time to beautify face. May ALLAH JALLE SHANAHU give real understanding of ISLAM to all of us. Meanwhile I congratulate you for doing this fine job and please keep it up. If possible, please let us have your leecture in MP3 form, so we can listen it and preserve it. JAZAKUMULLAH. VASSALAM. from>MUHAMMED UMAR MOTHIA>E Mail> mohdumar1551@yahoo.co.in

Anonymous said...

1 How does Islam defines beauty?
2 How can we make our women grow with high self-esteem and self confidence?
3 what can you do to help young girls in your life to gain self-esteem?
4. How can you help other sisters with low self esteem? What can you do?
5. How do we protect young girls from the project image of what beauty should be?
6. what role does the family plays?
7 Do we have great examples of muslim women who achieved great things? where did they got that drive and confidence from?
8 What role does a husband play in lowering the wife self esteem? what can they do to help?
9. Where do we stand with our own self-esteem? What is the source? hope not ignorance and pride
10. Definately a bit on Depression, these days so many suffer from that

Anonymous said...

correct me if I'm wrong but is the essance of the following surahs: Surah an-Nur ayah 31 and Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59 (maybe more?)telling the believing women to cover their 'beauty'? If so then in Islam what is considered to be female beauty? does it include the only the hair and body or the face but not the eyes or every part? Personally I've realized that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder so that means everything could be interpreted to be beauty. Is that wrong? In Islam are their parts of a woman that is not 'beautiful'or everything is?

MM said...

Assalamu alaikum,
Perhaps you can touch on how beauty has become such an obsession when it comes to marriage. It seems to be the #1 criteria when trying to find a spouse, overshadowing the importance of character, religion, etc. I think this definitely contributes to the lack of self esteem in our youth.

Anonymous said...

Assalam O Alaikum WaRahmatullahi WaBarakatuhu

I like the advise of a father(Boxer, Mohammad Ali) to his daughter


A hero's advice to his daughter

The following incident took place when Muhammad Ali's daughters
arrived at his home wearing clothes that were not modest. Here is the
story as told by one of his daughters:

When we finally arrived, the chauffer escorted my younger sister,
Laila, and me up to my father's suite. As usual, he was hiding behind
the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we
could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and
said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the
eyes and said, "Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world
is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down
in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep
down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a
beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine,
covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard
to get to them."

He looked at me with serious eyes. "Your body is sacred. You're far
more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered
too." Source: Taken from the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali's
Life Lessons Through His Daughter's Eyes.

Walaikum Assalam

Anonymous said...

dear brother assalamualaikum
this is a very intresting topic for the young generation woh are too conscious about their outer looks.it is very necessary to make them understand about the inner beauty that matters. the character, mannerism,kindness,honestyetc. are the actual looks which will make them look beautiful.
all these put together makes a human look beautiful rather than the looks.

Anonymous said...

Jameelah - Australia / Saudi

A great article I use in my classes for Muslim women is this:

www.themodernreligion.com/women/without-makeup.html

This article is called Not without Her Makeup by Tazin Abdullah. It's a great eye-opener for young Muslim women who idolise western concepts of 'beauty'. It's a satire on beauty from the Islamic perspective.

Aliyah said...

Assalmu Alaykum Shykh,

Jazzak Allah khayr for your efforts in addressing such a sesnsitive topic, and moreover in reaching out to us. Thankyou

I think a lot of people have already suggested what i am about to, but here i go anyway.

1) The importance of self-esteem and self-respect by using examples from the Qur'an and Sunnah...re-iterrating the importance of loving ones self for simply having the abilities to live day by day with no difficulties.
- this is something that the Muslim community does not address much and seriously needs to!

2) How we (as adults) can help coach younger Muslims (esp girls) with being satisfied with whatever Allah (swt) has blessed them with; be it with self-esteem workshops, etc...
- How we can approach and further teach the topic from an Islamic prespective

Its evident among the Muslim communities (in this comment board aswelll) that some ppl dont feel/understand the need fo such a topic to be discussed as they see it as unimportant and unnecessary....and some consider it shirk even. Hopefully this will change a lot of their prespectives.
Thanku Shykh...this is a long awaited topic!

Wa Alykum Assalam

Fatima Zohra said...

I think this is a really good subject and I hope it will be ready soon. I also have a real big problem and maybe you can teach us parents how to deal with this problem.
I have 3 children, I gave birth to 2 of them when I wasn't a convert. At this point my daughter is 12 years old and she want to leave with her non-muslim dad and I approved. He is a really bad person, he does al kind of bad things and I have heard that he is in touch with police. The problem is that my daugher is 12 years old, that is a really important age, when she is with him, she gets to do all the things she is not allowed to do when she is with me. He gives her al kinds of presents, like an i-phone, she gets to see all kind of tv programs and she is allowed to watch mtv. She had rap on her i-phone and I am loosing controle. I want her to live with me offcourse because i want her to be in contact with other muslims. But he is telling her that I am bad because I am a muslim.
Ok to make a long story short, do you know what is the best way to raise a child that has got a whole family of non-muslims and is allways in contact with them. How do you make them stay with your way of life, how do you let them know that Islam is the best way, how do you let them stay into islam without them saying that that is boring? I have showed her al kinds of music, anasheed that she loves but that is not enough.

Maybe there are other converts living with this problem and I am sorry if I made some mistakes but I am from Holland so I may have made some mistakes.

May Allah swt bless you for your efforts.

salaam aleikum

Sarah A.Hussein said...

Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmato ALLAH wa Barakatoh... Amma baad..
...عن علي بن أبي طالب كرم الله وجهه أنه قال (دخلت أنا وفاطمة علــى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فوجدناه باكيا فقلت ماذا يبــــكيك يارسول الله فقال رأيت النساء ليلة أسري بي إلى السماء في شدة العذاب فذكرت شأنهن فبكيت قلت يارسول الله مالذي رأيت قال
رأيت امرأة معلقتاً بشعرها ويغلـــــي د ماء رأسها
ورأيت امرأة معلقتاً بلسانها وقد أخرجت يدها من بطنها والقطران يصب من حلقها
ورأيت امرأة معلقتاً بثديها من وراء بطنها والزقوم يصب في حلقها ورأيت امرأة معلقتاً قد شدت رجلاها مع يديها إلى ناصيتها وقد سلطت عليها حيات وعقارب
ورأيت امرأة تأكل جسدها والنار توقد من تحتها
ورأيت امرأة تقطع جسدها بمقراط من النار
ورأيت امرأة مسودة الوجه وتأكل أمعائها
ورأيت امرأة صماء عمـــــياء خرصــــاء في تابوت من نار يخرج دماغها من منخرها وبدنها منتن من البرص والجدار
ورأيت امرأة رأسها كرأس الخنزير وبدنها كبدن الحمار لها ألف ألف من العذاب
ورأيت امرأة على صورة الكلب تدخل العـــقارب والحيات من قبلها أومن فيها وتخرج من دبرها والملائكة يضربون على رأســــــها بمقامع من نار
فقامت فاطمة وقالت ياقرة عيني أخبرني ماهي أعمال هذه النساء فقال عليه الصلاة والسلام أما المعلقة بشعرها فكانت لا تكتم شعرها عن الرجال
أما المعلقة بلسانها فكانت تؤذي زوجها بلسانها ثم قال عليه الصلاة والسلام مامن امرأة تؤذي زوجها بلسانها إلا جعل الله بلسانها يوم القيامة سبعين ذراعاً ثم عقد خلف عنقها وروي عن أبي بكر رضــــــي الله عنه أنه قال (سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول أي ما امرأة عذبت زوجها بلســـــانها فهي في لعنة الله وسخطه ولعنة الملائكة والناس أجمعين ) وروي عن عثمان رضي الله عنه أنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول (أي ما مرآة قالت لزوجها ما رأيت منك خير قط إلا وأحبط الله عملها سبعين سنة ولو كانت تصوم النهار وتقوم اللــــــيل )
أما المعلقة بثديها فقد كانت ترضع أطفال الخلق من غير أمر زوجها
أما المعلقة برجليها كانت تخرج من بيتها بدون إذن زوجها ولا تغتـــسل من الحيض والنفاس أما التي تأكل جسدها فكانت تتزين للرجال وتغتـــــــاب الناس
وأما التي تقطع جسدها بمقراط من النار فكانت تشغل نفسها للناس يعني يرون زينتها وتحب كــــــل من يراهــا بهذه الزينة من الرجـــــال
وأما التي شدت رجلاها مع يد يها إلى ناصيتها وسلطت علـــيها الحــيات والعقارب فكانت تقدر على الصلاة والصيام ولم تتوضأ ولم تصلي ولم تغتسل من الجنابة
أما التي رأسها كرأس الخنزير وبدنها كبدن الحمار فكانت نمامة كذابة
أما التي على صورة الكلب فكانت فتانة تبغض زوجها . وروي عن أبي ذر أنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلــــم يقول أيمــــا امرأة قالت لزوجها لعنك الله وهي ظالمة لعنها الله تعالى من فوق سبـــع سماوات وكل شيء خلقه الله تعالى إلا الثقلين الإنس والجن وروي عن عـــبدا لرحمن بن عوف أنه قال سمعت رسول صلى الله علــيه وسلم يــقول أي مامراة أدخلت على زوجها الغم في أمر نفقة وكلفته مالا يطيقه لايقبل الله منها صرفاً ولا عدلا وروي عن عبدا لله بن عمر رضي الله عنه أنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول (لوكان جميع مافي الأرض ذهباً وفضة حملته امرأة إلى بيت زوجها ثم فخرت عليه يوم من الأيام بقولها من أنت إنما المال لي ولا مال لك أحبط الله عملها ولوكان كثيراً. وروي عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ( أي ما امرأة خرجت من بيت زوجها من غير إذنـــــه لعنها كل شيء طلعت عليه الشمس والقمر حتى ترجع إلى بيت زوجـــــــها وروي عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه قال عليه الصلاة والسلام (المرأة إذا خرجت من باب دارها متزينة ومعطرة بالطيب والزوج بذلك راض بني لزوجها بكل قدم بيت في النار ) نعوذ بالله الــملك الجــبار

Anonymous said...

_____________Salam Alaykum______________________
Physical Beauty (beauty on the outside... it fades away, washes off as you grow older) but your inner beauty, the beauty of your soul, your language, the purity of your heart and your manners, that will never wash out but it will grow and increase as you grow older Insha'ALLAH ... don;t look at the outside of a person, but look at their hearts, the inner beauty... wallahi a boy who is respectful and full of deen and faith and Iman and love for ALLAH, is the man who knows how to truely respect and treat a girl like a princess, no like a Queen Insha'ALLAH, but you have to show them and for boys as well, ... a woman's heart should be so hidden in GOD, that a man must seek GOD to find her. children of EVE and ADAM, Duahgter's of EVE, women are not evil! and you know you can take the lead ... :) so lead them to the right path Insha'ALLAH you know betweeb yourselves that men do listen (riiight? like sayyedna ADAM peace be upon him) so tell them what is khair what is good and Insha'ALLAH you will be rewarded for all your deeds in Jannah bi Ithn'
Wassalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmato ALLAH wa Barakatoh

Anonymous said...

Watch and read mohammed T-shirt art from Sweden at,
http://www.mohammedt-shirt.com

Anonymous said...

Umme Osama UK

The story of the companion Julaibab is inspirational and one to really elevate ones self esteem with and emcourage others too.
Many youngsters worry about looks in prospect of marriage but the positive thing is if you have a visible "defect" and soneone chooses to marry you, then they nust have inner sight to choose you, so this way Allah selects for you a companion who appreciates not cosmetic things but values deeper qualities. This way you will Insha Allah find someone of taqwa who will help your way to jannah not osmeone who fell in love with your looks and then later decides its no longer attractive!!!

Aisha Sharif UK said...

Asalamualaikum,
i just read the email i was sent about the lecture on self esteem and looking at beauty from an islamic perpective and it made me remeber a story my mother once told me when i was a little girl. it started off with a young girl who was always bullied, because she was never 'pretty enough' to fit in, but in actual fact she was avery pretty girl, she only got bullied because people were jelous of, but the thing looking beuatiful to others was never her main concern. she always cared about the beuaty that pleased allah. the beauty that was maintained by keeping 'in tune' with her deen and she realised later on in her life that allah doesn't judge on how beautiful you are on nthe outside, but the beauty of your faith and how close you are with allah. anyway the moral my mother told me was that external beauty in nothing compared to the love of allah.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum Shaikh,

I want to pick up on a comment by a sister, that girls with secure relationships with their dads grwo up to have good self esteem...what better example than our beloved rasulullah and his daugther fathima - "what pleases her, pleases me...."
I always found it interesting that he named her fathima and was known to call her 'zahra' - flower. a flower no matter what shape, size or colour is always beautiful. I think theirs a wonderful lesson for us parents here. this example from rasulullah's life gives us the choice of giving our children names/pet names that will boost their confidence and build their self esteem. of course the name shouldn't just be for the sake of 'name calling' we should reinforce with our children why we gave this name and what it means to us. (again on the subject of names is giving a good name to a child the first duty of a muslim parent?)

also consider these verses from the quran
54:49 Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure. also 95:4. We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,
Who are we to complain and find defects when Allah himself compliments us?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marrianne Williamson (qouted by Mandela in his inauguration speech)

also check - http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/media/6581_MUSNYCReport.pdf

hope this helps
wassalam
Sister Farwin (Qatar)

Anonymous said...

Sarah - Saudi Arabia

Every ni'mah can also be a test from Allah... I've seen some very beautiful people undergo some horrendous tests caused because of their sheer beauty. Even Hadhrat Yusuf (as) was tested because of his looks. While that doesn't placate anyone enough not to strive towards beauty, it really is in the eye of the beholder, and it really is only skin deep.

Anonymous said...

From time to time we all feel insecure about ourselves in some way or another. For women our looks tend to be that weak spot. But i think Islam is the solution to this insecurity. Alhamdulillah ive become somewhat closer to my creator or at least have tried to do so, One of the things i now do that i hadnt ever done is wear hijab, Im 27, and have been covering properly for about 3 years. Previously i was quite consumed with presenting in a certain mainstream way. But hijab was such an empowering change, never have i felt as secure in myself. Because i understand the reason behind it is so substancial, in comparison to the shallow, superficial desire that drives women conform to man made, man pleasing identities. Its not just a case of understanding the higher inspiration behind it. You actually feel the benefits, the restored sense of sharam and haya which feels sos right, - The protection that gives you from so much evil. The respect from the opposite gender, Being treated like a sister tends to make you act more like one.The freedom you get from having to please the world, it doesnt matter what they think so much, You are Inshallah pleasing your Lord, with that intention you will too, feel pleased. Question what is it that inspires you to dress how you do?

