The Art of Complaining

complainOf course, nobody is perfect, and we all slip sometimes, but it should be of our utmost priority to make the best out of what Allah has sent our way.

If we believe in the verse where Allah says “Verily with hardship there is ease!” (94:6), then we should understand that no matter how hard something may be for us, there will be an easy time to follow.

Of course, it is not an easy task to think positively 24/7, but especially during times of obvious discomfort for majority of people, we should be mindful and aware that when we converse among ourselves, that we are not complaining against Allah’s will.

The heat, the natural disasters, the bad economy, unfortunate events, bad luck, fate – the list can go on, and it has been causing many people to perfect the art of complaining. As this holy month of Ramadan passed, it was full of energy and bustling communities, but unfortunately, also a lot of complaining. “The fasts are soooo long now!” or, “The heat makes it so hard to fast, what’s going to happen next year?” And again, the list can go on. There is also a popular saying in Urdu: “Roza lag raha hai.” Which translates pretty much into: “I’m feeling my fast.” Really? It’s been over a thousand years since fasting has been prescribed to us, that we at least try and understand its point. After all, isn’t one of the main purposes of fasting to feel the hunger pangs that the poor and needy feel every day?

Along with the long fasts this year, our world has been going through some extreme weather changes. Yes, it is hot in most places where it is usually cold, and it will probably be very cold in places this coming winter. But instead of finding solutions, or looking at the bright side of things, we all find ways to complement each others’ complaints, “Yeah I know, it’s unbearable!” or, “I know, I hate this place.”

Unfortunately, we have not perfected our self-control; therefore, we find ways to complain to make conversation and relate to others, rather than finding common interests or life situations to discuss.

Islam encourages us to stay in touch with recent world happenings, because sometimes it helps us put our lives into perspective. It may encourage someone to do a good humanitarian act, or even strike up a fruitful conversation in which issues and hopefully solutions can be discussed, rather than complaints about how hot the weather is or how crowded the streets are. Allah created us with high potential and the ability to become the most perfect human beings and creations.

Of course, nobody is perfect, and we all slip sometimes, but it should be of our utmost priority to make the best out of what Allah has sent our way. If we believe in the verse where Allah says “Verily with hardship there is ease!” (94:6), then we should understand that no matter how hard something may be for us, there will be an easy time to follow. Of course, it is not an easy task to think positively 24/7, but especially during times of obvious discomfort for majority of people, we should be mindful and aware that when we converse among ourselves, that we are not complaining against Allah’s will.

Burdens are blessings in disguise. As a test of our faith, we need to take them in stride and develop a greater positive attitude when tested with burdens. In this way, we will be able to learn self-control and reliance on Allah. The more we complain, the less we understand the deeper meaning of the burden. Be it heat, cold, a bad grade, an accident, or even losing our car keys, we should take each incident and situation as something to learn from. Our main goal in life is not to perfect the art of complaining; rather, it is to accept whatever problems and challenges we encounter and use each opportunity to help build ourselves into more perfect human beings.

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Our Perception of Beauty

How does Islam view human beauty? Is physical beauty always looked upon as a positive trait? Needless to say, physical beauty is indeed a blessing – but according to Islamic teachings, beauty is just like any other material and perishable trait such as wealth, rank, and occupation.

Physical beauty by itself has little worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not accompany inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). Real beauty is what we carry with us in our journey to the hereafter: our good deeds. In the Holy Qur’an (3:106) we are reminded of Judgment Day when people’s deeds will determine their physical appearance: “On the day when (some) faces shall turn white and (some) faces shall turn black; then as to those whose faces turn black: Did you disbelieve after your believing? Taste therefore the chastisement because you disbelieved.”

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We live in a culture that exaggerates physical beauty above and beyond where its true status lies. The media and culture have indirectly pushed people’s minds to treat beauty as one of the determinants of self-worth, especially in young girls and women. It becomes crucial for everyone of us to examine what beauty really is, and what role physical beauty has to play in our lives.

Is beauty limited to physical characteristics or is there a higher dimension to it? Is beauty an independent trait or does it shine in people with good personalities? Although the answers to these questions are very subjective, the Islamic view of beauty helps us to shape our opinions in the best manner possible.

