Nov 7, 2012

Guide For Teenage Muslimah - Part 5

By Aasiya Maryam

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


I have been attending a couple of interviews since few weeks and one of the most repeated question that every interviewer begins with is “Tell me something about yourself.” Preparing for this question was like writing an essay on “Myself” as a 7 year old.

13+ years down the line since then, I was again sitting here preparing for the interview and wondering what do I tell about myself. Who am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses? Figuring out what I was all about definitely gave me a better insight into myself.

To tell you the truth though, when I started these series I had it all figured out. I had made mistakes, learnt lessons and alhumdulillah now had found myself to be a person who was more than comfortable in her shoes. But, with the passing of months I have now come to realise that you never really have everything totally set and perfect in this journey of being you. Sometimes you mess up, sometimes you like something but over time you do not, one day you are extremely confident about what you are doing and next day you are not so sure. But ultimately what really counts is you keep doing that which makes you the person whom Allah is pleased with because this is the side of you which gives true contentment to your heart despite the struggles, alhamdulillah.

Nevertheless, I will not lie. This article is not going to give you a magic recipe to know who you truly are right away but inshaAllah I will attempt to put certain things in perspective for you.

Who am I?
Personally, for me this question sums up everything about us. From the minute things about us like what talent we have got to the big ones like what values we stand up for.

Firstly, you have to realise that Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala made each of us a unique individual. Even though each of us have the same set of features physically but yet each one of us looks different, feels different, likes different things. And that is what truly makes you YOU! You are beautiful inside and out just the way you are! If there is someone you want to change for, it should be only for Allah, no one else, because believe me no matter what you do to please people, if Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala is not pleased with you then eventually that certain someone will also be displeased with you.

Whoever sought the pleasure of Allah though it was displeasing to the people then Allah becomes pleased with him, and will make the people please with him, and whoever sought the pleasure of the people though it was displeasing to Allah then Allah becomes displeased with him and will make the people displeased with him.” (Ibn Hibban/ Tirmidhi)

Having said that, have the courage to stand up for what you truly believe in. Be YOU – In your actions and words! Do not be afraid to act in a modest manner that depicts your values. Yes, I know in today’s age, where words like modestly and values are deemed as uncool, it becomes a difficult task to stand firmly for the values you believe in but it’s not impossible.

As a fact, no - it’s not going to look uncool if you wear that hijab to class because no one else wears it! If someone else has the courage to come to class dressed immodestly, then there is absolutely no point why you need to be afraid of carrying yourself modestly. You gathered the courage to NOT follow the crowd but rather leave a new legacy. May be there was this certain Muslim girl in your class who wanted to start the hijab too but was just too afraid; and now because YOU started it and knocked the whole class down with your bravery and stood out, even she gathered the courage to put on the hijab! And it is not just hijab, anything else that you believe in for the sake of Allah which is the truth; do NOT be afraid to stand up for it! Initially you get lot of ugly stares but eventually everyone gets used to it and they do not care anymore! Just wear that symbol of your believe and walk the talk girl! Be you and they will eventually come to love you, inshaAllah!

Why am I always compared with her?!

One of the biggest hindrances to being who you are and standing up for your values is being compared to someone else. It not only brings our self-esteem down but also makes us feel envious towards the other person. And envy by its nature can be extremely poisonous.

It’s difficult to change everything that people say, it is hard to ignore those comparisons and not feel bad about it; but come to think of it, by making yourself fall for their words you are just harming yourself. So, I would advise you to take their words lightly. Not that you completely ignore it, because we know you can’t do that but rather take the good and let go of the rest!

Look at the person you are being compared to and ask your self - what is that one quality in that person that is good? Be inspired by it.

Lastly, stop competing with anyone other than you. Let each day be one where you work towards making yourself better for the sake of Allah and not because you want to be better than that certain someone! Work towards a better you because you want Allah to love you…because you want to grow closer to Allah!

“If I compete with someone else who will I compete with when I have reached the first place?” Contemplate!

What am I good at?
This is one question that I have asked myself almost my entire teenage life but never figured it. Though I was good in my academics, alhamdulillah but I wanted to find the talent in me outside the sphere of books.

Over the years what I learnt was that not everyone is born genius. So do not expect finding something that you are extremely talented in and can just swish swash your wand and there it is done. Sometimes discovering that talent is a struggle, what I mean by that is you have to work towards building it. You have to put in that little extra effort to make yourself write that article, to paint that beautiful picture, to bake that yummy cake. It requires consistent learning, regular practising and holding on to it to make you better at it!

Like I said I literally wondered my entire teenage years over this question and finally it took me 20 years of my life to discover I can be a decent writer, alhamdulillah. I was never into sports or cooking, I always wanted to paint but was not good at that either. Writing was something I did only when pouring my thoughts into a journal once in a while.

The journey to being who I am today, what I am today, has been nothing but a mercy from Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala, alhamdulillah. Today every word I write and every word that you as a reader benefit from, all the good in it is only because of Allah.

Anyway with experience at hand, here are a few things that made me figure out things I can do, maybe it’ll work for you too inshaAllah:

· Make a list of things that interest you. For example painting, cooking, writing, gardening etc.
· Try each thing on the list occasionally. Give it a shot, even if you think you really cannot get it right. There is no harm trying and there is always scope for learning. So, try and try until you succeed! :)
· There may be days you think that this is not meant for you, but by putting in a little extra effort, you will be able to overcome this challenge, inshaAllah.

Remember, discovering something you are good at is a journey, sometimes it may be jet fast sometimes tortoise slow, but do not give up on it my beautiful sister, keep working…keep trying. Little by little, slowly, steadily and sweetly! :)

Dear sister, the journey to finding who you really are is filled with choices that make you or break you, it is filled with obstacles that you need to learn to not let them pull you down, it is filled with people who have the potential to change you that is why it is so important that you hang out with the right crowd - one that brings a positive change in you for the sake of Allah. But above all the journey to finding and being you is filled with smiles, tears, laughs, pain and being just what Allah wants you to be! So, do not worry if you cannot figure it out right away, it was never meant to work that way. Trust Allah and ask Him to take you through it safely.

What is the big deal about Islam? Why should I wear hijab? What is true success? What is the purpose of my life? We will talk about all these and more, inshaAllah in our next and final part of this series! :) Until then please share your views and experiences in the comments section below, on this journey to who you truly are. I’d love to hear from you! :)

Self Esteem Series on Habibi Halaqas
Muslim Teenagers by Nouman Ali Khan [Audio]
21 (Halal) Productive Hobbies to develop

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


Bismillah. As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah! Masha'Allah, work it girl!

Walaikum Assalam wa rahmatullah,
Alhumdulillah, JazakaAllahu Khair! :)

subhannallah...a really beautifully written article....U r really vry gud..Eagerly waiting for the last part...

JazakaAllahu Khair for your kind words..Alhumdulillah.. ! :)
Do share for khair! The last part has been submitted but will take some time to be published, though inshaAllah it should be worth the wait! :)

'Hang out with the right crowd'..... Agree 100%

Post a Comment