Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Beauty and Makeup

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Qur'an[edit]

Displaying your beauty and ornaments is forbidden[edit]

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.

Women had more freedom to display their beauty/charms in pre-Islamic Arabia[edit]

O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just. And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.

Only those belonging to Satan alter the creation of Allah[edit]

(The Pagans), leaving Him, call but upon female deities: They call but upon satan the persistent rebel! Allah did curse him, but he said: "I will take of Thy servants a portion Marked off; "I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah." Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest. Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desires; but satan's promises are nothing but deception. They (his dupes) will have their dwelling in Hell, and from it they will find no way of escape.

Hadith[edit]

Marry women for their beauty[edit]

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: the Prophet said: “A woman may be married for four things: Her wealth, her lineage, her beauty or for her religion. Choose the religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Sahih)

Getting or giving a tattoo is forbidden[edit]

Narrated Abu Huraira : A woman who used to practise tattooing was brought to 'Umar. 'Umar got up and said, "I beseech you by Allah, which of you heard the Prophet saying something about tattooing?" l got up and said, "0 chief of the Believers! l heard something." He said, "What did you hear?" I said, "I heard the Prophet (addressing the ladies), saying, 'Do not practise tattooing and do not get yourselves tattooed.'"
Narrated Ibn 'Umar : I heard the Prophet saying, (or the Prophet said), "Allah has cursed the lady who practices tattooing and that who gets it done for herself, and also the lady who lengthens hair artificially and that who gets her hair lengthened artificially." The Prophet has cursed such ladies.
Narrated 'Aun bin Abu Juhaifa: My father bought a slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the slave's instruments of cupping). I asked my father why he had done so. He replied, "The Prophet forbade the acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting tattooed and receiving or giving Riba, (usury), and cursed the picture-makers."
Narrated Abu Juhaifa: The Prophet forbade the use of the price of blood and the price of a dog, the one who takes (eats) usury the one who gives usury, the woman who practises tattooing and the woman who gets herself tattooed.
Narrated Aun bin Abu Juhaifa: I saw my father buying a slave whose profession was cupping, and ordered that his instruments (of cupping) be broken. I asked him the reason for doing so. He replied, "Allah's Apostle prohibited taking money for blood, the price of a dog, and the earnings of a slave-girl by prostitution; he cursed her who tattoos and her who gets tattooed, the eater of Riba (usury), and the maker of pictures."
Narrated Abu Huraira : Allah's Apostle said, "The evil eye is a fact," and he forbade tattooing.
Narrated Ibn 'Umar : The Prophet has cursed the lady who lengthens hair artificially and that who gets her hair lengthened in such away, and the lady who practises tattooing and that who gets it done for herself.

Getting your teeth straightened is forbidden[edit]

It was narrated that 'Abdulleh said: "The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, and those who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and those who change the creation of Allah." News of that reached a woman of Banu Asad who was called Umm Ya'qub. She came to him and said: "I have heard that you said such and such." He said: 'Why should I not curse those whom the Messenger of Allah cursed ? And it is in the Book of Allah." She said: "I read what is between its two covers 'and I have not found that." He said: "If you read it properly you would have found it. Have you not read the words: 'And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).'?" She said: "Of course." He said: 'The Messenger of Allah forbade that." She said: 'I think that your wife does it.' He said: " Go and look." So she went and looked and she did not see what she wanted. She said: "I have not seen anything!’ 'Abdullah said: "If she was as you say, I would not have kept her with me. " (Sahih)
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud: Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing or get it done for themselves, and those who remove hair from their faces, and those who create spaces between their teeth artificially to look beautiful, such ladies as change the features created by Allah. Why then shall I not curse those whom Allah's Apostle has cursed and who are cursed in Allah's Book too?
Narrated 'Abdullah : Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing and those who get it done for themselves, and those who remove hair from their faces, and those who artificially create spaces between their teeth to look beautiful, such women as alter the features created by Allah. Why should I not then curse those whom Allah's Apostle has cursed and that is in Allah's Book?

Getting your hair cut is forbidden[edit]

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibited women from allowing their hair to drop on their shoulders (by cutting it).)
Al-Mu’jam al-Sagheer, Baabul Haa, Man Ishuhu Al-Hasan, vol. 1, p. 229, Dar Al-Ammar

Getting or providing hair extensions is forbidden[edit]

