Women and Beautification

Islam and Women

Women and Beautification

Umm Milad Attariyya

Islam liberated woman and broke the cultural fetters which bound them for centuries. In fact, wherever society has constrained women, Islam has freed them. For example, Islam has permitted widows and divorcees to marry again. Besides this, Islam has given women freedom in many other matters too. However, just like men, women too have a duty to observe the parameters of Islam so that they can enjoy their freedom with dignity and safety.

Islam encourages women to beautify themselves. It is stated in a hadith:

کَانَ رَسُوْلُ اﷲ صلَّی اﷲ تَعالٰی عَلیہ واٰلِہٖ وسَلَّم يَكْرَهُ تَعَطُّرَ النِّسَاءِ

The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم disliked for woman to remain without jewellery.[1]

A pious Arab, Sayyidunā Asmāʾ b. Khārija al-Fazārī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه , gave his daughter the following advice when she married, “Your husband should only smell good fragrances from you.”[2]

On the other hand, Islam prohibits women from adorning themselves in such a way that opposes their honour, rank, and the teachings of Islam. It is stated in Surah Nur:

وَ لَا یَضۡرِبۡنَ بِاَرۡجُلِہِنَّ لِیُعۡلَمَ  مَا یُخۡفِیۡنَ مِنۡ زِیۡنَتِہِنَّ ؕ 

“And not to stamp their feet forcibly on the ground in order that their hidden adornment be known.”[3]

This verse prohibits the sound of jewellery reaching non-mahram males. If the sound does not reach such people, it is permissible for women to wear jewellery. The verse forbids stomping on the ground, it does not prohibit the wearing of jewellery.[4]

The Purpose of Adornment

Remember, in matters of adornment, it is important for women to adhere to the rulings of Islam and keep their intentions pure. A married woman should only adorn herself for the sake of her husband, not to attract other men. Similarly, an unmarried woman should only adorn herself whilst remaining within the bounds of Islamic teachings, so her relatives and the women of the neighbourhood can speak good of her to potential suitors. The reviver of Islam, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه , states, “It is a Sunna to adorn unmarried women with jewellery and good clothes, so that they receive marriage proposals.”[5]

In matters of adornment and beautification, do not imitate unreligious fads or compromise on the moral teaching of your faith. For example:

1.   Do not wear revealing clothes which leaves your body exposed or shows the shape or colour of your limbs.

2.   The sound of jewellery must not be heard by non-mahrams.

3.   Ensure that whatever is used for beautification is not haram or impermissible and does not prevent wudu and ghusl.

4.   When requesting items of adornment from your husband or parents, keep their financial situation in mind and do not burden them.

[1] Al-Nihaya Fi Ghareeb al-Hadees wal-Asar, vol. 3, p. 232

[2] Qut al-Quloob, vol. 2, p. 421

[3] [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 18, Surah Al-Noor, verse 31)

[4] Fatāwā Razawiyyah, vol. 22, p. 128

[5] Fatāwā Razawiyyah, vol. 22, p. 126




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