What is an Identity?
An identity gives an individual a sense of belonging. An identity gives an individual confidence. An identity allows an individual to self love. Everyone identifies themselves with something in their life, whether it is their country of origin, a religion, a profession or a family name. We can sometimes change what we identify with. For example, a child may identify as a ‘scout’ but as an adult they may become and identify as a ‘teacher’. But how great would it be to identify with something that encompasses our entire life, our entire being, our entire existence?
What does an Islamic identity consist of?
Islam is not just a religion but a complete way of life. It shows us how to conduct ourselves in every aspect of our lives from how we dress, how we speak, how we treat others and much more. As it encompasses our entire life, a life-long identity begins to form and unravel, from birth until the end of our time in this temporary abode.
As Muslims, an obvious part of our identity can be our outward appearance. Modest wear is the most popular way to identify a Muslim and an added crown (headscarf or hijab) for a Muslim woman. However, Islam also places emphasis on a Muslims’ manners and etiquettes, as we are ambassadors of this perfect religion which must reflect through our speech and actions towards others.
Grace & Poise and upholding the Islamic identity:
Islamic Values & Etiquettes
At Grace & Poise, upholding our Islamic identity and values is at the forefront of what we do. Ballet is beautifully entwined with modest wear and grace towards one another. Our values and ethos are in line with the teachings of Islam where we practice fairness, equality, justice and peace towards all our customers. Our students are taught to encourage one another, taught to care for one another and tend to each other’s needs. An example of this is when a student may be having a difficult day. This is quickly recognised and picked up upon by the teachers who are in tune with their student’s level of morale. The teacher will liaise with the other students and find a solution to lift this certain student’s spirits. This may be done by assigning them a special task like giving out stickers or setting up props throughout the session. The beauty in this is that even if it had been another student’s turn to give out stickers, they will happily forfeit their turn just to see a smile on their fellow students face! Our students are taught to speak and move with elegance . This correlates well with ballet as the movements embody this quality mirroring how we need to both establish grace Internally but also externally .. At the end of each session, students are encouraged to thank their teachers, instilling love and respect towards their elders.
Islam also teaches us perseverance, dedication and commitment, one prominent benefit of ballet is developing self discipline and a strong work ethic. This is something that will support children in everyday life as they ensure they pray on time, fast through Ramadan!
We emphasise seeking excellence in Islam and the importance of Ihsan. Ballet requires attention to detail, precision and helps establish this mindset to always work to develop and grow to the best of our ability.
Islam is fed through in our class habits and our outlook upon education and learning. We encourage the students when meeting a challenge to remember that we can only make the intention and try our best and trust that all strength and ability is from Allah. This helps our students to be motivated and build a healthy confidence knowing that it’s intrinsically connected to our trust in Allah and acknowledgement of who he is. We encourage the children to say Bismillah and to praise one another by saying Mashallah and Alhamdulillah. When they struggle we support them by reassuring us that Allah tests us so we may grow and learn and that we need to show Sabr (patience) and trust in his plan for us. This mindset allows our team and students to develop a deeper connection with Allah that they can carry through every part of their lives
Relationship With Allah (swt)
Our teachers uphold examples of modesty and observe their prayers when prayer time comes in. Hopefully this is a continuous reminder to our students that Allah comes first, even amidst our favourite pastimes, hobbies and passions.
At Grace and Poise, ballet is our passion but we are really mindful that our work is a means to drawing closer to Allah (swt) and fulfilling our purpose to worship The One who created us . For this reason, our Islamic identity will always remain at the forefront of what we wish to achieve, practise and become.
“I am not just me, I was created from He. What an honour to see, My true identity.”