All Creation Is Beautiful

Although the eyes may not perceive every creation around us as beauty, the Qur’anic verse (32:7) tells us that all creation is beautiful. This verse is clearly talking about beauty on a higher level than the mere physical dimension that our eyes try to find in what they perceive. This verse urges us to appreciate beauty in all creation and to see the beauty in Allah’s universe through observing how interconnected and orderly it is!

The Perception of Beauty

How does Islam view human beauty? Is physical beauty always looked upon as a positive trait? Needless to say, physical beauty is indeed a blessing – but according to Islamic teachings, beauty is just like any other material and perishable trait such as wealth, rank, and occupation. Physical beauty by itself has little worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not accompany inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). Real beauty is what we carry with us in our journey to the hereafter: our good deeds. In the Holy Qur’an (3:106) we are reminded of Judgment Day when people’s deeds will determine their physical appearance: “On the day when (some) faces shall turn white and (some) faces shall turn black; then as to those whose faces turn black: Did you disbelieve after your believing? Taste therefore the chastisement because you disbelieved.”

In our everyday lives we often come across people who may be good-looking but something about their character repels us from them; the reverse is also true for people who may not be so good-looking but appear beautiful to us because of their positive qualities. A recent article by plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Tornambe, published by the Huffington Post, presents an interesting conclusion about how the mind judges beauty. The article “What Makes a Person Ugly?” focuses on certain positive personality traits that serve to enhance and sometimes even determine how we perceive physical beauty. Some characteristics that are mentioned are self-confidence, cheerfulness, altruism, and optimism. When it comes to judging between physical beauty and personality, our mind inclines towards appreciating people who possess such positive traits and brighter souls.

Actions that Enhance Beauty

Proximity to Allah and obeying His commands surely enhance one’s beauty, both inner as well as physical beauty. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said, “Beauty is in the tongue (wording)”. Good moral conduct is one basis of judging what qualifies as beauty. Ayatollah Hussain Madhahiri writes in his book Islamic Family-Life Ethics, “Sometimes speech is like the beauty spot on the face which enhances the beauty of the person.” A person with good morals is truly beautiful inside out and wins peoples’ hearts.

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In addition, some recommended actions enhance inner and outer beauty. One of them is the highly recommended Night Prayer (Salat al-Layl) that, when performed on a regular basis, enhances one’s physical beauty. Allama Majlisi writes in his book on Salat al-Layl: “Salat al-Layl makes one’s face beautiful; beautifies one’s etiquette; gives a pleasant smell to one’s body and increases one’s daily sustenance. It also removes sorrow and grief and gives strength to the eyes.”

Hence, closeness to Allah creates both inner as well as outer beauty! In conclusion, below is a historic couplet that refers to the beauty of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him), whose beauty is a symbol of Allah’s most beautiful creation:

“No one has ever seen beauty like Yusuf’s,
But He who created Yusuf has the true beauty.”

Let us try to reflect true eternal beauty from within ourselves!

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http://www.islamicinsights.com/religion/our-perception-of-beauty.html

The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin

Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion.But what about drinking large amounts of water for proper skin health? Claims have been made that drinking water gives you a radiant, healthy, younger- looking complexion, while others say it has no effect on skin’s appearance whatsoever.

Which is true?

The fact is that skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body. your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best.

If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. As water is lost in large quantities every day, you need to replace it somehow. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin. So, it’s important to apply water to our skin and keep it there – this will not only show a visible difference in hydration, but it can prevent wrinkles, as well.

So what is the best way to add water to the skin?

  • Apply a hydrating moisturizer within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower. The skin is still porous and is vulnerable to products that are applied following the bath or shower, allowing better absorption.
  • Apply a product containing hyaluronic acid prior to your moisturizer, such as Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there.
  • Drink more water. Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins. Everyone will not agree that water consumption will improve skin… but it certainly can’t hurt. Many people often report that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant glow. Those who suffer from acne have reported the same results. Nothing will happen overnight, but even a good couple of weeks of increasing water intake should be enough for you to see how hydration affects your own skin.

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