A Muslim Girl’s Dilemma

Muslim women donning hijab are no longer frowned upon as much as they used to be in this post 9/11 era. Court cases in Europe prohibiting women from layering up their faces with the veil at their workplaces have to a large extent highlighted and articulated the fashion decreed by Allah Subhanallah wa Ta’ala for women.

The command to observe full hijab applied to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his daughters and the believing women. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Ahzaab 33:59]

And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)” [al-Noor 24:31]

The command in these two verses is general and applies to all believing women.

Al- Bukhaari narrated that ‘Aishah said: “May Allah have mercy on the first Muhaajir women. When Allah revealed the words ‘and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)’ they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them.”

Abu Dawood (4101) narrated that Umm Salamah said: “When the words ‘to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies’ [al-Ahzaab 33:59] were revealed, the women of the Ansaar went out looking as if there were crows on their heads because of the covering.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Despite all these evidences to cover up, there are those who still at sixes and sevens about this. The more liberal sisters, who sneer at hijab as being something out of the ark will dolled up to attract the attention of the people around them so that they can be noticed, admired and desired. Perfumes and adornments are their constant companions.

So how does a muslim woman push away all these desires to look beautiful? Isn’t it innate to admire beauty? What happened to that luxurious mane if it was all covered? Can’t she put on Chanel foundation, Christian Dior lipstick or that most voluminizing Givenchy mascara?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

There is nothing wrong with using lipstick because the basic principle is that things are permissible until it is made clear that they are haraam… But if it becomes clear that it is harmful to the lips, that it dries them out and makes them lose their moisture, then in this case it is not allowed. I have been told that it may cause the lips crack. If that is proven then we are forbidden to do things that harm us. [Fataawa Manaar al-Islam, 3/831]


There is also nothing wrong with using a mascara as it is a kind of permissible adornment like kohl, but that is on condition that one does not appear wearing it in front of non-mahram men. It does not matter that it makes the eyelashes look longer or thicker; rather false eyelashes are not allowed because they come under the same heading as hair extensions which are regarded as objectionable.

It should be noted that with some types of mascara wudoo’ is not valid because they prevent the water from reaching what is beneath them.

There are many issues about wearing makeup, the kind of hijab and adornments that plague a muslim woman’s mind. As she is constantly looking to please Allah and surrendering herself to Allah’s law, it remains a constant battle inside to be beautiful and young. It will be an exhaustive article to discuss on every aspect but I will take effort to shed light on these issues soon. Insya Allah.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s