Anonymous said...

Salaam,
Br.Boonaa Mohammeds poem was the 1st thing that came to mind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hJWC5IDyP8
will this be an 3ilminar online?

Anonymous said...

Munirah, Canada

In the Canadian Mental Health Survey I found it reported that the two things necessary for good mental health in teenagers were, good relationships with peers and good self-perception about their appearence...so when teens fuss about pimples and weight then we should listen and help....(and not just tell them to smile)

Anonymous said...

theres a hadith that states: Allah does not look at your faces but HE looks at your hearts.

I think this helps to raise a persons self-esteem because it just shows that it doesn't matter how beautiful you look on the outside, but how beautiful of a person you are on the inside is what really matters most.

Maria, England

Anonymous said...

Umm Maryam A, UK

Self-esteem: Knowing your Deen, ilm, life of this world beauty is onely temporary (Heareafter beauty is everlasting)

Also in general taking care of yourself, execrise, healthy diets (according to Islam)

Anonymous said...

Canada

In an overly materialistic, consumerist, secularist society, people are highly preoccupied with the physical dimension. The physical sells- it is the tool to generate money. No wonder that female bodies are exploited.

As Muslim women, we should stand strong against such practices. We should not let the corporations dictate how we should be and oppress us, that is, imprison us in constricting definitions of beauty.

A human being is so much more than the physical.

The East Africa Show said...

Asaalamu alaykum warahma tullah Brother Muhammad,

Unfortunately i do not have any useful quotes from the hadiths and quran. Instead I would like to share with you my personal story. I decided to wear my hijab sometime ago after years of not covering up. This lifted such a weight off my shoulders in terms of how much effort I used to put into how I look, my make-up, matching my clothes, making it's in fashion all done to please society but i eventually realised society is never pleased as someone would always have a better pair of shoes, or style their accessories more creatively than me and this put me in constant critism with myself. i found myself forever filling this void that couldn't be filled. There was always soemone who looked better or someone to reject me because they didn't like the 'kink' in my hair. The day I decided to cover up just to see how it felt, for the first time I felt inner contentment because I was done with pleasing people. Instead I was pleasing my Allah. This gave me such a high inside I never felt more elegant or complete. To top it all my mother shared with me the meaning of my name: Idil. It is a Somali native name which means something or someone complete... I've never looked back and my emaan has seen a tremendous increase, Alhamdulilah. So brother perhaps you could share this with muslim sisters and remind them that we are all created perfectly by Allah and we should strive to please Him as this is what brings us ultimate happiness. Furthermore Muslim sisters who wear their hijab are a walking da'wah demonstrating the beauty of our religion and the respect and honour we have been given by our religion as people will automatically refer to you as a human being and not judge you on your looks. I hope this is helpful.

Wasalaam,

Sister Idil

hajar said...

As salam alaykum,

Actually there was a programme on UK tv last night called Jo Frost Extreme Parental Guidance on channel 4 which can be viewed on c4 on demand. The programme featured a 12 year old girl who hated herself because of what she perceived herself to look like. She took 2 hours to put on make up before leaving home and described herself as stupid, ugly, horrible and too skinny

Basically the problem was the fact that mum and daughter were not communicating enough and the MYTH of the beautiful in magazines. Wearing make up made the child feel more cared about and noticed.
The daughter just wanted her mum to

1. Say she loved her more
2. Listen to her more- the mum said she usually came at busy times to talk like when she was cooking- The nanny said this is when children usually approach parents. You can not put conditions on kids
3.Spend more time with her

TIPS FOR PARENTS

Don't ever point out your kids imperfections even as a joke

Do not let girls buy glossy magazines- buy sisters magazine

Be a good example- if your child see's you dieting they are likely to start weighing themselves as well- but without understanding how to eat sensibly.

Explain to them that the outside is a shell and no matter how beautiful that shell is Allah swt won't love you because of it

Tell your child you love them every day without fail

If you don't give your child time the message they get is that they are not good enough


Wasalaam

Ilaff said...

Assalamou alaikoum wa rahmatu lah Sheikh,

"beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
We must understand that the most important beauty, is being beautiful in front of Allah SWT...beauty is our actions, character, adab, and akhlaq NOT JUST phsyical which sadly, is dominating the minds of most.
From experience I felt more secure and beautiful after wearing Hijab. Before wearing hijab I was very insecure and had very low self esteem which had an impact on almost everything I did. EVERYONE AROUND ME FAILED TO DEFINE BEAUTY. I also remember at school self esteem was based on how beautiful one was.. This topic is incredilbly vital as it serves to define beauty particulary from an Islamic perspective. Self confidence is something that comes with feeling secure and (kanaà)being convinced; as well as how beautiful we believe we are from the inside...Providing us with Islamic guidance on beauty and confidence would be beautiful to hear! Allah has created us beautiful in different ways.
Furthermore lack of self confidence is definitely a symptom of weak iman. Our great Muslim personalities and prominent figures should reach out to the ummah addressing this topic. Jazaka lahu khayr brother Muhammad and well done on the fascinating work.

Anonymous said...

To the brother or sister who has a problem with a teacher touching them or anyone touching them. i am from the UK. Alhumdullilah i went through something similar. wearing hijab was a big stop sign for most ppl. they would not say bad things in my presence to the extent that they would warn me that they wanted to talk about somthing they thouught i shouldn't hear, Alhumdullilah, so i could plug the earphones in or remove myself! they would also not shake hands etc but there were a few individulas who really seemed either to not know or just didnt care.
for most ppl saying sorry i do not shake hands or please refrain from touching me is enough to make them stop doing that.
for some ppl they needed to be reminded and they would usually aplogise, as they were so used to putting their hand on someones shoulder etc.
for most ppl saying it is not somthing done in islam is enough.
for one specifc person i had to say 'This is MY body and you have no right to touch me' and i would make sure to stand slightly away from ppl.
i am surprised that your having this problem with a teacher though. in the UK a teacher wouldn't dream of touching a student not even at university let alone school!
no one has the right to touch Your body, its yours not theres.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamualaikum,

- In people who lack self esteem, it has to do with MUCH more than image/beauty, so please make sure not to limit the focus to those things. People can lack self esteem in general- being confident about themselves in everyday dealings (feeling that their opinions are not important, etc.), not necessarily in our appearance or in Islamic beliefs themselves. So, I disagree with those who say that lack of self-esteem is strictly a lack of Iman. The people who make this claim seem not to have a problem with lack of self-esteem, alhamdulillah.

- Please address the issue of balancing good self-esteem with shyness, and confidence with boasting. Sometimes, as women, we are confused whether we are crossing the line from confidence and self-esteem to lack of shyness and boasting. Example: Someone is very skilled at something, but hides it, denies it, or just chooses not to believe it for fear that she is boasting-- or to protect herself from evil eye, whether this is correct or not.

-I also agree that anxiety and depression are important issues to address. People who are critical of Muslims with these problems simply do not understand them. They are disorders, not conscious choices. The Islamic perspective on dealing with these would be interesting and helpful to learn about, if it applies to your topic.

JazaakAllahu Khairan for addressing this important issue,

M. from U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

latifa from morocco
very interesting articles please check the links below:

1:www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-Youth/YTELayout&cid=1158321479794,

2:http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-Youth/YTELayout&cid=1157962496098


i continue to look for new informations.ill do my best to help .

Anonymous said...

