March 8, 2010


A simple family moment left me with a very valuable lesson...

My nieces and I were playing dress up the other day when the younger one (4 year old Ayesha) got hold of my surma. Needless to say she liberally began applying it to her eyes- a task which she thoroughly enjoyed. Now i don't need to tell you what she looked like- what with being a 4 year old and all.
Since she didn't have a mirror nearby she didn't know how weird she looked, and even though everybody else kept gasping and laughing at her, she was oblivious to the sight of her face.

It was only when she looked at her own reflection (by accident as she passed by a window) that she finally realised how she looked. She was so surprised at her reflection that she excitedly exclaimed: "What happened?" It was in this moment, while we all laughed at her, that i was taught a very valuable lesson.

 It takes true self reflection to understand and realize what we really look like.

Just like how we could all see what Ayesha had done to her face, others can see our character. And just like how she was oblivious, we too are sometimes unaware of our own flaws. We have to actually look at ourselves clearly, examine our characters, examine the situations we find ourselves in, and examine people's attitudes towards us; in order to understand the type of people that we are.

I have a creed that i have lived by for many years now, and I'd like to share it with you. When someone tells me something hurtful i carefully consider what they've said and begin a process of self questioning. The hurtful statements may either be right- in which case i examine my actions and try to rectify it; or they may be wrong- in which i case i simply shrug it off and try very hard not to let it bother me. You see while people may sometimes be very valuable in helping you to understand the type of person you are; they can also easily break you. So next time, take my advice and try this for yourself.

I think that its important for all of us to constantly be engaged in a process of self reflection. We certainly won't leave the house without first checking how we look, so why spend another moment without considering how we look on the inside and what our characters and behaviour is saying about us...? Real self-reflection can tell us what we're made of, and that's a lesson I'd love to learn.

Abu Darda (radiyallaahu 'anhu) said that Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:
There is nothing which is heavier upon the balance than the good character
Reported by Ahmad (6/446 and 448)

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