By Ummi Ammarah
Strange how much effort is put into improving our looks. Through cosmetic products..skin fairness creams for those with dark skin and tanning creams for those with fair skin. Blue eyes for those with brown and hazel eyes for those with green eyes. Hair straightening for those with curly hair and perms for those with straight hair…and the list goes on.
We are never satisfied with the way we have been moulded by Allah Ta'ala. The effort and search for the ultimate external transformation continues…yet the effort of improving what we have ability to change, our inner beauty i.e. our character and how we conduct ourselves with fellow humans seldom feature in our lives.
The Beloved Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is reported to have said: Among the heaviest deeds in weight on the day Qiyaamat will be good character. (Hadith: Tirmidhi)
Tragically so called "super models" that appear on the covers of glossy magazines have caused great harm to our society by making us focus too much on our exterior self and totally ignore our interior self.
Companions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) all of them, whether it was dark skin Bilaal or red skin Suhaib Rumi. Whether it was rich Uthmaan or poor Ammaar, whether it was stern and tall Umar or soft Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with all of them) everyone of them made effort and devoted much time to building their Imaan and akhlaaq (character).
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said that "Indeed the most perfect believer in faith is one who has the best manners and is kindest to his family."(Hadith-Tirmidhi)
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) also said" Undoubtedly amongst you, the most beloved and nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection, will be those having the most excellent conduct."
It is not that we have to ignore our external self. Beauty and cleanliness is important as Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. But our emphasis must not be on developing only the external self, but more time, energy and resources should be spent in developing our Imaan and character. This will be a source of happiness in this world and more important will lead to eternal happiness when we stand before Allah Ta'ala on the day of Qiyamah.
The Beloved Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (pbuh) has taught us the following dua (prayer): Allahumma anta hassanta khalqi fa hassin khuluqi." Oh Allah! You have beautified my appearance so beautify my character as well."