Salaam ou aleykoum,

After reading all your posts, thanks to Allaah, then Muhamed al Shareef. I don't think it's necessary given a lecture, because I have learned a lot from the posts. Djazaak Allaahu ghairan brother Mohamed for bringing up this subject en djazaakoum Allaahu ghairan for the wise words!

Oum Moussa Pays-Bas

Anonymous said...

My self esteem is very low and sometimes it is hard feeling i am doing the right thing by wearing hijab properly because my husband watches western movies, and sometimes looks at pictures of women who are barely clothed and it has affected me so much i feel i am mentally sick because of it.

He becomes angry when i mention it ..says "its normal" than i am forced to convince myself that i am sick because if i convince myself i am right than my husband is cheating with his eyes and it hurts too bad. I am constantly obsessing over how bad i look compare to women who are thin and beautiful and show their bodies. i feel like i am emotionally dying. I hate looking at myself.. and whenever i have a "good day" and dress up for him and wear makeup (he likes these things) he doesnt even look at me he just stares at the televison or the computer.

He never has told me that he wanted me to change but just makes me feel like i am not good enough because he never looks at me. He watches movies sometimes with improper scenes and when i go to turn it he becomes angry saying i am controlling.. and sometimes i get hit because of it. I cant help it. so our marriage is not what it should be. I dont trust him because of some things i have found that he has viewed online. He says theyre just pictures, i have been affected greatly by all of it.

I am afraid to get help because i dont want a non moslems advice on how i should live my life. i also know i will be needing medication as i get very upset while outside and will have outbursts and cry, all the while i feel my heart is breaking and sometimes i can barely breathe.
I dont wish to end my marriage, i am not thinking violent things.just disgusted by women now because husband is distracted and will stare. i know moving to a islamic country will not matter because they have these women everywhere.

He lusts after them and feels nothing for me and has said this is normal for all men.. that after some time they dont feel the desire for their wives as they once did in the beginning of the marriage. Sometimes i feel trapped and shaytan comes to me to whisper the only way i will feel good about myself by disgarding hijab and showing my body like the other women.. or worse paying back his "cheating eyes" but posting pictures of myself or worse. This is so very horrible .. i hate it.. this is NOT me. I want my self esteem back. I DONT want what the non believer women do... this is my jihad.. am scared one day will decide not to care anymore and do like them.. please make dua3 for me. I know this may sound bad but honest to Allah i can not help myself.. ( i have never done the things i think about Alhamdulilah) but i know this is a sickness.. i can not stop thinking about which woman my husband is talking to at work (he works with alot of women and does talk with them alot and has their numbers) and looks outside even when he is with me.. i do have good days where it doesnt bother me. and sometimes i have bad days and my husband he doesnt want to try and understand so i get beat because of it. Women has caused me to have broken bones, bruises, bloody lips, ripped off fingernails.. i sometimes feel i am not normal because i cant live like this with a world full of half naked women everywhere enticing my husband. There is more fitnah now for men then women.. all i see in the west is half naked women everywhere.. he wants to go to the beach, or on a cruise or to the movies but we cant because my sickness may affect me then. ( he calls me sick so now i have embraced that it is a mental disorder) half naked women in movies, on the beach, everywhere.. i am NOT happy.. and good thing my husband dsoesnt mind staying in the home when he is not working.. or we would have more problems. I need help. I need resources.. I need advice.. please help me!!

mariumanis said...

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=+1164545989052&pagename=Zone-English-Family/FYELayout#**1

its an article by Joanna Francis (Writer, Journalist - USA)

She writes for Crescent and the Cross (Telling the truth about Christianity and Islam)

Hope this helps :)

Marium Anis
Pakistan

Anonymous said...

The first thing that came to mind when i was thinking about this topic was Ayah number 4 from Surat Al-Teen: "Laqad Khalaqna Alinssana fe a7sanni taqweem" or "we have indeed created man in the best of moulds".
I always think of this ayah whenever I'm feeling ugly or down about something concerning the way I look, because to me it means that even if the whole world thinks I'm ugly, Allah (SWT) will always think I'm beautiful so what more can i ask for. And also, plastic surgery to "correct" the way a person looks is so common nowadays (ie. nose jobs), but if everyone just remembered this ayah then people would think twice and be more content because if The Most Perfect thinks you are perfect, then you probably are and should just be thankful for how Allah(SWT) created you.
It is true that Allah created different levels of 'external beauty' even as early as the time of Prphet Adam (the story of his sons - Qabeel killing Habeel maybe because he got the better looking sister...) and of course Prophet Yousef having half the beauty in the world. So yes some people may be classified as pretty and some as ugly in this world of ours, but remember that the classification is a human classification and in Allah's eyes you are always beautiful. Also, I think the beauty spectrum is one of Allah's tests placed on humans. I mean yes it's great to be beautiful, but imagine how much temptation you are put in throughout your lifetime (ie. the story of yousef). Allah gives people different things too, so one who is beautiful may not be necessarily smart or have a good personality...

The other topic is self-esteem which I think is completely different. First of all a point I'd like to bring up is that it takes more confidence to be a practicing muslim in North America than otherwise. I mean a lot of people may see a girl in a bikini and think, wow she must be confident, and yet see a girl in 3abaya and think, wow she must be beat and opressed and have no self-esteem to agree to wear that to a beach... but truth is... when going to a beach, it's a lot easier to wear the bikini(even if you're fat, almost everyone is anyway...). You blend in more with everyone and in fact it's not just the beach scenario. Just wearing hijab and leaving the house at any time you are already more confident than your non-hijabi neighbour (who might even be mulsim too...). This goes the same for muslim men who grow a beard... All I'm saying that it's easier to be bad than it is to be good, and to actively not 'follow the crowd' it says alot about your self-esteem. (also I think this draws an important point to men when looking for a wife because yes i think hijab does tell you a lot about a girls confidence).

And people most of this is just off the top of my head so take what i say with caution

Bayan
Canada

Yamin said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://toddlergirls.net

Pauline Noor Rivera said...

May Allah swta bless you brother for your efforts and sending positive messages to our youth...Ameen.

Fathima said...

Surely the Hukm (Law and Judgment) is for none but Allah” (12:40)

“He does not make anyone His associate in His Hukm (Law and Judgment)” (18:26)

so be content with what Allah has decreed for you even if you in the eye of the storm, because there is clear wisdom behind what Allah subhanaWata'alah has bestowed upon you and you will be happy. you just have to keep on reminding yourself that we are servants of Allah who are in the best of provision and Allah does not place a burden upon a person more than he can bear.

As i am writing this, it also aids me into building up my self esteem and acts as a good reminder to myself.

Allah Alone gives success.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Fatima Saida London
I believe it is a great subject that our children are struggling to face especialy in in Britain and European countries.
I am a language teacher and i see complications often
Try to look at the book [TAHRIR AL MARAA FI ASR AL RISALA BY ABDEL HALIM ABU SHAKRA. The book contains very useful information ragarding how rasulullah (saws) managed to boost the confidence and self-esteem in a very short time BETWEEN every single sahabia. I believe it is worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me what self-esteem is?
After achieving it how then to sustain it so we don't lose it.
Also how to inspire others around me, so they too can benefit.
I'm particularly concerned if someone has had continuous knocks (over a decade) with no support network, being amongst people with very little understanding and exceptionally high demands and expectations which never seem to be achieved or is good enough.

Anonymous said...

