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Elegance as a Muslimah

Eight steps to elegance as a Muslimah

“Elegance isn’t solely defined by what you wear. It’s how you carry yourself, how you speak,

what you read.” – Carolina Herrera

To live a life of little to no social regrets, poise and class, impact and legacy, one has to

develop the timeless and valuable quality of elegance. In my pursuit of finding ways to

cultivate elegance one step at a time, I came to realize how much of advice Islam has on the

matter. Islam is so comprehensive that if we place emphasis on Sunnah methods, we will

automatically be living at a high level of mindfulness and elegance.

Here are some steps to cultivating elegance:

1. Habits

Habits are very important in Islam. Islam itself is a complete way of life that consists

of routines that ensure we remember Allah every day. Salaah 5 times a day at their

specified times, is a form of routine that prevents us from ghaflah, heedlessness, by

re-centering us to our purpose every few hours. Rasoolullah SAW's sunnah is filled

with beautiful routines. He SAW mentioned in a beautiful hadeeth that the actions

most beloved to Allah are those that are done consistently, though they may be

small. From this we learn that training ourselves to have specific routines, especially

for our ibadat, to make it easy for us not to forget them, is paramount. 'Binge'

ibaadah, i.e. making a lot of ibadah on one day then doing the bare minimum

thereafter, doesn't mean as much as daily consistent ibadah, just as one day of

super healthy eating doesn't have the same impact as a long term diet.

2. Early riser

Muhammad SAW so beautifully asked Allah SWT to bless his ummah in their early

mornings. From this we know that if we want blessings and maximum productivity,

we should make the most of the early mornings. Our bodies have been designed by

the Almighty to be optimally functional in the early morning, with our daily cortisol rise

occurring in the early morning, and the morning light contributing to easier waking.

(Sadly, cellphone/electronic light mimics this light and prevents us from being able to

shut down at nights).

Elegant muslimahs should strive to wake up early enough to have a proper morning

routine and gain the benefits of a healthy breakfast and spiritual food for the day in

the form of adhkaar and tilawah. Remember never to overeat, Sahaba RA often had

just one meal for the day, and ate a few dates as another mini meal at another time

in the day.

Early to bed, early to rise

How Merciful is our Allah that sleep is an ibadah, if we sleep with the intention of

waking up for salaah, sleep with whudhu and choose sleep rather than engaging in

wrongdoing under the cover of night.

Having enough sleep is a requirement of the body, therefore we should practice good

sleep hygiene to make sure we fall asleep quickly enough, and rest enough before

waking up on time for our morning routines. Preventing exposure to technology at

least 1 to 2 hours before bed, not eating or drinking coffee 1 to 2 hours before

bedtime, and bathing/washing before sleeping are etiquettes of good sleep hygiene.

How Merciful is Allah, whudhu before sleeping is both rewardable and beneficial. We

should sleep on our right hand side, and not on our stomachs, as this is the posture

of the people of Jahannam. Rasoolullah SAW advised us that the last thing we

should do before bed is make witr salaah.

3. Personal grooming

An elegant lady always is presentable and neat. Our beloved Rasoolullah SAW even

gave us a routine for personal grooming to make sure we are presentable and

elegant. Paring nails and removing hair on Thursday nights will ensure we are never

ill-groomed and looking dirty. Our beloved Nabi SAW also emphasized cleanliness by

saying it is half of Eemaan.

4. Body language

There is so much about you that is said before you speak, and body langauge,

including posture, is an example of something that makes an impression before you

consciously do. Our beloved Rasoolullah SAW walked as though he was walking

downhill, he lowered his gaze and had modesty, and he gave off awe just by his

demeanor. He SAW turned his whole body to face the person he was addressing or

conversing with. As elegant muslimahs, we should be dressed in a non revealing

way, not slouch but stand respectably, and walk softly on this Earth - as Allah says

we should not stride as though we can break the Earth apart, we should not walk with

pride and haughtiness. We too should adopt the example of being active listeners,

showing interest in another person's words by means of our body language towards


5. Akhlaaq: refined manners and etiquette

The Ahaadeeth are filled with advice on character development, refining manners

and behaving with etiquette. For every single thing we do, from slaughtering an

animal, to eating, drinking, bathing, walking, speaking, sleeping, we have a perfect

example of etiquette. An elegant muslimah should always be dignified and act with

refined etiquette. Rasoolullah SAW advised his beloved Sahabi, Muaadh RA, when

he was leaving to become a governor, that he should beautify his behaviour and

character towards the people. The thing that speaks volumes about our level of

elegance more than anything else is our manners.

6. Think then talk

An elegant muslimah should have well thought-out speech. Our beloved Rasoolullah

SAW said that we should either speak good or keep silent. We should be of those

who have multiple filters and only let out beneficial, kind, good words. Being

humerous is OK in Islam, provided it does not hurt the feelings of others, nor be

untrue. Rasoolullah SAW guaranteed a house in the middle of Jannah for the one

who refrains from untrue speech even in the form of a joke. Whilst quick popularity

often comes after being funny (often at the expense of others) and unverified

information about others is an easy way to fill silence, it really isn't worth giving up

your thawaab. Vulgar speech, excessive meaningless speech, and offensive speech,

are definitely out of keeping with the quality of elegance and the example of

Rasoolullah SAW.

7. Practice gratitude

An elegant lady makes people feel appreciated and important. The beautiful hadeeth

says that he who is not thankful to mankind cannot be thankful to Allah. Our beloved

Rasoolullah SAW made each person he spoke to feel like they were the closest to

him, the most important to him. We too should strive to make everyone feel very

welcome and valued when they come into our presence. This should be irrespective

of social standing or seniority, as Allah SWT advised Rasoolullah SAW to give

attention to the poor blind man who was keen to learn deen rather than focus on the

rich and powerful in the community.

8. Upskill

An elegant muslimah is able to converse beautifully on a variety of topics. It is so

easy to become one-sided and only know about our niche of education or expertise,

but a sign of elegance is being able to converse in a versatile way. Reading, picking

up new hobbies, and exploring new places will open up our minds. Remember, it

doesn't have to be costly, it just costs time, but it is a valuable investment in yourself.

Rasoolullah SAW advised 3 sports, horseriding, archery and swimming. Taking up

sports as a hobby will also help us look after our great amaanah: our bodies.

May Allah SWT grant us all the timeless quality of elegance!

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