When He Said My Friend Was Ugly


A true story by an anonymous sister. Sometimes the most powerful lessons come in the most heartbreaking ways.

raindropsBefore I begin the story I want to ask, which women do we think are most valuable? Which women should we try to be like?

There is a beautiful hadith:

“Many men attained perfection, but only three women attained it: Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imraan [Jesus’s mother], Aasiyah, Pharaoh’s wife, and Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid.” (Ibn Mardooyah)

Do we seriously take them as our true role models?

When I remember the story I am about to narrate, I usually feel a sting in my heart. In fact, I think it would be more befitting if I should cry.

This is what happened about 7 to 8 years ago:

I was in class once. The class had either free time or the teacher still wasn’t there…  I really don’t remember. What I do remember is everyone in the class was Muslim.

Beside me was… was… well, this sister. I really didn’t know her much. In fact, other than her name, I knew almost nothing about her. Yet, I would still consider her as a friend.

She was very quiet and didn’t participate in class. The sister was very modest. She wore a hijab and a loose garment. She use to wear her hijab so beautifully, a large scarf that she would cover her shoulders, back and bosoms with. I remember that clearly because the other girls didn’t wear it like that.

Unlike the other girls wearing hijab, she didn’t have her hoop earnings sticking out, she didn’t pluck her eyebrows, didn’t giggle with the boys whenever she had the chance, didn’t hang out with the boys after school, didn’t talk about the latest hip-hop song that was out, wasn’t loud and etc.

She didn’t tie her hijab to the back, but covered her chest, she didn’t try to get the boys attention, she didn’t wear eye-liner and heavy lip gloss like the rest of the girls.

One day as I sat, a couple of boys next to us were talking about girls, I think they were talking about hooking up with girls from the class, or who they would like to hook up with… again, my memory is fuzzy. Among the boys, there was one boy who was very loud.

One boy mentioned that sister’s name to the loud boy… as a cruel joke.

As soon as the name was mentioned, the boy started screaming and shouting in protest something like (don’t remember all the details ), “EEEWWW!!! Shut up!!!! Shut up!!! Ha ha ha ha!!! EEWW Man, don’t play like that!!! EW, Her! Yo, she got a messed up face ! Her face is messed up!!!”

He repeated something like this a couple of times, in front of everyone…

Of course the sister heard.

Some boys were laughing. I think even some girls were laughing, also. Not sure if anyone objected. I don’t remember all the details.

In fact, even I stayed quiet.

From the best of what I remember (and I don’t remember all the details), during the silence, I noticed that she was crying…

She was crying, and she had her face covered with her hands. She tried to be as quiet as possible, but I heard her…

She hunched her back, put her head down as low as it could have gone, and wept. When I looked at her, there were a lot of tears…

The boy noticed she was crying. The words of comfort he had for her were, “Yo, just chill. Just chill.”

The most awful part of the story as I think about it is that the boy who humiliated her in the class was also a Muslim.

I stared ahead… with a blank expression, and then looked at him.

“Yo, just chill. Just chill,” he repeated.

Now that I recall, I wish I had said something.

It’s sad that the sister who dressed the most modestly got dismissed in class as being ugly. May Allah make all her affairs easy.

In this ignorant society, we are fooled to think that the women who are lacking modesty are valuable.

My message:

Don’t ever in your life get fooled to think that the value and worth of a woman is in her beauty.

What does the Qur’aan say:

Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All Aware” [al-Hujuraat 49:13].

The true value of a woman rests in her level of taqwa and good deeds, not in her transient worldly earnings.” (The Ideal Muslimah, by Muhammad al Hashimi)


This story was originally submitted to The Ideal Muslimah via e-mail by an anonymous sister. Our thanks to The Ideal Muslimah for their generosity and the permission to repost.