OUR SISTER IS NEED OF HELP!! SHEIKH PLEASE ADDRESS HER ISSUE.....SHE HAS STATED HER PROBLEMS 6 COMMENTS ABOVE THIS ONE...PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE HER!!
JAZAKOUM LAHU KHAYR

what i would say sis is this clearly a test from Allah and keep the FAITH STRONG..you are not the sick one...WAKE UP FOR FAJR REGULARLY for there is A CURE in salat al fajr. May Allah give you patience.

Sharifa said...

Sharifa, Pakistan

I usually get a lot of compliments on my looks and I've always considered them to be funny because I usually feel so ordinary, sometimes even ugly. My deeds make me feel ugly sometimes and then, it seems like they're mocking me! Other times, it's just awkward because I feel like people are trying to connect with my face and not my personality.

My point is that if a person who is considered beautiful by some but he feels ugly or he IS ugly to Allah, what's the use of those looks to anybody?

Then then there are people who Allah Makes beautiful because they are truly beautiful on the inside... but that's a completely different topic.

Whatever the case, looks are as important in life as shaitaan is for our Iman. ;)

Anonymous said...

When we think we've problems, watch this Amazing woman with no arms
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mo1jxmi7U&NR=1

Ashar said...

Ashar from India
JazakAllah khair Shaikh for thinking of me as worth for contributing to this topic
I am pasting the info it is long and please excuse my english

 "We have indeed created man in the best of molds." (Quran 95:4)

There is no fault in Allah's creation; to man, Allah gave the purest and best nature. Our duty is to preserve, and nurture the distinctive character that Allah has created.

 The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was full of praise for virtuous and chaste women. He said: "The world and all things in the world are precious but the most precious thing in the world is a virtuous woman." He once told the future Caliph, 'Umar: "Shall I not inform you about the best treasure a man can hoard? It is a virtuous wife who pleases him whenever he looks towards her, and who guards herself when he is absent from her." On other occasions the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "The best property a man can have is a remembering tongue (i.e. which remembers God), a grateful heart and a believing wife who helps him in his faith." And again: "The world, the whole of it, is a commodity and the best of the commodities of the world is a virtuous wife."

"O Messenger of God, who is the person who has the greatest right on me with regards to kindness and attention?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your mother." "Then who?" He replied, "Your father."


 Whoever does any righteous deeds whether of male or female while being a believer who is genuine in his or her faith, (such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged the dint in a date stone) their rewards will not be diminished even if it be by the size of the dint in a date stone.
Herein, the Quran does not determine the race, the color, the location, the tribe etc. of such male or such female. Unlike the Bible, the Quran does show any racial interest.
According to the Islamic teachings (Quran and Hadith), all human beings are created by Allah; and the best of them is the one (he or she) who believe in His Creator and obey His Law irrespective of his or her race, color, location etc.

"But whosoever does good works of righteousness, whether they be a believing male or female, shall enter paradise, and not be wronged a pit mark of a date stone"



http://www.dartabligh.org/web/Darul/files/n26.doc


 Hadith
The Prophet (s) said, "A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her Deen. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser." (3)


"The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman." (5)

10 ways of increasing self esteem
1) Give unconditional love.
2) Pay attention.
3) Teach limits.
4) Offer choices.
5) Support healthy risks.
6) Let mistakes happen.
8) Celebrate the positive.
9) Listen well.
10) Provide encouragement.http://ezinearticles.com/?10-Ways-To-Build-Positive-Self-Esteem-In-Children&id=828942
How to Raise Girls with Healthy Self-Esteem
http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/how_raise_girls_healthy_selfesteem

BUILDING A
CHILD'S SELF-ESTEEM
http://www.soundvision.com/info/parenting/parent.selfesteem.asp

In Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) last sermon he said that
[Start Quote]
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action
[End Quote]
So probable the girl should be told that all Women are equal except that the woman who is more pious is superior to the less pious women. A women is not superior to another women because of her beauty but she is superior to another women because of her piety

Anonymous said...

7. Three Tips for parents to promote a healthy body image in their child
- Be a role model. If you love your body, your teen will see that as normal and healthy. Avoid constant talk of dieting or your own “imperfections.” Your comments about yourself can be very influential in how your teen sees herself.

- Limit media messages. Although you can’t control everything your teen sees or experiences, you are influential in how much media your child is exposed to. Too much TV isn’t good for a teen for many reasons, so limiting screen time can help.

- Be a media interpreter. If you are seeing images on TV or in a magazine that promote ideas you think are damaging, talk about it with your teen. Often those images we see are greatly enhanced to remove “imperfections” -– it’s impossible for a teen to live up to a body ideal that doesn’t even exist in real life.


8. Why is this topic important?
- Such high numbers of low self-esteem based on body image (stats below)
- Prevalence of eating disorders is increasing (http://www.disordered-eating.co.uk/eating-disorders-statistics/eating-disorders-statistics.html)
- Body image associated with depression, anxiety and suicidality (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060606224541.htm)


14. Statistics & results from studies:

A 1995 study found that three minutes spent looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70% of women to feel depressed, guilty, and ashamed.

At age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen

Fewer than 1 in 7 Americans (18 percent of men and 10 percent of women) are happy enough with their bodies that they wouldn't change a thing (American Demograohics, 2003).

Anonymous said...

England

why don't you tell us about how to conduct ourselves @ school, how to make a seperate identity and not to follow others. as a teen girl going to a mixed government school i sometimes feel theres just sooo many situations that come up at school and we just don't know how to react to them.... its a very complicated topic, and girls who want to be successful tend to look up to inspirational speakers like yourself... we wish you the best. (keep it simple give us inspiration we wont forget and tips on how to conduct ourselves)

Anonymous said...

i think islam is about inner bueaty and that is how much iman a person has.The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"A man marries a woman for four reasons: for her property, for her rank, for her beauty, and for her religion (and character). So marry the one who is best in the religion and character and prosper".

Anonymous said...

my self-esteem and identity as a Muslim is with the revival of the caliphate.

Anonymous said...

Assalamo alykom,
The Prophet PBUH said, that when it comes to the worldy matters always look upon those who are less privliged and when it comes to the Deen then look to those who are more rightous than yours. Also as a muslim we should think that are made with the best of moulds, As Allah says in the Quran in sura At-teen, that Allah has created us in the best of moulds. So we should think that whatever Allah has bestow us it couldn't have better than that. Inshallah this will improve our self-esteem. But at the same time we should compete with each others for the Akhera, inshallah. Secondly, to draw another tangents: We should think that no matter what we do we can't changed what we have got physically. HOwever, we can improve our Akhlaq and manners to beautify ourseleves. Furthermore, at times we forget the purpose of our life, which is given in sura Al-asr. In which "Amilo Salehat" is the second requirement for getting into jannaha and pleasing Allah. So i think we should focus on Good deeds to improve our Self-esteem, inshallah. Allah knows best.

Sajid
Netherlands

Anonymous said...

The Prophet PBUH said, that when it comes to the worldly affairs always look upon those who are less privileged than you; and when it comes to the Deen then look to those who are more righteous than you. Also as a Muslim we should think that Allah has created us with the best of moulds. As Allah says in the Quran:

لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ فِىۡۤ اَحۡسَنِ تَقۡوِيۡمٍ
Surely We created man of the best stature (Al-Quran, Sura 95, At-Tin)

So we should think that whatever Allah has bestowed us with, it couldn't have been better than that. Inshallah, this will improve our self-esteem. But at the same time we should compete with each others for the Akhera.

Similarly, to draw another tangent: We should think that no matter what we do we can't change what we have got physically. However, we can improve our Akhlaq and manners to beautify ourselves. The best thing we can do is to feel blessed and thankful to Allah. This way we will feel satisfied and fulfilled.

