And the Award of Miss Muslimah Goes to… Can I Really Do it?

12 August, 2020
Q Asalamu alaikum.

Please I'm a girl with a hearing impairment and I love to learn so much about Islam and share the beauty of Islam to others. I always seek knowledge to be a better muslimah.

There's this problem, I want to join the Miss Muslimah beauty pageant in my country but I sometimes feel like I cannot do it and at other times I feel like I can do it.

Whenever I feel like I can do it, I ask these questions to myself; can I really participate in this contest? How can I participate in the contest with my hearing impaired problem?

I have tried many hearing aids but it just makes it worse for me to hear. Can I participate without using a hearing aid? I don't know what to do. Please help me.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

There is nothing wrong with gaining confidence through competitions. Competitions, in general, can be huge energy and dopamine (happiness hormone) boost. 

However, Is there any other competition you would be interested to join? What are you good at? Reciting the Quran? Drawing? Photograph? Sport? Look around and see if there was anything else that might interest you. 

The HearingCoach suggests some very good confidence-boosting tips for people with hearing impairments

Accept yourself for who you are.

Avoid comparison with others.

Make dua to Allah that He makes life easy for you with this impairment.


Salam Aleikom sister,

Thank you for sending us your question.

From your message, I understood that you love Islam, and you see joining the Miss Muslimah beauty pageant, which aims to promote modesty, an opportunity to “share the message of Islam with others”. However, you have hearing impairment, which makes you doubtful whether you are qualified to join the competition. 

From your words, I also assume that you want to join this competition in order to gain more self-confidence. 

First of all, Mashallah, calling others to Islam (dawah) is a beautiful mission and, in fact, an obligation that lies on the shoulder of each and every Muslim.

“Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” [al-Qur’aan, an-Nisaa'(16):125]

In last sermon Prophet (PBUH) said; Convey what you have received from me, even it is a verse (Bukhari, Muslim Chapter on Hajj)

May Allah bless you for your intention and your efforts, and give you success in clearing the misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in people’s mind.

Although you have not mentioned, for this noble mission, you need to seek Islamic knowledge continuously. Inshallah, put this on your focus: read books, join Islamic schools such as the Islamic Online University, or other programs that teach you how to make dawah.

And the Award of Miss Muslimah Goes to... Can I Really Do it? - About Islam

A beauty pageant as a way of dawah?

If I am well-informed, this competition aims to promote modesty and inner peace. The founder of the competition says ““I wanted to give Muslim women the opportunity to change misconceptions about themselves.”

The sisters compete in 5 categories:  Best abayah, best burkini, best modest special occasion dress, Best modest talent, Quran recitation.

While the aim of Miss Muslimah seems to be noble, yet there is still a strong emphasis on women’s beauty and body (even though it is in burkini and dress.) I personally have some doubts whether it would be Islamically encouraged to join.

However, I am not an Islamic scholar, therefore I only advice you to write our “Ask the Scholar” section, get their opinion and based on that decide you still feel comfortable joining the program. You said you love Islam, so I am sure you want to do what is in the realms of Islam. 

What else you could do to spread the message of islam?

One of your main goals with Miss Muslimah, if I understood well, is to do something for Islam. Have you thought of anything else that serves the same purpose other than a beauty competition? 

What are you good at? Speaking, writing, organizing, helping others?

You could write down the good qualities you like in yourself. Be fair with yourself and recognize if indeed you are good at something. Admit you are good at X or Z! This would not only boost your confidence, but could help you discover new ways to spread the message of Islam. 

For example,

You could give lectures at your school about Islam. Or write articles, start a blog or a Vlog. Organize Islamic events at your school’s library or help the poor with other Muslims. There are soo many was to serve this deen, mashallah. 

Maybe you can look around what other Muslim projects exist around you and join them. Or start a new project with friends. Working in-group is fun and inspiring. 

Do you want to join Miss Muslimah to gain confidence?

As I expressed before, I feel you have low self-esteem because of your impairment, and you want to use this event to boost your confidence

There is nothing wrong with gaining confidence through competitions. Competitions, in general, can be huge energy and dopamine (happiness hormone) boost. 

However, Is there any other competition you would be interested to join? What are you good at? Reciting the Quran? Drawing? Photograph? Sport? Look around and see if there was anything else that might interest you. 

I think you could do many other things that would boost your confidence. 

You may want to join FB groups that support people with hearing impairments and get inspired. Ask them how they deal with their impairment. 

Modeling others’ strategies could help a lot in dealing with your own feelings.

If impairment, Nick Vujicic is a person you should look at as inspiration. He is such an amazing example of how people can not only live happily but be an active part of the society, despite their impairment. 


Check out this counseling video:


Tips to Boost your confidence

The HearingCoach suggests some very good confidence-boosting tips for people with hearing impairments in general:

Look for the positives in your life. When things go wrong because of your hearing loss it’s tempting to focus how challenging life has become. Don’t. You are so much more than your hearing loss.

Instead, focus on all the other great things in your life. Who knows some of them may even be hearing-loss related. For example I am so grateful for the fantastic people I have met and worked with through my deafness.”

Remember sister that Allah promised us in the Quran we will be tested. 

Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them… [Surat al Ankabut,2-4]

But remember, what matters is what you do about your hardships:

No calamity occurs, but by the permission of Allah, and whosover believes in Allah, He guides his heart. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything. [64:11]

And remember that happiness only comes with hardships:

For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. [94: 5-6]

Focus on your achievements. Despite using lipreading skills and technology I still mishear people and, yes, I do feel utterly stupid. But then I remind myself that the fact I’ve got the other 99% of the conversation correct is pretty damn good. Or I congratulate myself that I’m still working after losing 75% of my hearing. Tell yourself the stuff your best friend would say if they were there with you.” 

Sister, you could actually start a gratitude journal in which you write down at least 3 things every day you feel grateful about. This is a very good technique we use to boost confidence and contentment in life. We need to recognize how beautiful life is and how Allah is good to us despite our hardships. 

Accept yourself for who you are. We can’t control our hearing loss. But we can control how we react to the challenges it throws in our path. And this gets easier the more we practice it. Teaching yourself to shrug off mistakes like mishearing someone can make your life so much less stressful.” 

Avoid comparison with others. It’s easy to give yourself a hard time because you know someone else with hearing loss who seems to manage better. But everyone’s experience of deafness is different. So even if I have exactly the same hearing loss as you, what I can hear and how well I have adapted to the loss will be different. We’re incomparable!” 

Choose your friends. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you in your hearing loss journey. Sure, you can’t choose all your colleagues, but don’t spend any more time than you have to with any who make fun of you.”

Inshallah sister, join the programs at your local mosque and you keep in touch with like-minded, active sisters, who support you.

“Keep a sense of humor. If you’re the first one to laugh at mishearing something you will instantly defuse any awkwardness. I’ve learnt to say with a smile, “oh I am sorry, I thought you said xx, I can see why you’re looking confused” and then carry on with the discussion. If you don’t make a big deal about it, no-one else will.”

Most importantly sister, make dua to Allah that He makes life easy for you with this impairment. Complain to Him and ask Him to feel in peace with this hardship. Remember those who are in worse conditions than you. 

I hope I helped with my answer.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Timea Aya Csányi
Timea Aya Csányi pursues her BSc. degree in Psychology and Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. She is a certified NLP® Practitioner, one of our writers and counselors at the "Ask the Counselor" section. She works as a fitness trainer who is specialized in the spine and functional training. She is advocates for gaining self-love and confidence through exercising. If you are a Muslimah who seeks spine-friendly online training with a PT, you can reach out to Timea at [email protected]