Self esteem, flattery, vanity, insecurity, attention seeking. These are all human traits that exist in each and every one of us. We are under the illusion that compliments and looks of envy from others is what we need to keep up our self-confidence. We’ve all been there…walking down the street in our best gear, looking super sexy, pretending not to notice the looks of admiration as well as the looks of envy, yet in all honesty, it is precisely for these looks that we shall dress ourselves up again, to fulfil the same desires that help us to feel secure about ourselves. But a life of faith asks us to be strong, relying only our desire to please Allah, even when it comes to our outwardly appearance.
It is no secret that Islam asks us to dress modestly. This modesty begins with the direction of our gaze. Both men and women should lower their gaze, instantly reducing the chances of attraction, but as Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, to the nearest meaning, it is not just the one who’s gaze is lustful that is a sinner, but the one who allows that lust in the first place, that is: the one that is being lusted after. And yes, it seems that certain men find it impossible to lower their gaze, even if the woman is wearing a black bin liner from head to toe, however, let’s leave the judging to Allah and focus on the woman’s role when it comes to the modesty dress code.
I have been down this road and I can say without any hesitation that dressing modestly, which also allows me to display my faith outwardly, has liberated me. The constant physical reminder of my faith helps me to think twice before indulging in any action that would be displeasing to Allah. My worldly time has freed up as I spend less and less time at the shopping centres. I used to desire more dresses than I needed, more pairs of shoes than I had time to wear and the latest haircuts that required hours of upkeep. Having sacrificed these desires seems to have rewarded me with a closer relationship to Allah, although He knows best. Making room in your heart for Allah by removing worldly desires is truly liberating. It’s a process that requires 100% commitment from the heart as success will only be achieved if one’s desire to adhere to Allah’s dress code starts from one’s love of Allah. Baby steps will lead to giant steps…as Allah says,to the nearest meaning, you come walking to me and I will come running to you. Alhumdulillah.