Is Beauty, Pain?

My homegirls and I recorded ourselves doing jamsu, a Korean beauty trend that’s suppose to set your foundation firmly and smoothly.

However, it is quite painful. You have to stick your face in a bowl ofice water for 30 seconds! It bloody hurts. This was a slightly painful process, but it achieved a smooth, finished look; it did the job. Which brings me to my point.

Society tells us that beauty is pain, that in order to achieve an ideal beauty standard, there are painful processes you must go through. And, although I agree that no one should ever feel pressured to look a certain way if someone chose to do jamsu, I wouldn’t blame them. Not only does it set your foundation, but it wakes you UP! It’s so refreshing, that I would just recommend sticking your face in ice water without the whole makeup part.

Regardless, whether or not you want to wear makeup, whatever lengths you may go through to set your foundation, never feel pressured. It’s your choice; do it for you, and only you. So long as you feel fresh and ready to kick some butt, you’re good to go.

Sabr un Jameela: A Beautiful Patience

So be patient with beautiful patience. [Quran, 70:5]

In Surah Al-Ma’arij Allah addresses Rasulullah (PBUH) telling him to be patient with the denial and the harassment of the disbelievers. The “patience” referred to is specifically Sabr un Jameela, translated to “a beautiful patience”.

Patience can be translated and described in many forms, but many of us make the error of considering it to be akin to detachment, or even stagnancy. Quite on the contrary, patience is endurance, perseverance, forbearance, consistency, and restraint. What makes a patience beautiful, in my understanding, is when you add complete trust in Allah to your patience, and when you make the effort to have patience become a part of your nature.

Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said:  “Purity is half of faith, and the praise of Allah fills the scale. Glorification and praise fill up what is between the heavens and the earth. Prayer is a light, charity is proof, and patience is illumination. The Quran is a proof for you or against you. All people go out early in the morning and sell themselves, either setting themselves free or destroying themselves.” [Sahih Muslim 223]

When I read this hadith, it basically laid out the walkway to be successful. Patience is illumination, specifically stood out to me, because every action listed, requires patience. Patience is illumination because it is something that leads to other actions, it is a light, a guide. The way when we do wudhu, the places we wash will be covered with noor on the Day of Judgement, a part of me thinks how through patience, we will have deeds and a heart, that encompass us in more noor. And so patience is light.

Patience is not easy. Patience is seen in a tree, as it grows from small twigs to thick branches, only to lose and regain its leaves continuously. It is seen when the tree slowly reaches and settles it’s roots deep underground, the effort of which is not seen, but the result of which is known, only when the tree becomes sturdy and difficult to uproot without taking the whole ground with it. Patience is seen in a mother, who cares for her child regardless of their ungratefulness. Patience is seen when people in a war-torn and oppressed country, continue to live, thrive, and survive, all while maintaining their sanity. Patience is when someone calls you terrorist, and you approach them with kindness and mercy. Patience is returning to salah, 5 times a day, even when your heart isn’t in it and you have to drag your feet. Especially when your heart isn’t in it. Patience is in doing wudhu over and over again because you love to sleep or drink a lot of water, and your wudhu gets broken easily; but you know you can die any moment, and so you have to always be in a state of purity. Patience is studying, and sleepless nights, for the sake of a possible future. Patience is giving away what you love because someone else needs it more than you. Patience is lowering your gaze. Patience is not overeating even when you love food because you know your health is important. Patience is forgiving your sibling for taking your things, or for saying something hurtful to you, without holding any grudges towards them. Patience is being strict with yourself. Patience is truth to yourself. And the most beautiful patience is when you do all of this and more, only for Allah, thinking of Allah, and trusting Allah.

And so patience is the root of beauty. Because everything is a struggle, but with patience, with a beautiful patience, these struggles become successes, and sources of good. Patience is beautiful because most of the time you are patient, it’s so difficult you have a hard time being patient. You want to stop being patient, but you keep being patient. You wonder if you can do it. Sometimes it’s so hard you feel like it’s difficult to breathe, and you constantly pray to Allah you have the strength to keep doing it. You have to fight against yourself, for yourself, in patience. You have to fight against others, for others, in patience.

And with this beautiful patience, you do all the things that continuously tear your heart down, and rebuild it. Over and over again, until it is a part of you to be patient, and until your heart becomes close to its Creator. Patience is a source of good and creates beautiful things. When we make an effort to be patient, we are making a sincere effort to do good, and thus become even more beautiful than Allah created us.

Glad tidings are given to those who are patient. And so on the day of judgment, it is our actions through patience that will be the cause of our bodies being illuminated with light. That light on us will be the most beautiful sight on that day. It will be more beautiful and meaningful than any physical or material beauty we have right now on this earth.

A beautiful patience is the source of beauty.

I would like to thank Eema Manzoor, our former MSA president, and the author of this piece for being a guest writer on our blog!

Kanye West’s “Yeezy” Line Casts Hijabi Model

New York Fashion Week had always been one of those classic New York City events to which I was an outsider. Not because I wasn’t interested in fashion, but because I felt like my style wasn’t included.

A common misconception about Hijab is that it is just a scarf that a Muslim woman wears around her head instead of around her neck. That’s not true. Hijab is a way of carrying yourself, a way a living. And how you dress is a big part of your Hijab— not just the scarf itself.

When I started wearing Hijab, I also thought it was a just a scarf, but it turned out to be much more complicated. I had to change my wardrobe and style, buy more maxi skirts and dresses, looser pants, longer shirts, long sleeve everything, and figure out how to organize hundreds of scarves. Not to mention, Hijab styling is an (underappreciated) art; a painful and delicate art.