Narrated Asma: (the daughter of Abu' Bakr) A woman came to Allah's Apostle and said, "I married my daughter to someone, but she became sick and all her hair fell out, and (because of that) her husband does not like her. May I let her use false hair?" On that the Prophet cursed such a lady as artificially lengthening (her or someone else's) hair or got her hair lengthened artificially.
Narrated Asma': A woman asked the Prophet saying, "0 Allah's Apostle! My daughter got measles and her hair fell out. Now that I got her married, may I let her use false hair?" He said (to her), "Allah has cursed the lady who lengthens hair artificially and the one who gets her hair lengthened artificially."
Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Allah has cursed such a lady as lengthens (her or someone else's) hair artificially or gets it lengthened, and also a lady who tattoos (herself or someone else) or gets herself tattooed.
Narrated Ibn 'Umar : The Prophet has cursed the lady who lengthens her hair artificially and the one who gets her hair lengthened, and also the lady who tattoos (herself or others) and the one who gets herself tattooed.
Narrated Asma: (the daughter of Abu Bakr) Allah's Apostle has cursed such a lady as artificially lengthening (her or someone else's) hair or gets her hair lengthened.
It was narrated that Asma' said: "A woman came to the Prophet and said:, My daughter is going to get married, and she had the measles and her hair has fallen out. Can I put extensions in her hair?, The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Allah has cursed the one who does hair extensions and the one who has that done.'" (Sahih)
It was narrated from Ibn 'Umar that: the Prophet cursed the woman who does hair extensions and the one who has that done, and the woman who does tattoos and the one who has that done. (Sahih)

Removing excess facial hair is forbidden[edit]

Narrated 'Abdullah : Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing and those who get it done for themselves, and those who remove hair from their faces, and those who artificially create spaces between their teeth to look beautiful, such women as alter the features created by Allah. Why should I not then curse those whom Allah's Apostle has cursed and that is in Allah's Book?
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud: Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing or get it done for themselves, and those who remove hair from their faces, and those who create spaces between their teeth artificially to look beautiful, such ladies as change the features created by Allah. Why then shall I not curse those whom Allah's Apostle has cursed and who are cursed in Allah's Book too?

Getting your eyebrows plucked is forbidden[edit]

It was narrated that 'Abdulleh said: "The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, and those who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and those who change the creation of Allah." News of that reached a woman of Banu Asad who was called Umm Ya'qub. She came to him and said: "I have heard that you said such and such." He said: 'Why should I not curse those whom the Messenger of Allah cursed ? And it is in the Book of Allah." She said: "I read what is between its two covers 'and I have not found that." He said: "If you read it properly you would have found it. Have you not read the words: 'And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).'?" She said: "Of course." He said: 'The Messenger of Allah forbade that." She said: 'I think that your wife does it.' He said: " Go and look." So she went and looked and she did not see what she wanted. She said: "I have not seen anything!’ 'Abdullah said: "If she was as you say, I would not have kept her with me. " (Sahih)

Scholars[edit]

Trimming or plucking eyebrows, growing fingernails and using nail polish is forbidden[edit]

(1) It is not allowed to remove or shorten eyebrow hairs. It is confirmed that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) cursed the one who has them removed and the one who removed them. The scholars have stated that the Hadeeth is in reference to those who remove eyebrow hairs.

(2) Letting the fingernails grow is something that goes against the sunnah of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). He said, ((From the acts of nature are five: circumcision, removing pubic hairs, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the hair from under the armpits.)) It is not allowed to leave them for more than forty nights. This is based on the Hadeeth of Anas who said, "The Messenger of Allaah set a time limit for us for trimming the moustache, trimming nails, removing armpit hairs and removing pubic hairs. They cannot be left for more than forty nights." Letting them grow long resembles animals and some of the disbelievers. As for nail polish, it is better to avoid it. One must remove it when making ablution since it prevents water from reaching the nails.

Wearing fake eyelashes is forbidden[edit]

Wearing artificial eyelashes for the purpose of beautifying oneself and looking beautiful is not permissible as this is changing the creation of Allaah especially if the eyelashes are permanent.

Eyeliner is an exception, for both men and women, because Muhammad wore it[edit]

Wearing kohl is one of the sunnas of the Prophet, peace be upon him. It is allowed for both males and females. Unless you will bring undue attention to yourself, it is permissible for you to wear kohl.

Makeup is different. In Surat al-Nur, Allah says, "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss". (Qur'an 24:31).

Scholars have interpreted the directive to not display beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appears in terms of ordinary adornment and extra adornment. Ordinary adornments like kohl, henna, or a ring are permissible to wear in public. Extra adornment, like perfume, lipstick, dazzling eye colors, and the like are not permissible to wear in public. In short, any type of adornment which makes a woman look "made-up" and attracts amorous attention is not permissible, as this would defeat the whole purpose of hijab.

Wearing any kind of perfume is forbidden[edit]

It is not allowed for women to use incense when they go out to the mosque or inside the mosque. This is because they become a temptation, then, when they return to their homes. It has been authentically reported from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that he prohibited women from using any kind of perfume when leaving their house to go to the mosque. He said, ((Any woman who has incense over her should not attend the 'Ishaa. Prayer with us)). The same applies to them using such fragrances in the mosque because then they go outside to the market while being scented. The same is the ruling for their using it when they go some place other than the mosque.

