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Investigate Islam – arabic  المقالات مكتبة طريق الخلاص لاهوتيات نصرانيات

From Social Butterfly to Humble Modest Muslim

 

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:

“I have been sent down by God to teach moral virtues and to evolve them to highest perfection.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani, 273)

8

Before accepting Islam, many new Muslims had a less modest lifestyle. After accepting Islam, attention must be given to adapting oneself to a more modest way of life. This includes not only the way one dresses, but the attitudes one holds and their actions.

Seeking popularity in school, or work, etc. should not be our goal in life, and it should be seeking the pleasure of God over all others. Once we focus our attention to achieving that, we can more easily adapt ourselves to becoming a more modest, humble Muslim.

Improve upon personal traits that befit one as a person of righteousness. Modesty, patience, forgiveness, mercy, honesty, trust, and humility are the major traits that need attention.

A Fallen Butterfly

Before accepting Islam, I had a very active social life, and was a successful business woman. Everywhere I went, I made friends and was usually the center of attention in all gatherings. This built up my ego, and took me further away from God.

God decided that I needed to be humbled, and He sent me trials and tribulations to bring me closer to Him. I lost my business, and personal relationships I had began falling apart all at the same time. I was devastated.

This emotional, financial, and social turmoil that I encountered initiated my search for answers. I ultimately found Islam in this. After I accepted Islam, the stresses I was having quickly went away. I was starting my life over from scratch, not just financially, but my social circle, and my character building. I was on a new path to modesty and humility.

Obtaining Humility

Humbleness is an often forgotten trait we tend to neglect most. When one becomes humble, he is more God conscious and aware of the plight of others. Since people tend to neglect humbling themselves, God sends them trials and tribulations to remind them, because when in adversity, one sees more clearly, and is more likely to humble one self.

{Whenever We sent a prophet to a town, We took up its people in suffering and adversity, in order that they might learn humility.} (Al-A’raf 7:94)

After losing my business, and financially bankrupt, I had to start fresh. I felt that I had hit rock bottom. After having lost all my possessions, and my means to re-purchase them, I began to realize the blessings that were given to me instead. I learned to be humble with the little I had, and even grateful for the circumstances I went through.

Instead of always thinking about what you don’t have, or a problem you are facing, the easiest way to humble yourself is to think about those who wish they could be in your shoes, instead of thinking of whose shoes you would like to be in. There are always people in worse situations.

Take the trials and tribulations you encounter to improve upon yourself, as they are reminders from God about your character and behavior. He will only change the condition of a people until they change something from themselves.

Obtaining Modesty

Modesty involves many aspects of our lives, not only in how we dress. It includes how we interact with the opposite sex, how we spend our money, actions, and so much more.

Modesty With the Opposite Sex:

As far as modesty when talking to the opposite sex, this oftentimes is an extremely hard obstacle to overcome as a new Muslim. It has become a natural part of life to openly mix and mingle with the opposite sex. Therefore, it can be one of the hardest to acknowledge, and to change that behavior.

An example would be when you are around your circle of friends (non-Muslims) which include both males and females. You may be the type of person that loudly announces your arrival as if you are someone special, and go up and hug everyone, and maybe even give a kiss on the cheek to say hello. How do you go from this to a more reserved modest approach without leaving those friends feeling you are upset with them or offended?

Firstly, you should check your intentions with sincere thought, being completely honest with yourself. Ask yourself:

“Are the friends that I have of the opposite sex my friends because they have a secret desire to have a relationship with me someday, or vice versa?”

If the answer is “yes”, then you can’t say that it is innocent, because your – or their – intentions for the “friendship” are tainted.

We never know the intentions and hidden thoughts of others, so it is always best to try to slowly distance yourself from having close friendships/relationships to prevent possible sin from taking place. Keep your heart pure, because we may unintentionally flirt without realizing it, giving signals to the receiving person.

When you are around the opposite sex, you should avoid talking loudly, or unnecessarily, or with a flirtatious voice. You should lower your gaze, and not give the impression that you are stimulated by their attention.

As a new Muslim this can be quite a task! You probably have lots of friends of the opposite sex, and find yourself at a tug of war with yourself unsure how to handle the situation.

You can simply inform your friends about the concept of mixed relationships according to Islam, and focus on the “why” behind it, so that they can understand where you are coming from, and let them know that it is nothing personal against them, but that to strengthen your faith, you may seem a bit more distant, but that you are only trying to purify yourself. Usually, although they may not like it, or even accept this, they can usually understand it if they have the ability to think at that level.

Islam doesn’t forbid interaction between the sexes, but it does require each to acquire a modest code of behavior around one another. This includes dressing appropriately around one another.

Modesty in Dress:

Modest dress and behavior will instill respect between two based on piety. If they are not dressed appropriately, it can cause negative opinions to be formed, and disrespect may take place between each other.

Before accepting Islam, you may have seen me wearing short skirts, high heels, with a blouse which had a low cut neckline, with my hair done, and sporting make-up. At that time in my life, I didn’t see anything wrong in my dress. I also didn’t think it made anyone think differently of me either.

After accepting Islam, and learning more about the expectations and instructions for modesty for a Muslim woman, I began to slowly see how the way I was dressing was affecting my life in the past. I quickly learned how much I objectified myself, because I was getting things and opportunities based off of my looks alone.

I began wearing pants with a long blouse and hijab, and over time migrated to wearing an abaya (loose dress) with hijab. The more modest I became in my dress, the more it became apparent to me how I was treated by others, especially men.  I began to realize how the people paid more attention to my intellect instead of my physical attributes. It was a form of freedom for me. I finally started to get the respect that I “thought” I already had, but I was horribly mistaken. This was the “real” respect and honor in its pure form, without negative intentions tainting the fake respect I was getting before.

{And tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest…And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest….} (An-Nur 24: 30-1)

Modesty in Actions:

There are other ways one should be modest as well, a few would include modesty in speech and actions towards others, and you should listen attentively to others as if what they are telling you is something new to you. You should only speak when necessary because frivolous speech is wasted speech. When others speak badly to you, or about you, the modest way to handle the situation is to respond in a peaceful polite way.

Regaining Lost Innocence

Many people like to live pushing the limits in their lives (sex, drugs, alcohol, crime, and other immoralities). Exposing ourselves to such things, causes us to lose a degree of innocence, and find less harm in such things as they become a normal part of our lives.

No one ever says he/she wants to grow up to be a drug addict or a prostitute, right? We will use this as an example.  It is a natural process to initially think it is wrong, but when you try it, you think to yourself: “It isn’t so bad, and I won’t do it all the time”. However, after you are at that stage for a while, you think to yourself why not try it a little more, it hasn’t hurt me so far, so where is the harm? Then you do more, and more and more. Before you know it, you are a crack head selling sex for money, stuck in a cycle that seems impossible to get out of.

This is the same thought process that takes place in all aspects of our lives. We see it in how we dress, how we talk to others, how we treat others, how we do business, how we eat…basically how we approach everything.

We must always remain God conscious and behave in a manner that we would like for God to see us in as if He were actually right in front of us.

A quick and easy reminder to check yourself on a matter is to ask yourself: “Would I do/say this at the masjid in front of the imam?” If your answer is no, then you should re-evaluate your thoughts, and actions, because if you fear the reaction or judgments of the imam, then you should fear the reaction and judgments of God even more.

Where is our iman (faith) if we ignore that? We must have modesty and humility, because if we can’t have it in front of others, how can we not have it in front of God Almighty?

 


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