Appearances … re-revisited

A few days ago I came home beardless! I`ve been growing a beard for several months and it has grown thick indeed! [my wife warned me about posting a photo or I`ll lose half of my readers “AKA 5-6 people” instantly] :p

Anyhow, my daughter welcomed me with a cheerful waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw! She`s only 4.5, I didn`t tell my wife that I was going to get rid of the beard so it`s safe to say that my daughter`s reaction was spontaneous

I asked her why the “waaaaaaw”; her answer was that I look nicer this way.

To be honest, it made me think, do we have expectations about looks from that early age? Do we programme our children to judge based on appearances?

Next day when I went to the mosque, the people whom would make-way for me and if the Imam is not present for one reason or another they would ask me to be the Imam and do the prayers,,,, didn`t! Ever since I “removed” the beard they have never asked me to! I`m still the same person for crying out loud! If my outfit is different, if I`m not using the Siwak , or if I`m clean-shaven; does that alter whom I am from the inside! Really?

I dunno, it just keeps revolving inside my head.

What do [I] do to avoid such “practice”, how do I fight it.

Well, I do some recruitment and it`s vital for me not to judge based on appearances,  I write down some lines whenever I have an interview to remind myself of that.

I also keep a mini-log, on a weekly basis, of examples I found myself doing the “sin” and try to avoid them in the future by asking myself: “what made me think positively/negatively about him/her/them, what was my trigger?”

It doesn`t always work! May be in a job-setting it does, but as a social being I caught myself numerous of times falling for it.

What do YOU do? And is it something that bugs you or you just don`t give it much of a thought?






8 responses

  1. Dear brother,

    In an “organizational behavior book, and many behavior related ones, they stated that the appearance make 50-70% of the first impression. I tend to agree with the higher percentage. It may trigger some sort of a reaction, or make you cautious in your first counter with someone.. But you tend to change your impression with a feedback of your experience.

    The way we look does, to an extent, express our personalities and social backgrounds. Yes, it is NOT enough to just rely on the looks but this is what is happening.. It is not that we are raised to prototype people according to their looks, but children feel more secure with people who look just like their parents..

    your daughter perhaps related your beardless face with a favorable memory, or at some point in her life-god bless her heart and keep her sound and safe- related a bearded face with a less favorable memory.

    I think that before the idea of globalization, people were more dependent on how you look to relate to you, the way you dress, the way you cut your hair and how you speak and behave.. the more you look and sound like them, the more relation you will have.. the less similarities between you too, the more your chance to be treated as a stranger..

    But now, the world is getting smaller and people all over are getting interconnected regardless of their backgrounds.. the appearances and looks are taking less and less percentage of the first impression. This “kind of behavior” will be lessened but will take longer time.. feh kter derasat bel mawdoo3 and you will be AMAZED!.. bs bede a5teser 3ashan enta w rain you make me talk a lot :s neshef ree2e!


    • To me it`s the kind of issues that I don`t want to trace as much I look for to concur! Know what I mean?
      Why do we reject the “other” if similarity is not “there”! Seriously, why?
      Why does it threaten our security? I want to fight that because it is simply … WRONG!
      In order to achieve that I/we got to understand it first, but in so doing we can have some mechanisms (each on their own) to fight it and not slip into “it”! the doing I mean (of relying on appearances THAT much) to form opinions/attitudes/…etc

      Regarding children, are we or are we not unconsciously programming them to do just that? I`m not so sure! i`m not.


  2. I can relate to your blog post. I am a revert to Islam from New York and have undergone similar scrutiny. On one hand, clean shaven face symbolizes not-religious and long beard piety. But, having lived in Kuwait for nine years I have seen many religious, pious muslims who were clean faced. It was accepted in Kuwait and maybe it’s not here. So, I guess the best course of action is to leave some on the face to appease everyone. At the end of the day, you must answer to Allah and NO ONE ELSE. Character is more important than looks. I believe people will overlook your appearance (long beard or short beard) if you exemplify noble/prophetic traits. We live in a materialistic, imagery overload world where looks/appearances means everything. So it is deeply rooted in our societies to judge based off of looks. Again, great post and I look forward to checking frequently.


    • Hello there 🙂
      Thanks for your valuable comment.
      As I replied to Wafa`; we are interacting with each other as commodities! And it`s getting uglier 😦

      We must answer to Allah, only to Allah, I agree. I hope we can manage to cling to that more often!

      Thanks for subscribing 🙂


  3. I don’t know how or when do we start to be judgmental and judging people according to their looks, but the train has already left the station and we need a miracle to catch it. But we need it hard cuz our life is turning ugly by this and we are turning people into sad creatures because we can not see what’s inside of them instead of the outside.


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