Saturday, October 01, 2005


Girls & Make-up

Salam Folks!

“Just because we wear make-up and nice clothes and go out, people think we’re really really happy.”

A paraphrase of what two separate girlfriends mentioned to me whilst we conversed about life some few weeks ago. Remarkable as these two women don’t know one another hence making me a convenient link.

‘How true’ I thought, as I reached out for my bottle of foundation to cover what I describe as the “sickly yellow” colour of my face. If I didn’t cover it with “colour” I’d get even more comments from people about how “unwell” I’m looking. Luckily the false colour adds an element of “healthiness” to my face.

But what do other women ‘cover’ with their foundation? I began to wonder.

This is not about the rights and wrongs of wearing make-up and if anyone wants to read about that, I suggest they use the search engine to get what they require. There is ample written on this and other issues pertaining to women; by both male and female scholars. Neither am I an advocate of wearing make-up.

My reason for this entry is in reference to the opening comments by my two friends. I know both of them well and for some period of time too.

I also know that they are both dealing with a series of issues that fate has given them; and they try their best to seek out solutions which would be most pleasing to God Almighty.

I think one of the most craziest abuse at the moment in our community is of not making “70 excuses for one another.”

“If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them.If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves…”

Hamdun al-Qassar. A companion of the Prophet Alaislam.

Full text could be found at the link in the end of the blog.

I will say it how it is:

We do not have the right to judge people.

We are often taught that we are the ‘Ambassadors of God’ and yes it is very true that we are the ambassadors. And I guess if the ambassador is a woman who wears a scarf, then she is more explicitly a
representative of Islam. However what strikes me is the following question:

What does the ambassador do when she is having a bad day?

Does she remove the scarf?

As she feels she is not a good enough representative on that day?

Or does she continue to wear it and pray that the wider community (who one can only assume are having a good day) will forgive her shortcomings?

Can she honestly be made to feel safe and accepted by people around her?

Of course the answer to the above is not to remove the scarf.

But it also is not for the community to start judging her.

I know three Muslim girls from good backgrounds and upbringings who left home and ran away.

One of them (whom I have known for over 5 years) ran away from home whilst I was out at Hajj. The community decided to close the doors to her and although her children visit the father, she is not allowed to visit her own parents.

I met her and keep in touch with her. And despite her situation being so “morally wrong” for a Muslim woman – I am taught that the judgment is not for me but for God Almighty. And my role is to “be there” for this individual in whatever capacity fate allows me. I feel it is my role to support her spiritually rather than tell her that she is a resident of hellfire; a decision which I cannot have any claims to make anyway.

I wonder though what people think of her: when she goes out with her make-up on?

I can only pray that God Almighty brings about a Sisterhood which truly bonds us women together with no fear of being judged.

I have mentioned this before and I will say it again – one of the saddest tragedies in our community is the loss of Sisterhood. And I mean REAL sisterhood – not your phoney-maloney sisterhood where you go shopping and buy each other expensive gifts. And then if you say one thing ‘out of line’ you are never spoken to ever again. Or if you can’t quote the Top Ten Scholars and fail to provide evidence of having attended every gathering in the last 3 months - you are no longer in the circle. To me there is more to it than that.

There simply has to be – and I refuse to accept anything less.

Sisterhood is not about what you know about the ‘other’ - but rather what you don’t know. For someone to accept me (as their sister) without knowing much about me than for someone to reject me from their circle after finding out about me is not how I define sisterhood.

As my brother often says: “If you could see God, what would be the point in worshipping Him?”

Would it take for people to know me inside-out for them to accept me into their Sisterhood?

I must admit some of the greatest friends I have made in these many months know very little about me. I mean the ‘real me’ - not what is readily available on the internet (which obviously I have chosen to share with people and thus is rather selective or could even be a pack of lies – had my mother of course taught me how to lie!)

But I am grateful that these people ‘accept’ me for what I am – with all my shortcomings and my goonishness. For me, this is what Sisterhood is based on.

To know that when I feel the ground shake beneath my feet I can go to my sisters and hold them tight for support. That when I feel like hiding they will be there to cover me from the world. Neither of us having to explain why. Neither of us having to see the powder as a barrier.

So, afterall this is not an entry on the rights or wrongs of make-up. It is a simple wake-up call for girls to look beyond cosmetics to the one factor which unites us all – we are all the Daughters Of Adam. (Alaisalam).

And for those who have already forgotten that Saying once again:

“If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them.If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves…”

Hamdun al-Qassar. A companion of the Prophet Alaislam.