Furthermore, at times we forget the purpose of our life, which is given in many places of the Quran. Here I will give references to sura Al-Asr. In which "Amilo Salehat" is the second requirement for getting into Jinnah and pleasing Allah. So i think we should focus on Good deeds to improve our Self-esteem, Inshallah. Allah knows best.

If I quote something wrong, please forgive me and correct me.

Sajid, Netherlands

Anonymous said...

As Salaamualaikum ya Ustadh,

In regards to tips on managing sadness, there is an excellent book you might have heard of called 'Don't Be Sad', by 'Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni. It is advise from Quran and Sunnah on how to manage sadness.

" VERILY IN THE REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH DO HEARTS FIND CONTENT"

Sajida Abdul-Quddus

Umm Hanifa USA said...

......you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: "Can you see any rifts?" Surah Mulk:3

Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould), surah At-tin:4

He is Allâh, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names[] . All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. Al-Hashr:24
Allah (SWT) out of His Perfect Wisdom knows why He chooses for us our looks, race, language parents and everything else. We ust be grateful & thankful to Him for His countless bounty on us. the list goes on and on.. In a nut shell we say Tabara LLAHU ahsanu Khaliqin

Anonymous said...

Just a quick correction shaykh.
Little boys and girls aren't the only ones who don't think they are beautiful. Actually, many adults don't think they are beautiful either.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that most of the comments are by women, but I think a large number of muslim men have v low self esteem and do not take on their role of leadership within their family seriously enough alot is left to sisters re: educating their children secularly and islamically...There is also a very high expectation for sisters to make considerable financial contributions to teh running of households with all this stress and pressure on women it is easy to feel inadequate .....something must give when you're trying to be an excellent worker, wife, mum and look good etc

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum.

There is a talk related to self esteem called 'self image psychology' by shaykh yassir fazaga. Really good MashaAllah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJFmCG_-_34

or in this link

http://www.hoor-al-ayn.com/lectures/

Anonymous said...

Assalam-o-alaikaum
Atlanta Ga

I only know If your heart is filled with good thoughts and feeling (you have to work hard to do do this) then you will look more beautiful no matter.
Do good things you will look awsome.

Anonymous said...

"But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not."
Al-Quran(2-216)

Anonymous said...

Asalamu alaykum

I don't have an advice other that saying that it's a good idea that you talk about self-esteem and that you do it for kids. It's an honour. You should also adress them and make sure that they are listening.(I guess i do have an advice after all)lol! Also, give some advice to parents as to how they should understand their kids. And help them through the absticles that come along when the kids are growing up. Jazak ALlah khayra brother for taking advices from us and May Allah swt bless you amiin. You sure do got a lot to read that's why i shouldn't write a lot.

My name is Zaynab aka Fadumo( i don't know why) Lol!

wa-alaykuma salaam wr wb

Anonymous said...

Theres the story of Barakah/Umm Ayman's marriage to Zayd.


One night the mushrikun blocked off the roads leading to the
House of al-Arqam where the Prophet gathered his companions
regularly to instruct them in the teachings of Islam. Barakah
had some urgent information from Khadijah which had to be
conveyed to the Prophet. She risked her life trying to reach the
House of al-Arqam. When she arrived and conveyed the message to
the Prophet, he smiled and said to her:

"You are blessed, Umm Ayman. Surely you have a place in
Paradise." When Umm Ayman left, the Prophet looked at his
companions and asked: "Should one of you desire to marry a woman
from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Ayman."

All the companions remained silent and did not utter a word. Umm
Ayman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was by now about
fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zayd ibn al-Harithah
however came forward and said:

"Messenger of Allah, I shall marry Umm Ayman. By Allah, she is
better than women who have grace and beauty."

http://www.jannah.org/sisters/barakah.html

Anonymous said...

Allah does not look at your bodies or your forms, but He looks at your hearts and to your deeds". ( Bukhari, Muslim )

There is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good, th ewhole body becomes good, but if it becomes spoilt, the whole body is spoilt and that is the heart.(Bukhari)

“A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Seek the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Bukhari)

The hadiths above signify the importance of having a good heart and having taqwa.It encourages you to seek and desire a beautiful heart, not outward beauty.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The life of this world compared to the Hereafter is as if one of you were to put his finger in the ocean and take it out again then compare the water that remains on his finger to the water that remains in the ocean.” [Sahîh Muslim (2858)]

*{Know you that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, in rivalry among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight the hearts of the tillers; soon it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the hereafter is a penalty severe for the devotees of wrong. And forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure for the devotees of Allah. And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception?}* (Al-Hadid 57:20)

I think these above verses are good because when somebody is reminded about how little this world is worth compared to the hereafter, they will worry less about their looks and outward appearnces and focus more on their character and iman and working for the akirah. When people remember death and about the fact that when we die, our bodies and will disintergrate, they'll realise that the outcome for those who are beautiful, and those who are not will be the same. No matter how good you look now, your face your hair and your skin will all deacy and you will become nothing but bones. I think this is something we should all contemplate. Also, in the Quran it states that on the day of judgement, those who were good, will have beutiful shining faces and those who were bad will have dark, black faces. So the akhirah should be our main concern, not our physical bodies.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullhi wa Barakatuhu,

I have a question about beauty in Islam. I want to know the answer please.

From the above comments (I didn't go through each and everyone of them though) I can see that we know that beauty in Islam does not mean the physical beauty? If the physical beauty is not important then why Allah (SWT) mentioned in surah Al Imran ayat 37 that Maryam (peace be upon her) "He (Allah (SWT) made her (Maryam (peace be upon her) grow in purity and BEAUTY". Allah (SWT) made Maryam (peace be upon her) the chosen among all the women and made her pure, pious, dedicated to Allah (SWT). Why her beauty is important to be mentioned in the Quran?

In another occasion in surah Yusuf ayat 31 the event of cutting hands after looking at prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) is mentioned. Again prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was pious and had knowledge and power. Why was it important to mention about his beauty in the Quran.

JazakaAllahu Khairan.

I make dua that this effort of you and others will be rewarded greatly by Allah (SWT). I will be waiting extremely eagerly to listen to the talks and learning the answer to my question.

Ma Salam

Sayeeda
Australia

shaimaa said...

al salam alikum
i think if u start the session by asking a question about the source of self esteem for every body, from where we get it ,and from the several answer u are going to have u will prove that all these sources are temporary not permant and we all should get our self esteem from allah the creator of all this world. and i think it would be helpful if u use some of asmaa allah al husna.
jazakum allah khair
if u need any help i am ready .

Anonymous said...

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another." - William Shakespeare

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." - Judy Garland

Anonymous said...

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, so why should we care what anyone else thinks! There opinions of us doesnt concern us and wont help us in this life or the next, so we should focus on our character and increasing our imaan instead of being infatuated by looks. insha'Allah.
A muslimah from uk

Anonymous said...

Assalam alaikum,

I know that here in the US, I find a lot of young Muslim women trying to find themselves in a world that, in my opinion, is not ideal for conservative Muslim women (like myself).

Mash'Allah & Alhumduillah, I have been blessed with a daughter. I worry about her growing up in the US with the media devaluing a women with pictures of them with "almost" everything exposed. I know we (my husband and myself) have challenges ahead with this.

I came across this on Facebook, from 'The Ideal Muslimah', Subhan'Allah, I don't think anyone could have said this better for our daughters.


