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Not many people eat fruit for its skin. We don’t value pineapples, bananas, mangoes, oranges, and other kinds of fruit for their externals as much a we do for their internals. While the exterior skin envelopes and protects the sweet and nutritious internals, it is often tasteless, and of little use by itself.
Likewise, we too often become absorbed and devoted to the “skin,” the external portion of ourselves, paying too much attention to the superficial while neglecting what truly matters, what makes a fruit sweet and wholesome, the inside.
Perhaps it is an adoration for glamour and attention that drives this misplaced focus. As humans, we live in a world that rewards external actions and appearances, but by its inherent nature, is unable to perceive anything beyond the apparent.
What causes us to become over indulged in perfecting the exterior realm and leads us to neglect the interior one, is our focus on earning the pleasure and approval of this world and its people. This approach leads to showing off, hypocrisy, vainness, and narcissism, among other ills, and is fundamentally imbalanced.
What’s missing from the equation is sincerity, not necessarily towards people, but towards God, the lord of people. A genuine awareness of God and divine purpose leads to sincere intentions, and sincere intentions foster pure hearts. That awareness, however is something many of us lack.
It's important to remember that our hearts can only develop when we synchronize the beauty of our external realities with genuine internal purity and when we provide them with the essentials required to grow.
Like weeds that compete for nutrients in the soil and struggle to grow taller than the other, our egos and our hearts continuously battle for nourishment and attention. One seeks external glorification, while the other yearns for internal and spiritual development. Just like any weed, if we fail to control the growth of our egos, they will engulf our hearts and souls, strip away the nutrients, and leave no room for growth and development.
Reviving what’s on the inside, our hearts, therefore relies on balance with outside pressures. It relies on moderation and a harmony between the world around us and the convictions within us.
Often times our approach to fashion, the principle vehicle for external beautification, is overly engrossed with the superficial. It becomes a carcass of vanity, a facade. Attention is only given to the external, to getting approval, and many times this leaves our clothing characterless, simply a shell of what other people, of what society tells us to look like.
We forget about our genuine selves and beliefs, as we seek to appease the eyes of others, and fall prey to insincerity and a lack of genuineness.
I think there's a better approach, a harmony, as stated before. I believe clothing, something so inherent to our very beings, should be externally beautiful, but also internally meaningful.
God describes the clothing that he bestowed upon Adam from heaven as ""وريش, "wearish", which means beautiful clothing that protects what's on the inside. Clothing that is pleasing to the eye, but also that embodies and encapsulates something more profound, something heavenly.
I’ve started a company called Wearish Clothing to make clothes like these. To make clothes as close in beauty to those that Allah bestowed upon our father from heaven. Clothing that conveys a message as appealing its looks. Clothing that is both fashionable and faithful.
It’s my hope that this endeavor will be a step towards uniting appealing aesthetic with heartfelt belief, and by doing so, will provide customers with a product that is genuine, sincere, and that symbolizes those values to the world.
Abdullah Budeir is a native Atlantan and current student at Bayyinah Institute’s Dream Program in Irving, Texas. He works as a writer for Bayyinah Institute and runs Wearish Clothing, an online apparel company. He plans to attend Emory University in the Fall of 2016.