By Zaiba Hasan
In today's world, with the omnipresence of social media, fleeting beauty standards, and intense academic pressures, teen girls often struggle with self-esteem and confidence. For Muslim families, intertwining Islamic values into daily life provides a comforting scaffold. The beautiful teachings of Islam encourage both personal growth and collective well-being.
So, let’s talk about confidence-boosting tips for teen girls from an Islamic-conscious parenting perspective, incorporating insights from teen girls (including my own daughter) who’ve found strength in their faith. These fabulous young women are growing up in such intense times, and we hope these nine gentle pieces of parental advice can help build that inner confidence.
1. Understand your value in Allah’s (S) eyes.
Always remember that your worth is defined by your Creator, not by societal standards or peer opinions. The Quran says, "And certainly, We created man and endowed him with hearing and sight. And We guided him to the Way, either to be grateful or ungrateful." [76:2-3] This verse emphasizes our inherent value and capabilities. Focusing on your unique gifts and understanding that you were created with a purpose can drastically boost your self-confidence.
2. Embrace modesty beyond what you are wearing.
While many associate the hijab or modest dress with Muslim women, modesty in Islam extends beyond clothing. It's a mindset that encourages humility, respect for oneself, and respect for others. This can be a powerful antidote against the pressures of superficial beauty standards. Instead of measuring self-worth by physical appearance alone, value your character, integrity and kindness.
3. Seek knowledge relentlessly.
Image source: Pexels
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim.” This doesn’t just pertain to religious knowledge but all beneficial knowledge. By continuously learning and growing intellectually, you empower yourself and build confidence in your capabilities.
(Seeking continuous knowledge is one of the 9 things Muslim women recommend doing to help build, nurture and protect our confidence. Read more here.)
4. Surround ourselves with positive company.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of good companionship. Surround yourself with friends who uplift, support, and inspire you. Being around those who share your values and reinforce positivity can be a significant confidence booster.
(Being careful of your social circles, in person and online, is crucial to protecting and building our confidence, especially for school-age and college-age young women. Read more here.)
5. Practice self-compassion.
One teen girl shared, “We’re our own harshest critics. But remembering Allah's (S) immense mercy helps me be kinder to myself.” Islam teaches us about Allah’s (S) boundless mercy. If our Creator can forgive and see the good in us, shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves?
6. Engage in acts of service.
Volunteer and give back to the community. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The best of people are those that bring the most benefit to the rest of mankind." Through acts of service, not only do you contribute positively to society, but you also gain a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
(Here’s a great piece on how you can engage in acts of service with your whole family!)
7. Engage in regular self reflection.
Image source: Pexels
Daily or weekly, reflect upon your actions, thoughts, and feelings. This practice, known as muhasaba in Islam, helps you understand yourself better, making you more grounded and confident in your decisions.
8. Remember your achievements in du’a (supplication).
When you talk to Allah (S) in your prayers, express gratitude for your achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging your accomplishments with gratitude instead of pride balances self-esteem with humility.
9. Invest in your physical well-being.
Exercise and caring for one’s health isn’t just a modern tip for confidence but sunnah (the practice of the Prophet). Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Plus, when you feel good physically, it boosts your overall self-esteem.
(Our bodies are an
amanah from Allah (S), and thus prioritizing our physical well-being is a must. Read more here!)
10. Seek stories of inspiring Muslim women.
One teen expressed to me, “Reading about Muslim women in history, like Maryam (AS) or Khadijah (RA), makes me feel empowered. Their stories of faith, resilience, and strength are timeless.” Use these stories as sources of inspiration and motivation.
Navigating the turbulent waters of adolescence might seem daunting, but remember, you're not alone. Embracing these confidence-boosting insights, anchored in the profound wisdom of Islamic values, can illuminate a path of resilience, self-assurance, and evolution. Your journey is beautifully unique, and under Allah’s (S) nurturing guidance, the strength and brilliance within you await its moment to radiate.
Let these tips be the gentle whispers reminding you of the strength you carry within.
Until next time
Are you in need of parenting assistance? Look no further than EMERGE Parenting Solutions! We provide a wide range of engaging and interactive parenting workshops that can be accessed remotely. Led by our team of experienced parenting experts, you'll have the opportunity to learn directly from the best. Zaiba Hasan is part of the dynamic duo behind the award-winning podcast, Mommying While Muslim. She is the founder of and a spiritual parent coach at Emerge Consulting Solutions, an interfaith mediator and sports mama extraordinaire. Look for her on the baseball fields and basketball courts in the DMV (Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area cheering from the sidelines.