Women: Diamonds and Pearls
Share
Friday, January 15, 2010 at 6:17pm
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Asalaamu Alaaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu



Diamonds and Pearls





The following incident took place when Muhammed Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that are not modest. Here is the story as told in detail by one of his daughters:

‘When we finally arrived, the chauffer escorted my youngest sister, Laila, and me to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sent me down in his lap and said something I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down and in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get them.”

He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”

I intend to, Insh'Allah, share this with my little one when she is old enough to understand.

Jennifer-a Muslim convert for just over 5 years, Alhumduillah!

Anonymous said...

I am a muslim girl and i'm turning 14 soon. I really want to know what i'm allowed to do and how much i'm allowed to do to enhance my beauty in public and what my limitations are. Maybe that can be included in your lecture Mr.Alshareef.

hope i was some help

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaikum

i just posted the last comment. I just want to know when and where your lecture wil be. i live in Toronto so hopefully if its near i can check it out. Also can you pleeeeese try to do a lecture in al huda institute? i go there and i'd love to attend one. oh and pleeeeeeese make the lecture very long with lots of info in it. This is one of my favorite topics.

from CANADA

hafsah

Anonymous said...

Umm, KSA

Assalamualikum,

I came across a series of lectures by a Shk.Hesham al Awadi, that talks about 'The children around our Prophet(peace and blessings be upon him)'. MashaAllah the Shk. gives us an excellent presentation as to how the Prophet(SAW) first gave importance to the building of these traits in the children.
Hope this is useful to you all, I think it was available for download on Kalamullah.com

Wassalaams

Anonymous said...

UK AI

I think this is a very good topic as every where you look there is emphasis on beauty, especially in the western world but is sadly creeping in the Muslim countries. I live in the UK and in the newspapers there’s so much importance on how a woman should look like.

I think it does affect a girl’s self esteem and even though Islam does not put emphasis on beauty but rather piety, it is hard not to get affected. Especially when you have others around you taking about what is beautiful and if you don’t fit in that idea, in a way you feel low about yourself. I think this has affected my own perception on my own physical appearance, I know it is silly but that’s life. And other women do not help when you often get compared to others by the ‘aunties’. For example, if your not fair enough.

I think that Muslim women need to be educated about this topic. Especially at a young age because if you are made to think you’re not ‘cute’ sadly it can stick with some girls as they grow older.

Anonymous said...

salaam.

I am very pleased that you want to talk about self- esteem and Beauty In Islam. I personally think that the ummah needs to be reminded of the beauty that Allah (swt) has given each one of us and the self- esteem that we all have but don't realise it for what ever reason. In your lectures I think that you should enlighten the ummah about the beauty that they have, im not just talking about the apperance of a person but the beauty within us all as muslims and this should help them with their self-esteem because as far as I know if you feel good about the way you are as an individual automatically you have high self- esteem.

I hope I have helped and given you something that can help those individuals and the ummah see the beauty that they have as well as the beauty that islam holds for all of us.

Remeber us in ur duas
may Allah Blessing be upon us all (Ameen)
Allahfiz

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum,

May Allah reward you immensely for your hard work, Ameen.

"Beautys in the inside not on the outside" Ive heard this alot, but I've also heard comments like, "Only ugly people say that!".

But what I want to say is this, beauty truly is what lies in a persons heart because it is our heart that Allah looks into to see what treasures lie within. As we grow older, our skin stretches, starts to wrinkle, we lose its radiance, hair turns grey...however,our heart & soul stays pure and beautiful but only if we look after it. So brothers and sisters, love your heart & strengthen your soul, because its that that stays forever young.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Here's a helpful link to an article on sadness...
http://endoflifecare.tripod.com/kidsyoungadults/id35.html

Below is some of the advice from the article:

What Is Sadness?
When you're sad, the world seems dark and unfriendly. You have a hurt deep inside that crushes your heart and your spirit. Many times you cry, and the tears are hard to stop. Crying usually makes you feel better. When sadness starts to go away, it feels like a heavy blanket is being lifted from your heart.

When Is It Natural to Feel Sad?
Feeling sad every once in a while is natural. Maybe you didn't get something you really wanted. Maybe you miss somebody. Maybe somebody you really like rejected you, and you don't feel so great about yourself. There are lots of reasons that people feel sadness. These are some of them:

Loss is the most common cause of sadness. It's a very sad thing to lose someone or something that you care about. There are many kinds of loss. The death of a relative, friend, or pet can bring weeks or months of sad feelings. Other kinds of loss can also bring sadness, like people close to you getting a divorce or moving to a new town and leaving old friends. With this sadness, you might also feel angry or guilty, like you may have caused the loss - but you probably did not. Sometimes it is hard to think straight because you cannot get your mind off your loss. Usually, the load of sadness you carry after a loss will lighten over time, although there may always be a little bit of sadness left.

Relationships bring happiness and fun most of the time, but they can also bring sad times. Many kids fight with family members, especially their parents, in the struggle to grow up and gain independence. They fight about things like money, clothing, haircuts, school, friends, and cars. In school, problems with teachers and grades may cause periods of sadness as well. Other kids, both friends and enemies, can cause hurt feelings and sadness through fighting, teasing, peer pressure, not giving you support, or leaving you out of group activities.

Self-image, the way you feel about yourself, can be a big reason for sad feelings. Most people, even adults, are not completely happy with the way they look. Many people feel that they are not as good as they would like to be in sports or in school.

Anonymous said...

Maryam. United Kingdom.

AsSalam Alaikum

This is about self esteem and it literally happened to me yesterday (Monday 15th Feb) in school. There is this guy in my class who came up to me and asked me why I always cover my hair and stuff. I did'nt know how to explain to him or even if he would understand if I tried to explain that i do it for the sake of Allah and I love doing it.
It sounds so simple now but then i did'nt know if that was enough. I could'nt quote anything because I honestly ddnt know where to quote... I knew Allah (SWT) said we should but I did'nt wanna look stupid if I couldnt exactly explain clearly where it came from so I just left and did'nt say anything. I felt really horrible as i walked away cos I knew I was doing the right thing by covering up and I did not even try speaking up/ explaining/ defending my religion or anything... I felt as if I was a horrible muslim for not defending my religion and for just standing there while someone laughed at me for covering up as if it were a bad thing.

Lucky for my... before school was out for the day, the same guy came up to me and asked me to do him a so called 'FAVOUR' so naturally I asked what he wanted and he said I should please 'STOP' covering my hair and dressing the way i did!!! I WAS SOOOOOO ANGRY!

The next thing i did was ask him if he went to church?
he said yes
I asked if the nuns there coverup
he said yes again
So I told him start looking into that... I asked him to go find out why even christians are suppose to cover up (though most of them dont) and look at the reasons why ( he became speechless after that because he couldnt explain it). I explained to him to the best of my ability... and i told him how HAPPY and PROUD i am to be a muslim.

I know it might look like something so small but I know so many muslim women dont cover up because there are always people around trying to make us feel inferior and trying to destroy our self-esteem BUT lets never forget that we are doing the right thing and there is NEVER shame in doing what is right:)

The answers are everywhere and Allah (SWT) will never let us down... just have faith and everything will be fine:)

And we have to remember to seek knowledge... I get that now... just knowing the difference between right and wrong isnt enough. We need much more than that... We need all the right Islamic knowledge and understanding as we can get cos only then can we improve our self esteem and protect ourselves both in this life and in the hereafter.

eimaniclez said...

Salam,

In today's world, I think it would be great if you touch on the subject of hijab and its relationship to beauty..

