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Ibn Abdillah As-sudsisiy Al-Iloori

Let us not be deceived, Allah judges both the heart and appearance based on His injunctions and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. As He is interested in our inward deeds, He is also interested in our outward deeds. For instance, we now have ladies who pray with mini skirts and trousers without covering properly. When they are corrected, they would reply saying Allah looks at the heart not the appearance. While it is important for us as Muslim to purify our intentions, our acts and appearances must also be in accordance with divine injunctions. In fact, most of the time, appearance and action reflect what is concealed in heart. 

The hadith of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم  "Allah does not look at your appearance or your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and your deeds" [Muslim, al-Birr wa’l-Silah, 4651] is often misinterpreted to mean someone can do whatever he or she likes or dress the way he or she likes as far as he or she maintains good heart. Other parts of the hadith has shown that it relates to status, beauty, race, wealth and nobility. For instance, Allah would not look at the beauty of a woman or her body structure, He is interested in her piety. It is a wrong interpretation for anyone to think the hijab of a woman does not matter. The hijab is very important because it is an injunction of Allah. But the one who wears the hijab should also work on his heart as she works on her appearance so that both can correlate. The best of mankinds are those who fear Allah inwardly and outwardly. Allah says,

"O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. 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, Q49:13] 

It is also common for people doing bid'ah to claim to have good intention upon their innovations. This is not Islam. In Islam, the work and appearance must be based on Qur'an and Sunnah, and the intention behind them must be good (that is to please Allah alone). For instance, you can't engage in bid'ah or sins to please Allah. Bid'ah and sins only please the Shaitan. On the other hand, do not wear hijab to please anyone except Allah. Do not keep beards or shorten your trousers just to woo a salafi sister. Do not help people just to get some benefits from them in return. If you do this, you will not have any reward. If you pray because someone would be angry with you if you don't pray, there is no reward for you. You should pray having it at the back of your mind that you are complying with Allah's instructions and it is Him alone you want to please.

May Allah guide us aright.

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