The True Beauty of a Woman? My Idea is Different from Hers

Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

Two things hit my Facebook feed today that I felt compelled to comment on.  One was a bit of prose by a Muslim sister of mine.  I’ll post it here and then comment on it:

THE BEAUTY OF A WOMAN :

The beauty of a woman lies IN HER SILENCE
rather than her speech
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER VEIL
rather than her face
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER SUBMISSION
rather that her leadership
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER SMILE
rather than her laughter
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER PATIENCE
rather than her inquisitiveness
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER ABODE
rather than her adventure
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER OFFSPRING
rather than herself
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER EXPERIENCE
rather than her age
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER HEART DEPTH
rather than in skin deep
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER KITCHEN
rather than in cubicles
The beauty of a woman lies in her PERSPIRATION
rather than her perfumes
The beauty of a woman lies in her LORD because he is the creator of such a beautiful thing called “Woman”.

I really hate this on so many levels that it is hard to break it down, but I will.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to speak true words and to shake up the status quo in the face of injustice, to teach and to share the beautiful teachings of the Qur’an and our beloved Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.

The beauty of a woman lies in the internal standards of modesty which are expressed not exclusively in modest clothing but also in the way she is kind and gentle to her fellow human beings.

The beauty of a woman lies in her leadership as she is successful in business, like our beloved mother Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, as she is successful in teaching, like our beloved mother Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, and as she is successful in defending the Ummah, as is our beloved sister Somayyah, may Allah be pleased with her, the first female martyr in Islam, women who were great leaders of the Ummah.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to laugh at a kitten playing with a ball of yarn or to show unbridled joy at the accomplishments of her children, to guffaw in most unladylike fashion at her husband when he burns the dinner, then to take him by the hand and lovingly show him how it’s done.

The beauty of a woman lies in her inquisitiveness, in her sharp intellect which makes her question what she is told in order to find the truth, rather than be spoonfed some person’s version of the truth.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to live a full life according to her talents and desires, to work in a soup kitchen or to mentor children or to visit a far flung village to teach women about health, or to become an emergency worker who saves lives.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to have children if she choses and is able, but to not lose herself in the process, to continue to be dynamic and intellectual even in the face of late nights and runny noses.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to never grow old no matter her age, to remain curious and physically fit and dynamic and strong, to allow age to season her without pickling her.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to express her feminity around her husband since he is the one with the most right for that, and to express her modesty and inner beauty to everyone, from the closest family to the stranger.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to live as a whole person who is much more than a cook or a bedpartner.  She can burn the rice and still be worthy of respect.

The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to do whatever job needs to be done, be that digging in the garden, helping her husband carry a heavy load, holding the hands of five children simultaneously, or helping a patient to heal, and doing it all in a manner pleasing to Allah.

The beauty of a woman lies in the INDIVIDUALITY with which Allah created her.  That individuality allows one woman to be a homemaker and another to be a doctor, one to bake beautiful bread and another to knit warm sweaters, one to decorate a peaceful home and another to be an architect to design it, one to be a teacher of her own children and another to be a university professor.  The true beauty of a woman lies in her ability to be herself, the best woman she can be, to be a strong Muslimah who engages the world rather than flees from it, who is a model for the Ummah and the first teacher for the next generation.  THIS is the true beauty of a woman.

The other thing that hit my wall was a comment about an Egyptian “feminist” who expressed her freedom by publishing a nude picture of herself.  That deserves a whole article on its own so I’ll leave that aside for now…..


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