Many young girls are hesitant to start wearing the 'proper' hijab because they feel they will not look good versus wearing a hijab with skin hugging clothes/ loads of makeup etc. I think it is important to explain the purpose of the hijab and how you can still look beautiful without coming off as too attractive and getting unwanted attention (which should not be the aim). There is a thin line between both.

Also I would like you to talk about hijab and self esteem, not just limited to beauty.. how it empowers women and boosts their confidence etc.

Jazakallah

Anonymous said...

asalaam alaikum,

I wear Hijaab and jilbab but am finding it difficult and I see a lot of people who give me strange looks and sometimes think that I would feel more better about myself if I took them off.
And I feel like a stanger as others muslimah dont cover. I get asked why I wear hijab and other people dont. I used to think that I was better then them to make myself feel good but this does not work. So I am learning to like myself.And trying to be more confident and not to give into the whole materialistic and the belief that beauty makes one successful.

Rukhsana
UK

khurshid said...

Assalam-u-alaikum,
After going through all the comments I concluded what I felt in the first place about your asking readers for help: you actually wanted Muslim men,women,teenagers as well as older people to think about really what beauty is.Respected and learned as you are you didn't need help from lay people like me,you wanted us to meditate and you succeeded.May Allah grant you all the best here and hereafter for your sincere endeavours.
Khurshid from Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Assalam-o-Alaikum,
Saudia Arabia

The youngs of this era whather boy or girls, what's the problem, all the time
why they feel irritated by looks, appearnce,
they lacks respects for teacher, relatives, parents, friends
these and other so many problems leads towards
THE LACK OF CONFIDENCE,
this lack created by our parents,
parents make them busy to make life easy
by earning more money, they say they earn money for their children to make their life easy. Always parents go through so many hardships of life (which they have to face in any case, its Allah's wish) and now they want to prevent their children (the problems they'll face in any way by Allah's wish)
In this situation parents forget their real responsibility,
Our young ones starts lacking confidance.

thank u
Alshareef I'll write more at the time I'm not feeling well.

Anonymous said...

A sensitive question on this issue is related to how a Muslim couple deals with this typical situation. The Husband goes out to work and is bombarded with Western ideas of beauty and may have to correspond with women as part of his job. For a healthy marriage, what's the balance in the extent to which the wife enhances her beauty for her husband versus what the husband can expect from her in this regard?

Anonymous said...

A fairy tale may be most of us know, Pinocchio, there little boys were taken to this land of fun where they enjoyed themselves day and night, but at the end the boys were turned into donkeys, symbolizing lower self esteemed creature. The lesson was that the boys didn’t have high self esteem of them and wanted fun all the time. They didn’t want to be sincere, dutiful and face the hardship of the life like someone with high self esteem would. Therefore they turned into their true self.

The above can be related to Muslims who are well off in Muslim countries but they look to the western countries to be some place of fun and enjoyment, but when they migrate to the western lands and many of them become like the low self esteemed donkeys. They work day and night, take up low jobs which they wouldn’t in their original country. They live this low esteemed life in the land of fun and joy.

This is my observation.

Ma Salam,

Sayeeda
Australia

DrKeithCurrie said...

Beauty care profession really a nice job. salon and makeup also an important issue a beautician and the customer. All looking to be nice but I think only one bad side is excessive/wrong use of cosmetics and makeup accessories may be harmful.

Beauty Salon Plano

Anonymous said...

Rowya, Germany

Salam alaykum,

I hope this can be made available to all, like in a video or mp3 format for those who wouldn't be able to make the live talk.

Nora Mohammad said...

This one minute video shows a good reason why people don't have self esteem...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U&feature=related

Anonymous said...

asSalaam alaykum wa rahmatullah

MashaAllah, I hope we all seek ajr in the best of ways. InshaAllah we will all be ajr entrepeneurs, inshaAllah you might find these ideas and stories useful:

http://loga-abdullah.blogspot.com/2010/03/ajr-entrepreneur.html

Love to hear your thoughts on it.

Anonymous said...

Julaybib (ra) was hunchbacked and was described as being 'ugly.'

Before Islam, he sought refuge in the company of women because the men used to mock him. He slept under trees and roamed from one discomfort to another. He was barefoot and hungry; he possessed no status, wealth or family. His pillow was his own arm and his mattress was the uneven, rough, ground beneath him. But he always remembered his Lord and constantly recited the Quran.

One day, he met the Prophet (saw) and asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, would I be able to enter Paradise even though my face is disfigured?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'O Messenger of Allah, why will no one marry me to their daughter?'

Was there any hope for Julaybib to be treated with respect and consideration? Was there any hope for him to find the emotional satisfaction as an individual and as a man? Was there any hope for him to enjoy the relationships which others take for granted? Just as he was aware of the great issue of life and destiny, the Prophet, who is a mercy for all mankind, was also aware of the needs of his most humble companions.

With Julaybib in mind, the Prophet approached one of the notables of the Ansar to ask him to marry his daughter to Julaybib. 'To Julaybib?! No! By Allah, Never! We will never marry our daughter to him!,' the man's wife protested.

It was said amongst the Ansar, that there was no bride more eligible than her. The daughter overheard her mother's protest, and said: 'I am satisfied, and submit myself to whatever Allah's Messenger (saw) deems good for me.' Therefore, the Prophet married her to Julaybib.

Shortly afterwards, Julaybib went on an expedition with the Prophet, and an encounter with some disbelievers ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet said: 'I have lost a member of my family!.. I have lost Julaybib! Search for him!' Julaybib was found covered in wounds lying next to 7 disbelievers whom he had struck before meeting his end. With tears streaming down his face, the Prophet held Julaybib in his arms, and said: 'Julaybib is a part of me and I am a part of him, he was an orphan and so was I.' The Prophet rested Julaybib's head on his lap. The blessed tears of the Prophet flowed from his gentle eyes onto Julaybib's face. The Prophet repeated several times: 'You are from me and I am from you...' He smiled and then he turned away. When asked why, the Prophet said: 'I cried due to the deep love that I have for our beloved brother, Julaybib. I smiled because I saw him in Paradise, and then I turned away because I saw his wives ('hoors) running towards him so fast that their ankles became uncovered.

http://www.7cgen.com/index.php?showtopic=40244&st=0

Anonymous said...

Salaams
Very often we want to ensure we do the right according to Islam. Therefore since i learnt that Muslims should not celebrate birthdays i've stopped making any deal of anyone's or my own birthday; but i've kids, they go to school and see other kids bring stuff to school to mark their birthday, my kids have not complained they know we do not celebrate birthdays.
I hope something is mentioned in your speech as to the reasons we do not celebrate birthdays so i can show the. I don't know if this is affecting their self-esteem.
Bebi
NY

Anonymous said...

Everybody is beautiful, just look at yourself, the way Allah has made you. At times you look at yourself and you think oo..um i dont look so good, but another time you look at yourself you think oo..um i look good...then you should thank Allah, The Blesser, straight away for what you have been given, if you thank him straightaway after you get something good, he will increase you in it. Also when you look good, think and say to yourself that "i will preserve this beauty and i will look after it, so that when i get married (iA we will all will) this beauty is going to be enjoyed by my wife and me when i and she look at me iA"

Also beauty is not everything, true beauty lies in the heart (intentions).
You can have beauty, be patient, Allah will make you so beautiful that you will be as beautiful as Yusuf (as), such beauty we can only dream of, but Allah's plans fou our life is far greater than our dreams.

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