Sunday, January 16, 2011

Achieving an Impossible Dream.

In a world where we’re bombarded with images of the “perfect person”, it’s easy to forget what to be perfect is really like. We compare ourselves to abnormal, unnatural figures that we’ll never achieve. We look up and there’s a billboard picturing a dangerously thin model or a guy with muscles that shouldn’t be in the places they are. We force ourselves to look away, yet as soon as we turn around, there’s another picture on a bus with the same carbon-copy figures. Girls, and boys, are pressurized to conform to these images by any means possible. Is there any wonder why society is in chaos?
So how can we achieve perfection? We can’t. But what we can do is accept ourselves for who we are- a beautiful creation of Allah (swt). Free ourselves from chasing the illusion of physical perfection.
Islam teaches us that perfection belongs to Allah (swt) and Allah alone and that our level of piety and goodness of character is what separates us from one another. So next time you look in the mirror, instead of thinking “why can’t I look like that?” remember the Prophet (saw) du’a:
“O Allah, You perfectly created me, so perfect my character.”
Because we have Allah. We don’t need products telling us that “we’re worth it”.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Impressions.

              First impressions. They're everything. They are what shape you in another person's eyes, & it's hard to change that view. Like me, you look at me and think "she's the quiet type", until I open my mouth, that is.
             Many times, first impressions are based on stereotypes. No matter how hard some of us try to not judge, it comes naturally, that human instinct to judge. You see a black man walking down the street wearing baggy jeans & gold jewelry, and most people think thug. How do we know he's not an honest businessman with eclectic fashion sense? Or when we see a blond wearing a miniskirt and all those hilariously offensive dumb blond jokes spring into our minds? For all we know, she could be a straight A student at Harvard.
            What I wonder is, looking at the situation of Muslims in America, what do people think when looking at a Hijabi (a woman who covers her head & wears modest clothing)? Do they see the oppressive woman that the media always portrays us as? Or do they see a respectable strong woman who isn't allowing herself to be a slave to fashion gurus of the world?
           Whatever you see, it's important for all of us-including myself- to remember something. Despite the fact that in this world today, it's the image that counts, that image isn't everything. There might  be something deeper, because we are so quick to judge, we will never know. And another thing: first impressions can, and most often, are wrong.