Beauty is one of the most talked about topics in today’s world. It is a multi-million dollar industry relying on women buying into the newest trend in looks and fashion.
I personally love fashion and clothes (the modest type), but I was never into make-up. An eyeliner and a lip balm is enough for me – I feel fake and insincere when I put on a lot of make-up. There is nothing wrong with wearing moderate make-up, beautifying yourself or wanting to look flawless.
Let’s acknowledge that Allah loves beauty – even in our outward appearance. This doesn’t mean wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination or a full face of make-up for men to be gawking at, but looking nice, presentable, clean and smart is part of Islam. We can then save the rest for our husbands’ eyes alone.
Even though I am focusing on our physical appearance, Allah also loves beauty in our words and actions – a topic for another time. There are sunnah beauty guides we can follow to feel good, look good and earn some rewards from Allah (S.W.A):
Dental care: having clean teeth, without bad breath. This is on the principle that you don’t offend anyone (including the Angels) with stinky breath. The best tool for this is the siwaak as it is the sunnah way.
Eyes: The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) recommended we use pure Kohl or Kajool in our eyes because it makes them look beautiful and our eye sights get stronger.
Musk: you can use musk as perfume to ward off unpleasant smells. You can even use it to clean yourself when you’re on your period to kill off the odours and any disease-causing fungus and yeast.
Make sure you aren’t wearing perfume outside of your home where non mahram men can smell it – it is a sin if they do.
Hair and Nails: it’s part of our fitra (natural disposition) to cut our nails and shave our armpit and pubic hairs at least every 40 days – if not before.
You can bury or burn your hair and/or nails if you’re worried about people using them against you i.e. black magic.
We shouldn’t be using nail varnish because it creates a barrier between the water of wudhu from reaching our nails. There are some supposedly halal nail varnish but I really wouldn’t risk it.
When cutting your nails, it is the sunnah way to start from the right hand.
Facial hair removal: you are allowed to remove hair that is growing on parts of your face where it is unusual for a woman to have hair i.e. upper lip, chin, forehead e.t.c.
Hair care: our prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said whoever has hair, s/he should honour it. He (S.A.W) used to oil his hair and matte it with honey.
Use natural hair oils like coconut, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil and gels from aloe vera.
You can use honey as a hair conditioner and/or hair moisturiser for a healthy, strong, shiny hair and a healthy scalp.
If you want to dye your hair, use henna, but don’t dye your hair jet black – it isn’t permissible.
Never put hair extensions in your hair. Some people say it’s fine if water can go through it but I think it’s better not to – there is no point risking the displeasure of Allah.
If you want your hair to grow longer, wear your hair in braids. It will also make your hair healthier.
Lastly, unless there is a medical reason where it becomes necessary, never shave your hair.
Jewellery: Muslim women are allowed to wear gold (unlike the men). You can adorn yourself with jewellery like earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets and anklets.
Clothing: always wear clothes that are clean and presentable.
You can wear colourful clothes but make sure they are not flashy or glittery so that you don’t attract unwanted male attention. Aisha (R.A) used to wear green and floral clothes with her hijab.
With everything I mentioned above, Muslims are always encouraged to act in moderation – don’t be excessive or extravagant. Also, remember, our ultimate aim is always to please Allah (S.W.A), so when it comes to looking good, make sure to follow the sunnah and ensure your intention is pure. Don’t think about attracting or looking good to men in anyway.
Look forward to more sunnah approved natural beauty tips.