I struggled to find modest fashion. Shirts and maxi skirts that weren’t see through, tight fitting, or with long slits were difficult to find. Maybe you could find them online, but finding the right size for someone as short as me was a perilous journey on its own.

So you can see why, when NYC Fashion Week rolled around, I wouldn’t bother. Modern fashion never cared for me or people like me— until now.

Although the current political atmosphere is tumultuous, casting its glare over Muslims among other minorities in America, it has brought about unification and loud statements in several communities, including the fashion community.

Anyone scrolling through their social media feed would have seen the posts about fashion designers making political statements with their clothing and runway fashions. T-shirts with statements like “I am an immigrant” and designers making the choice to diversify their models in race, ethnicity, religion, age, and size brings light to how many in the fashion industry feel about today’s political climate. There is unity in diversity.

If I had not been scrolling through my Facebook, I would never have learned that the runway was lucky enough to be graced by fellow Hijabista, Halima Aden. A Muslim, Somali-American, refugee, Halima Aden gave a voice to young Muslim women like me who wanted to be represented in the place they call home.

Halima Aden’s debut on NYC Fashion Week, modeling for Yeezy, combined with the fashion industry’s growing interest in ‘modest fashion’ will open doorways in expression through dress for Muslim men and women. It will also be an inspiration for Muslim artists who want to participate in their communities while staying true to their deen.

P.A.N.T.S

Let’s talk about P.A.N.T.S.

When I was a kid, I was a pro at binge watching. You know what I binge watched? Arthur. The best show starring an aardvark as a lead role in 2010— but, I digress.

In Arthur, I remember there being an episode where Arthur and his class were taught the meaning of P.A.N.T.S as an acronym. It was something along the lines of “Patience, Attentiveness…” etc. etc. However, Arthur and his class were horribly, undoubtedly, fantastically lied to; P.A.N.T.S as an acronym is not a tool filled with motivational and positive words. Nay, tis’ evil to the core.

Now, in 2017, I have realized the true meaning of P.A.N.T.S; painful annoying nuisance that sucks. What does this describe, you might ask? Only the most demonic torture device ever forced upon a little over 50% of humanity. Pants, I am talking about pants (if you haven’t already guessed). More specifically I am talking about pockets. If there is one thing consumers of women’s fashion can agree on, it is that the pockets are always too damn small (or do not exist). It doesn’t help that tech companies keep enlarging the size of their phones.

To prove the heinous crime that is the existence of these pockets, I did a little experiment; I asked my brother to see how many items he could fit in his jeans pocket and I did the same. Below are the results:

Little Bro

  • house keys, phone, wallet, pocket hand sanitizer, phone charger (just the wire), and headphones

Me

  • half my phone

Do you feel my pain? Every time I sit down my phone falls out of my pocket. Every time I lament over misplacing my metro card, my I.D., or my wallet and someone responds with ‘Well why don’t you put it in your pocket?’, I feel the universe trolling me.

But there is a bigger, more notorious motive behind the size of my pockets. Companies that produce pants intentionally decrease the size of pockets in order to fuel the market for bags. Nowadays, bags are an accessory whose market heavily targets women. They create a demand for bags by reducing the number places women have to carry their necessities. If I had pockets like that of my brother’s pants, then I wouldn’t need a bag; I only carry my keys, phone, and wallet when I’m on the go. But by creating a need for bags as a necessity and an ideal beauty accessory, big women’s clothing producers like Zara, H&M, and Forever 21 fuel their own markets.

This goes to show that even if I or you or anyone else defines beauty as an experience and not just a factor of appearance, we still may buy into certain materialistic “beauty” fads out of a consumer need rather than a want.

An Article Worth Reading: The Beauties of Islam

Preface:  “Is it all based on externalities? How does Islam view human beauty? Is physical beauty always looked upon as a positive trait? Needless to say, physical beauty is indeed a blessing – but according to Islamic teachings, beauty is just like any other material and perishable traits such as wealth, rank, and occupation. Physical beauty by itself has little worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not accompany inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). Real beauty is what we carry with us on our journey to the hereafter: our good deeds. In the Holy Qur’an (3:106) we are reminded of Judgment Day when people’s deeds will determine their physical appearance: “On the day when (some) faces shall turn white and (some) faces shall turn black; then as to those whose faces turn black”

Continued —-> The Beauties of Islam

Summary:  This article examines the value and nature of beauty in Islam and the amount of importance it should be given in our lives. It also highlights the relationship between worldly beauty, good deeds, and beauty in the hereafter.  The article is great for adolescents who feel that their self-worth is being measured by their physical beauty and want to know what it’s value should be a good Muslim.

What is the significance of physical beauty in Islam?

 

Trendy clothes, new shoes, expensive makeup, lengthy workouts and trips to the salon; we all make an effort to look our best. However, we often fail to think: Is this taking away from some of the more important things in life? Does every sort of attractiveness count as beautiful? What sort of physical changes does Islam encourage?

“Allah does not look at your outward appearance and your wealth, rather He looks at your hearts and deeds.”

-Sahih Muslim

Islam prohibits any permanent changes to one’s body such as tattoos and plastic surgeries.  In addition, Allah condemns those who are extravagant in their attire and lifestyle. However, Allah does encourage cleanliness and one’s efforts to appear pleasant.

Imaam Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Juhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“The Prophet cursed those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Narrated Al-Bara bin Azib:

“Allah’s Apostle was given a silken garment, and its beauty and delicacy astonished the people. On that, Allah’s Apostle said, “No doubt, the handkerchiefs of Sa`d bin Mu`adh in Paradise are better than this.”

-Sahih Bukhari

‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, “He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people.”
                                                                                                                                              – Sahih Muslim
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