3 Ways Qandeel Baloch Was a Better Muslim Than Me

Qandeel Baloch’s murder has shaken Pakistan, and the world.
Many are outraged, while others are ambivalent, or even happy to be rid of a “dishonour” and a “disgrace” to Islam.
Judgments aside, all I can think about are the ways in which Qandeel Baloch — may she rest in peace — was a better Muslim than I am.

1. She was modest.

Photo: Dawn Images

Modesty is not just in what we wear.
Qandeel was referred to as a blemish on Pakistan’s ‘sparkling’ image, a national shame, a shame for the Muslim ummah, but one thing we failed to recognize were her displays of humility.
Modesty is oftentimes misunderstood solely has an outward trait, but Qandeel exemplified this characteristic by either re-posting articles ridiculing  her ,or even making fun of her dancing capabilities.
Prophet Muhammad (saws) said “He in whose heart is an atom’s weight of haughtiness will not enter Paradise, and he in whose heart is an atom’s weight of faith will not enter Fire.”
Qandeel quipped about herself more often than others, showing a great sense of humility and modesty.

2. Qandeel stood up for herself and others.

In one of her last posts on Facebook, Qandeel was adamant about women standing together for justice and supporting each other.
She boldly declared “I believe in equality,” and commented that women needn’t label themselves “just for the sake of society.”  She embodied the Prophet’s (saws) characteristic of defending the most vulnerable members of society.
It was during the rise of Islam that women in Arabia were afforded more rights than ever before, and many Muslim countries granted voting rights to women long before their Western counterparts.
Qandeel was outspoken about social justice for Pakistani women, as she wanted to “fight for what’s right”.
As Allah said in the Quran,  “Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness” (5:8).

3. Qandeel showed sabr (patience).

qandeel baloch wedding (2)
Qandeel Baloch and her husband. She was forced to marry at 17. Photo: Wonderful Point

Prophet Muhammad (saws) reminded us that for a Muslim, there is good in everything, and “When some misfortune befalls him, he endures it patiently for which he is also rewarded.”
Forced to marry at 17, Qandeel aimed to maintain family ties by remaining married irrespective of her own objections.
Qandeel had an abusive husband with whom she had a child, and stuck through the marriage for some time for her son’s sake.
She showed great strength especially when she left her husband due to his abusiveness, noting “this was my right.”
Qandeel still tried to maintain family ties after leaving. She started from modest means, worked several jobs, and shared her success with her family. She paid for her sister’s wedding and dowry, bought a house for her parents in Multan and got her parents settled.
People have criticized Qandeel in both life and death because of her outward appearances, but it’s important to remember that we can never know what is in a person’s heart.
No human is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less of a Muslim.
I recognize that Qandeel, in many ways, embodied Prophetic characteristics that I still strive towards. May she rest in peace.
Contributed by Kifah Shah.  Kifah is a Californian mipster who works in Pakistan’s development sector. She wonders, she wanders and documents it on Instagram @kifat.  
This post originally appeared on Flying Rickshaw, and was republished with edits.