Personal Development Relationships

Surrounded By Mirrors

I remember when our restroom mirror was being replaced, my family decided to snatch mine, until a new one was bought. I didn’t really mind it at the time, I didn’t really use it that much…or so I thought. After they took it away, my life became a little…lopsided. Each morning I would wake up, get dressed, then stand before my dresser looking forward, prepared to tackle the task of wrapping my hijab, and to my dismay, every day, I found myself staring at a rosey pink wall. I was tricked into it each morning, for that week. Every day I would be a little startled when I couldn’t see myself when I wanted to. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, since all I had to do was open my bedroom door, head down the hall and into the restroom, to see myself…but surprisingly, it was. It was then, last February, that I realized the true blessing of having a mirror.

This realization has recently expanded to more than just the physical world, about one month ago when I listened to a lecture by sheikh Kamal El-mekki, hafidhahullah. His talk, named Got Manners?, was enough to slap me awake, turn me around, and spark a love in my heart for mirrors all over the world. Sounds materialistic aye? Hardly.

Before I tell you the points that really did it for me, I want you to take a moment and think. Think about a day when you were deprived of any mirror being anywhere near you. Think about what would happen. Think about how you would look when you left the house. Think about how self conscious you would be.

Now reflect. The Prophet, sal Allahu Alayhi wa salam , said “”A believer is a mirror to another believer” (narrated by Abu Huraira—transmitted in  Abu Dawud). Now WHY did He say this? Why choose mirror specifically and not just say “they give naseeha (advice) to one another?

  1. When a mirror shows you something you appreciate it
    • Let’s say you are getting ready to go out to an important event and you are wearing black on black. You stand in front of the mirror and you find a big white feather in your hair (in your hijab for sisters :-)). Do you get angry at the mirror for showing you the flaw? No you appreciate it showing you the flaw because that is what you expect.
  2. The mirror shows you your true self immediately
    • It doesn’t stop and not show you your flaw because you are feeling good at the moment and decides to tell you when you get home so your feelings are not hurt
  3. The mirror shows you the truthNo exaggerations. It doesn’t show you that you are worse than you actually are NOR better than you actually are.
  4. You wholeheartedly believe the mirror
    • You don’t think “that’s not me” or “the mirror doesn’t know what its talking about”
  5. The mirror shows you the good and the bad
    • It doesn’t just show you the bad. That’s why when you give advice to someone you start with something nice.
  6. The mirror shows you what you look like in the context of what you are around
    • It doesn’t just show you yourself and ignore everything around you.
  7. The mirror doesn’t wait for you to ask it’s advice
    • Some people you have to pull the advice out of them
    • This doesn’t, however, mean you call out a brother whenever you feel like it..rather you pull them aside and give them the advice or do it publicly without mentioning names. Ubay ibn fayyadh said “the believer conceals and gives advice while the hypocrite exposes and humiliates”.
  8. The mirror is always there for you
    • Without exception. The mirror never says “sorry, im not in the mood come look at me later.”
  9. You like coming back to the mirror
    • You should like to return to the people who give advice to you
  10. The mirror will show you what is good. It won’t hit you or beat you. It won’t force you to change rather leave the choice to you.

Allahu Akbar!

Now I pose the question, Brother and Sisters: What kind of mirrors do you surround yourself with? What type of mirror are you?

About the author

Reehab (Ramadan) Aref

Reehab (Ramadan) Aref

Reehab (Ramadan) Aref grew up in a small Texas city and was unexpectedly uprooted to Cairo, Egypt. The shift of countries precipitated a shift in her outlook on life; this, with her enriching experience in community activism—specifically social service, youth work, and Qur’anic Studies—provides for a rather enlightened perspective. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. Thankfully, her main outlet and therapeutic tool is to write, write, write! She keeps her own blog, contributes regularly to various publications, and – most importantly – you’ll find her entries on this site.

Leave a Comment