There you are. Staring at the mirror once again before turning right away. You hate it. You hate how your nose bulges and how your lips are too thin. You hate the black spots on the cheeks and how your eyes seem to sink into the sockets. You stare at your skin, too dark or too pale? You hate how your frail body always seems unbalanced like wind could easily sweep you away. You don’t like your kinky hair nor your inability to be the height you really wish you had. In short, you pretty much dislike everything about your body, your physical appearance and even your existence.

We are so filled with insecurities because of the society’s definition of beauty. And I said this before; the beauty industry is so ugly. It makes us apologize all our lives for not being ‘beautiful enough’. So here we are, so obsessed with ‘doing something’ about how we look and our outer image. Spending so much money on three, four make-up kits, buying designer clothes, shoes and perfumes just so we can hide all these things about ourselves we are not proud of. Don’t get me wrong, you are free to spend on whatever you like but when you do it, it should only be because it really does make you happy and not for the sake of fitting into the society’s league of beauties.

I come across several people, who when you tell, ‘You look pretty’ they’ll really be shocked and shrug it off not just for the sake of being polite but because they really think they are not. And it is sad because of how much this really affects our self-esteem. The truth is, we may all vary in our levels of attractiveness yet we all are beautiful in our own unique way and beautiful in the eyes of Allah. If Allah (S.W) considers you beautiful, why would you ever doubt that?


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Let me tell you a story of a sahabi who was considered the ‘ugliest’. His name was Julaybib (may Allah be pleased with him). Julaybib’s family background is unknown. We don’t even know what his second name is. We don’t know who were his parents, his lineage or which tribe he came from apart from that he came from Madinah. His name actually means ‘deformed’. He was known for his deformities and for his appearance. In fact the way he was described was, ‘qaseer, wa faqeer, wa dameem’ i.e. he was extremely short, extremely poor and extremely repulsive. In a world where family lineage, background, wealth and appearance are made to be so important, we can imagine what kind of a tough life Julaybib had. He didn’t have friends or family or companions. No one was interested in him. He went through a lot of verbal abuse and was bullied countless times.

So one day the prophet peace be upon him meets Julaybib and asks him about him. The prophet was actually concerned about him. Julaybib replies to the prophet by asking, ‘Ya Rasul Llah, do you think the only woman I get to marry is in jannah? The hur al ain (women in paradise)?’ and the prophet immediately understood his agony and belief that he would never be able to get married in this world. So the prophet decides to take the matter in his own hands and went to one of the sahabas who had a beautiful daughter. He said to the other sahabi, ‘I want to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.’ The Sahabi was so excited and saw no greater honour than that. In his mind, he is marrying off his daughter to the prophet peace be upon him. Then when the prophet clarified that he wants to ask her for Julaybib, the father paused in hesitation and said ‘let me ask her mother’. The reaction was the same with the mother; extreme excitement when she first thought it was the prophet who wanted their child and immediate rejection upon knowing it is Julaybib. But the girl overheard the conversation and told her parents, ‘How can we reject a proposal and an order from the prophet peace be upon him?’ This pure lady insisted on accepting Julaybib and eventually became his wife.

On the battle of Uhud, Julaybib passed away. The prophet (SAW) frantically tried to find Julaybib on the battle ground and saw him surrounded by 7 enemies. Julaybib killed 7 enemies before they killed him. The Prophet (SAW) gets emotional, picks Julaybib up with his two hands and repeatedly says, “This one is from me, and I am from him, he is from me and I am from him, he is from me and I am from him.” He takes Julaybib and digs a grave for him with his own hands, and buries Julaybib himself. And what better honour than this? What is physical attractiveness compared to the love of Allah and his prophet?


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There are several other stories about other sahabis who were deemed unattractive and the prophet peace be upon him always showed love to them for who they really are; their beauty deep inside and not how they looked. Another example is the story of a sahabi by the name of Zahir ibn Haram. His story is narated in a hadith by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“There was a man from amongst the Bedouins whose name was Zahir bin Haram. Whenever he came to Medinah for a need, he brought something for the Prophet (saw) as a gift, like cottage cheese or butter. Likewise, when the Prophet (saw) would prepare something to give to him whenever e wanted to leave, such as dates and so on.

The Prophet (saw) used to love him and say, “Zahir is our Bedouin and we are his city dwellers.”

Zahir was not very good looking. One say, Zahir (may Allah be pleased with him) left the desert and came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) but did not find him. He has some merchandise to sell so he went on to the market place.

When the Prophet (saw) found out about his arrival, he went to the market place looking for him. When he arrived, he saw him selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face. He wore Bedouin clothers which did not smell good either. The Prophet (saw) hugged him tightly from behing, while Zahir was unaware and could not see who it was.

Zahir became scared and said, “Let me go! Who is this?!” But the Prophet (saw) remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw the Prophet (saw) he relaxed and calmed down, placing his back against the Prophet’s chest. The Prophet (saw) began to joke with him, saying to the public: “Who will buy this slave?! Who will buy this slave?”

Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme poverty, for he had neither wealth or good looks.

He said, “You will find me unmarketable, O’ Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet (saw) said, “But you are not unmarketable with Allah. You are very precious to Allah.” And in another narration the prophet tells him, “But you are priceless in the sight of Allah, you are beautiful in the eyes of Allah, do not worry about how you look”

In another instance, the prophet again tried to redifine the meaning of beauty to us in the story of Abdullah ibn Masood. Abdullah ibn Masood (RA) was so short he was a dwarf, and one day he climbed into a tree to grab a siwak from the Arak tree for the Prophet (SAW). But Abdullah was so small that the wind blew him into tree. The Sahaba burst into laughter, and the Prophet (SAW) asked them why they were laughing. The Sahaba respodned with, “Ya Rasululllah, his legs are so short like two little twigs.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “But you don’t understand these two legs on the Day of Judgement will be the size and weight of Mount Uhud (on the scale of his good deeds).”

And I get it. It is way tougher right now with all the cover magazines, social media personalities and superstars we idolize from all over the world. But in the end remember God never created anything ugly, again I say it, we may vary in the level of attractiveness but no one is entirely ugly. This is because Allah (S.W) mentioned it Himself in Surat Tin:

By the fig and the olive

And [by] Mount Sinai

And [by] this secure city [Makkah],

We have certainly created man in the best of stature;

See how Allah took an oath FOUR times before stating that He created us in the best form.

Whatever or however you look like, do know that it is but a test from Allah. We never really put much thought to it but beauty is a big test of its own. There is a high risk into falling into arrogance or zina or other detestable behaviours. The same way physical unattractiveness may make us fall into the whispers of shaytan of self-pity and self-loathing and sadness. So love yourself in whatever state you were created and be grateful for it. What really matters is the state of your heart and soul and imaan. And also, remember to not stigmatize, bully, laugh or point out the flaws in others. You never know how much it hurts them.

REMEMBER:
{“Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.”} -Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)

P.S Don’t forget to subscribe please! (the button is at the end of the page)

Sources:
The prophet’s path- Youtube
The merciful servant- Youtube
The “Ugliest” Sahabis
https://www.ummah.com/forum/forum/islam/general-islamic-topics/267496-zahir-bin-haram-our-beloved-muhammed-saw

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A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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