Breast enlargement/reduction, unless done for a health reason, is forbidden[edit]

Undergoing any operation only to have a good figure is not permissible since it is an act of changing the Creation of Allah, which is forbidden. Allah Reported about Satanic business in the Qur'an: {(Satan said…) and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allâh. …} [4: 119].

Also, it is an incontestable fact that Satan orders only evil and shamelessness. However, if a woman personally feels the size of her breasts or any other organ, are seriously harmful to her health, it is permissible for her to undergo an operation to remove this harm.

In addition, it is also permissible for one to recover anybody part that is disfigured through an accident or disease. This act does not come under the ruling of changing Allah's Creation rather it is only to recover the original condition which is permissible.

Exfoliating your skin or having a face-lift is forbidden[edit]

Exfoliation means removing a layer of skin to expose new skin. The reason for doing that may be to remove a blemish on the skin that resulted from a burn or tear, or it may be for cosmetic purposes, to beautify the face. If it is the former, then it is permissible, because removing blemishes makes this action permissible. But if it is for the latter then it is not permissible, because that is changing the creation of Allaah, and is a kind of beautification that is not permissible in sharee’ah.

In the answer to question no. 34215 we stated that it is haraam to exfoliate the face, and that it is changing the creation of Allaah.

Face-lift operations are usually done for purposes of beautification and to remove wrinkles. This comes under the heading of changing the creation of Allaah. In the answer to question no. 47694 we have stated the ruling on cosmetic surgery, and we explained that some of it may be essential so it is permissible, and some of it may be for the purpose of beautification, and it is haraam, because it comes under the heading of changing the creation of Allaah. And we gave face-lifts as one of the examples of such operations.

Any sort of cosmetic surgery to improve your looks is forbidden[edit]

Cosmetic surgery is of two kinds: First, to remove a defect which is caused by an accident or the like, or a defect which is by birth such as an extra finger or the like. Removing this kind of defect is permissible in Shariah for the Hadith that the Prophet permitted for a person whose nose was cut to replace it with a nose of gold.

Second, surgery is not carried out to remove a defect, but to attain beauty and to increase one's attractiveness. Surgery for this reason is prohibited. The Prophet said: Abdullah (bin Masood) said, "Allah curses those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those ladies who remove the hair from their faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth in order to look more beautiful whereby they change Allah's creation." [Reported by Imam Al-Bukhari] In addition, it is a kind of Satanic handiwork since it is not for necessity as Allah Says of Satan (interpretation of meaning): {…and indeed I (Satan) will order them to change the nature created by Allâh. …….}[4:119]. If the ears are unusual in a manner that disfigures the structure, and if removing that defect does not have any side effects then performing cosmetic surgery is permissible.

However, if the abnormality of the ears is minimal, in this case, it is not permissible to under-take a surgery since it comes under the rule of changing Allah’s creation.

Wearing colored contact lenses is forbidden[edit]

There is no harm in wearing contact lenses due to necessity; As for other than that, then it is better to leave doing so especially if they are expensive, since this equates to being excessive in (spending one’s wealth) which is prohibited, in addition to that which exists therein of deceit and covering up the reality because they make the eyes appear in other than their natural state without there being a (Islaamically justifiable) need for that.
"Wearing coloured contact lenses" (archived)
Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan, al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan, Volume 3, Fatwa No.468, p. 317, http://www.fatwa-online.com/fataawa/womensissues/beautification/bea003/0040308.htm.
 

Cutting your hair is forbidden[edit]

1. The Fuqahaa (scholars of jurisprudence) have ruled that it is impermissible for women to cut their hair. If a woman cuts her hair she will be sinful and accursed. Consider the following texts:

1.1. Khulasat Al-Fatawaa (546 ah) by Shaykh Taahir Bin Abd Al-Rasheed al-Bukhari:

“If a woman cuts her hair, then it is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala” (Kitaab Al-Nikah, vol 2, pg 52, Rasheediyya)

1.2. Al-Multaqat (556 ah) by Nasir Al-Deen Al-Samarqandi:

“It is not permissible for a woman to cut her hair” (Kitaab Al-Nikah, pg 102, Ilmiyya)

1.3. Nisaab Al-Ihtisaab (820 ah) by Umar Bin Muhammad Al-Sanaami:

“Abu Bakr (Al-Iskaaf) was asked regarding a woman that cuts her hair. He replied: It is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala, repent and not return to such doings” (Al-Ihtisaab Ala al-Nisaa, pg 142, Al-Taalib al-Jaami’ee)

