|The Choice Is Ours
by Prof. Rudy B. Rodil
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|Beauty and Grace In Islam
It is often said that God is a Bestower of beauty and grace. I have always believed that Islam is a beautiful and graceful religion and being a good Muslim is being beautiful and graceful. One only has to read through the Quran to feel that rhythm of beauty and grace surrounding us in our daily lives.
I am not being unrealistic when equating the wearing of a headscarf to being beautiful and graceful. The prevailing Western standard of beauty, which may scorn on the Islamic dress code, is certainly not something that we Muslim women should aspire to meet. As Muslims we have a different set of Islamic standard wherein God is our Ultimate Judge. And it is to His criteria of beauty and grace that we must aspire for.
God, in the Quran, tells us to cover our adornment from the public eyes, except among close family members, for good reasons. Since the hair is every womans crowning glory, it is reserved for those whose eyes deserve the most happiness in seeing our beauty, not for those who may abuse or exploit us. Taken from this perspective, wearing a headscarf is really about keeping our beauty and modesty and not flaunting them.
It does not mean being ugly or unsightly, as some are wont to look at or think about it, simply because they cannot display their beauty in public. The non-Muslims criteria of what is beautiful and pleasing in public should never be an issue with us Muslim women. If by dressing modestly, by wearing my tarha, I discourage the men from looking at me with lust or desire, then the better for me to get on with my daily business without the insecurities and anxieties of harassed women.
For most devout Muslim men, the covered Muslim women are actually even more pleasing to their eyes, kindling in them an admiration and respect that is free of physical encumbrances. And this is what is most important to me as a Muslim woman: gaining the respect of my fellow Muslims, protecting myself from the potential abuse of male weaknesses and finally, submitting to Gods will.
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