Dubai Fatwa Authorizing Make-Up for Men Sparks Controversy

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Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media

Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim

The fatwa which was recently released by Doctor Ahmad 'Abd-al-'Aziz al-Haddad, the Grand Mufti on the Board of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Work in Dubai, UAE, concerning "The permissibility of men using make-up under the condition that they don't look like women," has sparked a bit of a controversy within al-Azhar regarding the importance of the fatwa and related regulations.

At the time some rejected the fatwa, considering it unnecessary and opening the door for various types of corruption; however, others supported the issuance of the fatwa, while still expressing various regulations and conditions on how men should use make-up.

Dr. al-Haddad issued his fatwa after receiving various complaints and questions about allowing young men to use make-up, especially the make-up for men which has been released in Gulf markets.

The fatwa said: "The use of make-up by men is generally permissible, whether it is required for their job, or to hide pimples on their face, or even for beautification, for God is beautiful and loves beauty, and has permitted the soldier to apply black dye, with no dispute."


Dr. Muhammad al-Shahat al-Jundi, member of the Islamic Research Academy and the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said to Islam Online: "Men have their speciality, and women have their speciality. It is true that God commanded adornment when he said: 'O sons of Adam, take your adornment at every mosque.' However, this does not mean to adorn with make-up."

He continued: "Islam requires every Muslim to be comely, but at the same time does not require him to use make-up, or to confuse the roles of men and women, especially since the use of make-up could in some cases lead to changing God's creation. This is even (true) for women, except that He does allow women to use make-up without excess to beautify themselves for their husbands." [...]
Fatwa from Dubai Authorizing Make-Up for Men Sparks Controversy at al-Azhar
Sabhi Mujahid, Cairo, Islam Online, December 14, 2010