1.4. Fatawaa Al-Bazaziyyah (827 ah) by Muhammad Bin Muhammad Al-Bazazi:

“It is incumbent upon a woman that cuts her hair to seek forgiveness although her husband commands her to do so, because there is no obedience to the creation in an act that violates the laws of the creator” (Fatawaa Al-Bazaziyya with Al-Fatawaa al-Hindiyya, pg 379,vol 6, Rasheediyya)

1.5. Al-Ashbah Al-Nazaair (970 ah) by Ibn Al-Nujaim:

“It is not permissible for a woman to cut her hair” (Kitaab Al-Nikah, pg 178, Ilmiyya)

1.6. Al-Durr al-Mukhtaar (1088 ah) by Al-Haskafi:

“If she (woman) cuts her hair, she has committed a sin and is accursed. Bazaziyya adds: ‘even if her husband consents because there is no obedience to anyone in an act of disobedience to Allah”. (Al-Durr al-Muhtaar with Shaami, Kitabul Hadri wal Ibahah, vol 6, pg 407, HM Sa’eed)

The above ruling of the Fuqahaa are supported by the following Hadith:

“Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibited women from allowing their hair to drop on their shoulders (by cutting it). (Al-Mu’jam al-Sagheer,Baabul Haa, Man Ishuhu Al-Hasan, vol 1, pg 229, Dar Al-Ammar)
"I wanted to know why arent women allowed to cut their hair?" (archived)
Ml. Talha Desai (checked and approved by Mufti Ebrahim Desai), Ask Imam, Fatwa No. 16498, March 29,2008, http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/16498.
 

Everything, including eyeliner, henna and jewelry are forbidden in front of non-related males[edit]

The scholars have stated that women’s adornments fall into two categories:

Visible adornment, which is the woman’s outer dress

And hidden adornment, which no one should see except the husband, such as kohl, bangles and rings.

The evidence for that is the report narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) concerning the interpretation of the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent” [al-Noor 24:31]

Ibn Mas’ood said: The adornment is of two types, visible adornment and hidden adornment which no one should see except the husband. With regard to the visible adornment, this is the dress. With regard to the hidden adornment, this is things such as kohl, bangles and rings.

According to another report, visible adornment includes clothes. That which is hidden includes anklets, earrings and bangles.

Narrated by Ibn Jareer in his Tafseer, 18/117

A similar interpretation was also narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas.

See Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 6/196

Therefore the scholars have said that it is obligatory for a woman to cover her face, hands and hidden adornments. This is what is regarded as more correct by a number of the scholars, including Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.

Al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, when discussing this issue and after quoting the views of the scholars and stating that the report narrated from Ibn Mas’ood is more likely to be correct -:

This view is the most correct opinion in our view; it is more on the safe side, farthest removed from suspicion and causes of fitnah.

Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 6/192

Make-up and the like, and henna, are kinds of adornment which it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to show to non-mahrams.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen said:

There is nothing wrong with using henna for adornment, especially for a married woman who adorns herself with it for her husband. As for unmarried women, the correct view is that it is permissible, but she should not show it to people because it is a kind of adornment.

Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/477

But some doctors have said that using artificial make-up harms a woman’s skin. If this is proven then it should be avoided.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

If make-up beautifies a woman and does not cause her any harm, then there is nothing wrong with it, but I have heard that make-up damages the skin of the face, and that it therefore alters the skin of the face in an ugly way before the time when the skin changes as a result of ageing. I hope that women will ask their doctors about that. If that is proven, then using make-up is either haraam or makrooh at least, because everything that causes deformity in a person or makes him ugly is either haraam or makrooh.

Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/474

Thirdly:

With regard to a woman’s neck and ears showing from under her khimaar, this is haraam, The ears and neck are among the areas which a woman is commanded to conceal from non-mahram men; they are part of the beauty which it is forbidden to uncover in front of anyone except one's husband and mahrams.

The fuqaha’ are agreed that a woman’s ears are ‘awrah and it is not permissible to show them to non-mahrams.

Any kind of adornment that is connected to them – such as earrings – is also part of the hidden adornment which it is not permissible to show.

Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 2/376

Concerning the conditions of hijaab, see question no. 6991.

To sum up:

It is not permissible for a husband to allow his wife to show her hidden adornments. He must tell her to wear proper hijaab otherwise the husband will be included among those whom sharee’ah counts as not having the proper protective jealousy concerning their honour.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three who will not enter Paradise and Allaah will not look at them on the Day of Resurrection: the one who disobeys his parents, the woman who imitates men, and the cuckold.”

(Narrated by Ahmad; Ahmad Shaakir (6180) said, its isnaad is saheeh).

See Also[edit]

  • Beauty - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Beauty
  • Women (Primary Sources) - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Women (Primary Sources)

External Links[edit]