Sunday 15 June 2008

Giving Account – Accumulating What We Don’t Need

My mum always told me that everything we wear, eat, use and say will be held against us on the day of judgement. She usually meant this in relation to food to discourage waste and to get us to clean our plates, but it has most stayed with me regarding the matter of clothing.

We live in an age where trends change eight times a year and clothing has become so cheap that it costs as much as food sometimes (think Tesco, Asda, Ethel Austin or Primark where you can get a coat for £15 or a top for £2). Many of us are in a situation where our cupboards are so full we can’t cram anything else in and we still feel like we can’t find anything to wear, every time we feel bad, we think we can buy something to make everything better.

Sometimes I think guilt is misplaced and counter-productive, but on occasion it can be an indicator that something we are doing is not right. I always felt guilty buying new clothes, especially knowing that I won’t be able to justify to Allah (SWT) why I have so much. With this in mind, I decided to start an experiment a few years ago. I decided I would not buy any more new clothes unless 100% necessary, i.e. a pair of work shoes or a winter coat. I am often made outfits by my mum who is a talented seamstress. I also often get clothes sent to me by my mother-in-law and in-laws friends and my family in Pakistan. This means that I don’t have to worry about clothes for Eid or something nice to wear on a Friday.

What I found from this experiment is that you can be in danger of losing your sense of style, I am not a fan of scarlet, yellow or orange but my cupboard has plenty of it inside. Mum comes to the rescue with sensible blues and greens and blacks in simple shapes, then I get something from a cousin in black with a chintzy sofa print alhamdulillah.

In return I send my children’s’ clothes to Pakistan once they outgrow them and buy new clothing for my nephews and nieces and husband’s friends children.

You may be thinking "Its okay for her – she seems to have lots of generous relatives", but think on this: If you didn’t buy lots of new clothes, would Allah suddenly decline to clothe you? I think of the poverty of many of the Sahabah and what little the beloved Prophet (PBUH) left behind and their fear of giving account and I realise how much we have and how little we realise the real cost of it.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oh jeeeze that is exactly what I have been contemplating. Like I wrote in Safiyyah's blog. Maybe i won't purchase a home.. maybe I can do with a little apartment. I don't want to live my LIFE acumulating money. I want to accumulate faith and earn jennah. So inshallah I keep to my word and do not stray.

    ok.. so today I was like "hmm I want to go eat out at some fancy restaurant" and then I stopped to realize of how self-centered I was. I mean those 30 dollars could have been utilized for another good cause. Like for instance maybe feed a child that has not ate for a month. I feel like a Ms.Fatty wanting to excite my taste buds only... sheesh shame on me..

    ok.. well keep us posted. oh and btw I think this is my first time commentind on your blog but I have read it before. oh and another thing I just discovered what Umm means.. :) it means mother of... woo hoo


    p.s. it was me who deleted my comment it had so many typos.. :P I always forget to read it before I submit it...

  3. Sis, I had one more inquiry. How did you make your blog have three comlums? Can you by any chance please instruct me on how to and email me at

    or if not then if you can give me the template or give me any references where to look it up. please :)

    Jasak Allahu Khair

    your sister in Islam, Yasmine

  4. I think this problem affects women the most. We buy way too many clothes and always need something new (if there is a party, wedding, etc...) I try my best not to buy too many clothes but I feel the same way you do! My style is lacking and especially when I go to the mosque and notice other stylish sisters I find myself thinking I need more clothing.

  5. Assalam-alaikam Sister Yasmine,
    Thanks for letting me know you deleted the comment, the curiosity would have driven me crazy.

    You hit the nail on the head, my biggest weakness is food, which can be quite humiliating at times.

    I spent ages trying to find a good template for blogger, but all the ones I liked either didn't work or tried to crash my computer. In the end, out of sheer desperation, I used the tutorial below and did it myself (with a few adjustments to cloumn width):

    I followed it really, really carefully and got the shock of my life when it actually worked.

    Also the following link has the most beautiful free blogger headers:

    Assalam-alaikam Sister (with the cute pic),
    I bet you have great style. I realised when I felt most frumpy and stuck in a rut (after I had my littlest one) that for great stye you need to be innovative, creative and work with what you have. You just have to get a sense of what you love and have a little courage to wear it regardless of how it looks to anyone (Sister Kima's old blog - precious modesty - now We Love Hijab, was a great help too for helping me "get my groove back"!)

  6. Anonymous20 June, 2008

    Alhamdulillah, I haven't really bought much in the way of clothes over the years. I guess my family might think I am soooo uncool. And like you---none of my wardrobe really reflects my style preferences. I actually dislike much of my clothes, but they are functional (try finding american plus sized clothes that are "halal"). Sometimes I fantasize about just wearing one big sheet, or have a uniform to make things simple--jilbab and scarves work but not in the summer. I sometimes wonder about some people who are so blessed to have husbands that bring back stacks of clothes tailor made for them, and they still want more! It is hard not to envy this, although it is really unnecessary to have 40 complete outfits.

  7. thanks for this sis.. I know it was awhile ago but made me think. Im insha'allah moving back to UK after Ramadhan and so far I have a huge pile of clothes to take to the charity shop. Maybe Ill scale down a little more before the big move.

  8. What about giving your old clothes to charity ro someone poor back home??? That way you can buy new clothes! Not sure if this is something Allah will accept.