70 Excuses?
Modern Living & Spirituality
How To Look After Your Heart
How To Look After Others' Heart

Good Night & God Bless
Bint-eh Adam

Salams Bint
Mashallah! Jazak allah khair for sharing your views and writing about this specific topic. This is something that is so common in the community we live in and I totally agree with what you said about the loss of "real"sisterhood.

"Sisterhood is not about what you know about the ‘other’ - but rather what you don’t know. For someone to accept me (as their sister) without knowing much about me than for someone to reject me from their circle after finding out about me is not how I define sisterhood." Beautifully expressed! This is something we as "sister's" need to reflect and implement and create a real "sisterhood" within our community.
That post was fantastic - you really made me feel the need for sisterhood even more than before, mashallah.

I might be part of the problem because there's certain sisters I find really difficult to love. Like I find out a sister is sleeping with three guys at once and she's proud of it. That crosses my line. And I've found different people have different limits because everyone grows up with different experiences.

Are you saying to have true sisterhood we need to get rid of all limits and love sisters no matter what? I don't know if I could realistically do that.

Instead if we could all set aside our personal limits and make Islam our limit. So long as there's some basis for something in Islam then it's ok with me, even if I wouldn't do it myself or I don't follow that Islamic opinion. That way, I think, maybe we could get real sisterhood one day inshallah.

Maybe I'm wrong - I'm just thinking out aloud - anyway, you've got a groovy blog sis, I'll definitely be back soon inshallah.
you gave me something to think about :)
nice post i must say!


Yes it is a sad old shame that we are forgetting the essence of Sisterhood. In reality a strong Sisterhood is absolutely vital for our wellbeing as girls - whatever our age.

Women are forgetting that they are the ones who were traditionally the 'comforters' and 'carers' - Women have a lot of strengths built-in inside themselves - that's why they were so successful at bringing peace and security to their communities. Sadly today we see women at a loss wherever they are.

We need Sisterhood for women to actualise themselves. Women can no longer see their strengths - we need the spirit of Sisterhood to help us see in clarity!


Well thanks for popping by sugarplum. Yes do visit again - I do like visitors :-)and many thanks for the lovely comment.

Gosh my lovely, some of your comments could really do with a reply from our dear-old Deidre!

In terms of the girls you mention you find hard to love - I believe one has to look deep within to discover the reasons for this barrier. Rather than ask why do you find it hard to love? Lets ask why do you find it easier to hate? Think about that as you eat grapes one evening.

And then the example of "crossing the line" is indeed a good one. We often have our own set of principles and that is well and good as we need them to define what we can accept and reject (obviously God ALmighty is the One who sets the Framework in which we develop our principles). But I think what is difficult is to really know why people do what they do. To know what makes people cut their wrists or take drugs is how one can "reach" why people do what they do. But often it is very difficult.

I am not saying we need to abandon 'limits' for these are set by God Almighty - do we actually have the guts to abandon or even say abandon them - of course not love! What I am saying is not to judge! And to implement the "70 Excuses" rule!

Also my lovely, don't be so harsh on yourself - you are only 20 by the looks of your profile.. a very young age. As life goes by, you will meet a lot of people who are very 'different' to you. It is only through meeting all those different people that you will realise how similar we are essentially!

Let your spirit develop. ALso my girl, it may be a little investment to spend some time daily with yourself. I know it sounds wonderfully joyous :-D But just take 10 minutes and analyse YOU.

An excellent activity which was taught by a German Teacher Ahmed Von Denfer.. is to sit down every night and imagine the Day of Judgment has arrived.. OK I will let you guess the rest.

OK That's another close encounter with the 'Dear Deidre' column so I shall need to get going.

I shall visit your place soon!

Salam & Love sugarplum

Thanks for dropping by dear! Do visit very soon :o)

Alhamdulillah for this post, and I like the new template for your blog. This is something that I am working on for myself. I am trying to come up with 70 excuses for everyone. And you never know what drives people to act and behave the way they do. Insha'allah, a kind sister's words may turn a person's life around. Yeah, we sisters need to look out for each other and help us strive for Allah's sake.

Oh, I also like who you put this cool pictures next to your thoughts.
My lil goony sis...assalaamu alaykum! I wonder if you'll be bringing all these makeup bits'n'bobs with you...hehe xxx
hehehe :-D

Walaikumslam x x

No Poppie Bhaji-Jaani - Most belong to the teenager in our household ;-)

I think she collects them ;-)


x x x
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